Eyes on the Street: Wall-to-Wall Press Coverage of Tillary Street Bike Lane

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A reader sent in these photos from a media scrum last Friday evening in the Tillary Street bike lane in Downtown Brooklyn. Notice how the press vehicles have completely blocked the two-way protected lane, forcing cyclists onto the other side of the barrier.

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  • J. Mork

    Dog bites man.

  • mike

    Here is the contact information for the the news corporations that I can see parked in the bike lane. Tell them that this is unacceptable!

    WCBS
    http://wcbstv.com/contact

    NY1
    http://www.ny1.com/1-all-boroughs-news-content/contact_us/

    Telemundo 47
    http://www.telemundo47.com/contactenos/index.html

  • J

    Yet more evidence that we need removable bollards that physically prevent large vehicles from driving on protected bike lanes. Relying on enforcement and user compliance clearly doesn’t work. Since we know this, we can begin designing accordingly.

  • If this isn’t a perfect visual metaphor for the windshield perspective that infests TV journalism, nothing is.

  • Wait,
    you mean the little guy on a bike pavement marking doesn’t mean “media parking area?”

  • And just a few feet away from this farce of the law, an idling police SUV bravely protects Cadman Plaza East, parking lot of the municipally privileged. I don’t even want to think how much gas the city has wasted by using a running automobile as a gate for years on end. And it goes without saying that the gate-operator/truck-driver wouldn’t lift a pedal to prevent a different privileged class from driving and parking its own SUVs on the intersecting physically separated bicycle lane.

  • At 6:30 pm last Friday evening it was 30 degrees and falling in Brooklyn. How many cyclists besides the one deliveryman were inconvenienced here?

    Mark, isn’t it better that they park in the bike lane than in the bus lane next to it?

    And J, who do you suggest hold the key to the bollard lock? The same federal marshals who probably told the press vans to park there?

  • In general, the little man on the bike means “This is a place for motorists to demonstrate their dominance of the city’s public spaces.” However, depending on the circumstances, it can have various more subtle meanings:

    1. Automobile Parking
    2. Please turn right without yielding to other road users. Extra points if you end a human life in the process!
    3. Taxi-cab pick-up/discharge zone
    4. Your religious beliefs are being threatened.

    It’s kind of similar to those “No Honking: $350 Penalty” signs. In reality, these signs are to be read, “Your individual transportation needs are so important that, if you are slightly inconvenienced, please make an obnoxious sound so loud that not only other road users, but those residing in dwellings on this block, can hear it as well.”

  • ryan

    This is a common sight recently as the Zazi trial has brought lots of TV crews to the nearby courthouse. For what it’s worth, representatives from the US Marshals Service spoke in support of the DOT’s proposed Tillary Street redesign at last year’s public forums, and raised the idea of creating a loading zone away from the protected bike lane to deal with this kind of mess.

  • Steve O.
  • Hilary Kitasei

    At least this is the working press! As a journalist myself, I can tell you that press placard abuse in the city is at least as bad as the police.

  • Jonathan — to state what should be painfully obvious — cars should not park in the bike lane OR the bus lane.

    And nearly all of the thousands of bollards I’ve seen in foreign countries do not allow access to key holders. In very few cases, they are retractable, but that’s to allow selective access to otherwise car-free streets — not to allow vehicles of any kind to violate bike or bus lanes.

  • nattyb

    What the F is Jonathon talkin about? Yah, its cold out. But some of us bike everyday in this weather. Its a great workout and saves me $5.00. And yah, its tougher in the cold weather, especially earlier this winter when it was 15 and windy out. But that’s hardly grounds for blocking bike lanes. Media trucks have hook ups on parking too. They don’t need to block bike lanes.

  • nattyb, I bike every day in this weather too, but I don’t whine about NY1 blocking the lane.

    If I recall correctly, the whole sanctimonious attitude about never blocking bike lanes evolved after research found that casual cyclists were discouraged from riding on streets when autos were double-parked in the painted lanes. I would imagine that January darkness and sub-freezing weather are equally discouraging to casual riders.

  • Jonathan, I ride every day, and so do a lot of people ride every day, even when it’s very cold out (30 and falling isn’t too cold). Especially at night, I welcome the protection of a bike lane. Bike lanes are not there for TV stations to park their vans, or for delivery trucks, or for taxi cabs, or for some jerk-off to flip on the hazzards and run into a bodega. Nor are they right turn lanes. Bike lanes are for the safety of bicyclists.

    Cyclists get killed for want of protected bike lanes even in the cold. Moreover, a new study from Hunter College shows that more often than not, bike lanes are blocked by drivers who (no doubt) feel they’ve got a great reason to put cyclists in peril:
    http://www.cuny.edu/news/newsreleases_p=5217.html

  • It bothers me more from an arrogance perspective. Motorists have such a large percentage of the city’s public space devoted to their use. Is it really that hard for them to respect the small amount of space dedicated towards other uses?

    What would be the result if I chained my bike up in front of a ramp to one of their precious little expressways?

    DERP!!! DERP! DERP! DEEEERRRRRRRRRRP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jonathan, probably more than a few. Chances are the person who took the photos was on a bike, so that’s at least +1 after the delivery guy.

  • NattyB

    Jonathon,

    True, less people bike in the cold then in the nice Spring weather, especially the casual bikers, though, I think that’s a total non-sequiter to the bike lane blocking.

    Blocked bike lanes are a fact of life. I expect them, and so I don’t get pissed off when it happens. That said, there is a sliding scale of my tolerance towards bike lane blockers.

    When it’s a protected bike lane, like in the photo, it takes real Chutzpah to block and stay in the lane.

    If you’re a cabbie makin a quick drop off in a protected lane, fine; if you’re a delivery guy in a painted, not protected lane, fine; but if you’re going to Stay, in a protected lane like that, well, that’s where I get real annoyed.

    There’s no basis for the trucks to be parked so physically close to the Court house. They have placards. It’s because the drivers don’t give a f-ck. And that’s what’s annoying. As if the bike lane is meant to double as a premium parking spot for VIP’s. That’s annoying.

  • I was the photographer and in the span of 2-3 minutes that it took me to document the above I saw at least a dozen bicyclists. Some bicyclists were visibly angry, others simply acted like the transgression was nothing new.

    I agree with Nathan H. that the idling SUV driver, with his windows down, is equally offensive. I see him every night on the commute home.

  • Plus ça change….

    Two years ago in the Tillary St. lane, on a nice sunny warm day when I wasn’t the only rider inconvenienced (note to you, Jonathan) – you happen to see one forced out into the street in my video!

  • I’m one of those “casual” cyclists, meaning I guess that I don’t see riding a bicycle as a sport or a badge of honor or an opportunity to dominate. I’m not sure what winter has to do with anything; ski mittens are not my first choice of accessory, but, we all cope in our own way.

    The lane was illegally and completely blocked, under the observance and likely cooperation of the nearby police operating their internal-combusion parking-lot gate. I ride that lane every morning, and I’ve seen it like this on occasion, and it’s unacceptable. Last winter we “whined” about the bridge conditions and this year they’re much better. I’m not expecting any police miracles, but they at least need to stop condoning massive illegal parking violations right in front of their perches. It prevents anyone from taking traffic law seriously and makes a mockery of the DOT’s work to build safe spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Paul

    Can I swear? F*CK! F*CK! F*CK! F*CK! F*CK!

  • Larry Littlefield

    “At 6:30 pm last Friday evening it was 30 degrees and falling in Brooklyn. How many cyclists besides the one deliveryman were inconvenienced here?”

    How many will be inconvenienced when this become permanent parking?

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