Vision Zero or Zero Vision? Here It Is, the Craziest Blocked Bike Lane Picture — Ever [Updated]

The photo speaks for itself — and speaks about a DOT employee who should probably be reassigned.

Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Photo: Scott Knobler.
Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Photo: Scott Knobler.

Streetsblog has covered taxis in bike lanes. It has covered cops in bike lanes. It has covered drivers doing a lot of crazy stuff.

But the picture above takes away the breath of even the most-jaded activists.

Yes, this is a Vision Zero van parked in a bike lane.

The photo was taken by new Streetsblog hero Scott Knobler on Saturday in the Rockaways. There’s really not much more you can say about it: It’s a picture of a van promoting Mayor de Blasio’s goal of protecting cyclists and pedestrians … by putting cyclists at risk by making them maneuver into the car lane or putting pedestrians at risk by forcing cyclists onto the sidewalk.

The photo speaks for itself — and speaks about a city Department of Transportation employee who should probably be reassigned. But I asked Knobler to provide some details because, you never know, maybe there were extenuating circumstances to exonerate the van driver.

Um, no.

“I was mocked and laughed at when I questioned why they were parking there,” Knobler, who posts on Reddit as KingNeptuna, told Streetsblog, repeating a sentiment cyclists know rather well.

In fact, he added, “the people from the van taunted me while the police sat there and watched. … I continued down the bike path and almost got hit head on by a beach cop on a moped…and get this, he yelled at ME! Mopeds do not belong in the bike lane. Law enforcement mopeds in the bike lane. … This should get that guy suspended at best.”

Yeah, well, sure, but one thing at a time. I reached out to the DOT and the NYPD’s 100th Precinct to see if the van driver was fired or at least ticketed, and I’ll update the story if I hear back.

Update: Here’s the statement from DOT…

While this van was at the location for the unloading of equipment and materials provided by Vision Zero safety street teams, it should not have been there. We will be mindful of vehicle placement at such events and the appropriate unit addressed this matter with the driver.

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Yesterday the 104th Precinct, in Queens, tweeted a photo of officers giving a ticket to a cyclist. The precinct deleted the tweet when it triggered blowback from street safety advocates, but you can see it at the end of this post. “Bicyclists are no exception to Vision Zero,” it read. “Ride safe!” If NYPD’s goal is encouraging cyclists […]