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Advocacy & Safety Fail

Old 02-12-22, 07:41 AM
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work4bike
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Advocacy & Safety Fail

I understand that NYC's cycling infrastructure has a lot of flaws, as do many large cities. However, this video, IMO, is the absolutely wrong way to address the issue of advocating cycling, if our goal is to improve cycling infrastructure, than I believe a large part of that is to be ambassadors of our chosen method of commuting. Furthermore, is it really the best safety practice to go zooming by pedestrians within inches and then yelling at them just before passing? A good example of this in the first minute of the video.

There are much better ways to address these problems.



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Old 02-12-22, 09:27 AM
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So upsetting. He is obviously mentally ill. He has many more similar youtube video compilations of himself carrying out what he feels is his civic duty. What must his personal life be like?
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Old 02-12-22, 09:51 AM
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This is NYC. You can't go to a knife fight armed with a kitchen ladel.

Otoh, I know of many stories where bike lanes have been removed by vocal angry motorists. And those are the same ones who won't hesistate to scare cyclists and pedestrians just to teach them a lesson.

It's too bad human behaviour sinks to its lowest levels when it comes to fighting for what is needed. But I know of no major achievement in human history won by simply asking nicely. And that goes from protecting old growth forests, voting and civil rights, and pay equity.

I wish there was a better way. In Canada, the velvet glove approach is painfully slow as it gets its population vaccinated. And that's amongst all the death threats from the anti-vax industry who has organized a nation-wide truckers protest. Mind you, the protest isn't earning any new support either.

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Old 02-12-22, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I understand that NYC's cycling infrastructure has a lot of flaws, as do many large cities. However, this video, IMO, is the absolutely wrong way to address the issue of advocating cycling, if our goal is to improve cycling infrastructure, than I believe a large part of that is to be ambassadors of our chosen method of commuting. Furthermore, is it really the best safety practice to go zooming by pedestrians within inches and then yelling at them just before passing? A good example of this in the first minute of the video.

There are much better ways to address these problems.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIeiInlP6Jw
He is an embarrassment to competent bicyclists everywhere. I imagine that his verbal insults to strangers, so loud on the audio track are not being heard or understood by the intended targets, either that or he selects his targets carefully so as not to challenge/insult someone with curses who might act out a physical response. Old ladies and pedestrians left behind in his dust are good safe targets for his form of "advocacy."

Maybe he should try stopping his bicycle, getting off and start mouthing off to those people who he thinks need to be taught a lesson.
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Old 02-12-22, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
This is NYC. You can't go to a knife fight armed with a kitchen ladel.

Otoh, I know of many stories where bike lanes have been removed by vocal angry motorists. And those are the same ones who won't hesistate to scare cyclists and pedestrians just to teach them a lesson.

It's too bad human behaviour sinks to its lowest levels when it comes to fighting for what is needed. But I know of no major achievement in human history won by simply asking nicely. And that goes from protecting old growth forests, voting and civil rights, and pay equity.

I wish there was a better way. In Canada, the velvet glove approach is painfully slow as it gets its population vaccinated. And that's amongst all the death threats from the anti-vax industry who has organized a nation-wide truckers protest. Mind you, the protest isn't earning any new support either.
You've put up a false choice of actions that either the we need to be in an all-out-war or take a "velvet glove" approach when dealing with motorists. Furthermore, his actions were not just with motorists, actually most of his yelling were at pedestrians and other cyclists.

Those kind of actions are NOT what was used to win voting and civil rights and they won't work here. They only serve to push people away and when that happens you create enemies you didn't need to create. After you push all these people away, go ahead and try to advocate for better cycling infrastructure.



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Old 02-12-22, 11:50 AM
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One the one hand, people really shouldn't be intruding into or going the wrong way in the bike lane, so it's easy to see why he's frustrated.

On the other, the reality is that there's no such thing as a consistently clear path through a dense, chaotic, urban environment. Designating a bike lane (and in NYC telling cyclists they must use it) tends to create a sense of entitlement to a path forward, that's just not realistic in such an environment - no one else in the city realistically expects their path forward to always be clear. Notice he's already moving a lot faster than other traffic, and doing so in a narrow channel where his approach is not particularly visible to those who might cross it.

Being on a bike nicely minimizes one's contribution to traffic congestion, but short of building elevated or underground bike highways, it's just not going to realistically isolate someone from the reality that they're travelling through a city chock full of so many people trying to do so many different things.

The lanes he's in were never designed to be a high speed passing lane for vehicle traffic congestion; they were designed for those afraid to interact with drivers at all, and willing to exercise the caution at every intersection made necessary by being in an unusual place on the roadway.
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Old 02-12-22, 01:38 PM
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Straight out of Portlandia ...

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Old 02-12-22, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
One the one hand, people really shouldn't be intruding into or going the wrong way in the bike lane, so it's easy to see why he's frustrated.

On the other, the reality is that there's no such thing as a consistently clear path through a dense, chaotic, urban environment. Designating a bike lane (and in NYC telling cyclists they must use it) tends to create a sense of entitlement to a path forward, that's just not realistic in such an environment - no one else in the city realistically expects their path forward to always be clear. Notice he's already moving a lot faster than other traffic, and doing so in a narrow channel where his approach is not particularly visible to those who might cross it.

Being on a bike nicely minimizes one's contribution to traffic congestion, but short of building elevated or underground bike highways, it's just not going to realistically isolate someone from the reality that they're travelling through a city chock full of so many people trying to do so many different things.

The lanes he's in were never designed to be a high speed passing lane for vehicle traffic congestion; they were designed for those afraid to interact with drivers at all, and willing to exercise the caution at every intersection made necessary by being in an unusual place on the roadway.
I agree, he has a right to be frustrated, I know I would be in that environment. There were definitely a bunch of people not looking where they were going and/or going the wrong way. Developing decent cycling infrastructure in that kind of congested city is definitely a tough nut to crack.

When I worked in Norfolk, I lived in Virginia beach, which gave me a 23-mile ride to work (one way). Virginia Beach was at that time (mid to late 90's) a difficult place to cycle. However, I did find some really nice routes after investing in a city map -- ended up being a fairly nice ride to work. I wonder if one could do a similar thing in that area of NYC....I know I'd be looking for some alternate routes.


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Old 02-12-22, 08:16 PM
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That guy and MPLS Bike Wrath should do a collab.

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Old 02-12-22, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
When I worked in Norfolk, I lived in Virginia beach, which gave me a 23-mile ride to work (one way). Virginia Beach was at that time (mid to late 90's) a difficult place to cycle. However, I did find some really nice routes after investing in a city map -- ended up being a fairly nice ride to work. I wonder if one could do a similar thing in that area of NYC....I know I'd be looking for some alternate routes.
The highways skirt Manhattan along the rivers on each side, and for an enjoyable bike ride, the paths that do (or sadly, did) so as well are probably the best choice - I'd sometimes actually head down the East River, loop around the tip of the island and then ride up to the west 120's.

But while that makes for a more enjoyable ride, it's not remotely distance efficient. Even just getting out from the middle of things out to the rivers can be quite a trip, plus the lower east side path has now been torn up to build flood protection. People also sometimes use Central Park but the loop there is directional and it "only" goes about 50 blocks.

The lanes on the north-south avenues and east-west streets aren't entirely unworkable if the chaos they thread through is fully expected - but that reality means that they're not going to be that much faster than vehicular traffic, and similarly will often be a stop-and-go journey.

Last edited by UniChris; 02-13-22 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 02-12-22, 10:43 PM
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I only watched for a minute, and said to myself, " If this person tried this tactic on rush hour drivers, it probably wouldn't end well after a short period of time". I learned some time ago, that there are too many of them, and not enough of me, especially when I saw a good number of the same drivers on my work commutes.
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Old 02-13-22, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Furthermore, is it really the best safety practice to go zooming by pedestrians within inches and then yelling at them just before passing? A good example of this in the first minute of the video.
You've never been near a bicycle lane in Europe.
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Old 02-14-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I imagine that his verbal insults to strangers, so loud on the audio track are not being heard or understood by the intended targets
Actually, you can hear one person respond "Shut the **** up." I didn't watch more than a few minutes. There could be others responding.

In any event, he may very well get his butt kicked one day.
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Old 02-14-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

In any event, he may very well get his butt kicked one day.
I'd bet on it if he keeps that up, and double down if he actually stopped within arm's reach with any of the people, especially delivery people, he verbally abuses.
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Old 02-15-22, 03:25 PM
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If you like even more bicycle road rage than look up bicycle car road rage in England.
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Old 02-15-22, 07:24 PM
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I thought the vid was funny. Funny how he calls sharrows a bike lane and most of his problems there would be gone if he just took the lane. What was really funny was him yelling at people who are in the wrong and then he did not yell at himself as he ran a red light.

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Old 02-16-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
I thought the vid was funny. Funny how he calls sparrows a bike lane and most of his problems there would be gone if he just took the lane. What was really funny was him yelling at people who are in the wrong and then he did not yell at himself as he ran a red light.
In NYC, you can get ticketed for riding outside of the bike lane. My understanding is that such ticketing actually happens. Not a fan of this guy's tactics at all, but "taking the lane" is not a legal option throughout most of these videos.

He explicitly has stated that he has a process for running red lights safely. Although it's illegal, I do think there are intersections where running a red light is safer for the cyclist than waiting it out (depends on the turning lane patterns and whether there really is any cross traffic). I do think there's a major difference between a considered law violation that doesn't endanger anyone vs. blindly pushing a heavy cart into a bike lane right in front of an oncoming cyclist. TBH, I think the only thing he's really documenting is that riding in the bike lane in NYC should be made optional as the current arrangement is obviously impractical by the need to keep going in and out of the obstructed bike lanes in traffic.
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Old 02-16-22, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
In NYC, you can get ticketed for riding outside of the bike lane. My understanding is that such ticketing actually happens. Not a fan of this guy's tactics at all, but "taking the lane" is not a legal option throughout most of these videos.... I think the only thing he's really documenting is that riding in the bike lane in NYC should be made optional as the current arrangement is obviously impractical by the need to keep going in and out of the obstructed bike lanes in traffic.
NY's "must use" law indeed needs to go.

But I don't think there's any realistic choice but to be often changing lanes and lane position. If he were to consistently take the lane, he'd no longer be making more progress than congested vehicle traffic, which is most of why this particular person is on a bike in the first place.

But it goes the other way too - in more typical situations where a cyclist is not keeping up with free flowing traffic, staying in the lane where there's plenty of shoulder just needlessly accumulates a following. It makes sense to move over when it's actually safe for vehicles to pass and then merge back when it's not. That requires a lot of active awareness of what others are doing - but ignoring others isn't really a viable why to ride or drive. And ignoring others doesn't work in even a bikelane empty of improper uses, since each intersection brings interaction with other modes.

I also dislike a lot of the current government and advocacy focus on "all or nothing" bike lanes. I care less and less if something is actually designated a bike lane; but I'm happier when there's often enough space for mode de-confliction than when there are only narrow travel lanes bordered by terrain or even a guardrail. Seeing that nice deconfliction space vanish up ahead to a curb bumpout is aggravating, seeing it lost to legally parked vehicles requires action but it's more just a fact of life, compared to the blood boiling of coming along a car illegally parked in a designated bike lane.

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Old 02-16-22, 11:38 AM
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It's not like motorist's aren't shouting similar things to the pedestrians, cyclists and other things that impede their progress. But most of us outside of their vehicle don't hear them because their windows are rolled up.

I suppose if one were to look they can find a motorist that posted a youtube of themselves making such comments that to the rest of us look just as asinine.
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Old 02-16-22, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
NY's "must use" law indeed needs to go.

But I don't think there's any realistic choice but to be often changing lanes and lane position. If he were to consistently take the lane, he'd no longer be making more progress than congested vehicle traffic, which is most of why this particular person is on a bike in the first place.

But it goes the other way too - in more typical situations where a cyclist is not keeping up with free flowing traffic, staying in the lane where there's plenty of shoulder just needlessly accumulates a following. It makes sense to move over when it's actually safe for vehicles to pass and then merge back when it's not. That requires a lot of active awareness of what others are doing - but ignoring others isn't really a viable why to ride or drive. And ignoring others doesn't work in even a bikelane empty of improper uses, since each intersection brings interaction with other modes.

I also dislike a lot of the current government and advocacy focus on "all or nothing" bike lanes. I care less and less if something is actually designated a bike lane; but I'm happier when there's often enough space for mode de-confliction than when there are only narrow travel lanes bordered by terrain or even a guardrail. Seeing that nice deconfliction space vanish up ahead to a curb bumpout is aggravating, seeing it lost to legally parked vehicles requires action but it's more just a fact of life, compared to the blood boiling of coming along a car illegally parked in a designated bike lane.
I'm not saying that removing the mandatory bike lane law would solve everything--that's the other guy who thinks everything is solved by taking the lane. I do think we agree that it's a better idea with all of this street-level chaos to leave the decision of whether or not it's better to be in the lane or on the bike lane to the cyclist on the street rather than some "one size fits all" rule where we know that traffic patterns and other conditions will vary from block to block.

Basically, it's pretty dangerous to go above some relatively low speed (say 14 mph, give or take) in many of the areas he's riding no matter what vehicle you're using. The areas are just too crowded with pedestrians and traffic for everyone to be expected to adhere to rules which essentially make it impossible to efficiently go from point A to point B.
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Old 02-16-22, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I do think we agree that it's a better idea with all of this street-level chaos to leave the decision of whether or not it's better to be in the lane or on the bike lane to the cyclist on the street rather than some "one size fits all" rule where we know that traffic patterns and other conditions will vary from block to block.

Basically, it's pretty dangerous to go above some relatively low speed (say 14 mph, give or take) in many of the areas he's riding no matter what vehicle you're using. The areas are just too crowded with pedestrians and traffic for everyone to be expected to adhere to rules which essentially make it impossible to efficiently go from point A to point B.
I mostly agree with this.

I would point out that the law does allow leaving the bike lane to go around an obstruction including another cyclist, however, there are many reports of the police ignoring that part of it.

And then more pervasively, protected bike lane designs basically require commitment a block at a time, since you often can't readily get into or out of them. Seeing someone walking, or riding the wrong way in it should be ample justification to skip the whole block, though that's likely to be missed by official observers - and also kind of defeats the purpose of having a bike lane to begin with.

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Old 02-17-22, 09:32 AM
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When people are on the same side of the trail as me, I have sometimes just stopped and let them move over to get around me. Some will actually broach the subject and then they seem to be willing to listen to the fact the signs on the path say "All traffic keep right, pass on left".
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Old 02-18-22, 04:43 PM
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.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but as far as I can tell, it's perfectly legal to take a lane in NYC, even when there is a bike lane.
https://www.bike.nyc/advice/riding-tips/bike-lanes/

STAY OUT OF THE PATH OF TURNING VEHICLES.

Never pass other vehicles traveling in the adjacent traffic lane as you approach an intersection in a bike lane; you will eventually put yourself in the blind spot of a turning vehicle. Temporarily take the adjacent traffic lane through the intersection. Likewise, on multi-lane one-way avenues, cyclists who stay in the bike lane are likely to find themselves entangled with lines of turning vehicles at every other intersection. Move into one of the center traffic lanes to pass lines of cars waiting to turn.


The below link shows illustrated examples of how to pass turning vehicles. I see so many cyclists attempt to pass turning vehicles on the inside...that's just not smart. It also shows three different methods of making a left turn, one of which is taking the lane. I would take the lane every time and if ticketed I'd gladly argue that in court.

https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot_bikesmart_brochure.pdf




.
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Old 02-18-22, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but as far as I can tell, it's perfectly legal to take a lane in NYC, even when there is a bike lane.
https://www.bike.nyc/advice/riding-tips/bike-lanes/





The below link shows illustrated examples of how to pass turning vehicles. I see so many cyclists attempt to pass turning vehicles on the inside...that's just not smart. It also shows three different methods of making a left turn, one of which is taking the lane. I would take the lane every time and if ticketed I'd gladly argue that in court.

https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot_bikesmart_brochure.pdf




.

You can take the lane if there isn't a bike lane or the bike lane is obstructed. Otherwise, you are required to ride in the bike lane.
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Old 02-18-22, 08:45 PM
  #25  
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So he is yelling at people in the crosswalk? I'd think he would have the same responsibility to yield to pedestrians already in the path as cars.
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