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Streetfilms Shorties: DMV Driving Exam FAIL on 20th Avenue

1:18 PM EDT on August 31, 2012

Clarence sends along this short video of student drivers double-parked in the 20th Avenue bike lane, near the Astoria waterfront. What makes this blockage all the more galling, he reports, is that the students are about to embark on an exam that will, in all likelihood, confer a lifetime of more-or-less irrevocable driving privileges:

While waiting to take their driver's tests on 20th Avenue, they let the students begin in double-parked cars while sitting in the bike lanes. ALL THE TIME!  I see it every time I ride there during daylight hours...

There are often fast moving trucks and buses so keeping the lane blocked causes frightening close calls when you need to go around.

According to the state DMV's website, this is in fact an official location where students begin their road tests. (Rather hilariously, the DMV site only gives driving directions to the sites of these tests, even in the most walkable, transit-rich parts of the state.) So, first lesson on your way to securing a driver's license: double-parking and blocking the bike lane is A-OK.

You may recall that two years ago State Senator Eric Adams proposed adding a bike and pedestrian safety component to the course that New Yorkers take en route to obtaining a driver's license. It didn't get far in Albany. Meanwhile, the bar you have to clear to get a driver's license in this state remains pretty low, even for American standards, which are in turn pathetic compared to the thresholds set in countries that are serious about street safety.

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