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Tuesday’s Headlines: Real Estate Greed Against Good Bike Lane Design Edition

A real estate developer's opposition to the Ashland Place protected bike lane yields some baffling bike lane markings. Plus more news.

Photo: Kathy Park Price|

The bike lane dead-end on Ashland Place.

Real estate developer Two Trees' opposition to the Ashland Place protected bike lanes has yielded one of the most baffling bike lane markings in the city, recently painted by the Department of Transportation.

Try to figure out these lane markings, posted on Twitter by Transportation Alternatives organizer Kathy Park Price:

The city's original design for the intersection of Ashland and Lafayette Avenue routed cyclists directly across Lafayette to a continuation of the two-way protected bike lane. But Mayor Adams nixed the protected bike lane design for Ashland between Lafayette and Hanson Place at the behest of Two Trees, which owns a luxury residential tower on that block.

As a result, cyclists headed towards Atlantic Terminal have to wheel over to the opposite side of the street before crossing Lafayette, a move that, because of oncoming traffic, can only really be executed safely when the light is red. Confusingly, however, there's a traffic light for bikes that beckons two-wheelers to cross Lafayette without attempting the treacherous zigzag.

If you have the green light when you arrive at the intersection, as I did on my way home on Monday, you'll think you have the right-of-way to proceed across Lafayette — only to find your diagonal path to the "correct" directional lane blocked by literally moving vehicles. The arrows imply you should cross over to the opposite curb then cross the intersection. The green light tells you to just ride through. What really happens is somewhere in between.

It doesn't make sense because it's not supposed to make sense. The dangerous, ill-conceived arrangement is the result of politics, not planning, that puts cyclists and car drivers in a confusing situation that's likely to cause collisions. It didn't have to be that way, but this is what Two Trees wanted and this is what Mayor Adams and his team decided it would be.

In its opposition to the protected lane design, Two Trees called the still-unprotected block "very complex... with no easy solutions." Very complex is right, thanks to Two Trees indifference to safety, but the solution is easy: Extend the protected bike lanes south to Hanson Place.

In other news:

  • The Town of Hempstead's congestion pricing lawsuit is rife with bad math and misleading statistics, a hallmark of litigation against the tolls. More important, the lawsuit vastly overstates the number of Nassau County residents who commute into the tolling zone. (Newsday)
  • A 23-year-old pedestrian is fighting for her life after being hit by MTA bus driver. (NY Post, amNY, ABC7)
  • The Times dug up some random expert to assert there's a contradiction between congestion pricing raising money for the MTA and reducing congestion — and Charles Komanoff had the perfect retort:
  • MTA drops its rose-tinted review of its capital construction spending practices. (Daily News)
  • The city will pay $250,000 to sponsor tech industry "Smart City" conference organized by a former employee of the mayor's former chief of staff. (Crain's)
  • You can buy used Revel mopeds on Facebook Marketplace. (Hell Gate)
  • "Long Islanders can't handle the subway." (Tribeca Citizen)
  • Will Eric Adams actually reduce NYC speed limits? (Gothamist)

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