Eyes on the Street: An Argument for Protected Bike Lanes in One Photograph

A commercial van driver mounted the concrete barrier protecting cyclists on Flushing Avenue just west of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway on Friday. Photo: Dmitry Gudkov

Elevated from today’s headline stack: Photographer Dmitry Gudkov snapped this picture on Friday afternoon of a commercial van — the phone number goes to Glass & Windows, Inc., of Long Island City — straddling the concrete barrier that separates a two-way bike lane, and the sidewalk beyond, from the busy intersection where Flushing Avenue crosses beneath the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

It’s not hard to understand why many New Yorkers feel unsafe biking and walking on streets where deadly speeding goes unchecked. And while we have the studies to prove that protected bike lanes have an impact not just on perceived safety, but on actual safety as well, every now and then something comes along to cut through the dry data and illustrate why these safety improvements matter.

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Vacca Watch: Transpo Chair Stokes Fears of Phantom Bike Lanes on NY1

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To borrow from the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay, this NY1 segment starring City Council Transportation Chair James Vacca seems to come straight out of the “shrill and embarrassing” early 2011 phase of NYC bike coverage. Once reporter Michael Herzenberg intones in his best investigative journalist voice that “believe it or not, many of the […]