DOT Tests Out New Intersection Design for Protected Bike Lanes

At Columbus Avenue and 70th Street, the agency has replaced a "mixing zone" with a new design that should reduce conflicts between passing cyclists and turning drivers.

DOT recently redesigned of the intersection of Columbus Avenue and 70th Street to make cyclists more visible to drivers turning across the bike lane.
DOT recently redesigned of the intersection of Columbus Avenue and 70th Street to make cyclists more visible to drivers turning across the bike lane.

DOT is starting to test out bikeway intersection designs that could replace the “mixing zone” treatment the agency has favored for the past several years.

In a mixing zone, drivers turning across the bike lane approach from an angle where they have to look at mirrors or over the shoulder for passing cyclists. In the new design, drivers crossing the bike lane turn at a tighter angle that slows their approach and positions them to see passing cyclists through the front windshield.

A tipster sent in the above photo showing the new design at Columbus Avenue and 70th Street. The mixing zone has been replaced with a painted pedestrian island that redirects the path of turning motorists.

Intersections with mixing zones have a higher rate of cyclist injuries than intersections where cyclists and turning drivers each have a separate signal phase.

After a turning box truck driver killed Kelly Hurley as she biked through the mixing zone on First Avenue at 9th Street, DOT said it would test out different intersection designs along protected bicycle lanes.

The First Avenue mixing zone where a turning driver struck and killed Kelly Hurley. Google Maps
The First Avenue mixing zone where a turning driver struck and killed Kelly Hurley. Google Maps

Since the spring, volunteers with Transportation Alternatives have been pitching Manhattan community boards on an intersection design concept from architect Reed Rubey that calls for plastic bollards to create more separation for cyclists and slow approaching drivers in the turn lane. Six Manhattan community boards have called on DOT to adopt the concept.

The design that DOT is testing on Columbus Avenue goes a bit further and eliminates the turn lane altogether, adding the pedestrian island for separation instead. There’s also an area painted green where cyclists can stop on the far side of the crosswalk during a red light to establish themselves in turning drivers’ field of vision.

In addition to Columbus and 70th, sources have spotted this new intersection design at Amsterdam Avenue and 85th Street, Ninth Avenue and 38th Street, and Fourth Avenue and 13th Street.

If you see one, snap a photo and send it to tips@streetsblog.org.

  • Joe R.

    Can we both agree perhaps the greenway is just too popular for its own good? If anything, the crowding and resulting lack of consideration shows the need for more of this type of infrastructure. It also shows the need for full grade separation at the most crowded crossings (and separate bike/ped paths elsewhere). There’s no other way you can accommodate a steady stream of pedestrians and cyclists.

    You don’t necessarily need a majority to get things done which benefit you. Look for example at the laws passed allowing same sex marriage. That directly applies to at most a few percent of the population ( http://news.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx ). Or better yet, look how the wealthiest 1% manage to always get laws passed benefiting them. Bicycle interests also include the group who doesn’t ride now but would if it were safer or more pleasant. That number easily brings the total past 50% based on most surveys I’ve seen. It’s hardly a fringe interest.

  • Elizabeth F

    > Can we both agree perhaps the greenway is just too popular for its own good?

    Unfortunately, no we can’t. The Brooklyn Bridge is too popular for its own good. Driving in Midtown Manhattan is too popular for its own Good. In contrast, the Greenway is just… popular and well-used, and requires a little care to use at peak hours. Unlike the adjacent West Side Highway, I have never experienced serious congestion on it. It’s a non-starter to demand total grade separation the minute you have to slow down now and then for others.

    > You don’t necessarily need a majority to get things done which benefit you.

    I know that. But you said above that street designs should cater to the majority. That’s just a poor starting point, especially if you care about biking. How about… street designs should cater to a variety of ways people want to use the street.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, but a green wave on just the Manhattan Avenues isn’t going to get cyclists to magically comply with the red lights there. Cyclists are habitually inclined to pass red lights because they assume (correctly in most cases) that the light timing is unfavorable. Putting a green wave favorable to cyclists on a small portion of NYC’s streets won’t stop this behavior, even on those streets. The only cyclists who won’t pass red lights will be the minority who happen to be riding at the timed speed.

    This isn’t even getting into the other problems. What might be a good timed speed for one cyclist might not be for many others. And what might be a good speed on a day with no winds for one cyclist will be too fast for that same cyclist on a day with head winds, and too slow on a day with tail winds. When you look at all this, I think it’s easier to either just remove the lights, or accept that cyclists are going to ignore red signals.

  • Joe R.

    I said the rules should cater to the majority users. If you have a route which has heavy bike traffic compared to the number of pedestrians crossing it, then the rule should be peds yield to bikes before crossing. This minimizes the total cumulative delay of all users. In the reverse case, more peds than bikes, the rule should be the reverse, again for the same reasons.

    I’m also not sure I understand you here. First you said “Except the reality is, the pedestrians stand for a long time there trying to cross, cyclist after cyclist blows by with no regard for the pedestrians, or the light (if there is any).” This implies there are no gaps in bike traffic for a pedestrian to cross. Now you’re saying “Unlike the adjacent West Side Highway, I have never experienced serious congestion on it.”, which basically implies there are gaps in bike traffic. Which is it?

    It’s a non-starter to demand total grade separation the minute you have to slow down now and then for others.

    If there really are no gaps in bike traffic at certain times, then it’s not simply a matter of slowing down now and then. If cyclists stop to let pedestrians cross, then they could get rear-ended. Also, even if the cyclists behind them stop, you’ll end up with bike traffic jams at every busy crossing as the long queue of stopped cyclists gets going again. That’s not acceptable, and neither is pedestrians having to wait long periods to cross because cyclists won’t (or perhaps can’t safely) stop for them. This situation is exactly one where you would want grade separation as both groups would benefit from it. More importantly, in some places grade separation helps avoid conflicts with motor vehicles. A number of cyclists have been hit on the greenway by motor vehicles turning across their path, even if there was a signal and they had the green. The cost would be high, but the volume of users easily justifies it.

  • Joe R.

    I’ve said the same things when people here say stuff like “you shouldn’t ride over 10 mph”. Last I checked, there is no lower speed limit for bikes, nor should there be. Any design which prevents you from riding at any speed up to the legal speed limit is a substandard design. The only time I might say otherwise is if the legal speed limit is well above any speed a cyclist could reasonable reach (for practical purposes I’d say this is roughly 30 mph, perhaps 40 mph on some downgrades). So basically then we should design bicycle infrastructure for a minimum speed of 30 mph on level roads, 40 mph on hills, or the legal speed limit if it’s lower than these numbers. In the case of the Manhattan avenues then design speed should be 25 mph. Or if that can’t be accommodated for technical reasons, then cyclists should be allowed to ride outside the bike lane if they’re exceeding the design speed.

    Anyone wanting greater red light compliance from cyclists should favor this approach. Cyclists will more readily comply with red lights when they hit one every 20 or 30 blocks, as opposed to every two blocks.

    I also think we should time the lights on the avenues to 20 mph. This might better match real traffic speeds at busier times. It will also coincidentally match the speeds of e-bikes and faster cyclists.

  • Joe R.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what that design is.

    Viaducts above the street or tunnels below. Not sure how else we can accommodate all types of cycling in an environment with very congested surface streets. Even if the mixing zones were removed, there’s still the issue of light timing. By definition that can’t accommodate multiple cycling speeds.

  • walks bikes drives

    Went past the 85th and Amsterdam intersection today. It felt better, but there was no car turning as I went through. Feel like a nice, prominent YIELD TO CYCLISTS sign right there would be helpful.

  • walks bikes drives

    Because we are talking about major intersections. For Amsterdam, as an example, that’s a split phase on 72, 79, 86, 96, and 106.

    Or, an example where split phases can be employed throughout: if you vary the timing of the split portion, you can increase the cyclists forward progress. First four or 5 blocks have a starting cyclist split and the second 4 or 5 have an ending cyclist split.

  • walks bikes drives

    I find it very hard to get a green wave for 20-30 blocks, especially at peak times. I can usually get 10 if I am lucky, but not in a bike lane, and that is travelling at 20-25mph. Usually, turning drivers slow me down too often to allow a straight clip. I could imagine doing it at 3am though.

  • walks bikes drives

    The other thing that tends to bug me about these designs, especially the flashing yellow arrows folowing a “protected phase,” is that it is focused on the safety of a rider who is stopped at the light. Take the flashing yellow arrow on 79th and Amsterdam. If I am waiting for the green on 79th and Amsterdam, I have a safe crossing. If I am waiting for the green on 77th, then I will hit 79 with a flashing arrow which has a legal meaning but no practical protection. On 81st and Columbus, a comparable intersection, there is a split phase where I have the intersection for 3/4 of the light cycle and no cars turning across my path.

  • Elizabeth F

    No, it’s not about the light or split phase signals.

    Even with a green light, I’ll still have to slow down to a crawl while passing in front of some random driver about to turn left. There’s no way to know he/she is intending to let me through. And I will have to do that every 2 blocks; resulting is I will get a lot less green wave than I currently do, plus go much slower when I am moving.

  • redbike

    > hope they do so somewhat scientifically and put findings/data online. It’s crucial
    > that street design continues to evolve

    Step 1: Our generated veneered advocates should acknowledge — aloud — the “Protected Bike Lanes” on 8th Av between 33rd St and the mid-50’s and 9th Av from 57th St to 34th St are craptacular fails. Anyone who sez otherwise has never used ’em.

  • J

    This is an extreme outlier position, If 95% of cyclists rarely break 15mph, why on earth would we design for 40mph cycling? It’s much much more dangerous, even with better design. The only real way to make that speed of cycling safe is grade separated bicycle only infrastructure, which is a pipe dream except in extraordinary circumstances.

  • J

    I live in DC, and while this design may be slightly better than the NYC mixing zones, You still cross paths at speed which is super dangerous, or cars get backed up into the mixing zone, making it hard to go straight.

  • J

    It doesn’t, and you’ll never ever see this design in the Netherlands.

  • Joe R.

    Reread what I wrote. The only time we would design for 40 mph would be on hills, and then only if the adjacent street had a speed limit of 40 mph or more. On level roads we would be designing for 30 mph or less. I picked 30 mph as the maximum speed cyclists could reasonable reach on level roads under most conditions. I purposely avoided outliers like an Olympic cyclist with a 30 mph tail wind. The idea here is to design for the speed a strong (but by no means super athlete) cyclist might reach when being pushed by a tail wind they might reasonably encounter. In NYC winds of 10 to 15 mph are fairly common. A tail wind of such speeds would let a strong cyclist reach approximately 30 mph on level roads. Note also this design speed would only apply if the adjacent street had a 30 mph or higher speed limit. If the speed limit was less, then the design speed would be the speed limit. In practice this means the majority of bicycle infrastructure in NYC would be designed for 25 mph, which is actually the same design speed they use in the Netherlands.

    If you start designing for speeds like 15 mph you end up with infrastructure a lot of cyclists just won’t use. The end result is drivers will see them outside the bike lane, and then start asking why are we spending money on bike lanes cyclists aren’t using. Elizabeth’s and my point about being able to ride at the legal speed limit is valid, especially when being forced to ride much slower means you hit a lot more red lights. This ends up increasing your trip time much more than the speed differences would indicate.

    As for grade separated bicycle infrastructure, as NYC continues to get more congested I think it’s going to gain traction. Some Chinese cities are already building it. It solves a whole host of problems which none of the other solutions do. Obviously getting rid of cars (and traffic lights) is the best way to optimize streets for cyclists and pedestrians but I’m not seeing that happening any time soon. Therefore this means doing the same thing they did when they built the subways over a century ago—going above or below the street.

  • AnoNYC

    Would prefer the bike lane along the curb and a split phase. Oh and a flex post after the crosswalk too.

  • galisteo99

    No bike infrastructure at all, anywhere, should be designed or built, until the sidewalks and curbs along the street are all brought up to ADA compliance. When streets are resurfaced currently, it triggers ADA compliance. I believe all bike infrastructure should also be secondary to ADA compliance on the actual sidewalks and curbs for pedestrians with disabilities. (Remember them/us?) We have Fed ADA law, bikes have none of that. ADA access is a civil right, not a code.

  • galisteo99

    Do you know how many folks walking with white canes, or rolling in wheelchairs get killed on the streets each year? Your bicycle ‘boulevards’ can wait.

  • Frank Kotter

    How are street improvements exclusive of ADA and protecting and encouraging cycling. It would seem that they compliment one another more than being in conflict?

  • z z

    When the 1st/2nd Avenue bike lanes went in I felt corralled, invisible and marginalized. I could ride up 1st Ave without giving it a thought, watching for turning cars and making space on both sides of me. The bike lane took away all options for getting around obstacles, and there are always obstacles. It made me invisible to the left turning cars which I could no longer anticipate, nor could I maneuver around without breaking my pace. Pedestrians constantly stepped into my path, and still do.

    Over time, as the lanes became more popular, it did get a little better, there is safety in numbers. I still use the lanes, and it is sometimes nice to be out of the traffic, but at those points of mixing I’d rather just be part of the traffic, where I can watch for the cars rather than the other way around, because drivers just don’t watch for the bikes. I haven’t seen this new crossing yet, but I’d be more fearful of being hit broadside and sent flying than the current mixing where I always try to go around.

  • The Hudson River Greenway is definitely not a place where cyclists should feel free to “open it up”. It is not a racecourse; and the occasional stopping is entirely reasonable.

    There should be places dedicated to cycling only, where cyclists can go at whatever speed they like for as long as they like. But the Hudson River Greenway is not such a place. It is just a kind of Manhattan avenue for bikes; and, as such, it has cross-streets and an expectation of reasonable speeds on the parts of bicyclists.

  • One time after I stopped at a light on the Greenway, I saw a crossing pedestrian gesture towards me and say to the person he was with “they don’t usually do that”.

    The behaviour of bicyclists towards pedestrians at the few red lights on the Greenway is downright embarassing. Every pedestrian who is forced to play a demented game of Frogger even when he/she has the light is going to come away with a lowered opinion of bicyclists. And rightfully so.

  • Stop making empty excuses. The solution is to just comply with the perfectly reasonable rules. Bicyclists in other cities understand this; it is only our City’s bicyclists who are so rude that they have made the tendency to ignore the posted rules the norm.

    I actually wish that there were a cop standing at each red light on the Greenway, signalling the cyclists to stop.

  • Joe R.

    There shouldn’t be traffic lights on the greenway other than in places where motor vehicles might cross. And those lights should only go red when a motor vehicle is actually crossing.

    Being that the greenway has become a major trunk route for cyclists I think the rule peds yield to bikes before crossing is perfectly reasonable. Everywhere else in the city pedestrians get right-of-way. Is it too much to ask for a few places where cyclists might have priority?

    Maybe if the city actually had enough places where cyclists could ride without stopping they might be more inclined to obey the rules in places where they can’t. We only have a handful of such places now. Most are in fairly remote parts of the city along shore lines.

  • The rules on the Greenway should cater to all users, especially the minority, who would be effectively shut out without the rules — and who in practice sometimes approach this condition by bicyclists’ indefensible ignoring of the rules.

    Pedestrians engage in their own brand of bad behaviour when they walk and run on the bicycling path of the Greenway in the sections where the Greenway is not a shared path. But cyclists’ act of preventing pedestrians from crossing when the pedestrians have the right to cross is the more serious issue.

    As with most things in society, the best solution is the enforcement of the existing rules.

  • Joe R.

    Unless there are instances when there are extremely long times with no gaps in back traffic, the rule of peds yielding to bikes will not effectively shut out pedestrians. Most people here have said it’s rare to go more than 10 or 15 seconds without a gap in bike traffic. Often it’s just a matter of letting one bike pass.

  • Moving the bike lane to the far side of the turning lane works very well. This design contains one weak point: there is a spot before the intersection where the cars are expected to cross the bike lane. Still, this sort of design is preferable to asking the cars to cross the bike lane right at the intersection where they are making the turn.

    We have a good example of this kind of arrangment on First Avenue approaching 42nd Street.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/421d0874dbef61428d1d13ed3bf933a48ce28dec1be57a1f0962aa18a9b040dc.jpg

  • Neither of these is a serious or sensible proposal. A series of viaducts above the street is unacceptable because it would blight the landscape; and constructing a network of tunnels below the street is an absolute engineering impossibility.

  • Joe R.

    Viaducts above the sidewalks would look no worse than the construction sheds above sidewalks which are often there for years, even decades, at a time. In fact, you could make them look way better. There might be other reasons not to build them, like cost, but aesthetics is never a good reason. By that reasoning we should knock down all the els because they blight the streets under them far more than any bicycle viaduct might. Besides that, most NYC arterials aren’t things of beauty to start with. I can see the case for not building these things in historic or residential areas but in most of the parts of NYC where they might make sense (i.e. above major arterials or expressways) the area is already ugly. Done right, the viaduct might actually improve things.

  • Joe R.

    If you want to fight for ADA where it might do the most good, start with the subway instead of the streets. Last I checked most sidewalks have curb cuts. However, the vast majority of subway stations still aren’t ADA accessible.

    Better yet, let’s start looking at mobility devices which let the disabled navigate as well as the able-bodied. Boston Robotics has done some great work in this area which could be applied to mobility devices. For example, imagine devices like those shown in the video below which are fitted with a chair. They could navigate stairs, basically go anywhere an able-bodied person could go. We could save a ton on money by avoiding the need to retrofit existing infrastructure for ADA access.

  • Joe R.

    Improvements which make cycling safer generally also calm traffic. That in turn makes it safer for people on foot or in wheelchairs. There is no “either/or” issue here.

  • Joe R.

    There should be places dedicated to cycling only, where cyclists can go at whatever speed they like for as long as they like.

    And yet you consistently come out against any ways to accomplish that, like grade-separated bicycle infrastructure. It would be great if we had the room on the surface to route non-stop bike routes, but in this crowded city in most places we really don’t. That’s the same reason we decided to build the subways above or below grade over a century ago.

    As for the greenway, we should seriously consider elevating the parts from roughly 100th St. down to Battery Park City. Those are the parts which are too crowded for their own good.

  • Aesthetics should always be one of the main factors in any consideration of what to build and where.

    And els do blight the landscape, creating unpleasant shadows and noise. I happen to live under a relatively benign example on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven; but, for example, someplace like Westchester Avenue in the Bronx under the 5 train is a terrible place to be.

    This doesn’t mean that we should get rid of elevated trains; but we sure shouldn’t build any more of them along city streets.

    Furthermore, elevated trains appear only on a handful of streets; by contrast, your proposal is for bike viaducts on just about every street. The enormous amount of shadows that this would cast on the ground would be unacceptable.

    And then there’s the issue of the climb that would be necessary for bicyclists to get up to this imagined viaduct network. There are only two choices: 1) make the approaches short, which would result in extreme steepness, or 2) keep the grade of the climb low, which would result in long approaches that would multiply the already intrusive footprint.

    Finally, the idea of separating bicyclists from the life of the street is absurd. Business owners have come to accept bike lanes because these merchants understand that opening up the streets to more bicyclists is conducive to getting people to discover and patronise their businesses, as I myself have done on several occasions (including yesterday).

    On this score it would be preferable to send the cars underground and leave the streets for bicycles; but, as I mentioned, this is an impossible task from the engineering and construction standpoints.

    It’s perfectly fine to engage in fantasy; but please do not try to pass off that unrealistic fantasising as sensible real-world proposals.

  • Joe R.

    Every street? No, I think we just need them above major arterials. The side streets are fine for getting to your final destination once you get off the arterials.

    I’ve already solved the issue of climbing. You have a ramp go up about 6 feet, turn 180 degrees, go up another 6 feet, turn again, and go up the last 6 feet. To climb 6 feet with an acceptable grade of 15% only requires 40 feet. You put the ramp curbside and sacrifice two parking spots for it. If you want a more acceptable grade of 10% you sacrifice 3 parking spots. Either way you’re not taking sidewalk space. And you lose a lot fewer spots than with a protected bike lane (hence less objections from the motoring crowd).

    Practically speaking, I’d say you just need two of these ramps (one to enter, one to exit) every 3 to 5 blocks, depending upon how many points of interest are below. So you’re losing 4 to 6 parking spots every three to five blocks. The supports can be put somewhere which doesn’t block pedestrian traffic, like right near the curb. Really, there’s hardly any footprint at all on the surface.

    Business owners have come to accept bike lanes because these merchants understand that opening up the streets to more bicyclists is conducive to getting people to discover and patronise their businesses, as I myself have done on several occasions (including yesterday).

    Nothing about this concept precludes cyclists from continuing to ride on the street if they wish. For shorter trips it probably won’t make much sense to bother climbing up, only to come down a short distance later. Those who tend to patronize businesses will likely still be riding in the street. Those going longer distances won’t, but chances are they wouldn’t be stopping to patronize businesses regardless. Local businesses can certainly put signs making cyclists aware of their establishment on the bike route. You might have something like “Joe’s Pizza next exit”.

  • There is enough bicycle traffic on the Greenway to justify the use of lights to allow pedestrians to cross.

    I have seen pedestrians waiting for extended periods while having the green light (where I alone was stopped at the red, while asshole cyclists sped by as though the red light was not there), until the pedestrians try just darting across even as cyclists bear down on them. I mentioned in another comment that it amounts to a game of Frogger. This is demeaning to pedestrians; and it illustrates the ugly side of bicyclists, painting us in a very bad light.

  • Joe R.

    But why bother with lights when neither pedestrians nor cyclists reliably obey them? You may rightly complain about pedestrians forced to wait when they had the light but I’m sure the reverse happens also where you have a stream of pedestrians crossing and cyclists with the light can’t get through. If it’s really this crowded then you need to do what was done in parts of Central Park, namely grade separate. For the convenience of pedestrians you can just make the cyclists go under the crossing. Dig down about 7 or 8 feet, make approach ramps, problem solved without relying on behavioral changes. People on foot still have a level crossing. Everyone is happy.

    As an engineer I can tell it’s very hard to get people to change their behavior. When I design things, I don’t design with the expectation that I can get people to alter the way they do things to use my devices. I just design so my devices work without any changes in their behavior.

  • I am referring to recreational bike facilities, such as the velodrome on Booth Memorial Avenue in Flushing. But for transportation along city streets, bicyclists must accept limitations on speed and also the need to stop for cross-traffic.

    However, it would be nice if all highways had adjacent bike paths that could provide for rapid non-stop transportation. There would be the occasional challenge at exits (in cases where the bike lane is on the right) or at interchanges. Still, bicyclists should have the same option of higway versus streets that drivers have.

  • Joe R.

    Going around in circles doesn’t cut it for most recreational cyclists.

    But for transportation along city streets, bicyclists must accept limitations on speed and also the need to stop for cross-traffic.

    Then we should also accept that we’ll never get bike mode share past single digits. One of the reasons they’ve gotten very high mode share in places like the Netherlands is precisely because they’ve engineered out limitations on speed and the need to stop for cross traffic on many bike routes. The idea is you want to make bike travel safe, and faster than any other mode. That in turn will attract lots of people. Also, non-stop riding is a lot more pleasant, less strenuous, than stop-and-go. That also attracts people.

  • walks bikes drives

    I think Galisteo has a bit of a point. While bine infrastructure is being installed, when the concrete crews are out there doing the pedestrian islands, they should also install ADA ramps if they are not present on the corner. It doesn’t have to be a one or the other.

  • Joe R.

    No argument there but virtually every corner already has the ADA ramps. I’m not sure what streets he’s looking at which are missing them.

  • ahwr
  • walks bikes drives

    I don’t care about the lights so much, myself, and I do often go through them on the Greenway. But I NEVER force a pedestrian to wait for me and ALWAYS yield to all when required, and try to yield to pedestrians even when not required.

  • walks bikes drives

    Where is there a light on the Greenway that is not because of a motor vehicle crossing? There are crosswalks, but I cannot recall any where the light is only a crosswalk.

  • Joe R.

    Maybe they’re slow building these in poorer areas. My area has had them virtually everywhere for ages, probably over two decades.

  • walks bikes drives

    Didn’t look at ahwr’s links, but there is a lot of data out there that NYC is far behind all corners being ADA.

  • It’s been a few months since I have been on the Greenway (because I prefer the avenues), so I don’t remember exactly. But I think there are places where lights are used just to allow pedestrians to cross. I will have to get over there again and check it out.

  • chandru

    Extreme outlier is putting it politely. A menace would be more iike it. So bikes should be allowed 30+mph (MORE thsn the city-wide speed limit?!!) Bikes are unsafe on city streets with their unpredictableness, potholes and pedestrians at anything more than 15mph.

    And why is slowing down at an intersection bad? It’s people like you who give us normal cyclists a bad name.

  • Joe R.

    No offense, but this is complete nonsense. They design for 25 mph or more in the Netherlands and some people actually ride velomobiles on these paths in excess of 40 mph, yet nobody says it’s unsafe.

    Why is it safe for multiton vehicles to go 30 or 35 mph (that’s the defacto speed they travel with the present 25 mph speed limit) but a bike which weighs 200 pounds with the rider is unsafe at more than 15 mph? If that isn’t ass-backwards reasoning then I don’t what is. As for unpredictableness, that has zip to do with the mode and it’s not even a reason. Motorists can drive unpredictably as well. An unpredictable cyclist is dangerous at any speed.

    And why is slowing down at an intersection bad?

    I’ll offer the converse, which is why should it even be necessary with properly designed bicycle infrastructure?

    It’s people like you who give us normal cyclists a bad name.

    And people who say garbage like bicycles shouldn’t go over 15 mph are helping to prevent wider adoption of them as a mode of transport. Guess what? Travel time matters to most people. It’s second only to safety. When you say bicycles shouldn’t go over 15 mph (which means they hit red lights every two or three blocks on most streets), you’re basically saying cyclists should have to deal with average travel speeds not much faster than walking, perhaps slower on really bad streets. Or they have to go through red lights and risk tickets to maintain any kind of reasonable travel speed. That’s supposed to get people riding bikes???

    Look at what is done in countries with high bicycle mode share. And don’t just look at what they do in a few select cases in the most congested parts of their cities. Look at what they’ve done everywhere. Newflash, speeds over 15 mph are not only designed for and expected, but they’re often reached in practice.

  • Joe R.

    I think walks bikes drives is correct. I just went all the way from Battery Park City to the 70s in Google Earth pedestrian view. The only place I saw traffic signals on the greenway was where there were motor vehicle crossings. Being that those are sporadically used, the lights should really be triggered only when a sensor detects a motor vehicle waiting to cross.

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