Eyes on the Street: Drivers Destroyed a Protected Bike Lane … in 24 Hours!
Why can’t have nice things? Drivers.
A short stretch of post-protected bike lane on 13th Street near Third Avenue in Manhattan was completely destroyed within 24 hours by drivers who can’t stomach the idea of abiding by a new traffic configuration installed to protect vulnerable road users who are not encased in 2,000 pounds of steel.
It all started on Feb. 26, when Streetsblog posted an image of heroic DOT workers installing the much-needed protections across from the Brazen Fox pub. The stiffer bollards can save the lives of bicyclists, but also deter drivers from entering the bike lane.
Well, we thought!. One day later, a Friend of Streetsblog who posts as Choresh2, revealed trouble in paradise:
24 hours later. @NYC_DOT please put concrete. Plastic is meaningless, waste of money pic.twitter.com/WVJArxb5Eu
— Choresh (@Choresh2) February 26, 2020
By Friday morning or afternoon (a smarter person could figure it out from the shadows), there was more pain. As Bob Manix-Cramer’s tweet shows (below Shmuli Evers’s earlier post from a neighboring block), two flexiposts had already been destroyed, with two more ailing:
Yea that didn't last long (13th and 3rd) pic.twitter.com/5Sdp4o70Lt
— Bob Manix-Cramer (@bobman32) February 28, 2020
By Friday at 6:50 p.m., another photo from Choresh2 revealed that the protection was now almost entirely gone.
What time did you take that?
— Streetsblog New York (@StreetsblogNYC) February 29, 2020
It’s difficult not to be discouraged, given how drivers are allowed to destroy public infrastructure with no punishment or even public stigma. Indeed, the entitlement of the driving class and the second-class status of cyclists and pedestrians is omnipresent: reckless drivers are encouraged by their neighbors in Staten Island; parking is free on virtually every side street in the city, causing double-parking and unsafe conditions for everyone else; garbage piles up on sidewalks every afternoon because the city will not reallocate curbside space for communal containers; the world-renowned Brooklyn Bridge is crowded and dangerous because drivers, who are the minority of bridge users, need six lanes so they can speed between Brooklyn and Manhattan; drivers kill pedestrians and cyclists with carelessness and recklessness yet are rarely charged; the city is now contemplating spending $11 billion to fix an aging highway rather than eliminating it or reducing its capacity to inhibit driving; the NYPD continues to crack down on cyclists more than on truck drivers; Mayor de Blasio is considering a less-safe design for cyclists on Queens Boulevard because he doesn’t want to inconvenience car owners; the list goes on and on.
Is the above an editorial? No. It is objective fact.
Meanwhile, drivers can’t so much as respect a short stretch of protection for cyclists. No, they have to destroy it in 24 hours.
Streetsblog reached out to DOT on Saturday, but does not expect a response on a weekend.