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    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Broadway Bike-Lane

    Has anyone checked out the currently–under-construction bike-lane on Broadway? It's very nice: segregated from traffic (sidewalk, motor-vehicle traffic, car-parking, buffer-zone, bike-lane, sidewalk — as noted from west to east, bird's-eye view). I'm not sure how extensive the thing will be, but I think it's an excellent model for how New York City ought to implement bike-lanes on adequately wide streets (i.e., most avenues). I'd love to see something like this along the length of most of Second Avenue and Third or First Avenue — the east side of Manhattan is sorely lacking "bicycle-friendliness," especially in the mid-town region.

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    Yup. I bike down there last weekend. It was still under construction. Similar to the one on 9th ave. I would love to see something similar on the east side like 2nd and 3rd ave. like u said. It is seriously lacking bike lanes from upper east side to downtown. Heck I would be happy with just a bike lane.

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    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    I think that's setting the expectation too low. I feel "bike lanes" (be they signed or painted, though the former is just pointless, in my humble opinion) don't do much to facilitate bicycling — they might be helpful; they might not be. I'd really like to see a segregated bike (/skate/jogging, I suppose) path on the east side of Manhattan.

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    Yeah, the east side is sorely lacking. I want to commute to the Grand Central area from Brooklyn but First and Third are bad even on the weekends.

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    Bulldozer GirlAnachronism's Avatar
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    While I appreciate the effort the city has put into making better bike lanes, I really do hate the one on Broadway. I ride from the East Village to CP and back 4 days a week, and since they put that whole mess in there I've stopped taking Broadway down, and now take Fifth (I go up First, but it's early enough that it's mostly empty).

    I'd rather contend with cars that are generally predictable and heading in one direction than meandering pedestrians (and I'm back from my rides by 7:30am so it's not even crowded!) who step out into traffic without looking and think the bike lane is an extension of the sidewalk, not to mention the stupid turning lanes. Now that they've put in those 'pedestrian malls' it's just impossible to get across.
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    Senior Member Febs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    Has anyone checked out the currently–under-construction bike-lane on Broadway? It's very nice: segregated from traffic (sidewalk, motor-vehicle traffic, car-parking, buffer-zone, bike-lane, sidewalk — as noted from west to east, bird's-eye view).
    Just out of curiosity, how do they handle intersections?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
    While I appreciate the effort the city has put into making better bike lanes, I really do hate the one on Broadway. I ride from the East Village to CP and back 4 days a week, and since they put that whole mess in there I've stopped taking Broadway down, and now take Fifth (I go up First, but it's early enough that it's mostly empty).

    I'd rather contend with cars that are generally predictable and heading in one direction than meandering pedestrians (and I'm back from my rides by 7:30am so it's not even crowded!) who step out into traffic without looking and think the bike lane is an extension of the sidewalk, not to mention the stupid turning lanes. Now that they've put in those 'pedestrian malls' it's just impossible to get across.
    I agree. The project is a great idea but doesn't work so far in practice. There's a similar problem in Central Park. Once people don't fear car traffic, all bets are off. There are practically unlimited sidewalks and pedestrian walking areas in the park and one tiny bike lane. Still, every few hundred feet a biker has to dodge people pushing strollers up the bike lane, bankers on cell phones walking obliviously, joggers who can't be bothered to step 2 feet over into the empty jogging lane, etc. Not to mention half of these people are wearing headphones and can't even hear you coming. Of course if I ever ride outside the bike lane on a sidewalk I get an immediate earfull of curses from pedestrians...... It's safer in the Park to stay out in the car traffic lanes than to try to use the bike lane.

    So the bigger question is, how can the city make bike lanes that actually work for their intended purpose? Maybe we should discuss this and then go to a City planning meeting and voice our opinions. The City gov't is definitely trying to improve the biking situation in NYC.
    Last edited by palladio; 06-30-09 at 11:11 AM.

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    Senior Member bagel007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    I think that's setting the expectation too low. I feel "bike lanes" (be they signed or painted, though the former is just pointless, in my humble opinion) don't do much to facilitate bicycling — they might be helpful; they might not be. I'd really like to see a segregated bike (/skate/jogging, I suppose) path on the east side of Manhattan.
    Funny you're mentioning that. I was riding over the GWB last Saturday, from NJ to Manhattan and I've noticed that the (south) pathway is divided into two lanes -- bikers should be on the right one, peds on the left one in the NJ-to-Manhattan direction (see the pic of the NJ entrance). But no one was paying any attention to it. It's also counter-intuitive, because (at least here, in the US) you instinctively keep to the right and bypass on the left. And that's exactly what everyone was doing and worked out wonderfully.

    Then, when riding up on the Fort Washington Ave (between the 179st St 181st St) I see this bike lane sign on the pavement. I must admit, some of the driver were avoiding that lane. But not all of them. So you cannot rely on this type of signs when riding in Manhattan, but it might help as the lane will be mostly free of cars.

    But the wide avenues -- that's a different story. They are wide enough for segragated bike paths.
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    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    I don't feel anyone can (or should) fault the design of the Broadway bike-path because of pedestrian-carelessness. How can we try to make people more cognizant? Advocacy is one way. Practice is another: people in the City seems simply to be largely unaware of "bicycling," altogether, which makes sense when we consider New York car-happy history. I think, as more bike-lanes are created, and more bikes occupy them, pedestrians will absorb the fact they these roads are not mere "extensions of the sidewalk," and will be mindful of them similarly to as they are of motor-vehicle–occupied lanes.

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    Bulldozer GirlAnachronism's Avatar
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    Um, I'm not sure that 'mindful' is the word I'd use to describe NYC pedestrians, especially in midtown.

    Also, we can fault the design of the bike path because they put it right between the sidewalk and the hanging out area. Of course pedestrian traffic is going to filter between the two. Horrible design.
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    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post

    Also, we can fault the design of the bike path because they put it right between the sidewalk and the hanging out area. Of course pedestrian traffic is going to filter between the two. Horrible design.
    Oh that Broadway Bike Lane. Forgeddaboutit it's a total failure!

    The new Broadway Bike Lane that runs between Central Park and Times Square is better.

  12. #12
    Bulldozer GirlAnachronism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    Oh that Broadway Bike Lane. Forgeddaboutit it's a total failure!

    The new Broadway Bike Lane that runs between Central Park and Times Square is better.
    I thought it was all one long bike-lane cluster-****, but I'm glad to hear it works for someone...I'm sticking to Fifth from now on.
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  13. #13
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    5th or 7th. I tried the Broadway bike lane, but I lost it w/in the first 10' from peds wandering all over the place. I'd rather ride w/ the cars where it's safer and more predictable. Bike lanes are great for encouraging people to ride, but truthfully, I barely ride in them when they're available b/c they put them right in the door zones.
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  14. #14
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    The problem with the Central Park to Times Square bike lane is that it only goes to Times Square. Then you're lost in a mire of tourists. What this City needs are bike lanes that actually go somewhere and not on little narrow streets that don't have much traffic anyway.

    I just read Transportation Alternatives is starting an East Side committee to improve cycling on the East Side of Manhattan. They're meeting next Tuesday night at the Puck Building. Let's hope they can get something done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    I don't feel anyone can (or should) fault the design of the Broadway bike-path because of pedestrian-carelessness. How can we try to make people more cognizant? Advocacy is one way. Practice is another: people in the City seems simply to be largely unaware of "bicycling," altogether, which makes sense when we consider New York car-happy history. I think, as more bike-lanes are created, and more bikes occupy them, pedestrians will absorb the fact they these roads are not mere "extensions of the sidewalk," and will be mindful of them similarly to as they are of motor-vehicle–occupied lanes.
    I doubt it. The bike lanes have been in Central Park for some time and an awful lot of people aren't mindful of them. I've tried politely asking people to use the sidewalk and they just give me an f*** y** look. I'm not sure how to solve this problem given the general sense of entitlement of a lot of New Yorkers (and why do women with strollers seem to be among the worst in this?). Maybe dividers of some sort around bike lanes or police giving tickets to pedestrians using them. I know the police give tickets to bikers if they are in prohibited areas. Then maybe they could use the ticket revenue to maintain more bike lanes!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    5th or 7th. I tried the Broadway bike lane, but I lost it w/in the first 10' from peds wandering all over the place. I'd rather ride w/ the cars where it's safer and more predictable. Bike lanes are great for encouraging people to ride, but truthfully, I barely ride in them when they're available b/c they put them right in the door zones.
    Again, no "door-zone" with this design.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
    Um, I'm not sure that 'mindful' is the word I'd use to describe NYC pedestrians, especially in midtown.

    Also, we can fault the design of the bike path because they put it right between the sidewalk and the hanging out area. Of course pedestrian traffic is going to filter between the two. Horrible design.
    The lane I'm describing doesn't have a "hanging-out area" to its right: just a buffer, followed by parking. I think it's a great design.

    Really, I even like the "hanging-out"-style one: pedestrians will need to learn to be mindful when more bicyclists use the lane, but suggesting placing a lane between two pedestrian regions is horrible makes me wonder what to label the necessity of riding a bike through trucks, buses, and cars during rush-our.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    The problem with the Central Park to Times Square bike lane is that it only goes to Times Square. Then you're lost in a mire of tourists. What this City needs are bike lanes that actually go somewhere and not on little narrow streets that don't have much traffic anyway.

    I just read Transportation Alternatives is starting an East Side committee to improve cycling on the East Side of Manhattan. They're meeting next Tuesday night at the Puck Building. Let's hope they can get something done.
    I agree that those little "chunks" of protected path (such as that on Ninth Avenue) don't do much to facilitate transportation by bike, but I feel Broadway is becoming a great way to travel downtown in much of Manhattan — I expect it will get better over the next several months.

    As east-side greenway would be fantastic, as the East-River path is missing from a good bit of mid-town.

    Regarding Times Square, getting through is hell, no matter your mode of movement. If one finds traversing those ten blocks or so to be too much trouble, one ought to just move a couple of blocks east or west, rather than wait for some kind of remedy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palladio View Post
    I doubt it. The bike lanes have been in Central Park for some time and an awful lot of people aren't mindful of them. I've tried politely asking people to use the sidewalk and they just give me an f*** y** look. I'm not sure how to solve this problem given the general sense of entitlement of a lot of New Yorkers (and why do women with strollers seem to be among the worst in this?). Maybe dividers of some sort around bike lanes or police giving tickets to pedestrians using them. I know the police give tickets to bikers if they are in prohibited areas. Then maybe they could use the ticket revenue to maintain more bike lanes!
    Yes, but, I feel, the problem is, in New York, people simply aren't trained to be aware of bicycle (or any non-motorized) traffic, which stems from culture and a general (historical) lack of bikes and bike-facilities. As more of these "green-ways" are constructed, and more people take to using them, I expect (and hope) it will become habit, in the City, to actually look both ways at a bike-lane as one would at an intersection through which cars pass; to avoid strolling down a bike-path when an empty sidewalk is available; to stick to the right when indeed using an M.U.P., rather than bouncing around it from edge to edge. I don't feel the answer is ticketing or new-design; it's something I believe will change as, as I said, Manhattan caters more greatly to bikes and bicyclists, and as the former gain a greater presence (outside just the delivery-person circle).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    The problem with the Central Park to Times Square bike lane is that it only goes to Times Square. Then you're lost in a mire of tourists. What this City needs are bike lanes that actually go somewhere and not on little narrow streets that don't have much traffic anyway.

    I just read Transportation Alternatives is starting an East Side committee to improve cycling on the East Side of Manhattan. They're meeting next Tuesday night at the Puck Building. Let's hope they can get something done.
    They've done a lot of construction work on the West side in the past year. Several new stretches of the Hudson River bike path have been opened, and it looks as though they are trying to complete the last missing piece above the 79th St. boat basin. Once that is done, there will be a clear path all the way from Battery park to the GW bridge. If you haven't ridden it, check it out. There is a really beautiful area just South of GW bridge along the river where you can take break and enjoy the scenery in a park like setting with great views of the city down the Hudson.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bagel007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    Yes, but, I feel, the problem is, in New York, people simply aren't trained to be aware of bicycle (or any non-motorized) traffic, which stems from culture and a general (historical) lack of bikes and bike-facilities. As more of these "green-ways" are constructed, and more people take to using them, I expect (and hope) it will become habit, in the City, to actually look both ways at a bike-lane as one would at an intersection through which cars pass; to avoid strolling down a bike-path when an empty sidewalk is available; to stick to the right when indeed using an M.U.P., rather than bouncing around it from edge to edge. I don't feel the answer is ticketing or new-design; it's something I believe will change as, as I said, Manhattan caters more greatly to bikes and bicyclists, and as the former gain a greater presence (outside just the delivery-person circle).
    And WHO is going to "train" them? Have you seen recently any TV coverage by local stations of NYC bike-lanes projects, bike commuting, bike facilities, etc.?? I haven't.

    Edit: I placed in bold part of Commando303's posting when quoting him.
    Last edited by bagel007; 06-30-09 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Edit: Placed in bold part of Commando303's posting.
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  22. #22
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palladio View Post
    They've done a lot of construction work on the West side in the past year. Several new stretches of the Hudson River bike path have been opened, and it looks as though they are trying to complete the last missing piece above the 79th St. boat basin. Once that is done, there will be a clear path all the way from Battery park to the GW bridge. If you haven't ridden it, check it out. There is a really beautiful area just South of GW bridge along the river where you can take break and enjoy the scenery in a park like setting with great views of the city down the Hudson.
    The Greenway is fantastic! That's why I bypass the Broadway Bike Lane and Fifth Avenue, 90% of the time. I may have to go out of my way a bit but having a non-stop route along the length of Manhattan is well worth the extra distance I have to travel to use it.

    Even so, one great bike lane doesn't make for great bicycle infrastructure and the West Side Greenway is often overcrowded with cyclists, skaters, runners, and tourists. It's a good start but we still need real bike lanes that go to real places.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
    And WHO is going to "train" them? Have you seen recently any TV coverage by local stations of NYC bike-lanes projects, bike commuting, bike facilities, etc.?? I haven't.
    Well, you placed in bold part of my statement, and ignored (or didn't care for) the rest. I won't reiterate it, here, for you. If you'd like to know how I feel about your objection, please, refer to the very post of mine that you quoted.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    The Greenway is fantastic! That's why I bypass the Broadway Bike Lane and Fifth Avenue, 90% of the time. I may have to go out of my way a bit but having a non-stop route along the length of Manhattan is well worth the extra distance I have to travel to use it.

    Even so, one great bike lane doesn't make for great bicycle infrastructure and the West Side Greenway is often overcrowded with cyclists, skaters, runners, and tourists. It's a good start but we still need real bike lanes that go to real places.
    I agree. The Hudson-River path is very nice, but it shouldn't be looked to to support the whole of Manhattan bicycling. I will say, the East-River greenway, too, is great, but it's unacceptably broken (and one, admittedly small, stretch, downtown, is so narrow that only one bicycle can occupy it [literally — it is wide enough for just one bike], which can be lead to awkwardness if two cyclists happen to have entered it, simultaneously, at opposite ends from each other; a jogger and a biker cannot even travel side-by-side).

    On a separate note, I'm looking forward to "Summer Streets." I heard about it just a couple of days ago, and think it sounds pretty fun.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bagel007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    Well, you placed in bold part of my statement, and ignored (or didn't care for) the rest. I won't reiterate it, here, for you. If you'd like to know how I feel about your objection, please, refer to the very post of mine that you quoted.
    I didn't ignore what you said. I just wanted to add one observation -- namelly, that there is nothing in the news (TV, newspapers) about the whole idea of turning NYC into a biker-friendly city.
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