Mr. Mayor: Welcome to Every Single Unprotected Bike Lane in Your City

Friend of Streetsblog Jake Schmidt's time-lapse video shows what happens when a single truck blocks an unprotected bike lane.
Friend of Streetsblog Jake Schmidt's time-lapse video shows what happens when a single truck blocks an unprotected bike lane.

Maybe he was just making the “de Blasio stop”!

Friend of Streetsblog Jake Schmidt sent us a time-lapse video of the supposedly protected Second Avenue bike lane being completely ruined by illegally parked trucks — two days after the NYPD started what it claimed would be a ticketing crackdown on drivers who endanger cyclists. Schmidt said the video was filmed for 20 minutes on July 3 and shows the block between 50th and 51st streets.

Watch the snippet below and count along as we tabulate how many cyclists are forced into the roadway, first by the rogue white van and then by a succession of other vehicles who follow its dastardly lead (you’ll want to use the sound, too, as Schmidt picked the perfect accompanying music):

In all, we counted 32 cyclists or scooter riders forced into traffic, several in extremely dangerous fashion as trucks pulled in front of or behind the rogue white van, which remained in place throughout, unticketed.

“Here we are, a week into Bill de Blasio’s three-week ‘major enforcement action’ against NYC bike lane violations. Let’s stop by Second Avenue and see how it’s going!” Schmidt tweeted with the video.


  • Is the dashed line indicating that the second truck parked legally? IE, is that the flexible parking lane?

  • Blwndrpwrmlk


    And I knew they would play that Monty Python music!

  • Note that the big truck parks properly. This undoubtedly influences the truck with the cannister to do likewise.

    But, after that truck leaves, the driver of truck with the cannister moves into bike lane, imitating the driver of the van that is already there. And two other drivers, seeing vehicles parked in the bike lane, do the same.

    This illustrates the power of setting an example. One driver doing something right can exert a force for good; and every act of driver lawbreaking promotes more of the same. For this reason, I suggest always thanking a truck driver who is not blocking the bike lane, as we want to encourage this form of good behaviour that will likely be copied by other drivers.

  • It’s the Benny Hill music.

  • Simon Phearson

    It would be the “flexible parking lane,” depending on the time of day.

  • Simon Phearson

    It really should be emphasized that several of the cyclists trying to get around these obstructions in the lane are doing exactly the same thing that other cyclists who have recently been killed were doing. That is, those cyclists’ deaths are the result of tolerating precisely this behavior.

    It’s not evident in this video, but what’s also the case here is that traffic on Second Avenue is intense and fast through here, meaning that the hard veer right to get around these trucks and vans is a veer into speeding traffic, itself a significant source of risk.

  • Blwndrpwrmlk

    Thanks! I had a feeling I was wrong, always forget his name.

  • I think that many English people consider Benny Hill to be embarassingly crude. I do not agree with this assessment; while he is certainly no comedy genius, his songs were very clever.

  • Andy S

    The “Benny Hill” music is by Boots Randolph.

  • even flex bollards would make a huge difference here. they cost about 20 dollars per. they can be put in overnight. as simon points out below, all of this would protect people FROM THINGS THAT KILL PEOPLE.

    too much to ask.

  • Vooch

    Appears at least 30% of traffic is cyclists.

    perhaps 30% of the roadway should be allocated to cyclists

  • Daphna

    The floating parking, if there is supposed to be such, needs to be marked much more clearly on this street.

  • walks bikes drives

    I thank drivers all the time, but what gets me is that so many of them dont believe I am serious. One driver once told me to “fuck off” and that I had plenty of room to go around him. Made me think that possibly he hadn’t meant to properly double park and thought he was actually blocking the bike lane.

  • Damn, that’s disheartening. I am sorry to hear that.

    I’ve not had that sort of experience. Every driver I have thanked so far has taken kindly to it, responding either with a thumbs up or a fist bump or a handshake.

    So I would say keep giving out the thank-yous. Be sincere and earnest, and most drivers will probably get your intended meaning.

  • thomas040

    Truck slalom, yay! / s

  • thomas040

    you mean instead of 3.5%?

  • thomas040

    do you have a source I can use when I ask the DOT this question on their twitter?

  • homer2101
  • Richard Presutti

    then why ride a bike here? It is too dangerous and most smart people would never even consider it. but that is ok. Let’s ruin the city so the few who do this dumb thing called bike riding in nyc are safe.

  • nobodyweird

    The canister truck was most likely collecting used fryer grease or something similar. The time lapse shows a few frames with a hose running between the building and the truck. If the canister truck were to park “properly” in the floating parking lane, the bikers would have to contend with a 3″ hose, enough to flip an inexperienced CitiBiker… The canister truck should have employed cones into the floating parking lane, allowing bikes to safely pass on to the right. The van should have been ticketed for sure…

  • Vooch

    south of 60th – at least 10% of all traffic are bikes

    on second avenue it’s over 30%

    that suggests the bike lane should be 20 feet wide

  • Vooch

    streets are for people
    not hulking death machines

  • Vooch

    positive reinforcement works wonders

  • Nikki

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  • Simon Phearson

    A ride a bike here because, for most of the ride, it’s perfectly fine, and the risks are manageable. It’s also quicker and more efficient than taking the subway, a lot of the time.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Question: Could they use an inexpensive extending arm (ladders, like boiler trucks do) to go over the lane and sidewalk?

  • That’s Boots Randolph’s Yakety Sax. Philistines!

  • Paula Z. Segal
  • Yes, but calling it “the Benny Hill music” is not wrong. Likewise, the William Tell Overture is the Lone Ranger music.

  • Richard Presutti

    you mean sidewalks are for people. you just exposed your flawed logic…

  • Philip Neumann

    They could also use use those plastic “ramps” that come in two pieces that connect onto/around the hose, for dollys and cyclists to get over the hose.

  • CJ

    There’s nothing flawed about saying “streets are for people.” Since you’re too thick-headed to understand why people bike in NYC, perhaps you’re also too thick-headed to stop and think about how much more efficient it is to move people by bike or bus than by private car in a dense, busy city. If you want streets for cars only, move to the suburbs.

  • Ishamgirl

    Question for the transplants. Where should delivery trucks park if they haven’t been given a designated place to park or there’s no more spaces in their designated place?

    Sick of these effing bike lanes, which cause more harm than good.

  • Richard Presutti

    only fools ride a bike in the city. No one asked for your latino logic

  • Richard Presutti

    it is not smart to do, regardless of anything you say. It is a burden to the rest of us who follow prudent logic. Plus it looks gay.

  • Simon Phearson

    It’s actually very smart to do – like I said, it’s faster, more efficient, and more reliable to boot – and I’m super gay, so it works. I wear the lycra and everything.

  • Vooch

    sorry – but you are so wrong.