Streetfilms Shorties: DMV Driving Exam FAIL on 20th Avenue

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.


The 20th Ave Protected Bike Lane — Almost Totally Functional, But Not Quite

In the spring, NYC DOT striped a two-way, parking-protected bike lane on 20th Avenue connecting to the Astoria waterfront, but for weeks drivers kept parking in it. Queens residents tweeted their frustration with car owners failing to observe the new parking regulations: New protected bike lane on 20th ave @NYPD114Pct @pwbnyc @MakeQueensSafer @juanjohnhans_ @NYC_DOT — Queens Bike (@qnsbike) June 12, 2016 […]
Lauren Davis was killed by a turning driver on Classon Avenue last April. Photo: Family of Lauren Davis

Instead of a Classon Avenue Bike Lane, Bed-Stuy Electeds Want a Street Where No One Rides Bikes

On Thursday, DOT announced plans to paint a bike lane on Classon Avenue, the northbound one-way street where a left-turning driver killed Lauren Davis as she rode her bike to work last April. As bicycle infrastructure goes, it's the bare minimum -- some stripes and stencils to designate space for biking, with no changes to moving lanes or parking. But that hasn't stopped a group of local officials from coming out against it.