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Tuesday’s Headlines: Widen the Bike Lanes! Edition

12:03 AM EDT on May 30, 2023

Nine photos, one conclusion.

Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. has once again set the agenda: Widen New York's bike lanes.

Now, Eckerson has already established himself at the forefront of the movement to give cyclists more space, thanks to previous work documenting how the numbers of bicyclists and drivers are often roughly the same on certain roadways, even though car drivers are given more than three-quarters of the space.

But this week's film goes in depth. It's must-see Streetfilms:

Mentioned, but not stressed in Eckerson's film is that it's not only the number of cyclists that is causing concern — it's the varying modes that are making the roads less safe. When there were only pedal-powered bikes, cyclists could pass each other fairly safely. But now that there are standard acoustic bikes traveling at around eight to 10 miles per hour being passed by e-bikes going 20-25 miles per hour, close passing is much more dangerous.

That's why we'll reiterate our call not only for wider lanes, but additional lanes for all the many forms (and speeds) of micromobility.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez seems to agree, albeit without a timeline:

“Wider bike lanes can make cycling more comfortable and social, encouraging the amazing growth we’ve seen in cycling and e-micromobility use," he said in a statement to Streetsblog. "DOT took advantage of a recent resurfacing of Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue to try out this first-of-its-kind ‘double-lane’ design before we incorporate similar wider bike lanes into projects beginning this year.”

DOT did say it will continue to look for other opportunities to widen bike lanes as part of the city's “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” initiative to support safe e-micromobility use. Initially, DOT will look to create wider lanes on uphill stretches, where motorized vehicles tend to pass human-powered bikes.

Can't wait!

In other news:

    • The best story of the weekend was from Daily News cop bureau chief Rocco Parascandola, who covered a lawsuit that bared the scandal of police "courtesy" cards. (NYDN)
    • It's time to ask — again — why the OMNY system roll0ut is so flawed and expensive. (NY Post)
    • Big data, big deal: The city will conduct a study of transit patterns using people's cellphone data. (NY Post)
    • The mayor took heat for a Memorial Day speech that quoted Thomas Jefferson (which he's done before) and also condemned socialism. (NY Post)
    • Unlicensed drivers — can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em! (NYDN, NY Post, both incurious; the coverage in amNY suggested that maybe the driver was using a fake plate). Gothamist pushed it further by covering Charles Barron's demand for safety infrastructure.
    • A bill to eliminate paper temp tags has passed the Texas Senate. (NBC5)
    • Manhattanhenge is back — tonight at 8:12 p.m. (NYDN)
    • A 2019 crash involving an off-duty cop now has a damning piece of evidence: the cop had just come from a bar! (NYDN)
    • And, finally, if you're missing our weekly "Temp Tag Tuesday" series, we're sad to say it's run its course. Click here for the archive of our old man editor's efforts to shame state officials into action.

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