Today’s Headlines

  • Motorist Kills Cyclist Michael Schenkman, 78, on Northern Blvd in Bayside (DNA, News)
  • Planning Department Releases Midtown East Rezoning Proposal (Crain’s)
  • Electeds Hammer Port Authority for Secretive Bus Terminal Planning Process (News)
  • NYPD Is Hiding Cops’ Disciplinary Records and City Hall Won’t Talk About It (News)
  • Ydanis Rodriguez Backs Looser TLC License Standards, Still MIA on Cooper’s Law (News, AMNY)
  • Driver With TLC Plates Runs Over 6-Year-Old Boy in Borough Park, Leaves Scene (AMNYNews)
  • Samponaro: DOT Needs to Slow Drivers in Marine Park, Not Put Cyclists at Risk (Bklyn Daily)
  • Rudin’s L Shutdown Plan Includes Cars and Gondolas (Second Ave SagasNY1)
  • Citi Bike Expansion Coverage From DNA and AMNY
  • NIMBYs Praise Van Bramer for Opposing Affordable Housing Project (Times Ledger)
  • Riverdale Press: More Parking, Fewer People!

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Side-by-side cycling isn’t a specifically Dutch trait – it’s a natural human instinct to want to be beside someone, looking at them, rather than stuck behind or in front of them, only able to talk by yelling, craning your head around.

    https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/side-by-side/

  • Joe R.

    At least neither of the stories about the 78-year old cyclist mentioned a helmet. That’s a good start, I suppose. Schenkman’s death is eerily reminiscent of how I’ve imagined my own. I’ll probably be riding as long as I can physically mount a bike, but I’ve little doubt doing so will become progressively more dangerous as my strength wanes, denying me the ability to scoot out of the way of impending danger. Diminishing senses may mean I’m not aware of such danger until it’s too late. If we had true 8-to-80 bike infrastructure Schenkman would be alive and well and riding until he was past 100. Props to him for riding on a shitshow like Northern Boulevard in Bayside at his age. Unfortunately, it cost him his life. Stuff like this really makes me sick to my stomach. How civilized you are as a society is measured by how you treat the weakest members of society—the very young, the elderly, the infirm. NYC is failing big time here. Hardly a day goes by when you don’t read about yet another elderly person mowed down by a driver.

  • notsurprised

    Nice victim blaming.

  • Reader

    Jimmy Van Bramer supporting parking over more housing is one of the most naked displays of NIMBY appeasement I’ve seen in a while, especially from a person who absolutely knows better.

  • van_vlissingen

    Based on the location, I’m almost certain Schenkman was trying to get Joe Michael’s Mile (the waterfront greenway along the Cross Island Parkway). It is car free and pleasant ride similar to Brooklyns Shore Parkway Greenway.

    However, it absolutely sucks getting to Joe Michael’s. DOT bike maps say use the sidewalk, but that isn’t practical because the vegetation is overgrown and sightlines for both you and drivers is poor. The maneuver I’ve seen most cyclists do is make a right onto Northern Blvd from the Cloverdale Blvd bike lane and take the left turn lane cars use to enter the Cross Island Parkway and jog slightly right before getting onto the highway to enter the greenway.

    As a local resident I can tell you that the local LDC, Chamber of Commerce and Homeowners Association have requested this be fixed. Multiple times.

    Still the city has done nothing.

  • Joe R.

    Not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion. I didn’t say he shouldn’t have been riding when and where he was. Indeed, I could easily visualize myself doing the exact same thing. I’m blaming NYC for not providing enough places where people of any age can ride without worrying about being mowed down by drivers.

  • Jeff

    I’ve pretty much given up on cycling as a social activity for this reason. I do my long bike rides alone, and have kayaking for a social, human-powered recreational transport activity. Best part about kayaking is there’s no cars on the water, so you can paddle side-by-side and chat with no ambient traffic noises.

  • Jeff

    Yeah your comment is pretty much the opposite of victim-blaming.

  • notsurprised

    I appreciate that. What did it for me was “I’ve little doubt doing so will become progressively more dangerous as my strength wanes, denying me the ability to scoot out of the way of impending danger.” when he was hit from behind at high speed. Not sure how anyone except Spiderman could scoot out of that way of that. Anyway, apologies for misunderstanding you.

  • Vooch

    Joe – great post

  • Joe R.

    OK, thanks for clarifying. Obviously it’s physically impossible to get out of the way of someone coming up at very high speed. I just mentioned the part about scooting out of the way because it’s sometimes helped me get out of the way of things like maybe a car starting to leave a parking spot. I’ve avoided hitting unexpected obstacles like that by accelerating rapidly to get out of the way before they’re in my path. I would imagine when I can’t physically do that any more, I’ll be a lot more vulnerable. I don’t think too many cyclists do stuff like this, so my mention of it could be taken the wrong way.

    That said, when cyclists regularly need to “scoot” or make other moves to get out of the way of motor vehicles we’re doing something wrong.

  • notsurprised

    I see your point and it’s well made.

  • Joe R.

    Thanks!

  • Joe R.

    Whether you’re going to Joe Michael’s Mile or not I absolutely HATE riding that part of Northern Boulevard when there’s any traffic. It’s almost like being on a highway. Westbound is worse than eastbound because you’re going uphill, and therefore are moving much slower than car traffic as a result. However, neither direction is all that great.

    Yeah, there needs to be a better way to get to Joe Michael’s. Even as an experienced cyclist comfortable in traffic, I find the present situation too dicey.

  • Brad Aaron

    What looks very much like a bike helmet is visible in one of the crash scene photos, so in that case the press would be adhering to the “no helmet = victim’s fault; helmet = no one’s fault” rule.

    No credit due.

  • Jesse

    Your comment led me to inspect that photo closely. The caption reads: “The windshield of the Chevrolet Impala was destroyed after the accident.” That poor Chevy Impala!

  • stairbob

    Even NYC’s best cycling infrastructure (1st Avenue, Manhattan Bridge, etc.) is too narrow and too popular for side-by-side cycling. It’s a shame.

  • Brad Aaron

    “The driver’s vehicle, a blue Hyundai Elantra, was also battered from the incident.”

    http://m.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/elderly-driver-backs-pedestrian-pinning-cars-article-1.2631824

  • Jesse

    Sickening

  • stairbob

    “The gunman’s hand was also bruised from the recoil.”

  • iSkyscraper

    So Streetsblog is now editorializing the headlines? The one from the Times Ledger is “Sunnyside backs Van Bramer in rift with mayor”. I didn’t see the word NIMBY in it.

    I don’t know enough about that project to support or oppose it, but as I learned from Sherman Plaza it’s important to be transparent about rezonings before throwing labels around. These things can be complex.

  • Brad Aaron

    I had a long talk with Van Bramer’s office about this project. Other than problems some people have with the developer, in this instance I believe the NIMBY tag fits.

    We’ve always editorialized in the headlines.

  • Jesse

    And if you ride side by side you’ll get a horn blasted in your ear from someone sitting next to an empty passenger seat. The hypocrisy and selfishness is astounding.

  • ahwr

    DOT bike maps say use the sidewalk, but that isn’t practical because the vegetation is overgrown and sightlines for both you and drivers is poor.

    Ride slow, and expect drivers at the ramps not to look for you and the sidewalks there work fine. It’s less than a thousand feet from Cloverdale to the path entrance with two or three ramps to watch out for cars, it’s not like you’re doing this for miles.

  • AMH
  • van_vlissingen

    I’ve had a couple of close calls riding on that sidewalk – specifically with drivers not seeing and or stopping.
    If you want to go east of Joe Michael’s the sidewalk is rideable – but you still are inconveniencing pedestrians, and breaking the law.

  • ahwr

    If you want to go east of Joe Michael’s the sidewalk is rideable – but you still are inconveniencing pedestrians, and breaking the law.

    Are you breaking the law? The city’s bike map directs people to the sidewalk there, but they use the same notation whether it’s legal to bike on the sidewalk or you have to walk your bike. Go slow, yield to pedestrians. That means pulling off to the side and stopping sometimes.

    I’ve had a couple of close calls riding on that sidewalk – specifically with drivers not seeing and or stopping.

    Ride slow and expect drivers not to look for you. Wait until someone sees you before crossing the ramps. Same approach is needed when walking over there.

  • AnoNYC

    What the hell is this city going to do about these hit and runs? A loved one of mine was just hit by a car in the Bronx, which sped off of course. Fortunately she is okay, minus road rash.

    We seriously need to install surveillance cameras along all streets and hit and runs should equate jail time and automatic driver’s license revocation or ban in NY state. The difference by stopping and checking the victim could save a life.

  • van_vlissingen

    City bike map is clearly talking about getting to Joe Michael’s from/to 223rd not from/to Douglaston Parkway.

    I am familiar with how to ride on a sidewalk. Maybe I should mention that I am not white. That means casual disregard of even the most silly law may not end well for me. It’s just not an option sorry.

    Again, I know what you’re talking about. I can manage. Let me ask you would you let your 8-year old ride unattended here? If not then it’s not an acceptable situation.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Unfortunately, hit-and-runs are at an epidemic level, and the law must change in NYS. A hit-and-run causing only personal injury is no worse than a Class A misdemeanor charge with a max penalty of $1000 fine.

    Just did a quick Google search, even if the victim dies, (correct me if I’m wrong) the motorist gets no jail time, max $5000 fine Class D misdemeanor, maybe license points / revocation. Whereas in Canada, you could face anywhere from 5 years to life in prison.

    You should still talk to the NYPD and file a report, maybe even paying a visit to some nearby stores to view their surveillance footage. Best of luck in catching this coward.

  • ahwr

    I wouldn’t let them walk there either. Coming from 223rd the delay from walking a bike on the sidewalk instead of riding there is small if anything. Coming from Douglaston the impact on motorists from adding a bikeway on northern that ends at the Joe Michael’s mile path entrance would be minimal.

  • neroden

    At what point do we decide that a militia needs to be organized to shut down the organized crime gang which is terrorizing the city? I refer to the NYPD, which is behaving more and more like an organized crime gang every day, with the concealment of disciplinary records being just the latest evidence.

  • neroden

    By the way, Nadler’s been on the correct side of nearly all transportation policy issues for decades. I’m glad to see him hammering the PA for this.

  • AnoNYC

    She made a report. The police seemed disinterested as though she was wasting their time. She has road rash about eight inches on her leg, another four or five on her arm, and about four on her shoulder. Had to have it treated at the ER.

    After striking her, the driver gunned it and proceeded in the wrong direction down a one-way street.