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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, 09:08 AM
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sch
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Why no bollards on NYC bike path?

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.

Last edited by sch; 11-01-17 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 11-01-17, 09:22 AM
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Probably the NYPD envisioned using the Greenway as an extra lane to get around traffic bottlenecks if necessary during an emergency. As I recall, some years ago, a drunk driver got on the Greenway downtown and drove north for some distance and killed a southbound cyclist. Bollards should have been installed then! That they were not informs this writer that there is active resistance to do so from some quarter. It could also, of course, be the cost. I can just imagine the contractor on the supply side of a project to install bollards for 12 miles of Greenway... OMG... millions would not be enough. Tell you what though, you are not the only one that is raising this question out loud. We'll be seeing some bollards soon on that there Greenway. Ride carefully.
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Old 11-01-17, 10:25 AM
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Will the 'powers that be' close this thread too, out of fear of political talk?
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Old 11-01-17, 10:30 AM
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I suppose the question is what type of bollards.

Breakaway?

Small steel posts?

Automatic Retracting capable of stopping a truck?

My guess is that the driver would have just ran through ordinary breakaway or even thin steel bollards.

The photos of that greenway seem to indicate primary access through the ends. However, there would be areas such as Central Park, I believe that one could hop a curb and enter restricted pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure almost anywhere.

Fix one location, and there would be 100 other potentially busier sidewalks at risk. In the end, adding bollards capable of stopping a heavy truck would be simply reactionary "feel good".
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Old 11-01-17, 10:58 AM
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Badly placed bollards can create daily hazards in the goal of preventing a statistically unlikely hazard. Our MUP has bollards in ridiculous places, such as the ends of narrow bridges, including on blind curves. Completely pointless and a daily risk to cyclists. The MUP already has bollards in appropriate places to discourage motor vehicles from using the path.

And as CliffordK noted, many MUP and bike lanes are accessible to motor vehicles in other places, by deliberately or accidentally hopping a curb, driving across a green strip, or up down a levee, etc.

Bollards mostly serve as reminders that motor vehicles aren't permitted on MUPs and bike lanes.

Cities could arguably be made safer for everyone by redesigning and redesignating the entire infrastructure to heavily restrict single passenger vehicles, to favor some necessary commercial vehicles, encourage public transportation and to separate routes used by private and commercial motor vehicles from others used by pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation. Who knows whether there's enough interest and determination to make these changes.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:02 AM
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Clicking down the Google Street View of the adjacent roadway indicates a fair number of places where it looks like delivery vehicles need to cross to provide services on the other side of the bikeway.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Cities could arguably be made safer for everyone by redesigning and redesignating the entire infrastructure to...encourage public transportation...
Accidents? Probably. Deliberate acts of mayhem? Nope.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:23 AM
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Agreed. People who are committed to violence will find a way around most obstacles and deterrents. At most those obstacles and deterrents only seem to deflect violent people toward other more convenient targets. It doesn't seem to stop them completely.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:24 AM
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I'm not familiar with the details of the NYC Greenway, but I wish our local bike paths would get rid of the bollards. I've personally seen a number of crashes result from cyclists, particularly children, hitting the bollards. The bollards seem to create far more problems than they prevent.

The recent tragedy in NYC was a deliberate act which is very difficult to prevent. If someone wanted to kill and/or injure a large number of cyclists locally they could just check the schedule of one of the big training rides. Easy enough to find a group of 75+ cyclists almost all head down and in a tight double paceline on a country road. Bollards on a particular path might change where a deliberate attack happens, but wouldn't prevent it.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Clicking down the Google Street View of the adjacent roadway indicates a fair number of places where it looks like delivery vehicles need to cross to provide services on the other side of the bikeway.
I have ridden the path from the Midtown ferry terminal down to Warren St. numerous times during my local club's annual ride from New Hope, PA to Brooklyn. There are some crossings, including one where the truck hit the school bus at Chambers St. Our annual ride is the Sunday before Labor Day. Many years the path has been super crowded not only with users but people crossing the path to reach the many waterside attractions. I tend to think bollards would increase the potential for accidents. But I will defer to users with more experience than me.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:51 AM
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I personally dislike bollards. I'm also frequently towing a trailer, and find them to be terrifying. There is a bridge just east of town with such narrow bollards that I'm not sure one could get a bike with full panniers through. A bike trailer would have to be lifted over.

In this case, however, the advantage would be that it might disrupt the vehicle from doing a straight path down several blocks of pathway.

Here in Eugene, we have a greenway that is several miles long. Once one entered, then one should be uninterrupted for miles. With flat-free tires, one could do a significant amount of mayhem until the vehicle was physically stopped.

Of course, a lower cyclist density than NY.
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Old 11-01-17, 12:17 PM
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There are a lot of Parks Department maintenance vehicles that need to use the bikeway. Sometimes emergency vehicles as well. Given the frequency that Parks Dept vehicles pass that way, I don't think that retractable bollards would be practical. Permanent ones certainly would not work.
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Old 11-01-17, 12:32 PM
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Bollards are a hazard to MUP users and besides, there isn't a 100% effective means to prevent motor vehicle access.

People need to accept they can not be protected from every potential lunatic. It's life, get used to it.
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Old 11-01-17, 12:44 PM
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A bollard doesn't stop crazy.
The funds for bollards would be better spent on better preventive measures.
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Old 11-01-17, 12:50 PM
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One option in New York, Brooklyn, & Bronx would be to build more elevated walkways and bikeways which would naturally have restricted access points.

Unfortunately the current elevated pathway is apparently restricted from bicycle use



However, there is no reason the city couldn't start investing in purpose built elevated bikeways and walkways.

Of course, making areas with limited egress, one may eliminate one type of potential attack, and open it up for something entirely different. However, with good planning, perhaps one could make the paths safer for everyday cycling, and thus reduce injuries and deaths.
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Old 11-01-17, 12:57 PM
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Bollards at Murray Street

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Old 11-01-17, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Will the 'powers that be' close this thread too, out of fear of political talk?
I suspect not "fear" of political talk, but rather fatigue, if not disgust, with gratuitous political ranting from posters with an OT agenda.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Cities could arguably be made safer for everyone by redesigning and redesignating the entire infrastructure to heavily restrict single passenger vehicles, to favor some necessary commercial vehicles, encourage public transportation and to separate routes used by private and commercial motor vehicles from others used by pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation. Who knows whether there's enough interest and determination to make these changes.
Who knows? I think almost everybody knows, outside of the provincial confines of A&S.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:09 PM
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We need to be realistic and accept that this was an unpreventable terrorist attack.

Yes, he opted to go after bicyclists on this path. There's no assurance that the type of bollards typically used would have made a difference. But for the sake of argument, let's suppose they might. So instead the guy hops the sidewalk and kills a bunch of pedestrians. In fact, I'm a but surprised that he didn't do that. He could have caused much more carnage that way.

Infrastructure design is about improving safety related to normal human error. It doesn't make sense to ask for protecting bicyclists beyond the normal efforts to protect everyone.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill 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.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:21 PM
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It doesn't need to be big trucks.

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Old 11-01-17, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It doesn't need to be big trucks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bkNfQBLCJw
Exactly. As FB pointed out, sidewalks in general would be a better target. You can't bollard those to be impenetrable.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One option in New York, Brooklyn, & Bronx would be to build more elevated walkways and bikeways which would naturally have restricted access points.

Unfortunately the current elevated pathway is apparently restricted from bicycle use



However, there is no reason the city couldn't start investing in purpose built elevated bikeways and walkways.

Of course, making areas with limited egress, one may eliminate one type of potential attack, and open it up for something entirely different. However, with good planning, perhaps one could make the paths safer for everyday cycling, and thus reduce injuries and deaths.
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.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One option in New York, Brooklyn, & Bronx would be to build more elevated walkways and bikeways which would naturally have restricted access points.

Unfortunately the current elevated pathway is apparently restricted from bicycle use



However, there is no reason the city couldn't start investing in purpose built elevated bikeways and walkways.

That's the High Line. It was not built for the purpose it is now being used for. It was once active rail line and the plan was to demolish it, but its value as open space was recognized and it was eventually donated to the city or whoever. Even if you could get the space, it would be astronomically expensive to build elevated structures. The projected cost to demolish the High Line was itself out of this world. You can read about the hundreds of millions of dollars it cost just to renovate the existing structure here:


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




The park was never designed to accommodate bikes. Parts of it are narrow. I believe it comes to grade only at the north end, meaning people would have to carry bikes up and down stairs or use elevators everywhere else. The landscaping would have to have been totally different, detracting from the appearance. Finally, that photo is representative of a sparse crowd. I have walked the entire park on two separate occasions. Both times it's been wall to wall people. The parks hosts more some 5 million visitors a year.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Which bridge approach is that, pictured?

See my post above. It's the High Line Park, not a bridge approach. And riding across the BB is perfectly legal, at least today. I do it every year as part of a ride from New Hope, PA to Brooklyn.
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