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  1. #1
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
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    New York City Bike Lanes -- from a curious Floridian

    I never knew that Mayor Koch decided to give up on bike lanes in New York City; I guess he lost that fight.

    I don't live in NYC, but if I did I would not use those bikelanes (there's a video on this link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...-lanes-working

    I'd simply ride in the road or maybe in the bus lane; I've come to that conclusion based on the article and watching various youtube videos.

    Any NYC cyclists have any thoughts?


    BTW: It's not the turning vehicles that bother me, get the same thing in conventional bikelanes (I just get in line with the traffic to preclude a right-hook -- or a left-hook, in the case of the NYC bikelanes). It's all the other obstructions in the "bikelanes" that I couldn't deal with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Many ride in the flow of regular traffic, but you're subject to ticketing if you're riding outside of a lane where there's one available and unobstructed. Also, if there is a lane available and unobstructed and you are riding outside of it, you'd only add to the animosity that some harbor against cyclists in NYC. Real smart.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

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    http://www.streetfilms.org/floating-...-cycletracks/#
    Whether one "goes with the flow" or uses a bike lane depends on a number of factors. Not all bike lanes are created equal. This video shows some of the newer designs. They work a lot better than a 4 or 5 foot wide lane between a row of parked cars and traffic. They also require taking away 1 traffic lane and some parking spaces.

    I would not advise anybody to use the Madison Ave bus lanes during the pm rush hour without an oxygen tank. Inhaling diesel fumes is not good for one's health.

    You're assuming that traffic lanes are freely flowing and the bike lanes are the only ones with obstructions. That's not generally the case. The curb lane is generally filled with parked cars despite No Parking signs. The second lane from the curb is filled with double parked cars, taxis and trucks. That means having to cross 2 lanes of traffic about every other block. There are 20 blocks to the mile.

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    They've done a few studies of bicycle injuries and fatalities. One finding was that the bike lanes and streets are actually very safe; mid-block collisions are rare.

    Almost all of the collisions happen at the intersections, and there are a few hot spots (e.g. 23rd Street iirc).

  5. #5
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    NYC is controlled chaos, bike lane, bus lane, memory lane,
    you have to be careful always. Cars, peds, all kinds of critters
    (pigeons, squirrels, etc), Charlie Sheen.


  6. #6
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    I just moved to NYC and my first reaction is bike lanes on congested streets, love 'em. Though their is a slight safety risk for cyclists when they put their thumb to their nose and wiggle their fingers.

    Cycle tracks: The first thing that threw me off was switching to watching ped lights rather then traffic lights. Next I will never ride counter flow on them, and at turn locations I merge into the turn lane rather then stay in the cycle track. Doing that I find them rather safe.

    The real issue is during congested times there are more random obstacles that pop into the cycle tracks necessitating a slower speed. Granted annoying but doable. But just like in a car if you don't like one route chose another. This is NYC and "Whaaa I can't go as fast as I like." Doesn't hold much weight. But when the cars are moving fast and you are forced to pedestrian speeds, I agree that is frustrating. And being "forced" to use another street because of bike facilities is very ironic but really no different then being on a highway with a 60mph speed limit when traffic is backed up for miles.

    For a cyclist in rush hour there are still places you can go flat out and there are places you have to use caution, whether it's cycle tracks or hundreds of cars.

    My two cents.

    But I like riding and I get to where I am going when I get there
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  7. #7
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I never knew that Mayor Koch decided to give up on bike lanes in New York City; I guess he lost that fight.
    Wow. Koch didn't exactly "give up on bike lanes." What he's known for was putting in a jersey barrier protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue, near Herald Square, and then tearing it out three weeks later. The Sixth Avenue bike lane is still in place, from around West 9th Street to 42nd St, as is the Fifth Avenue Bike lane which runs from around 25th St down to Washington Square Park and probably dates back to about the same time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    Wow. Koch didn't exactly "give up on bike lanes." What he's known for was putting in a jersey barrier protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue, near Herald Square, and then tearing it out three weeks later. The Sixth Avenue bike lane is still in place, from around West 9th Street to 42nd St, as is the Fifth Avenue Bike lane which runs from around 25th St down to Washington Square Park and probably dates back to about the same time.
    I don't know, I was just quoting the article, granted very old article
    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstra...20lanes&st=cse

  9. #9
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Koch got voted out of office in '89 and it's probably fair to say there wasn't much progress during the Dinkins administration but... far as I know the City wasn't sanding away painted on-street bike lanes until recently.

  10. #10
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I ride about 5 miles of Manhattan traffic every work day.

    Regarding NYC bike lanes, it's important to note that in many cases we can't live without them. The bike lane is often the only way a bicycle can get across a bridge. And getting across bridges is terribly important, since Manhattan is an island and all.

    On the streets, if there's a bike lane, I'll use it, even if it's not perfect. And of course it never is perfect. Using the bike lane definitely involves certain risks, but riding in traffic also involves risks. They are mostly the same risks, but there are certain risks specific to each. Either way, you have to be on you guard for every potential danger, and there are many. In general I prefer the streets with bike lanes, but not enough to go out of my way for a bike path, not even one block.

    The best thing about bike lanes, I think, is that they encourage people to ride. They don't do that for me; but if they do it for anyone, I'm all for 'em.
    Last edited by rhm; 03-09-11 at 09:40 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    I ride about 5 miles of Manhattan traffic every work day.

    Regarding NYC bike lanes, it's important to note that in many cases we can't live without them. The bike lane is often the only way a bicycle can get across a bridge. And getting across bridges is terribly important, since Manhattan is an island and all.

    On the streets, if there's a bike lane, I'll use it, even if it's not perfect. And of course it never is perfect. Using the bike lane definitely involves certain risks, but riding in traffic also involves risks. They are mostly the same risks, but there are certain risks specific to each. Either way, you have to be on you guard for every potential danger, and there are many. In general I prefer the streets with bike lanes, but not enough to go out of my way for a bike path, not even one block.

    The best thing about bike lanes, I think, is that they encourage people to ride. They don't do that for me; but if they do it for anyone, I'm all for 'em.
    Getting more people to ride is a huge benefit for all riders, I think. I had stopped commuting for a couple years, right before the big bike lane push. When I started up again, I was amazed at the difference. Not in the streets/lanes, but in the awareness and/or tolerance of drivers and I think that that was due, in no small part, to the increased number of cyclists out there every day.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Divtos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    Many ride in the flow of regular traffic, but you're subject to ticketing if you're riding outside of a lane where there's one available and unobstructed. Also, if there is a lane available and unobstructed and you are riding outside of it, you'd only add to the animosity that some harbor against cyclists in NYC. Real smart.
    I've never heard of anyone actually getting a ticket for eschewing the bike lane but I guess it makes sense sine bicycles are required to ride in the rightmost lane of traffic. Of course I can think of at least one lane thats on the left of traffic... On a related note: Anyone know the legality of riding in a bus lane? The bike lane they destroyed on SI was replaced by a nice bus lane and I'm curious if I can be ticketed for riding in it.

  13. #13
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divtos View Post
    I've never heard of anyone actually getting a ticket for eschewing the bike lane but I guess it makes sense since bicycles are required to ride in the rightmost lane of traffic. Of course I can think of at least one lane thats on the left of traffic... On a related note: Anyone know the legality of riding in a bus lane? The bike lane they destroyed on SI was replaced by a nice bus lane and I'm curious if I can be ticketed for riding in it.
    Yeah, good question. On one-way streets, the bike lane is always on the left; but if there's no bike lane, I ride in the right lane. My understanding is that bikes are allowed in the bus lane; I ride that lane on 5th Ave every afternoon, and so far the police haven't told me otherwise. But nor have they given me the thumbs up.

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