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  1. #1
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    NYPD blockade on mid span 59th Street bridge

    Riding towards Queens on the 59th St bridge about 8:45am Wednesday 8-14-08 a Police Car was on the top of the Walkway dead center lights on. I figured as I approached, someone was injured or there was a problem of some sort.
    Nope.
    There was the one police car, one Police officer (a bit confused),6 orange cones, 3 on each side of the vehicle.
    I asked what was up, but received no answer. Perhaps the officer did not hear me.

    The effect was clear, the goal was not. Stopping all traffic, cyclists, runners, walkers and moving them into the cone mix which was 2 feet wide and zig zag through it to proceed.

    There was no officer today on the lower portion at the questioned dismount area (sign spray painted over). I heard that the officer stopped people, but I was not asked or motioned to do so.

    Okay I support our police blah blah blah, but whats going on?

    Robert
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  2. #2
    Bubba Ho-Tep's BFF sukram's Avatar
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    I was wondering what the hell was going on this morning as well. I didn't bother asking, not worth the trouble unless he was going to stop me. Was a pain in the arse. Yesterday on the way home I encountered an officer at the bottom on the bike lane side telling people to slow down.

    I'll check TA Queens and see if they know anything...
    - meb

  3. #3
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Maybe they're checking for drunk bike riders at 8 in the morning? Or the dude got lost on the way to the bridge.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  4. #4
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    Looking for expired inspection stickers.

  5. #5
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    just to be clear, They've been there since Monday - not in the same places.

    The unofficial word is they received a complaint from someone about cyclists riding too fast especially when exiting the on ramp in Queens. Note that there is in fact a sign or two telling riders to dismount and walk bikes - which none of us want to do - but I spoke to the officer at the Queens end yesterday and she said they are giving warnings this week - tickets next week....

    I imagine this will die down as the weather turns colder, but things may stink for a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  6. #6
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    We move too slow, we move too fast, why don't they make up they're minds?
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  7. #7
    Bubba Ho-Tep's BFF sukram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
    Note that there is in fact a sign or two telling riders to dismount and walk bikes - which none of us want to do - but I spoke to the officer at the Queens end yesterday and she said they are giving warnings this week - tickets next week...
    I'll give them some slack for asking cyclists to slow down, but if they start ticketing that's another story. They should just fix the access to the MUP so it works properly. A half-witted New York pigeon could have designed better access to the MUP.

    Really though, it was the squad car taking up 90% of the MUP this morning that was antagonizing. The cops should be trying mend relations with the cycling community these days.
    - meb

  8. #8
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    Tickets for not dismounting or for going too fast? It is pretty clear that you are not meant to dismount over the bridge despite the sign - I mean why make a lane for bicycles and one for pedestrians if they're both walking?

  9. #9
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Tickets for not dismounting or for going too fast? It is pretty clear that you are not meant to dismount over the bridge despite the sign

    you're supposed to dismount as you exit the bridge on the queens side - why this is not the case on manhattan side, I haven't a clue. Obviously nobody wants to do that. But lots of people are jerks, riding way too fast through the exits and passing at asinine moments...like I'm passing a pedestrian on the extreme right, and there are two pedestrians coming the other way - and some Lancewannabe comes around from behind me and zooms through the two foot wide gap. If I was a cop and saw that, I'd tackle 'em too.
    Last edited by pgoat; 08-13-08 at 07:11 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  10. #10
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    I mean why make a lane for bicycles and one for pedestrians if they're both walking?

    If you go over the Williamsburg you'll see a properly marked path - center dividing line, and it's clearly marked - bikes stay to the right, peds to the left. That means you and the pedestrians see each other as you approach.

    The problem with the QBB is it is marked Bikes on one side, peds on the other - I agree, this is a stupendously stupid arrangement, clearly dreamt up by someone who has never biked over a bridge.

    The first time I ever used the path I was heading west from Queens to Manhattan, and, against my better judgment, I obeyed the painted bike man and stayed to the left - and was very quickly screamed at by a descending cyclist to move the f*** over to my right. I still see newbies in the "bike" lane heading west - bad news. It's very confusing and an accident waiting to happen - about as dangerous as the type of inconsiderate moronic riders I mention in my previous post.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member joshdcu's Avatar
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    Da da da, da... da..., da... da... not feeling groovy.

    (sorry, very lame joke, but I couldn't resist...)

  12. #12
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    I always just ride pretty much on the center line going into Manhattan. I just scoot over the white line when there is an oncoming cyclist. It isn't that bad of a system. I actually find the Williamsburg bridge a little more dicey since peds are on both sides and sometimes completely disregarding the rules by going in the wrong direction. I had no idea the dismount was for exiting the Queens side, that is really funny.

    Totally agree about people being dumb. There is no reason to blast off the bridge at 25+ considering you have a sidewalk and likely car traffic impeding your path 20 ft past the exit.

    But to clarify: did the cop tell you they will be giving tickets to people who don't dismount, or just to those riding dangerously?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Scorer75's Avatar
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    Why not just switch bridges for a week till something new comes along and they decide to forget about the bridge.

  14. #14
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    Wait until Bloomberg realizes that bikes don't have licence plates to photograph when entering Manhattan!
    Sheesh.

  15. #15
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    But to clarify: did the cop tell you they will be giving tickets to people who don't dismount, or just to those riding dangerously?
    she didn't specify - I looked for her last night but no one was on the queens side (I got there later than usual, around 6:30 PM).

    I'm going to try and ask about that. No way do I wanna get off and walk but better that than pay a ticket for something so stupid. I agree this wil die down soon. But to all the reckless dopes : S L O W the %@#$ D O W N!!!! You're ruining things for everybody.

    Today's 'blockade' ( a NYPD scooter, lots of orange cones and plenty of cop-bridge worker loitering) was not only supremely annoying, it's going to cause more accidents than it prevents....naturally some moron blew by me right afterwards - narrowly avoiding a ped from behind as he did so.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  16. #16
    Bubba Ho-Tep's BFF sukram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
    Today's 'blockade' ( a NYPD scooter, lots of orange cones and plenty of cop-bridge worker loitering) was not only supremely annoying, it's going to cause more accidents than it prevents....naturally some moron blew by me right afterwards - narrowly avoiding a ped from behind as he did so.
    At least the scooter wasn't taking up 90% of the MUP. It was the squad car that really annoyed me. I can deal with the construction vehicles, although sometimes they don't park well and leave a pretty narrow path.

    The city should just fix the access to the MUP on the bridge. Heck, take away a car lane on the bridge and give it over to bikes during rush hour. Give the peds their own space during peak hours.
    - meb

  17. #17
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    actually between the cones and the scooter it kinda was about 90%- but I know what you mean, the car is definitely far worse.

    Those types of changes you mention would be marvy, but they're not going to happen overnight. It takes commitment and dedication from cyclists, as well as everyone else.

    I urge everyone (cyclist or not) in NYC to check out Transportation Alternative's website for ways to get involved and to stay abreast of legislative efforts. They are a great bunch of people and I have definitely seen results from their efforts that benefit everyone who lives here...the results just take time and some elbow grease.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  18. #18
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    This has made it's way to StreetsBlog

  19. #19
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Next time on the pathway take a look at the following on the decent into Queens where the sign
    says instructs that cyclist dismount their bikes. The sign on your right which I beleive is green is spray painted over.
    The signs on the left which are Orange are on the otherside of the pathway. My sense is that they apply to people on the sidewalk, not the ramp.

    Ticketing for failing to obey an officers instruction is possible. The problem was the officer was facing the climbers. So when you squeezed through on your decent he was avoiding the climbers and not being effetive at his job. I mean if you are stopped at the top of a hill and then start down hill, you will pick up speed.

    Next point:
    If the issue was the construction workers safety I can understand. However when it was needed they had a flag man or person with a slow or stop sign. The officer can do the same. Of course after 2 years the painting is almost done.

    This is just a waste of time NYPD manpower
    Last edited by Not the Slowest; 08-14-08 at 08:19 PM.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  20. #20
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post

    Next point:
    If the issue was the construction workers safety I can understand. However when it was needed they had a flag man or person with a slow or stop sign. The officer can do the same. Of course after 2 years the painting is almost done.

    This is just a waste of time NYPD manpower
    I agree with your last point; and your first. but the bridge is never done....just like the old story, they get to one end and have to start all over at the beginning again.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  21. #21
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    Another Explanation for the Police

    Just to chime in, I thought it was strange especially since the cop was at the slowest point of the bridge (just before the peak) when I'm peddling my butt off to climb the bridge (outa shape). I asked what was going on and he said "workers" and to 'go slow/watch out for them'. Going up the bridge from the Queens side, I had just passed DOT workers sweeping/picking up trash - they are different from the contracted Bridge workers as the DOT are City employees - so to me it made sense why there was a cop there. If they wanted to "Bust" anyone, they would have place themselves on the ends of the Bridge and that's not where they were. And coming home at 7:30, no one was on either end. Also, if they really wanted to give tickets, they'd get us all for going the wrong way coming back to Queens after we get off the bridge. There are always Traffic Cops and I'm surprised that they don't give tickets (I got a ticket in '91 for running a few red lights - $75).

  22. #22
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    In the evenings a cop was indeed at the offramp on the queens side - and she said this coming week they'll be issuing tickets - so, fair warning....
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  23. #23
    Bubba Ho-Tep's BFF sukram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
    In the evenings a cop was indeed at the offramp on the queens side - and she said this coming week they'll be issuing tickets - so, fair warning....
    Unless they fix the design at both ends of the MUP what good is handing any tickets out? The vast majority of cyclists seem to be in control (even if it may appear fast to some), and it's not like a few tickets here or there are going to stop the real troublemakers.

    Here's my proposal. Just fix the bloody access problems.

    Here's a start... Queens side (north side by MUP access). No more Crescent Street access to the lower level. Let the cars/trucks drive over to 31st Street or take the Upper Level. Eliminate that crossing. Move the buses in toward the center under the train tracks. Make it a 2 lane bus-only stretch. Create a large ped/bike path with limited access for local deliveries and Mama's food. Put in 2 or 3 large raised crosswalks that act like huge speedbumps for the bikes, this is for ped access to the buses or crossing the hellish mayem that is Queensboro Plaza. Make a nice big feeder into the Queensboro MUP. This is just for that tiny stretch of the north side of Queensboro Plaza...

    There. But obviously I'm oversimplifying the design 'cause otherwise someone would have done something about the half-witted design that exists now...
    - meb

  24. #24
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    This is just continued harassment by the police of cyclists all over the city. They have been totally embarrassed by the incident in Times Square and have been all over the city going after the cyclists for every infraction, warranted or not. They'll ticket you for going too slow, too fast, going over an imaginary speed limit, going through a red light on a road closed for cyclists. They are waiting there to do it.

    I'm not even sure Bloomberg could stop the harassment, and I'm not sure he wants to. He should have told the police in no uncertain terms that the type of behavior exhibited in Times Square has to stop, but he hasn't. He just blames it on one rogue cop.

  25. #25
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    I agree it's ridiculous

    Check it out: The second day of this nonsense I approached the peak of the bridge as usual - about 5 mph, granny ring x 18t or so in back. I am a SLOW climber! Normally I shift back to the middle ring as the path flattens, but since I saw the cop and the cones up ahead, I just stayed in the little ring. There was a pedestrian in front of me, and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get off and walk, stop for the cop, etc etc, so I actually down shifted in back and wound up soft pedaling on flat ground in my lowest gear at a comical 2 mph or so (any slower and I'd have toppled over).

    The cop was yakking it up with a bridge worker, and I just tried to make eye contact with him, like "What is going on here?" He finally looked at me at the last second, and gave me the 'slow down' signal (hand moving palm down) as I rolled past him. I almost started laughing - except it was so pathetic.

    but honestly, venting here is just preaching to the converted.

    Yes, the approaches suck. My two cents: Write letters, call your local pols and get involved with local cycling groups. Griping to each other may feel good but it won't change anything.

    I will say it is good to spread the word here and by mouth so cyclists won't get caught unawares...but you guys have some good ideas for improvements - I urge you to please submit them through the proper channels.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

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