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Why no bollards on NYC bike path?

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Why no bollards on NYC bike path?

Old 11-01-17, 02:07 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Which bridge approach is that, pictured? Not the B'klyn I hope. Commuted over the BB for 10 years and hated (but dealt with) the elevated 'boardwalk' that cyclists and peds were forced to use. As I understood it, we weren't supposed to ride across even then but it was never enforced. At least the BB had a walkway. The Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges were truly scary. I am happy to live in a place where cyclist access to bridges is considered important enough to provide bikelane accommodations on the main roadways of most of them. Several (we have 12) also have limited access walkpaths hung either under the main span or over it.
That was that "Highline".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line

I can't tell how many elevated railways are left in NYC. It has been a while since I was there. If I remember right, they seem dark and dirty down under the railways, so there would be arguments to tear them down if replaced with underground lines. On the other hand, they would make excellent resources for raised walkways.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Which bridge approach is that, pictured? Not the B'klyn I hope.
That's a portion of the High Line on the west side. Abandoned freight railway repurposed as a park and a very popular tourist destination. Hard enough to walk along it, no less cycle.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
People need to accept they can not be protected from every potential lunatic. It's life, get used to it.
Absolutely true.
For those cyclists who want to ride in traffic, you are at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle every time you are out there. Oh it won't be as dramatic as if done for terrorism purposes--maybe just a distracted or drunken driver,
but you could be as dead or injured regardless of the motive. Think of how many cyclists on a group ride on the roads could be taken out in one fell swoop. But dead is dead no matter the motive of the motorist who hits a cyclist or a group of them. We could never be made safe from every eventuality.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:11 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Exactly. As FB pointed out, sidewalks in general would be a better target. You can't bollard those to be impenetrable.
Sidewalks are a lousy target for a truck attack, for the same reason they are a lousy choice to cycle on for more than several yards. They are chock full of not only squishy and vulnerable pedestrians, but also hydrants, all manner of utility and signage poles, and may or may not even be wide enough for even a small pickup type truck to navigate for any reasonable distance. Guaranteed, IF a sidewalk would have been a feasible target, this dirtbag would have tried it. Let's not give the rest any ideas. Along this same line of thinking, it was a mistake, I think, to make the Greenway wide enough to allow motor vehicles to fit, but of course, other agendas besides the comfort and convenience of cyclists were in play. NYC civil engineers should be forced, at gunpoint, into a JetBlue airplane bound for Portland, OR where they would be given a tour of the city with an emphasis on how bicycle aware, if not bicycle friendly, infrastructure is designed. It isn't perfect, but a very recent trip to NYC (I left the day before the incident) left me gasping at how far behind PDX, NYC is with respect to cycling infrastructure. I don't know how I commuted there for so many years without serious injury or death.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:32 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Sidewalks are a lousy target for a truck attack, for the same reason they are a lousy choice to cycle on for more than several yards. They are chock full of not only squishy and vulnerable pedestrians, but also hydrants, all manner of utility and signage poles, and may or may not even be wide enough for even a small pickup type truck to navigate for any reasonable distance. Guaranteed, IF a sidewalk would have been a feasible target, this dirtbag would have tried it. Let's not give the rest any ideas. Along this same line of thinking, it was a mistake, I think, to make the Greenway wide enough to allow motor vehicles to fit, but of course, other agendas besides the comfort and convenience of cyclists were in play. NYC civil engineers should be forced, at gunpoint, into a JetBlue airplane bound for Portland, OR where they would be given a tour of the city with an emphasis on how bicycle aware, if not bicycle friendly, infrastructure is designed. It isn't perfect, but a very recent trip to NYC (I left the day before the incident) left me gasping at how far behind PDX, NYC is with respect to cycling infrastructure. I don't know how I commuted there for so many years without serious injury or death.
Portland has made huge leaps forward in the last couple of decades. Still, as always, there is work to be done. I periodically ride Beaverton Hillsdale HWY, with few alternatives. And, unfortunately the bike lane just ends leaving one on a busy 2x2 lane road with lots of storm sewer grates.

In the past, I used to ride across the southern most bridge across the Willamette, the Sellwood/Tacoma bridge. It was a narrow, 2 lane bridge with lots of traffic that I would hit at a full sprint for about a half a mile. They did a huge project to rebuild it with a wonderful bike path along one side, now with better trail connections to get to it.

Oh, and the the Springwater trail used to end overlooking 99E with no way to get across, or up or down to 99E. There are much better connections now.

As far as width of bike path. Cars are typically 6' to 8'6" wide. That isn't a lot of space for a busy path. One could try a physical barrier between lanes on a MUP, but they would be problematic. We have one local 2-lane road converted to a bike path, and it is rather nice, or it would be if it was ever repaved.

It is not uncommon to see police cars or maintenance vehicles on the MUPS, and it can sometimes be hard to get around them.

Of course, they could drive those mini-trucks, but the police don't seem to like small cars.
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Old 11-01-17, 03:14 PM
  #31  
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Upstate cops drive on them as part of regular patrols. Too lazy to go and bike police it and many of these MUPs have transient communities and such living off of them and various other murders, robberies, and sex crimes necessitating these patrols.
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Old 11-01-17, 03:26 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Sidewalks are a lousy target for a truck attack, for the same reason they are a lousy choice to cycle on for more than several yards. They are chock full of not only squishy and vulnerable pedestrians, but also hydrants, all manner of utility and signage poles, and may or may not even be wide enough for even a small pickup type truck to navigate for any reasonable distance. Guaranteed, IF a sidewalk would have been a feasible target, this dirtbag would have tried it. Let's not give the rest any ideas. Along this same line of thinking, it was a mistake, I think, to make the Greenway wide enough to allow motor vehicles to fit, but of course, other agendas besides the comfort and convenience of cyclists were in play. NYC civil engineers should be forced, at gunpoint, into a JetBlue airplane bound for Portland, OR where they would be given a tour of the city with an emphasis on how bicycle aware, if not bicycle friendly, infrastructure is designed. It isn't perfect, but a very recent trip to NYC (I left the day before the incident) left me gasping at how far behind PDX, NYC is with respect to cycling infrastructure. I don't know how I commuted there for so many years without serious injury or death.
This attack wasn't about cyclist. It was about a lunatic that was determined to do what they could to terrorize as many as possible. You can not put up barriers everywhere. There will always be vulnerable targets somewhere.

Sidewalk, pedestrian mall, etc. attacks have been demonstrated to be effective. Even if you could stop terrorist in those locations, they will move on to something else. Talking about potential targets doesn't give terrorist ideas, they have proven to be quite resourceful on their own.
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Old 11-01-17, 04:21 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Same Murray Street... just turn around. https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7153...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 11-01-17, 05:01 PM
  #34  
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It's naive and simple minded to believe that bollards can prevent this kind of terrorist attack. Unlike the emplacements surrounding buildings, the bollards here would have to provide access for street cleaning vehicles at the very least. So, they're more by way of psychological barriers than impenetrable structures.

In any case, even the best, most thought out, "impenetrable" barrier won't solve anything. There's a good historical reason that Maginot Line has become synonymous with the illusion of security.

The sad truth of this event is that it proves that the measures we've taken to protect high value and/or attractive targets work. As a result, those who'd attack us, attack what they can.


BTW - there's a certain gallows humor irony to this case. I suspect that had the idiot joined bike forums and read all those "everybody hates us" and "police don't give a damn" posts, he might have decided that that there would be no percentage in killing a bunch of cyclists. All things considered, he might have felt that half the public wouldn't care, and the other half would say good riddance.
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Old 11-01-17, 05:20 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's naive and simple minded to believe that bollards can prevent this kind of terrorist attack.
Anyway to get a portable bollard that I can tow behind my bike?

I'm thinking something like those triangular railroad stops, perhaps with spikes that will get drilled into the pavement.

Alternatively have a derailer wedge that would simply flip a vehicle that struck from behind.
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Old 11-02-17, 08:26 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
All bike paths/Rail to trail paths in my area have at least token bollards at road crossings and parking
lot entrances. Are there legal impediments to such in NYC? Motorcycles will pass such but larger
vehicles can not, and removable bollards are available to use for maintenance purposes.

And of course bollards are derigueur at all government buildings these days.
Yep. Considering NYC is prime target for terrorist attack, it is almost negligent they haven't done more to prevent this which has happened many times in Europe already.

We have bollards all surrounding the building at work. It is really a peace of mind. Because it looks like it could haut even sherman tanks. Bollards at every intersection would prevent this kind of tragedy and wouldn't cost that much.

Also, I think this is where self-driving tech could really help. The engine is shut off automatically and brake engaged (door locked and police notified), if a car is driven into bike lanes or side walks.

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Old 11-02-17, 05:30 PM
  #37  
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I saw on the news today that they're putting those large concrete barriers across some of the path entrances.

How long until people start complaining how they slow them down and are a pain to maneuver around
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Old 11-02-17, 05:42 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I saw on the news today that they're putting those large concrete barriers across some of the path entrances.

How long until people start complaining how they slow them down and are a pain to maneuver around
It should happen immediately. You can't barricade your entire life.

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Old 11-02-17, 05:46 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I saw on the news today that they're putting those large concrete barriers across some of the path entrances.

How long until people start complaining how they slow them down and are a pain to maneuver around
Already complaining. They are a few miles from the incident, around the west 40s and 50s. The jersey barriers have been placed essentially perpendicular across and more or less cut off the whole path. They force cyclists to veer around, either into the pedestrian path or into oncoming traffic.

I talked to a counterterrorism officer there about it. He agreed that it would probably result in more injuries than the actual attack. He said it was a state decision, not city, and concerns about the hazard have been expressed. I'm going to find out who to contact in Albany to complain. The jersey barriers are supposed to remain for a few months at least. It is rough going like this.

In case you are wondering just how horrendous this is on one of the country's busiest bikeways, here is a picture.


And the big production putting more of them in:

Last edited by punkinevil; 11-02-17 at 06:00 PM. Reason: added images
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Old 11-02-17, 06:00 PM
  #40  
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I don't frequent bike paths, but in my limited experience I think the safety hazard posed by bollards tends to outweigh any safety benefit they might offer.

Someone killed three random people in a Wal Mart check out line today. You can't stop crazy.
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Old 11-02-17, 06:16 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I saw on the news today that they're putting those large concrete barriers across some of the path entrances.

How long until people start complaining how they slow them down and are a pain to maneuver around
So the next time, someone can do the same thing someplace else. It's not like bicyclists are some kind of target class.

I know that the city has to do this as a CYA move, so they're not going to be held liable if there's a repeat. However, it's a total waste of resources likely to do nothing more than move the next time to someplace else, and it's not like there aren't plenty of other potential targets.

Actually, if the city, state or federal governments want to do anything, they can pass laws limiting liability for failure to be psychic, by government agencies and businesses, and instead create some kind of statutory victim compensation fund for those killed or injured in terrorist attacks. That would take the pressure off for this kind of CYA response, and get victims fair compensation faster and surer than through the tort system.

Failing some kind of legal change, we'll continue to spend money on useless "fixes", and continue to have victims anyway. The only winners will be the tort lawyers who'll take 1/2 to 1/2 off the top when money changes hands in the aftermath.
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Old 11-03-17, 05:57 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Same Murray Street... just turn around. https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7153...7i13312!8i6656
It’s just the Animal Farm that is Manhattan. Only somone who has never noticed the bollards at West and Murray could claim we can’t possibly afford to put bollards along West Street. (By the way - the sanctuary islands on West Street do indeed have bollards, because otherwise they are duck galleries.)

Good luck figuring out who to complain to about the Jersey barriers, given the jurisdictional morras of the greenway.

My favorite related headline of the buck stops SOMEWHERE (else): “Cuomo, Who Controls The MTA, After Denying He Controls It And Asking To Control It: 'Who Knows' Who Controls The MTA”

I’d point to great reporting about what the current “plans” are for securing the bikeway, but a billionaire threw a temper tantrum last night and wiped the archives. (Odd to talk about an hours old article as archived.) Maybe the archives will return, or not.

twitter.com/emma_a_whitford/status/926192094858874880

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Old 11-03-17, 06:41 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
That's the Goldman Sachs building. They surround the whole building and I think they were privately funded by GS. I think the cost of putting retractable ones at every intersection would be way too high. I'm also not sure how that would affect the Parks Department access. Personally, I find those make that particular intersection even more challenging, and I'd rather not have more along the way. The whole incident certainly has left me shaken, but I will continue to ride that route about 3 times each week. I might go tomorrow... maybe Friday. As horrible as this whole event is. I will not change how I live and ride. You know, there is a ghost bike right there at Chambers. You can see it in some of the scene photos. The woman who was killed there was hit by a turning truck less than an hour after I rode by about 2 years ago. It's sobering every time I pass it, and it reminds me to be vigilant but I ride it anyway. Essentially, I'm just saying be aware but don't let this sort of thing scare you into giving up part of your life. Sorry that this post veered off. Back to the subject: I think bollards will create more problems than they will solve on the Hudson Greenway.
Goldman Sachs new headquarters building is publicly financed (over 100 million tax credits, over 1 billion in loans). The original plans for the HQ didn’t include the greenway.

The bollards there were not designed for the greenway and the greenway was force fitted through them.

Anyhow, there are rational alternatives in design, even bollards, that would not present a huge everyday risk to people on bikes. There are rational alternatives in design, even bollards, that can provide access to park vehicles but exclude other traffic.

An article from Gothamist, what’s currently left of it, on the matter.

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Old 11-03-17, 09:23 AM
  #44  
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Even this one that they just put in (or just painted it because I don't remember it being there) is preferable to the jersey barriers and even to the type around GS at Murray St.

My issue with the jersey barriers is pretty obvious, and I could even deal with them if they set them up along the median line. Aesthetically, they totally suck, but at least they wouldn't be as dangerous. I find the ones around GS are problematic because of the density of placement. The bollards themselves leave enough space to navigate pretty easily, but that doesn't take into account the pedestrians also moving across (and sometimes just stopping in) that intersection. making it like Frogger. Add into that the turning vehicles from West St that you have watch for and other cyclists who are avoiding the same things and sometimes do so by crossing into the opposing bike lane. I'm used to it at that intersection and deal with it, but do not want that replicated all along the Greenway.

The Greenway is one of the few, if not the only place in Manhattan that I can really just ride and would hate to lose that. Maybe I just view this as another way we are letting a terror threat change how we live, and I don't want to give in to that.
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Old 11-03-17, 11:25 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
Maybe I just view this as another way we are letting a terror threat change how we live, and I don't want to give in to that.
That is exactly what it is. There will be deniers.
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Old 11-03-17, 12:13 PM
  #46  
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I wonder how much is done for no other reason than that people can claim they're doing something.

The issue at hand is terrorism, and bollards on bikeway won't make any difference, except to the small population that happens to be on one.

Imagine you live in an all glass house, and one night a burglar shatters your front door, and takes all your valuables. If you're the mayor of NYC you install an armored steel door and say the house is now much more secure.
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Old 11-03-17, 12:30 PM
  #47  
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Old 11-03-17, 01:31 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by punkinevil View Post
In case you are wondering just how horrendous this is on one of the country's busiest bikeways, here is a picture.
Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
They need to do some kind of feel-good response.

I think the likelihood of a copycat attack just days after the first attack is exceedingly remote.

However, want a new Mayor? Do the same thing on the same bike path a week later, and the mayor would be resigning the next day.

Maim a dozen riders as they are trying to ride around the jersey barriers, and nobody will even notice. You can blame the cyclists if they're running into each other anyway.

My guess is those jersey barriers will, in fact, be temporary, but expect a lot more construction, and a lot more reinforced bollards to show up.

Of course, it just means someone will come up with a new mode of attack the next time, or look for a city that is an easier target. Maybe it will stop some of the more opportunistic psychopaths, but not those that can carefully plan ahead.
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Old 11-03-17, 08:06 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
All bike paths/Rail to trail paths in my area have at least token bollards at road crossings and parking
lot entrances. Are there legal impediments to such in NYC? Motorcycles will pass such but larger
vehicles can not, and removable bollards are available to use for maintenance purposes.

And of course bollards are derigueur at all government buildings these days.
When I first saw news coverage about the murders. That was the first thing that came to mind.
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Old 11-04-17, 02:23 AM
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KD5NRH
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Sidewalks are a lousy target for a truck attack,
Haven't seen an injury count, but only 8 dead in 20 blocks suggests bike paths are a pretty crappy target for a truck attack too. I mean heck; the doper in Kalamazoo got more than half that in a few yards of street, and he wasn't even sober enough to be trying.
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