Today’s Headlines

  • Son of Slain Cyclist Michael Schenkman: “We Are Not a Bike-Friendly City” (NYT, News)
  • Politico Asks Whether First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris Has Too Much on His Plate
  • As Uber and Lyft Grow in NYC, So Do Crashes Involving Black Cars (Post)
  • Sanitation Commish Kathryn Garcia Makes the Business Case for Waste Carting Reform (Crain’s)
  • Driver Rear-Ends Parked Bus, Critically Injuring 5-Year-Old Boy in Car (News)
  • Texas Woman Who Crashed on Central Park Loop Succumbs to Injuries (News)
  • A New Defense Tactic for Drivers Who Harm Pedestrians With the Right of Way (Post)
  • The Lesson of the Cricket-Filled Subway Car Is: Never Pull the Emergency Brake (Post, 2AS)
  • Not on the List of Terrible Things About NYC Buses: The Lack of Wi-Fi (AMNY)
  • Read the Comments on This Change.org Petition and Gaze Into the Abyss
  • Got a Rhyme About What the NYC Region Needs Today? Send It to the RPA

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Nice to know the bike share haters are pissing into the wind, but what progress are we making on design and mode share?

    Meanwhile, in London: https://twitter.com/Richard_H/status/768231103459127297

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    I agree with the New York Times article, we are not a bike-friendly city. Are we better than years before? Of course. New protected lanes, new awareness to aggressive driving, introduction to Vision Zero and so on. It’s a good start, but we can’t treat it as the end all, be all of traffic safety and violence, not by a long shot. Especially if we read story after story with motorists getting away with not even a slap on the wrist (but I can get a ticket for way lesser things). Not to mention the disparity of bike lanes between let’s say Queens and Downtown Brooklyn. Or how much red tape hurdles to get the most basic traffic infrastructure implemented. “Vision Zero” shouldn’t be political lip service, it has to be serious law enforcement, legislative reform and meaningful, effective engineering redesign, not bogged down by bureaucratic process. Unfortunately, NYC, politically, changes at a snail’s pace and if we keep this up, we’re never gonna get there.

  • Joe R.

    Were the comments in that Change.org petition dark comedy? They run the gamut from the usual driver entitlement regarding parking to “bikes kill” (my favorite was the guy who said he saw several people die from being hit by bikes) to “I pay registration fees (which don’t even cover the cost of the DMV) and therefore this entitles me to valuable street space.

    The sad part here is that most of the comments read like they were written by someone in a mental institution suffering from paranoid delusion and yet these people are out and among us and driving multi-ton vehicles on city streets. That’s a really scary thought.

  • Mike

    What bothered me was that the number of petitioners seems inflated by the few people who signed to make pro-Citibike comments (or to mock the petition).

  • Joe R.

    I noticed that, too. While I obviously agree with these people, I think it’s bad form to sign a petition just to make opposing comments. Let the Citibike complainers have their 5 minutes of fame. They’re just pissing into the wind anyhow. Bikes are here to stay. Bike share is here to stay.

  • J

    Te whole thing now has 134 signatures, but I guarantee that way more than 134 people have already ridden the bikes in that area. CItibike is wildly popular, and this petition will go nowhere

  • Joe R.

    I’ve been riding a bike in this city for over 38 years. Outside of maybe small pockets of the city where bike infrastructure has improved things a little, I can say almost unequivocally I would rather be riding 30 years ago than today. Traffic levels were much lower, particularly in the outer parts of the outer boroughs. Drivers were generally more civil. The police almost never ticketed cyclists. And there were far fewer traffic signals. Overall, it was just more pleasant to ride. I could even go for enjoyable recreational rides during the early afternoon on weekdays. Nowadays, any time between 6AM and 9 or 10 PM on weekdays is a clusterf*ck. Weekends are only marginally better.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    It’s nice that for once the people who oppose healthier streets are the ones pissing into the wind. This will give my pants some time to dry off.

  • k10031

    does someone want to take this and post on change.org? I can’t seem to find my log in, and I have to run out. It’s an almost direct riff off of the citi bike petition. Here’s the petition:

    Say no to cars in NYC
    Hello everyone. In response to the petition, “Say no to Citi Bike,” I am trying to reach out to all of you. Recently—well, no, a long time ago—cars expanded all over the city. They are taking up all the space in all the neighborhoods. As you know, walking and cycling can be difficult. With the cars all over, it’s down right impossible. I have seen many people needlessly driving in a walkable city, and have seen many other people harassed, maimed and killed. We can not have cars making all this congestion. Do we have to be afraid to go somewhere knowing that we might never come home again, because we might be killed by a driver? Cars have taken us hostage. It’s time to let out voices to be heard. Please let’s all stand united together and say NO MORE.

  • qrt145

    I found some of the satirical comments hilarious. Given that a bunch of change.org signatures won’t make a difference anyway, I think making fun of them by adding fake signatures is fair game.

    Reminds me a bit of the satirical reviews people post on Amazon. My favorites are the reviews for this book: https://www.amazon.com/Million-Random-Digits-Normal-Deviates/dp/0833030477/ref=cm_lmf_tit_10

  • kevd

    well, there are about 1.5 million more people in NY than there were 30 years ago.

  • Joe R.

    And sometimes it seems like they’re all in my neighborhood!

  • van_vlissingen

    At the very least there should be no parking on any arterial streets and maybe even on non-arterials designated as snow emergency routes.

  • I know that Michael Schenkman’s son is undergoing terrible suffering. But his assertion about the City as a whole is wrong.

    That spot on Northern Boulevard where Mr. Schenkman was killed is terrible. The need to ride on Northern for a few blocks before getting on that Cross Island Parkway path (called Joe Michaels Mile) constitutes the one weak link in a bike-friendly connection in eastern Queens from Cambria Heights all the way up to Whitestone.

    However, in the main, we New York City bicyclists are much better off now than we were when I began cycling in the late 1970s.

    It is impossible to overstate the imact that bike lanes have had. We mustn’t just wave away or minimise the impact of bike lanes by saying that they have improved things “a little” and only “in small pockets of the city”. The fact is that bike lanes are abundant in the most important parts of our City — in the parts where bicycling is the most fun. There is nothing better than riding in Manhattan; and the bike lanes have transformed that borough to an extent that I could never have imagined the first time I rode there from Queens in 1981. At that time Manhattan was a jungle; in comparison, it is now a wonderland.

    If the rest of the City had bike lanes on the same scale as Manhatan and the areas surrounding Downtown Brooklyn, that would be wonderful. But, really, outside those parts of the City, the need for bike lanes is much less, as finding bikeable streets is relatively easy.

    Bike lanes have been transformative. It is obvious that a bike lane improves any street has one; but what we sometimes forget is that bike lanes in the aggregate provide a universal benefit, in that their mere existence reminds drivers that we bicyclists exist. This increase in awareness has helped us all, offsetting to a significant extent the problems caused by the increase in traffic volume.

    Drivers today know that bicyclists will be present on all their trips. While I defer to no one in my condemnation of the incompetence of most drivers and of the outright sociopathic behaviour of many of them, the reality is that this increase in their awareness of us has drastically improved our quality of life. (The downside of this awareness is that it always threatens to breed a backlash. Indeed, that is the major threat facing us today and in the near future.)

    Also, New York City’s roads are in far better repair now than they ever were in previous decades. Nowadays we’re more likely to face streets that have been milled for repaving than we are to face potholes caused by lack of maintenence.

    Having ridden recently in a couple of nearby cities, I am aware of the flaws in New York’s bike network (lack of comprehensiveness; spotty maintenence; poor signage). And I am even more aware of the defects in the local culture which make riding more difficult than it needs to be (drivers ignoring stop signs, stopping ahead of the stop line, and just generally behaving like aggressive savages). On top of that, from reading Streetsblog and other sources I am aware of the state-of-the-art bike infrastructure in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe that puts us to shame.

    Nevertheless, speaking as a year-round bike commuter and a dedicated recreational bicyclist, I say that we are privileged to live in New York City, and that our City is, by U.S. standards, one of the best places that a bicyclist can be.

    And speaking as someone who has not been able to ride since Monday on account of a newly-developed knee pain, and who is now very afraid of losing the ability to ride, I look with a longing at the many beautifully inviting and bikeable streets of our remarkable City.

  • Joe R.

    I just want to say I’m sorry to hear about your knee pain. I’ve experienced my share of ailments which have prevented me from riding as much as I might like, so I can certainly sympathize. In fact, even best case I get numbness in the feet and hands on virtually any ride except really short ones. Only advice I can give is to try and avoid riding again prematurely before the injury has had a chance to heal, lest it become permanent.

    I’ll also add I’m really bummed at just not having the time, or in some cases the energy, to ride as much as I might like these last two and half years. When I don’t get enough exercise, it seems it takes its toll on my immune system and I’m ill a lot more than usual. Just this year I had a bad rash which wouldn’t go away completely for the first 4 months of the year, an infection which made the left side of my face swell, and a general lack of energy. I attribute all of these to an immune system compromised by not getting the amount of exercise my body needs. Some people seem to be able to manage and feel fine with little physical activity. I’m not one of them. I hope for your sake you don’t end up with a laundry list of ailments on account of not being able to ride regularly.

  • Thanks.

    I am seeing an orthopedist the week after next. So let’s see what he says.

    Whenever I can’t ride every day, I feel it emotionally. Indeed, I took up daily riding five years ago when I was devastated at the death of my best friend, after I found that riding was one of the only two things that helped me emotionally (the other being participation in Esperanto chatting).

    While I have passed the mourning stage, I still feel emotionally comforted by daily riding. During the winter weeks when riding has been impossible due to snow and ice, I felt a great deal of anxiety — even more anxiety than winter usually causes me. And this week has been terribly frustrating. I actually took today and Monday off from work because the weather looked good; and here I am not riding.

    At least I can walk; that doesn’t hurt (except on stairs). But I cannot stand on the pedals; so I cannot ride. So maybe I will do some walking this weekend. But, honestly, I feel kind of lost without the ability to ride.

  • Joe R.

    Your last sentence sums it up for me perfectly. I feel like someone cut off my legs when I can’t ride. I’ve derived so many benefits, and it’s been a regular part of my life for the last 38 years. It helped me through a horrible time in my life in my early 20s when a relationship didn’t work out. To this day she remains my one and only true love but unfortunately I think I met the right person at the wrong time. We were both too young and just not prepared for it. I was contemplating suicide for a long time but riding kept me grounded. I logged a lot of miles in the years after. It improved my emotional state enough so I could function. It sounds like it did much the same for you after the death of your best friend.

    Anyway, here’s hoping this is something which heals quickly so you can get back on the bike.

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