Today’s news:

Bikelash! Cops to crack down on two-wheelers

The Brooklyn Paper

Call it a bikelash!

The NYPD has been ordered to begin a borough-wide crackdown that will hit renegade riders for often-overlooked “vehicular offenses” like failing to obey traffic signals and signs, breaking the speed limit, tailgating, and even failure to signal before turning.

Several police sources said on Tuesday that the strict enforcement of safety and vehicle traffic laws — which apply the same to cars as they do to cycles — will begin in a matter of weeks, and that bicyclists caught breaking those rules will be issued a moving violation.

Two-wheelers were stunned to hear that they had risen on the list of police priorities.

“They should focus on drivers, because frankly drivers have more potential to cause harm than cyclists do,” said Lacey Tauber, a Williamsburg resident and rider.

Cycling activist Baruch Herzfeld predicted that the enforcement policy itself will be “dangerous” and “inefficient” and could further strain relations between the city and cyclists.

“Mayor Bloomberg will have as much luck getting the NYPD to enforce these violations as he did getting the Sanitation Department to shovel this past snowstorm,” said Herzfeld.

Officially, of course, bicycle advocate groups have begrudgingly endorsed the increased enforcement — as long as every driver, in car or on bike — is treated with an even hand by police.

“Cyclists need to obey the law, just like any other street user,” said Caroline Samponaro, a spokeswoman for Transportation Alternatives. “But the NYPD needs to prioritize enforcing the dangerous behavior of all street users, whether they be cyclists or drivers.”

The crackdown comes as more and more people are turning in their Subarus for Schwinns. In 2009, the bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives estimated that more than 236,000 people bicycle across the five boroughs — 28 percent more than the year before.

At the same time, the city has continued its Bicycle Master Plan, which calls for 200 miles of new bike lanes across town in the next three years. Once that’s completed, the Department of Transportation plans to add about 50 miles of bike lane each year until 2030, when it is anticipated that the bike network will be finished.

It also comes as some Park Slopers are lashing out against the city’s bicycle lane program, most recently with protests on Prospect Park West, where the bike lane remains a lightning rod, with opponents complaining that it has made the boulevard less safe for pedestrians.

Indeed, cops say that’s the reason for the coming crackdown: Bicycle accidents are on the rise and people are worried.

“It’s a safety concern,” said one police source, who couldn’t provide any hard data about borough-wide bicycle accidents. “The public feels that we are not strict enough [against bicyclists].”

Police brass said that the public has no reason to fear that the NYPD’s new mission against errant bicyclists will hamper their ability to stop other crimes like murder, rape, muggings, burglar and iPhone thefts.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

VLM from Park Slope says:
Are the cops going to be as zealous in their enforcement of drivers who exceed the speed limit, fail to yield to pedestrians and signal without turning? Cars have the potential to kill pedestrians and do so regularly. Bikes don't. What stupid priorities are at play here.
Jan. 5, 2011, 2:18 am
Mike from Brooklyn Heights says:
If cyclists break traffic laws so frequently, might not some of the laws be broken so often, because they are bad laws that should not apply to cyclists? It doesn't take a genius to see that there are enormous differences between bicycles and motorized vehicles road usage? Motorized vehicles are far more dangerous!

Its strange how protection of specifically iphones is listed alongside serious crimes like murder and rape in the last sentence of the article.
Jan. 5, 2011, 7:45 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
NYC made over $900 million in parking tickets in 2009, and I'm sure they made around that again last year. Right now, bikers are the low hanging fruit that will be the next revenue boost for the city.

The only untapped source of income left will be pedestrians, who will eventually be blitzed with jaywalking and other tickets to raise yet more $$$.
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:40 am
Steve from Park Slope says:
I'm sure the twins and young mother hit on 45th St in Brooklyn and the 3-year-old boy thrown from his stroller after being hit by a van on Kent Ave will be happy to know that justice is being served by the focus on bicycles.

Bikes should obey the law, but where's the sense of priorities?
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:13 am
right back at you from crown heights says:
time for bicycle activists to pull out their Flips and start videotaping the cops in all their hypocritical, traffic law-breaking glory.

It's easy to tape police cars parked in bike lanes, downtown BK is a good place to start. Be sure to pass over the cops standing around on the sidewalk with their cups of coffee, lest someone thing that they're parked there because they're actually doing something. Might be hard to catch their constant red light running on video, but filming the squad cars in motion would at least yield some failure to signal violations becuase, cops never, EVER use a blinker.

I'm picturing a few youtube compilation videos, maybe a city council hearing... who's with me?
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:19 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
About time!

Bikers have all the rights and none of the responsibilities.

Mike you are right, riding on the sidewalk, blowing lights, riding without lights after dark while wearing hip black clothing are bad laws - lets have anarchy on wheels!
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:20 am
Scott Baker from Manhattan says:
....or, you could just bike on the Greenways. No traffic lights (well, a few), no cars, few streets to cross, if any. Straight, paved and mostly scenic routes for bikers, walkers, runners and even commuters. The police may treat bikers like cars, but we are not car drivers, and physical reality cannot be denied. I'd just as soon not co-mingle with cars if I can help it.
Now, if they'd just CLOSE THE GAP by the U.N. and save an average of ~1 biker life/year in that area, when taking the official detour.
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:31 am
M to the I from Brooklyn says:
The NYPD will also now require bicyclists to have rear view and side view mirrors, turn signals and brake lights, an emergency brake, horn, seat belts, and an air bag or face fines or getting towed.
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:35 am
Omri from Boston says:
And on the day ty're irucd to crack own on the gave thread bikers, another toddler is left in critical condition by a hit and run driver:

"A 3-year-old boy was in grave condition Tuesday after he was struck by a van on a Brooklyn street, authorities and witnesses said.

The child's 13-year-old sister was pushing him in a stroller across Kent Ave. in Williamsburg when a white van turned from Flushing Ave. and swiped the toddler about 6 p.m., witnesses said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/01/04/2011-01-04_3yearold_girl_hit_by_van_is_in_critical_condition_after_being_thrown_from_stroll.html#ixzz1AAoxVvI9"

Glad the Police have the right priorities.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:04 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
In the Motor Vehicle safety world...people pushing strollers in front of them are called "testing traffic"...these types of accidents occur way to often are are SOMETIMES caused by the driver and SOMETIMES caused by the person pushing the stroller especially when its a nine year old that doesn't know better after watching what their parents do all the time(watch most parents on any corner waiting for the light they are standing on the sidewalk and the stroller is on the pavement already- "testing traffic".

Both Bike drivers and car drivers need to obey the law. Speeding cars need to be ticketed and slown down(traffic calming) and bike riders need lights on at night to improve their visibility. But if you stand on almost any corner in NY, the people disobeying the law are pedestrians, bike riders and then people in motor vehicles in that order. Yes when a bike or pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle-no matter who is legally wrong- its generally not the motor vehicle driver who is injured...and that is always a tragedy(not suggesting that it should be the driver either).
and do you have any idea how many motor vehicle drivers are ticketed every day in NY? Its in the thousands. Go sit in traffic court on any day and listen to them(its open to the public)...
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:18 am
Marty Barfowitz from An Outer Borough says:
Let's get real, Gersh. Park Slopers are not lashing out against the PPW bike lane. The recent demonstration and the Lander/Levin/CB6 survey showed very clearly that Park Slopers are overwhelmingly supportive of the redesign of PPW. It's a small group of entitled, wealthy, elite and politically influential PPW residents who are lashing out against the bike lane.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:26 am
Omri from Boston says:
" In the Motor Vehicle safety world...people pushing strollers in front of them are called "testing traffic".."

And traffic continues to fail the test. Drivers need to stop for pedestrians. End. Of. Story. If you can't stop in time, you were going too damn fast.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:46 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Maybe in Boston. If it was the law in NY you would need to go a mile an hour. When a car hits a pedestrian its always the pedestrian the loses. But common courtesy from both will help. Someone was killed on a limited access highway...is that an exception to your rule....
do you really drive like that?
People run in front of cars(they have videos sometimes)....
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:59 am
Lawrence from Park Slope says:
I am pro-biking, walking and mass transit. I'm pleased I got rid of my automobile three years ago. That said, I think the biking community could benefit from learning the rules of the road-traffic safety.

The devil-may-care New York attitude often translates into dangerous biking activity such as not signaling for turns; running red lights and stop signs, speeding and other common infractions and violations of the law.

It is time for the rules and laws of the road to also apply to the brave and ecologically conscious bikers of the borough. Drop the attitude and get with the SAFETY PROGRAM.

Jan. 5, 2011, 10:59 am
Omri from Boston says:
"Maybe in Boston. If it was the law in NY you would need to go a mile an hour."

Oh, baloney. New Yorkers are no faster on their feet than Bostonians. If you're driving too fast to react to erratic behavior from someone on the side of the road, you are driving too fast. And if 1 MPH is too fast for your response times, then it's time to take away your driver's license.
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:03 am
David from Reality says:
"Right back at you," I'M WITH YOU
but I'm a little bit tech-lame. I have been wondering how I would handle/store/edit all the data that would result from daily flip-filming of my bike rides. email me at ddartley [a'} gggmmmaaiill
(domain and "@" deliberately messed with).
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:04 am
Lolcat from Park Slope says:
Ticket cyclists for riding the wrong way down one way streets and not having lights at night. Not following these rules is the biggest danger to themselves and others.

Not obeying red lights (aka treating them as rolling stop signs) is often safer for the cyclist and pedestrians. Change the law.

The amount of car violations I see every day that seriously impact everyones quality of life is ridiculous. Why just today I saw a livery cab honk at the turning car in front of him BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T DRIVE THROUGH PEDESTRIANS. WHERE WAS THAT TICKET? Not to mention the entitlement of car drivers who think that they can double park because there is snow in parking spaces. You want to park, DIG OUT A ——ING SPACE. every one of those lazy bums should have been ticketed.

Step up enforcement of cars and we will have a budget surplus.
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:10 am
Lori from brooklyn says:
I think that bikes should be ticketed just like cars and the city should enforce that bikers have to have license and registration just like cars , since they just disobey the law and hurt people and flee, just like I saw the other day.
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:46 am
Steve from Park Slope says:
Does the author of this article read the Brooklyn Paper? The PPW bike lane is a hit with all but a tiny majority of local residents.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/50/ps_bikelanesurvey_2010_12_10_bk.html
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:25 pm
Alex from Bensonherst says:
It's about time something got done about this. Bikers tend to behave in a manner that says "I own the road, and I'm privileged". Most car-bike accidents happen due to the biker's reckless riding - not due to the car driver's. I see this every day. Bikers that don't stay on the lane, swerve in and out, don't signal before a turn, etc. A bike is a vehicle. It may not be a motor vehicle, but it's still a vehicle. It needs to obay ALL vehicle-related laws. Stop at stop signs, don't ride facing traffic, signal a turn, give right-of-way, and so on. If you dont' - better a ticket today than the morgue tomorrow.
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:25 pm
Jym from PLG says:
=v= Since the police are supposedly going to be all Even Steven, 50/50, totally Fair and Balanced, etc., I presume the 78th Precinct is going to tow all those cars that they themselves park in the bike lane on Bergen, between 6th Avenue and Flatbush. It's only fair, right?
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:26 pm
oh no from an outer borough says:
I can't wait until my 10 year old comes home from riding his bike to the store and says, "I just got a speeding ticket and the policeman told me that if I don't pay it they are going to boot my bike! Dad, what does boot my bike mean?"
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:28 pm
Sally from Greenpoint says:
I think that pedestrians should be ticketed for jaywalking, just like any law and the city should enforce that pedestrians have a license and registration just like cars to walk, since they just disobey the law and hurt people and flee, just like I saw the other day.

Most car-pedestrian accidents happen due to the pedestrian's reckless walking - not due to the car driver's. I see this every day. Pedestrians that jaywalk, listen to music, talk in the phone, don't pay attention, etc.
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:35 pm
Lolcat from park slope says:
LOL@ Alex,

"I own the road, and I'm privileged" = what drivers think.

Cyclists cannot think this or we die... Try commuting via bicycle and you will see.

Additionally I was hit by a car that didn't heed my right of way aka caused by the drivers reckless driving. Nothing is more surreal than watching someone clearly paying no attention drive right into you. (since I cannot believe I own the road, I would of done anything possible to avoid the accident, I guess assuming cars heed traffic laws was an error on my part)

Quoting a pedestrian that ran over to help "Don't worry, I saw the whole thing, it was completely his fault"

I could hit someone going as fast as I can and the would not fly 10-15yds IN ANY CASE. Cars are a danger to everyone, bikes are primarily a danger to themselves. The laws need to reflect that more than anything.
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:48 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Everyone should follow the law. This is not a big deal.
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:50 pm
Eddie Mazz from Bay Ridge says:
Car drivers need to understand Bicycles have the Right to the Road! I was told this morning after being cut off into a snow drift by this driver "Ride on the Sidewalk!?" I caught up to this driver at a red light and said "You almost killed me!" he said "Get a Car!" An officer behind Me in his squad car saw the whole thing and did Nothing!! Just another day on the streets of Brooklyn! And FYI, I commute on most days from Bay Ridge to Midtown sometimes all the way out to Flushing Queens... Safe Riding and Driving folks!!!
Jan. 5, 2011, 1:53 pm
Resident from of PPW says:
About time!

Bikers have all the rights and none of the responsibilities.

And to those who think I am elitist because I live on Prospect Park West, thank you. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me (not true of course).

Commissioner Sadik-Khan, tear down those bike lanes!
Jan. 5, 2011, 1:55 pm
boof from brooklyn says:
"Most car-pedestrian accidents happen due to the pedestrian's reckless walking."

False -- look at the 2010 NYC DOT report supplement at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped_safety_study_action_plan_technical_supplement.pdf

Table 1-4 shows that in serious pedestrian crashes, the driver of the motor vehicle was responsible for the top contributing factors in 78.5% of the cases.
Jan. 5, 2011, 1:57 pm
Jenifer from Greenpoint says:
Thank god it is about time !!

Those on bikes are out of control!! and have been for awhile. They don't care about anyone else on the street than themselves.

Traffic laws and rules of the road don't seem to apply to them. The enforcement can't come soon enough.

And for all those who think it will take away from car rule enforcement, it will probably make it even better.
Jan. 5, 2011, 2:06 pm
Sid from boerum Hill says:
In NY City a jay walking ticket is....$2.00(yes two dollars)...it hasn't been increased and should be.

everyone would be better off if everyone obeyed the law...like that is going to happen.
Jan. 5, 2011, 2:12 pm
Sid from boerum Hill says:
BTW in Europe, bikers follow the law AND they have separate bike lanes(mostly)...it works very well.....except when US tourist walk on the bike lanes...
Jan. 5, 2011, 2:13 pm
Bill from Bay Ridge says:
This is insane. There needs to be sensible priorities and a ticket blitz on bikes is only going to discourage a form of transportation that needs encouragement. Sure there is bicycle behavior that is dangerous and should be targeted such as riding the wrong way, riding on the sidewalk or riding at night without lights. But why do I fear that the police will go after the easier and sillier rules such as stop signs and red lights. Those are red herrings folks. Bikes are not cars and the safest way to treat lights and stop signs is a variation of the "Idaho stop" where a cyclist pauses, yields and proceeds only if it is safe.

And, to those like Alex, who think that bikers are privileged and own the road, please come out and ride with me just once and you will quickly understand why that is such inane statement.

The venom and vitriol from some towards bikers is just so out of proportion to reality. The danger on the road comes from motor vehicles (and btw, I driver regularly and own a car). Significant number of people are not be killed or maimed by bikes - they are by cars and trucks. And public safety should be the the basis of the prioritization of enforcement.
Jan. 5, 2011, 2:18 pm
Spell-checker from Brighton Beach says:
"Police brass said that the public has no reason to fear that the NYPD’s new mission against errant bicyclists will hamper their ability to stop other crimes like murder, rape, muggings, burglar and iPhone thefts."

"burglaries"
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:08 pm
DG from UWS says:
Well said Bill.

The vitriol has no relation to reality. Go to streetsblog.org and look at the people who died in NYC this year. None of them were killed by a cyclist! Almost all of them died because of motor vehicles. Enough said.

The anti-cycling sentiment is a reaction to the perceived attitute of cyclists on the road (mentioned earlier "they think they own the road"). But what these anti-cycling people don't consider is that the cyclist is a person using a public space while trying to avoid death; which forces them to break laws designed for "vehicles" 1000 times their weight! Some understanding of this would be nice.

Pedestrians walk against walk signals all the time. Why? Because its inconvenient to stand there when no cars are coming. And yet, there are daredevil pedestrains who cross regardless, and they put other people at risk. My point here is: if some pedestrians break rules, why are ALL cyclists bad? The jerks ruin it for everyone. These, in any form of transport, should be humiliated by everyone else's respect for one another.

Yes, some cyclists do things that put pedestrians at risk, and I doubt NYPD will do a good job differentiaiting. Here's to safer streets for nobody.
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:19 pm
DG from UWS says:
and SID, enforcement is important but it's not a magic pill.
-------
Economic realities need to come to bear on road use as well. Public education on road use and social pressure to behave responsibly could increase. There's lots of things that could change but getting rid of bike lanes will not give you safer streets. Bike lanes keep streets safer for pedestrians. It's like the whole traffic circle concept. Introduce complexity and human judgement, and you create an environment that is diificult to enforce, but easier to run itself correctly.
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:30 pm
Peter from Brooklyn says:
This is completely misguided law enforcement policy. Bad driving is real danger to public safety on the streets. Literally thousands of people get killed or injured every year in Brooklyn because of drivers' disregard of traffic laws. Yet there is virtually no enforcement of traffic rules for cars and trucks in NYC, so reckless driving, speeding, red light running, etc. are rampant. The purpose of enforcing the law is to protect the public, so the cops should focus their efforts on the greatest risks to public safety.
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:37 pm
George says:
Good, it's about time!
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:53 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Hey DG I never said enforcement is a panacea but it really does help along with education and simple common courtesy...
as the NY PD learned enforcement of even minor offenses makes a big difference. Red light cameras do too.
The NYPD has enforcement sweeps against cars too where they enforce every arcane rule. They do tend to get the real bad drivers more than the casual one(I hate to tell you how many unlicensed operators they pick up on these. You would think that people without licenses would be super careful but they are not.
The PD has been enforcing against motor vehicle drivers as I said sit in any traffic adjudication office any day and watch....
BTW its generally know that the two worst group of drivers are the PD themselves(the police know this and remind the cops about their bad driving all the time) and doctors. Its not their tactile driving skills, its their belief that the rules don't apply to them....for various reasons(the police because they get away with it although that is not as bad as it used to be) and the doctors because they just think they should be given a pass...sounds like the people on bikes and motorbikes doesn't it...
Jan. 5, 2011, 3:57 pm
DG from UWS says:
sounds like the people on bikes and motorbikes doesn't it...

No, actually it doesn't because they are not driving a two-ton vehicle that kills people. Responsibility increases as a function of potential to cause harm.
Jan. 5, 2011, 4:15 pm
Steve F from Park Slope says:
The cops don't have a clue about how to enforce traffic safety with motorists.
That toddler that was injured on Kent Ave was hit by a TURNING van. Pedestrians crossing with the light ALWAYS have the right-of-way over turning vehicles. That driver's turn was performed illegally, going too fast and/or failing to yield.

So the NYPD will now practice their traffic enforcement skills on something they can catch - bicyclists.
When they get that right, maybe the cops will move up to enforcing the traffic laws for motor vehicle operators.

If you believe that,
do you want to buy a bridge?

We don't pay enough for the cops we need,
and we pay too much for the cops we got.
Jan. 5, 2011, 4:16 pm
Maggie from Manhattan says:
I have no problem as a biker with obeying traffic laws. I bike the streets of NY every day except in really bad weather so I see a lot of violations by cars, bikes and pedestrians on a regular basis. If the police would focus equally on all the above everyone wins. Why single out bikers? For instance. Why are delivery bikers not stopped from using motorized bikes in the bike lanes? They are always going the wrong way, with no helmut, no lights at night and they aren't even bikers. I still see many drivers using cell phones while driving. I see many drivers running red lights. I see pedestrians standing off the curb in active traffic lanes all the time. To the NYC Police Department I would suggest observing and correcting all that is in plane sight rather then focusing on a single group.
Jan. 5, 2011, 4:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Will you cyclists please stop acting like victims to the rules. If us drivers have to follow them, and most of us do, then so do you. Otherwise, you could lose all of your infrastructure when the next administration comes in. I find it ironic that you guys want so much stict enforcements on drivers followed to every letter of the law, but when it comes to you cyclists, you cry foul. I am glad that CBS covered those that were breaking the laws, so thank you Bike Bedlam for being the Wikileaks for this. BTW, you already got Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer now having second thoughts after hearing this, and he originally trusted you all on for this. The more you Streetsbloggers act like this, the more enemies you will make in the long run. While we are at it, let's have bicycles licensed, regiesterd, and insured if you really want to use the roads like us drivers are doing right now. The only thing I hear against this are those who don't want to be held repsonsible, accountable, or even liable for their actions in that they want to get away with what they do.
Jan. 5, 2011, 6:47 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Let's first start by getting rid of at least 90% of traffic lights. When you have traffic lights on nearly every block timed for car speeds, you're not going to get reasonable compliance among either pedestrians or cyclists. How can you if obeying the law here reduces average cycling speeds to walking speeds, or worse ( and also exceeds the energy reserves of most cyclists )? Fact is NYC has installed probably 10 times as many traffic lights as are needed from a traffic safety standpoint, and also far too many stop signs when yield signs will do. Until this infrastructure problem is fixed, it makes no sense to force cyclists to obey laws they physically can't ( try stopping and starting 100 times in a 10 mile trip ).

It's also a question of priorities. Bicycles don't merit this type of enforcement campaign simply because statistically they're not a major public health threat. It's disingenous to say enforcing petty laws against bicycles won't impact enforcement of more important laws because it will unless the NYPD is grossly overstaffed ( in which case layoffs are in order ). The murder rate is already up this year, presumably partly because police wasted manpower giving out over 20,000 sidewalk cycling tickets last year. These tickets didn't decrease sidewalk cycling, didn't help public safety, so what was the point? And if you really do have extra enough police to deal with both serious crimes and petty nonsense as the NYPD claims, then it's time to help the budget by laying off the extra cops who are doing nothing valuable from a public safety standpoint. Ticketing any but the most dangerous cyclists is a waste of police manpower by any perspective. So is ticketing jaywalking pedestrians or motorists going a few mph over the speed limit for that matter.
Jan. 5, 2011, 7:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here is a little history lesson about the traffic lights for those who don't know about them. They were first invented in 1923 by Garret Morgan. The reason for this was so that police officers or crossing guards didn't always have to be in the middle of major intersections all the time as the lights would help direct them. BTW, the original traffic lights did not have a yellow light, just red and green only. At first it was just major interections that had them, but it later on expanded throughout cities, towns, and even villages. Keep in mind that bicycles have their own traffic lights as well as of right now, and they were not designed to be decorations. If drivers are not allowed to run red lights, then neither should cyclists. Doing a rolling stop in big city like NYC is actually very dangerous and is placing one in harm's way. As for laws, bicycles are already recquired to follow the same laws as other motor vehicles in many cities and states, so don't act as if this law doesn't exist no matter how pointless it is. Bicycles migth be saving the Earth by giving off no emissions, but that doesn't give them a right to flout the traffic laws on a regular basis.
Jan. 5, 2011, 7:50 pm
Frederic Schultz from Midwood says:
Biking is hard enough in the city. Cars, and especially city owned-and-operated busses, do not respect you, and often almost kill you. When bikers run red lights, no car is nearby, so really no danger. The car drivers are just jealous that we can keep up w/ them if we run red lights. If every street had a biking lane, I can see enforcing the rules. Until then, bikers and bladers are in extreme danger, and should be allowed to make any maneuver to keep the cars and busses (one of which killed a good friend in LA a few yrs ago!) as far away as possible! And signalling is often dangerous for bikers, making us take one hand off the bars, thus unstable! - F
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:03 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Sorry Tal, but other cities don't use traffic lights to the extent NYC does, especially in the outer boroughs. It's become a disease in this city. The reasons for this are due to overly influential communty boards being granted traffic lights as pet projects even in intersections where they're not needed. Just look where many unnecessary lights are located to see which groups are most influential getting this done. Also, DOT engineers are heavily influenced to recommend traffic lights even in cases where they're not needed because certain contractors who make/maintain these lights have connections. The whole thing is really just another City Time-like scandal which has yet to be uncovered.

As for rolling stops, they will work just fine in NYC for any competent cyclist, and should be allowed. If a cyclist doesn't feel comfortable doing this, that's fine. "Idaho stop" laws simply give the cyclist the option of treating a red light like a yield sign. They don't require that they do so. A less competent cyclist might still wish to wait out the light, and that's fine.
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:05 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Traffic lights are put on corners based on national standards...not what the community boards want. based on traffic counts. In fact DOT opposed many of them until recently as traffic has gotten much worse than years ago....and drivers stop more for traffic lights than stop signs(go look and see)....

Bike riders run lights even when there are cars around....

its best to separate completely cars/trucks, bikes and pedestrians(that's why we have sidewalks). Europe does this very well, even making the pedestrians use underpasses(which would violate the ADEA in the US)....
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Joe, but I find your statement to be false here. I can say the same thing about bike lanes being a pet projects, and unlike the traffic lights, they aren't used as much as traffic lights that are. BTW, in this country, no level of government can create a society, they can only react to one. Speaking of bike lanes, why are they needed now when they weren't needed then? What's the point of having them when they hardly used to begin with? Could it be to promote congestion pricing by creating the very gridlock itself? I wouldn't be surprised if that's a possibility. Nevertheless, I do support strict enoforcement on bicycles, because I am tired of them always flouting the laws and acting if the rules don't apply to them. I though that it was important to follow the rule, but I guess that doesn't apply to your kind. The way Streetsblog, Tranportation Alternatives, Critical Mass, and other radical cyclist groups act on talking about saying that everyone but them must be subject to the rules is sort of like a parent telling their child that smoking is bad for their health, but they tend to be smoking themselves. In reality, do you practice what you preach, or did you only mean it for others to follow but not yourselves?
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:36 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Yes Sid, the ideal is to completely separate bikes from pedestrians and motor traffic. On other sites, I've even suggested elevated bike lanes as a means to do this. When cyclists can complete 95% of their trip on a path free of lights, it really wouldn't be burdensome to stop for a light or two at either end of their journey. But stopping every 2 or 3 blocks, which is the norm with all these uncoordinated lights, is just ridiculous.

Traffic counts aren't really a valid measure to determine if a light is warranted. In fact, there are almost no circumstances where a traffic light is the best solution. Traffic lights ( and stop signs for that matter ) are based on the assumption that only one road at an intersection should have priority at a time. Rather, it makes more sense to go with uncontrolled intersections where users simply negotiate with each other for priority. This works well wherever it has been tried. The downside is that traffic really can't safely move much faster than about 20 mph under this system but this is a plus in my opinion. The wave of green is what allows motorists to drive at the 50 mph speeds which help kill over 200 people in the city each year.

Traffic circles are another option which is hardly used in NYC but which works very well elsewhere. For polllution reasons alone we don't want cars idling at red lights.
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:43 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal, are the bike lanes being heavily used by cyclists flouting the law, or are they not being used at all ( in which case the former argument is moot )? These two positions are contradictory. Pick a position and stick to it. And by the way, what bearing do bike lanes have on this discussion anyway? I never said they were needed, at least not in their present incarnation where they are borderline useless to any decent cyclist trying to ride to his/her best ability.

And I hold to my position that a lot of the traffic lights are pet projects. Look where many are located. Look at what group wields influence in NYC well beyond its numbers. I did a project several years ago where I had first hand access to some of this information. It's a pity I didn't tape phone conversations and/or scan documents. The whole traffic light thing reeks of a major scandal. Look for example at all the failing pedestrian signals recently which need replacing. More traffic signals = more business for politically-connected companies. Sooner or later the ugly truth of all this will come bubbling to the top.
Jan. 5, 2011, 8:53 pm
Bill from Bay Ridge says:
I drive, I walk and I bike. I have lived in Brooklyn all of my 59 years and this increasing venom directed towards bikers is ridiculous. The reality is that pedestrians probably violate more laws than anyone, since jaywalking is so rampant. But, should there be a major crack-down on jaywalkers - absolutely no way, it would be an asinine deployment of limited essential police services. A regular jaywalker, not distracted by headphones/cell phones etc. is quite safe taking as he or she takes into consideration the reality of traffic patterns. The traffic lights were created for motor vehicles. Without motor vehicles there would be limited need for such signals and pedestrians intrinsically understand this and will cross when it is safe regardless of a light. Further, it is jaywalking to cross in the middle of a block. Tell me one person who ever crosses any street, especially in an outer borough only at the corner. It doesn't happen, because it makes no intrinsic sense.

Bicycles are more similar to pedestrians in this regard, though they should be yielding to pedestrians. Lights and light patterns were not designed and are not appropriate for cyclists other than at major intersections. If you bike, you will have the same intrinsic understanding of this as a pedestrian has regarding jaywalking. This is why variations on Idaho stops are safer and more appropriate. An Idaho stop does not give a cyclist free reign to just blow through a light, the cyclist must still yield the right of way and ride safely, but if there is nothing to yield to, than, just like a jaywalker, it makes no sense to wait or go to the corner to cross. This is the appropriate analogy.

Cars are potential lethal weapons and as such need and must follow a more rigorous set of rules. But the rules established to make motor vehicles safer should not then be imposed (enforced blindly) on non-motorized forms of transportation. And, more importantly, scarce resources (i.e. police) should not be deployed to crack down on a red herring issue that will have no serious impact on safety, but may as an unintended consequence discourage a form of transportation (biking) that should be encouraged.
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:06 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Traffic lights work on any corner where there is a conflict whether there is one priority street or not.
Traffic circles are not good for heavy traffic and have been done away with because they cause many many accidents...(like the old Hawthorne circle or the one on Tonele Avenue in NJ)..

BTW my first title at DMV was Driver Improvement Evaluator(great initials-) until I was promoted to Driver Safety Specialist...but that was a while ago.
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:10 pm
Steve F from Park Slope - BROOKLYN says:
Tal, you know just enough to be dangerous, but not useful.

Yes, traffic signals were introduced in 1923 to replace traffic cops, but you fail to understand the reason that traffic cops or the electric signals were needed. The reason was that motor cars were traveling much faster than prior pedestrian, horse and bicycle traffic on the city streets. Non-motorized traffic moved slowly enough that users could negotiate intersections - generally based on who reached the intersection first, and if even, by right hand user first. Streets were crowded, confused and somewhat dangerous, but overall, it worked.

Motor cars moved so fast - over 25 MPH - that they do not have time to negotiate who goes first at intersections - they cannot see another car coming from around the corner in time to stop or even slow down. These cars needed external controls - traffic cops or traffic signals - to tell them when the way is clear.

Use aircraft flight rules as an example: visual flight rules work fine for small slow planes in clear weather - the pilot looks out the window for route and conflicting planes and move accordingly. At night, in storms and in big fast planes, pilots cannot steer or see other planes through the windshield. They fly under instrument flight rules. The FAA air traffic controllers tell the pilot when and where to go.

This is the same as the driver using the traffic signal approaching an intersection at the NYC 30 MPH speed limit to know when it's clear to go or stop. They are going to fast to wait until they reach the intersection to decide.

Back to non-motorized traffic: bicycles and pedestrians.
These users are still traveling at their same old max speeds of 10 to 20 MPH - bikes more often at average 12 MPH, peds at 3-4 MPH. These speeds are slow enough to slow or stop completely and evaluate cross traffic before entering the intersection. Cyclists slow to 4-8 MPH, able to stop completely if there is cross traffic.

The issue is that our street traffic controls have been optimized since 1923 as instrument flight control for the exclusive benefit of fast motor vehicles. But cars are not the exclusive users of our public street space.

So Sorry, but we are aware you are an overweight physically impaired person who lives in middle Westchester County, so you feel you MUST drive everywhere. We won't get into the question that if you walked more, maybe you wouldn't be so overweight, and could walk more. No, it's just that you are questioning how the streets of NYC should be allocated between motorized and non-motorized travelers, and aggressively denying safe access to non-motorized modes, because it conflicts with your comfort and convenience.

Yes, it's boiled down to cyclists and pedestrian safety versus you overweight butt's comfort in your car. You seem surprised that cyclists are so concerned about their safety over your comfort.

Today, we are finally returning the streets closer to the traffic controls for slower non-motorized traffic, and reducing the excessive attention to moving the last possible car at the highest possible speed down our streets. You are right, it's a change to you, but long overdue.

It is coming to Westchester too. There are many of your neighbors who are wondering why they have to spend $5,000 to $10,000 a year to keep a car when a bicycle will get them where they need to go. Your streets will be made bicycle friendly.
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:18 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
I used the wrong initials its the ADA not the ADEA...sorry about that...
Jan. 5, 2011, 9:34 pm
Steve F from Park Slope says:
Sid,
ADA does not forbid underpasses, but they must have slopes that meet wheelchair standard grades, not too steep and not steps. That's hard and expensive to do right but not impossible.

However, European cities have been changing away from the post war era of massive high speed auto boulevards towards traffic calmed pedestrian and bicycle friendly street systems. It's not just Copenhagen or Amsterdam, but includes Barcelona and Berlin and Bern and...

It's people that make cities work, not cars, and that's the direction these cities are going. This new way of looking at moving people, moves more people faster, safer and cheaper than clogging the streets with the last possible car and car parking space. Not only does this result in safe street space for bikes and pedestrians, but transit buses move faster with less congestion.

I was amazed in Copenhagen to find that major streets traffic lights were timed for bicycle traffic - 12 MPH, and yet the buses moved with no delay along with this synchronization. A real benefit of the 12 MPH lights - bicyclists did NOT run through red lights - because the Green Wave was moving at cycling speed and not at NYC's 30-40 MPH that we find on Manhattan avenues. A platoon of 50-100 bicycles flowed on each green cycle, leaving a long stretch of empty cycletrack behind them.

Cyclists respected that the light's timing worked for them and had no reason to violate it. The traffic signals were only 60 second cycles, so if you missed a light, it was not a long wait for the next green. That is not true here, miss a light and wait 1-1/2 to 5 minutes.
Traffic signals can be made to work for cyclists, but right now, they work against them.

Roundabouts are not Traffic Circles - the state of the art has changed. The big traffic circles: Grand Army Plaza, Park Circle, are too big, too fast for free auto flows. They have been signalized and wide open pavement reduced.

New roundabouts are for much smaller intersections, usually one or at most two through lanes, and have relatively sharp turns and narrow lanes, so motor traffic speeds are slow. Therefor it's possible for pedestrians to use crosswalks safely without traffic signals, and for cyclists to merge through with motor traffic. The FHWA and TRB has been studying this for over 15 years. You say you were a traffic engineer, you know this means that this has gone all the way up the federal chain of review.

The key variable here is that we have long ago reached peak motor vehicle carrying capacity. There is no more room for more roads and parking. We will not build our way out of auto congestion. We have to change gears and move in a different way, even if we move in the same direction. Bikes, transit and walking are a synergistic trio that work.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:13 pm
em from greenpoint says:
Biking is my primary transportation. I would not be adverse to a modification of traffic laws for cyclists.
Yielding to a traffic signal would be great. I don't want to get hit with a ticket I cannot afford.

As Steve just mentioned, if a you miss a light and wait up to 5 minutes. This time of year in particular this can be an eternity for a cyclist- we're totally exposed to the elements, wind, cold, ice on the pavement. I wish automobile drivers would be more compassionate to this while in their climate controlled bubbles.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:27 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Steve, you bring up very valid points. Right now cities like New York are being stifled by congestion. This congestion has largely been caused by overreliance on motor vehicle traffic to move people in a place where it is impossible to expand streets any more. In short, we can't fix the problem without relying much more ( preferably entirely ) on walking, biking, and transit.

I also have some interesting data I've garnered using GPS. It turns out motorized transportation in large cities is a lot slower than people like to think it is. Saturday I went to Manhattan. The 2.4 mile bus ride to the subway only averaged 10.6 mph. Add in the walking to/from the bus for the total 2.6 miles from my house to the subway, the average was only 9 mph. And I was lucky in that the bus pulled up just as I was getting to the stop.

I didn't have GPS data for the subway ride into Manhattan ( no signal underground ). Coming home I transferred to the 7 where my GPS could get a signal. Not counting waiting time, 15 mph average for the train ride but only 10 mph with waiting. Bus ride from downtown Flushing to home only 9 mph ( and 6 mph with waiting time and walking! ).

As for car trips, I've done a few GPS logs of car trips with my mother or brother. If you're averaging 20 mph in the city you're doing GREAT. 15 mph is more typical, 10 mph or less isn't unheard of. Add in the time for parking, and these average speeds drop, sometimes precipitously.

Compare these figures to the 15 to mid 16s mph overall average I do on my bike rides. It's fairly easy to see that a bike is easily the fastest way to get around if you're a fast rider. Even if you're a 12 mph cyclist, you can see how that handily beats bus all the time, subway most of the time, and car much of the time. And don't forget that I never have a totally unimpeded bike trip. Sure, I pass red lights when it's safe, but sometimes I have to wait. And I always need to slow to 8 to 10 mph to evaluate the situation. I'd guess with suitable infrastructure I could average closer to 18 or 19 mph instead of 15 to mid 16s. With velomobiles >25 mph might well be possible.

In short, bicycles and/or walking can play a much larger role in urban transportation than many give them credit for. People are often seduced by the fact that a modern car can cruise in excess of 100 mph but ignore the fact that in cities you spend much time stopped or moving very slowly.
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:57 pm
Poobah from Park Slope says:
It amazes me how in all these discussions about bikes vs. cars and how bikes are dangerous and they need to be stopped, there is never any mention of which cyclists are the worst offenders. I've been commuting by bike for over 20 years in NYC - long before the phrase "bike lane" even existed - and almost without exception the WORST and most dangerous riders are the delivery guys. They always ride the wrong way and always seem to be on the sidewalk. There was a case several years ago of an elderly man being struck and killed by a delivery bike. Why can't the powers that be simply acknowledge that it is these riders who pose the biggest threat and start by going after them? Maybe a campaign aimed at restaurants and written in Spanish, Madarin/Cantonese that clearly states what the laws and regulations are?
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:16 pm
Steve from Windsor Terrace says:
So Bloomberg will have another revenue stream (now that he's apparently given up on rapid reinstitution of alternate side parking regs after snowstorms.
I ride, and I drive. I've been attacked on my bike and feel bicycles deserve the protection of the law. If you want the protection of the law, you've got to follow the law. Otherwise bicycles will continue to be thought of as toys and not vehicles. Oh, and if we're not registered, we shouldn't expect to be on an equal footing with vehicles that are registered. You don't want to hear it, but it's true.
As per Copenhagen, I'm sure it works better--cycling has always been adult transportation in Europe. In London I made the grave mistake of running a red light--once. Here it's accepted because after all, we're only bicyclists and not expected to follow the laws.
It's time to grow up.
Oh, those 12 mph lights in Copenhagen--are these all 1-way roads?
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:17 pm
Mike from Brooklyn says:
Ummm, I'm hoping someone already mentioned this, but howzabout if the police actually enforced the turn signal thing for DRIVERS of CARS. I ride my bike to work in Manhattan every day and from what I can tell, the amount of NYC drivers who actually bother to use their turn signals is definitely south of 50%. And btw: cars kill WAAAY more people than bicycles do. And a lot of the people they kill are ON bicycles.
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:31 pm
Peter E. from Stuy Town says:
Steve F. -- I've tangled with Tal Barzillai enough to know that he hates bicyclists and nothing said here will change that POV. So I'll pass on Mark Twain's advice: "Never argue with idiot; people can't tell you apart."

Tal may be a useless ——-stirrer, but I'd caution that denigrating his physical condition, preference for cars or bloviating from a fancy Westchester town are below the belt moves that don't necessarily reflect well on you.
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:46 pm
Cyclists - Follow Traffic Laws... from Chelsea says:
... and occupy a lane.

Cyclists have the same responsibilities and rights to the road as drivers. You don't have to ride on the side or in a bike lane. If so many New Yorkers want cyclists to obey the law, then

Cyclists have the full right to occupy a lane of traffic and make all the earth-destroying internal combustion engines travel behind them, passing as they would any other vehicle.

Hey drivers - may you get what you want, and want what you get.
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:50 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"earth-destroying internal combustion engines"

hahahahahaha! Show your work, not blather.
Jan. 6, 2011, 6:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Peter E, I actually don't have anything against those that want to ride bicycles, it's those that have made personal attacks at me such as you did by calling me an idiot when I have never said that to you or anyone else who doesn't agree with me. This is the reason why Streetsblog has so made so enemies, because you guys there can't seem to keep your egos to yourselves. Just because someone says that laws on cyclists should be enforced, doesn't mean that they hate bicycles as a whole, they just feel that they have to start having responsibilities. Two can play at that game that you used, because I can use a quote as well. As Confucious once said, "Repsect is something that one must earn, not demand" when he formed the hierarchy of Chinese culture from the families to the emperor in that he can be overthrown if he loses the peoples' respect.
Jan. 6, 2011, 7:47 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Steve F, you have no right in calling people such as myself as being overweight. Just because I am overweight, though not obese, doesn't give you a right to behave like that. Just cut the stereotypes already, because it doesn't win you anything either. All it shows is that you tend to hit below the belt and are a coward. It's things like this that gives your cause for bicycles a bad name, not to mention only makes more enemies in the long run.
Jan. 6, 2011, 7:55 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Bicycles certainly have the right to occupy an entire lane, just like a backhoe or a horse. It is a common courtesy to move to the right when it is safe to do so so traffic that is able to maintain the speed limit can pass. Causing a traffic jam is only going to create more pollution, so anyone doing so is just making a problem worse.
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:57 am
cpd from Crown Heights says:
Growing pains for a new traffic system.

Cyclists need to use lights at night and ride in the right direction. (I'm looking at you, restaurant delivery boys.)

Pedestrians on PPW need to stop having social hour in bike lanes.

Streets need to be properly plowed and salted so bikers can use the bike lanes.

Police need to regularly ticket bike-lane blockers. Hell, it's free money for the city.

Red lights are stop signs at the dead of night. The police do it; why shouldn't bikers?
Jan. 7, 2011, 3:03 am
Peter E. from Stuy Town says:
As usual, Tal's full of it. He must have landed pretty hard on his head from that cyclist who hit him. Tal's real agenda is to see bikes licensed and registered. Like that'll happen. Fine, let's appease one useless tool. Heil der fuhrer Tal!

Oh, and gee I'm sorry if your precious feelings are hurt. But don't bring a penknife to a gunfight. You gotta expect this if you go cruising for trouble with nothing to back up your argument but more unenforceable laws on the books that you hope will discourage riding.

Seriously, if someone rides the wrong way down a street they deserve a ticket. If that's what the cops do, fine by me. But let's not forget the most deadly danger on the streets comes from cars.
Jan. 7, 2011, 9:59 am
Sarah from Park Slope says:
While I have no wish to be hit by a car, I'm pretty sure that the biker barreling at top speed the wrong way on Broadway last night, with no light or reflective gear, would have left something of a mark on me or the other pedestrians he came within inches of hitting. I"m not advocating letting drivers off the hook, but one rarely sees a driver going the wrong way on a busy street without lights.
Bottom line: you want to use the roads, obey the rules.
Jan. 7, 2011, 10:44 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Sarah, cyclists like that are exactly the kind most reasonable cyclists feel should have their heads handed to them on a platter by the police. It's one thing to run a red light on quiet street, after looking, while riding with traffic, and with lights if at night. It's quite another to do what the idiot you saw did. That behavoir clearly crosses the line and deserves police action. I do think though that a 3-hour safety class might actually do more good than a fine, at least for first-time violators. But in any case, I sincerely hope this is the type of cyclist the police focus on. Cyclists like that are as much a danger to other cyclists like myself as they are to you.
Jan. 7, 2011, 11:11 am
Maris from Park Slope says:
I find Tal's passionate criticism of bicycling and bicyclists fascinating.

I think he's a closet cyclist waiting to come out.

Try it, try it, Tal, and you will see. Try it, try it and you may say 'hey, cycling is for me!' (Apologies to Dr. Seuss).

Seriously, Tal, and those others that haven't tried using a bicycle as a means of transportation (vs. sport), I encourage you to do so. I started commuting by bike as a personal 'experiment' a few years ago and it has been quite an experience. My perspective on bicycles as a transportation alternative changed as miles accumulated.

I appreciate the perspective that you now hold. I'd be really curious to know how your perspective would change if you tried riding to work three times. I'd be more than glad to be your ride guide - let me know if I can help.
Jan. 7, 2011, 1:30 pm
Peter E. from Stuy Town says:
Maris - With all sincerity, you're a better person than me.
Jan. 7, 2011, 1:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As usual, the radical cyclists, especially those from Streetsblog, gang up on me. What is some of your beef anyway? You guys had your say, so why can't I have mine? BTW, I am not the only person who wants bicycles registered, licensed, and insured, there are many other who agree with me on that. The reason is that there are many cyclists out there flouting the laws, and this is the only way they can be caught for it. Your attitude towards this is why I use the Animal Farms reference and that's mainly because you guys think that you are those special animals who are exempt from all laws while everyone else is subject to all of them. One other thing, I have never been for getting bicycles off the road, just having them following the rules, which is two different things. Even the politicians that want more enforcement on cyclists aren't trying to get you off the road, so cut it out with the personal attacks at them as you are doing to me. That holier than thou attitude really needs to stop, and I have never acted that way towards you either. The reason for this enforcement was only after the report from the media about cyclists constantly flouting the laws, and when people heard about this being common, they wanted something done about it.
Jan. 7, 2011, 2:11 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Scamming citizens by making them register, buy insurance, and licenses for bikes is wrong for the same reason putting tolls on the East River bridges is wrong.
All that gets accomplished is taking hard earned $$ from working people and sending it into a black hole of theft and fraud (hello MTA).

Jan. 7, 2011, 2:53 pm
Steve F from Park Slope says:
Poobah from Park Slope wrote:
"It amazes me how in all these discussions about bikes vs. cars and how bikes are dangerous and they need to be stopped, there is never any mention of which cyclists are the worst offenders. I've been commuting by bike for over 20 years in NYC - long before the phrase "bike lane" even existed - and almost without exception the WORST and most dangerous riders are the delivery guys."

Poobah, congratulations on commuting for 20 years.
However, bike lanes were laid down by Ed Koch in 1978, 33 years ago. True, it's taken a few years to have them installed city wide, but the phrase "bike lane" is well older than 20. For what it's worth, I've been an NYC bike rider for about 60 years, and commuter for 50. It's been interesting.

For some perspective, cycling in NYC dates from 1877. The oldest bike path is Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, installed 1895, and many miles of bike paths were built by Robert Moses in his parks and along his highways and bridges between 1930 and 1941. There was a gap between 1945 and John Lindsey opening Central Park and signing Bike Routes in 1966. One could reasonably date serious talk about new bike lanes from that year.
Jan. 7, 2011, 2:54 pm
Maris from Park Slope says:
Tal - the 'holier than thou' crap that I can't abide comes from those that overlook the sins of automobile operators when espousing the need for cyclists to follow the rules of the road. My beef with you is that you maintain a windshield perspective on how to get around the neighborhood - which is why I offer to ride with you from your home to your work place. I'm curious to see how you'd fare in following your prescriptions for cyclist behavior.

I see your strong anti-bike opinions passionately put forth in multiple blogs. This focus and passion makes me think that you're a closet cyclist waiting for a push out the door. Let me know if you'd like to step up to the invitation.
Jan. 7, 2011, 3:04 pm
Steve F from Park Slope says:
Steve from Windsor Terrace asks:
"Oh, those 12 mph lights in Copenhagen--are these all 1-way roads?"

No, these are two way streets with mixed traffic and buses using the motorways and one-way cycletracks on each side. Generally, there are one motor lane in each direction, the cycletrack behind slightly raised curbs, and the pedestrian sidewalk on the same level as the cycle track. It's tight, but everyone shares the space pretty well. A damned sight better than here.

Traffic flows reasonably well, including turning cars.

Signalized intersection in Copenhagen and similarly in Amsterdam are not as close as NYC. Our streets are only 260 feet center to center - so the next traffic light is only 200 feet ahead. This extra distance in Copenhagen gives the bicycle platoon time to adjust their speed to hit the next light right on the green. These people ride this route every day and get synced into the signal phases.

I think it could work in NYC too, especially on Manhattan's one way avenues. Slow the signals to 12 or even to 15-20 MPH from 30 and cyclists will be able to stay within the lights. Buses, at least, won't be below their scheduled speeds, even at night.
Jan. 7, 2011, 3:05 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Steve F,

I think maybe something like 18 to 20 mph will work best in NYC. As I'm sure you already know, synchronized signals have the effect of slowing the maximum possible average speed down to the speed of the green wave. Driving ( or biking ) faster than that will only cause you to slam on your brakes every block once you finally catch up to the red wave. 18-20 mph seems like a good compromise in that it will calm motor vehicle traffic, but still allow it to proceed at a reasonable ( for urban driving anyway ) pace. It will also coincidentally cater to the faster cyclists, those who are likely traveling longer distances, and would be penalized more heavily by being forced to average only 12 mph. As for the slower cyclists, they may encounter a few lights, but it won't be completely horrible. With a 60 second cycle with 30 seconds of green, blocks 260 feet apart, and an 18 mph green wave, a 12 mph cyclist will have their average speed slowed to about 9 mph, hitting a red every 6 blocks. A 15 mph cyclist will hit a red every 15 blocks, and average about 13 mph. Obviously an 18 mph cyclist will never hit a light. You can also adjust these speeds off the 18 mph base speed a bit on portions of the route where it's not level to account for cyclists slowing on uphills, or speeding up on downhills.

Doing something similar, but with 30 mph timing, as is now probably standard, results in 8.5 mph for 12 mph cyclists, 10 mph for 15 mph cyclists, and 13.3 mph for 18 mph cyclists. In short, all groups will benefit if signal timing is slowed down. With 30 mph timing, ironically it's the fastest cyclists who are penalized the most, both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of their cruising speed.
Jan. 7, 2011, 5:14 pm
Miked from Sydney says:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUkiyBVytRQ
NOOO YAWK!?

Fact: Since they started catering for cyclists in NYC Injuries to motorists are down 63%, pedestrian injuries are down 35% and up to 15% percent automobile travel time improvements have been recorded.
39% of all new york car trips are still under 2 miles Thats not intelligent automobile use and more needs to be done to get such "backlashing" douchebags out of their automobiles occasionally.

Cracking down on cyclists is counterproductive towards decreasing unneccesary automobile use, thus decreasing congestion and increasing road safety.
Jan. 7, 2011, 5:27 pm
Steve from Windsor Terrace says:
Steve F--

Thanks. Just to be clear--the signals progress at 12 mph in one direction, and both bicycles and cars are able to maintain 12 mph in both directions? Hard to visualize, but I'll take your word for it.
Jan. 7, 2011, 5:30 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@ Maris,

Funny but I also pegged Tal for a closet cyclist and suggested he start riding over at the Spokes column in the NY Times. Either that, or maybe he had his heart broken by some hot female cyclist, and ever since has been taking out his frustration on cyclists in general ( and please note Tal that I'm saying this last thing totally in jest, not seriously, just to lighten up the comments a bit - I'm sure such this never really happened to you ).

But in all serious Tal, try cycling a bit. It will do your body some good, clear your mind, and also give you another perspective. Besides, it's lots of fun once you ride enough to get some speed/stamina. It's surreal when I'm coming back into the city on one of my long rides on an arterial road, flying along at 23 or 25 mph with the sun setting over the horizon, my body in tune with the sights/sounds around me, in perfect harmony with my machine. It just doesn't get any better than that.
Jan. 7, 2011, 5:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Maris, I am not a closet cyclist in any way or form, so enough with that. If you don't stop, I will accuse you of cyberstalking me, and that is a serious offense. Joe, if someone here needs to lighten up or even chill out, it's you and your friends on Streetsblog. The more you make it an "Us vs Them" agrument, the more enemies you guys will be making in the end. Personal attacks on those that disagree or even calling them trolls over there is completely unprofessional. All it shows is how little you are to welcoming the other side for a fair debate.
Jan. 7, 2011, 8:22 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Please stop comparing NYC to either Copenhagen or Amsterdam, because they are not. NYC is very different city than any of those. It's apples and oranges to even think that you can compare NYC, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, to those at a much smaller scale. BTW, when it came to pedestianizing streets in Europe in recent years, they didn't do it on major thoroughfares, they did it on alleys for the most part. For example, Champs-Elysses in Paris is still used by vehicular traffic because of how major it is. If you really love those cities, then why not just move there rather than stay here? Let's not forget that ever since the US broke away from the UK, the main goal was to be different from them, not like them.
Jan. 7, 2011, 8:34 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal, this isn't a fair debate once you start a) making up stuff ( i.e. bicycle licenses in Europe ), b) continually raising the bar you expect cyclists to meet, c) using non-sequitors like bike helmets. You've done all of those things more times than I care to think about. You say you have nothing against anyone wanting to ride but your actions speak louder than your words. If all of your radical ideas were implemented, the bar for riding a bike would be set so high versus the benefits nobody would wish to do it. This isn't about safety. It's about anti-cycling groups using incrementalism to continually set the bar ever higher to eventually get all bicycles off the road. Yesterday it was don’t ride on sidewalks. Today it’ll be don’t pass red lights. Tomorrow it’ll be don’t speed ( with “speeding” defined as anything they want it to be, rather than exceeding the 30 mph limit ). Next it’ll be signal for every turn or wear helmets. And after that they’ll make and enforce even more nonsensical laws until nearly everyone gives up cycling. Trust me, this is where we’re headed if we don’t stop this right now. I'm already at the point where if draconian red light enforcement spreads to the outer boroughs, I'm done riding for good as much as I enjoy it. Just not worth the hassle of risking an expensive ticket, looking for police, or even worse trying to obey laws which will cut my speed by more than half, take 100% of the joy out of cycling, and reduce any exercise value to nil.

Be warned what will happen if your kind succeeds. Sure, you may well succeed in making cycling so costly/inefficient that most will give it up. Guess what? When that happens the sensationalist media will focus on something else. The 200 killed by motorists each year will give them material far beyond what bikes have. When that happens, you'll see a crackdown on motorists like nothing before. Expect speed cameras on every street, 15 or 20 mph speed limits, even perhaps places where you're not allowed to drive at all. Have fun. Maybe when your foot twitches on the accelerator and you briefly hit 21 in a 20 zone a few times, enjoy the envelope full of hundreds in tickets a few days later.

No, it's not an us versus them argument. I've never said it was. I for one am willing to give motorists a free pass for going 5 or 10 over the limit if they're otherwise driving safely. I often wait for turning motorists, despite the fact I technically have the right-of-way, when I'm walking because it's easier for me to stop than them. That's my give and take philosophy. In return, it's not too much to ask for a free pass when I carefully pass red lights on quiet streets, still giving right-of-way to anyone legally entitled to it in the process. But you may just get what you secretly wish for-namely getting all cyclists off the roads for good. When it happens, don't be surprised if public wrath turns towards motorists next.
Jan. 7, 2011, 9:19 pm
Peter Engel from Stuy Town says:
Tal, it's not an "Us vs. Them" argument. It never was. But it is now an Us vs. You argument. Someone sure can dish it out but can't take it.

You want to make provocative statements and wacky accusations like we're all "Streetsblog radicals" as if such a thing really exists. You back it up with nothing except "you should all be registered," something no public official has come out for or thinks practical.

Ticketing enforcement? Yes. Fines? Sure. Accountability for dumb and aggressive actions? Absolutely. But we're not giving in to talk about some dumb law promoted by the narrow-minded likes of you.

You have to be tough to commute by bike in NYC. Many of us have worked hard to gain what we now have. We won't give ground without asking hard questions, or fighting if we have to.

Finally, no one's cyberstalking you. No one cares about you enough. You're here voluntarily. If you go away, you'll be forgotten, as all of us will. Maris' "closet cyclist" comment was just giving you a little good-natured ribbing to put some levity into this debate. Instead you react like someone accused you of molestation. If you can't laugh along, you'll be laughed at. So - tell us why you really hate bikers and maybe then you'll have some credibility.
Jan. 7, 2011, 11:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Please don't deny your claims over on Streetsblog, because I have seen what you have all said there, so don't act like you never say those things. The rules may seem nonsensical right now, but until now, follow those rules. If you really want rules for your own kind, then earn them, rather than always demand for them. As long as you are flouting the laws, you can't get your way. For the last time, the talk about enforcing the laws on cyclists isn't something new, the police were originally lax on this, but now after so many compliants, they now see that they have to step it up. Again, this isn't a plan by the anti-cycling groups, this is about a group who thinks that they are above everything. If registering, licensing, and insuring bicycles gets rid of those who are constantly flouting the law because they don't want to be held responsible for thier actions, then it's doing a good job just like how DMVs don't want reckless drivers, and even give manuals on how to follow the laws. Overall, if you can't follow the rules, then you will keep on getting a bad name by others.
Jan. 8, 2011, 7:39 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There is one other group that doesn't like following the rules and that is Critical Mass. They believe that rules are only for those who want to be part of the establishment that they are trying to fight rather than be part of. Of course that is the least of the worries as they believe in corking of cars that belong to others. Last time I checked, corking is an act of vandalism, and is clearly not an act of free speach either. Maybe when someone corks my car, I should be allowed to wreck their bicycle and we can call it even. If you don't believe that Critical Mass misbehaves a lot, then I suggest watching vidoes of them, because their attitudes and actions are the reason why their events always have huge police presence at them. They are even the reason why many of been demanding for strict enforcement. Anyone who supports their idea of corking is just the same kind of people who justify the suicide bombings and firing of qassam rockets done by Hamas towards innocent Israeli civillians, which is also not an act of free speach either yet there are those who are for that. Once again, put aside your egos and follow the rules, or you can kiss all that new infrastructure good-bye once Bloomberg and JSK are gone.
Jan. 8, 2011, 7:44 am
Steve from Windsor Terrace says:
To Joe and Peter--
One more comment and I'm outta here. Just briefly about my bonafides. I commuted part time into Manhattan for a couple of years (long ago). I have bicycle toured stateside and in Europe. I was for several years on the board of the Long Island Bicycle Club, 4 of them as president. I have also raced (until a serious injury stopped me). I shouldn't have to mention this, but I will. Why? Because I'm on your side, and you're pissing me off. We're not talking about doing laps in the park, or riding country roads. We're talking about sharing streets with big, steel motor vehicles. So every motorist you piss off is going to be in MY face, and I will lose.
You don't want to stop for lights? Good for you. You want traffic to flow at the optimum speed for you? Terrific. You want to think you're tough? You're not tough enough. We're living in the U.S. baby, and Tal is Everman. Not you, and not me.
I spent plenty of time in a bicycle club where sanctimonious guys (usually guys, but an occasional gal) made life interesting for those of us who had to deal with the local police, school boards, and fire department when the complaints came.
I've lost friends to bicycle accidents, and I've been upset that some of the responsible motorists get away with a slap on the wrist. I feel your pain--really I do.
But I can tell ya, when I get stuck in my car with a sick kid in the back and I'm trying to get home at 11 PM and a bunch of Critical Massers are blocking the street, moving at 5 mph, I imagine myself running them down myself. And if these guys are losing me, we're all in big trouble. Support cycling, support mass transit. Be a good citizen. Be a mensch.
Jan. 8, 2011, 12:14 pm
Peter Engel from Stuy Town says:
The amount of ignorance here is staggering. Sure, Critical Mass did have corking. I hated it for the same reason Tal does. They had no right to do that. And they don't do it anymore because CM only has 35-50 participants, all legitimate. When they had 200 riders, 20% of them were undercover cops looking to instigate trouble from others. Whenever I've been on a CM ride, they've ALWAYS moved over for ambulances. They're human beings. If any of you had been near a Manhattan CM ride since 2006, you'd know that.

Following traffic rules? Sure. I stop at (most) red lights. I always yield to pedestrians and stay off sidewalks. Would having a license and registration make others who do those things stop? No. Does not having a DMV license stop drivers from killing innocent children or seniors? It's the same argument. The only difference is that cars are more likely to kill people than bikes. All of you know it.

Steve, who really thinks that 200 lbs. of bike and human is any match for 4000 lbs. of steel? Do we get pissed off? Yeah. Usually it's because someone's tried to kill us. I reserve the right to get good and angry about that when it happens to me and mine. So get your facts straight and save your sanctimony before making lectures about good citizenship.

The basis for stepped-up enforcement against things like salmoning and not yielding to pedestrians is public safety. That's perfectly legitimate. Most people are fine with bikes and bike lanes, and admire commuters. They aren't posting here. They'd just like to feel safer.

Tal isn't everyman. He's a pissed-off freak with his own agenda. When no one listens to him, he resorts to implying that bike commuters are equivalent to Hamas, as he just did again.

So thanks guys, for dumbing down the argument even further.
Jan. 8, 2011, 12:40 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Steve,

I never even mentioned Critical Mass, and point of fact as a cyclist I can't stand them. They're certainly not helping anything clogging up streets back when they had enough participants to do so.

And I don't recall pissing off motorists to any great extent. Sure, occasionally I get some santimonious jerk who takes the time to roll down his window, then tells me to ride in a park or some other nonsense, but that has nothing to do with anything I did. It's rare I get complaints about how I ride simply because I make it a point to give legal right-of-way to whomever is entitled to it. I hate the entitled cyclists who think everyone in front of them should clear a path for them just as much as you. If the NYPD wants to give tickets for salmoning and not yielding to pedestrians, they have my full support. I'm not against holding cyclists who do truly dangerous things accountable. I do however hope the NYPD is able to separate truly dangerous actions from merely illegal ones. Going after the latter will only serve to make reasonable cyclists give up riding.

As for Tal, Peter's description of him seems spot on. Maybe it would be better if we all ignored him so he would just go away. My only reason for continually engaging in these exchanges is the fact that I can't stand it when people spread misinformation. Also, Tal's rhetoric is likely to fire up those cyclist-hating motorists to the point where they feel entitled to run me off the road for no reason other than I'm there. For that reason alone I can't let him go unchallenged. There's really volumes more I could say on the matter but these are my main points.
Jan. 8, 2011, 3:40 pm
Steve from Windsor Terrace says:
Joe and Peter--

I just reviewed this thread, and was embarrassed to see that you indeed never mentioned Critical Mass. I must have needed another cup of coffee this morning. My humblest apologies.
Just a question about nomenclature--
CM has "corking"?
What is "salmoning"?

Steve
Jan. 8, 2011, 10:08 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Steve,

No problems here regarding your mention about Critical Mass in reference to myself and Peter. Sometimes quickly scanning a thread it's easy to mix up who said what. I just checked, and it was actually Tal who first bought up CM.

As far as nomenclature goes:

salmoning = wrong-way riding ( the term was originally coined by NY Bike Snob )

corking = blocking traffic from side streets so the Critical Mass protest can freely proceed through red lights as one group ( and this practice is one big reason why CM will get no sympathy from people like myself ).
Jan. 9, 2011, 12:03 am
Peter Engel from Stuy Town says:
Steve,

1 to what Joe said. No worries. I gave up coffee a few weeks ago and it's not easy.
Jan. 9, 2011, 12:26 am
brian from brooklyn says:
haha! anyone here who thinks that cops are interested in public "safety" is a fool. they're pimps, hustlers, makin' that $$$ hustlin' the streets. Bikes are easy cash because there are more of them and they're easy to shake down.
THE REAL PROBLEM is there is no accountability for serious infractions. If there were real consequences for actually causing an accident and/or hurting someone, then the system would self correct. If judges handed out 15 year prison sentences for vehicular manslaughter, like they should, then they could let people run all the red lights they want, cars, bikes, pedestrians, whatever. But do so knowing that if you screw the pooch your a$$ is going to JAIL. But they don't hand out such sentences, because that would fix the problem, and if there's no petty traffic infractions to hustle, then the money tree dries up. And since the police and the municipal court system is a for profit industry, they will make sure this never happens. It's called the "consultant's paradox:" why solve the problem when there's good money to be made off of the problem?
keep on riding and f**k the police.
Jan. 9, 2011, 8:34 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Let's just clear this up. First off all, please remove those tin foil hats some of you radical cyclists are wearing. Asking you to follow the rules doesn't mean that we are trying to get you off the road. What makes you think it's just the anti-bike crowd that is calling for this? How do we know that this isn't concerned residents that want this? Senior citizens tend to want enforcement, because they find it difficult to cross since cyclists give almost no warning for them. Just because riding a bicycle is good for the environment for not producing emissions doesn't mean that you have a blank check to flout the laws. BTW, quit accusing anyone who wants your kind to follow the laws either part of the anti-bike group or working for either the car or oil lobbies, because I certianly don't. Stats don't always mean what they say, because they just give the effects, not the causes. Keep in mind that the anti-Israel groups use stats to claim that the IDF and even Mossad are the real terrorists compared to Hamas and Hezbollah just by having higher numbers of those killed. Again, just because cyclists have killed or injured way fewer, doesn't mean that they are safer. The whole point of this topic isn't who is saving the earth or who is causing more deaths, it's about who is actually following the laws here.
Jan. 9, 2011, 5:25 pm
Maris from Park Slope says:
"The whole point of this topic isn't who is saving the earth or who is causing more deaths, it's about who is actually following the laws here."

Its a fact - most motorists don't follow the law. According to a NYCDOT radar study, 76% of motorists were speeding between 8 and 8:30AM on Prospect Park West during a study in March 2009. Study published 10 October 2010.

My conclusion - NYers don't follow the law most of the time regardless of their transportation mode.
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:29 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Maris, but just using one time of the day doesn't help your claim. Even if that is true for around 8 AM, it's doesn't mean that all the time. At the same time I can state times when cyclists do that and use that as a claim and you will cry foul to that. Most of the time, us drivers do follow the laws, so at least pedestrians will know which way we are comming unlike you cyclists who have the tendency to go the wrong way or blow throught lights. As for other lawbreakers, I am very much in favor of cracking down on jaywalking. As a matter of fact, it actually is illegal, but hardly anyone enforces it. If a pedestrian got and was proven to be jaywalking, then whoever hit them is not solely responsible for their actions. Please wait to have the walk signal before crossing the street rather than seeing them as decorations. There would be hardly any problems is if everyone follows the laws they are supposed to follow and I mean everyone.
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:54 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just to understand the causes, here is why some of us do drive more rather than walk, take public transportation, or use bicycles. There are two main reasons for this. One of them is that we either live or work somewhere that is not accessible or in even in reach by public transportation, so the only option is to drive in order to get there. The other reason is that our work schedules do not coincide with those of either commuter trains or buses, because they don't come as frequently as subways and city buses do, so rather than wait a while for the next one, we are better off driving especially when the workday is done and we just want to get him as soon as we can. Realtor-wise, it's expensive to live near good transportation let alone living in major parts of a city, town, or village, so my kind can't afford to live close to where we work or at least en route to good transit that can get us there with good time, which is what leads to making commutes. I have never heard Streetsblog advocating for affordable housing near transit hubs, and I doubt that Mark Gorton and his friends will even support that let alone realtors wanting on prestigous prices only. Overall, if the middle and low incomes weren't being priced out of cities due to high gentrification, they wouldn't have to do commutes by car.
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:08 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
"Realtor-wise, it's expensive to live near good transportation let alone living in major parts of a city, town, or village, so my kind can't afford to live close to where we work or at least en route to good transit that can get us there with good time, which is what leads to making commutes."

Tal, you're half right here. Without knowing your schedule, it may indeed be inconvenient for you to take Metro North into the city. However, what's to stop you from driving from Westchester to the North Bronx, parking your car near a subway station, then taking the subway the rest of the way in? It'll likely be faster than driving all the way into Manhattan. It'll certainly be less expensive. Take a cue from real NYers. Unless there's a good reason, like carrying home something very heavy, few NYers will drive into Manhattan precisely because it's slow, expensive to park, generally not worth the aggravation.

Oh, and the city briefly tried cracking down on jaywalking under Guiliani. The effort was stopped as quickly as it was started due to public outrage. Any politician advocating a jaywalking crackdown won't see a second term. If there were enough cyclists, then cycling crackdowns wouldn't fly, either. To me it's safer to cross in the middle of the street, not needing to watch for turning vehicles ( including bicycles ). And needless to say, when I cross at corners I wait until it's clear. This isn't Seattle. I'm not going to stand there like an idiot for 2 minutes waiting for the light to tell me to walk when nothing is there. At that rate, it'll take me 3 times as long to walk where I'm going. The law here makes even less sense for pedestrians than it does for cyclists ( and it doesn't make much sense for them, either ).
Jan. 10, 2011, 3:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, NYC has been a commuter town even before cars were introduced and even before there were trains. Ever since industry was placed in the 19th century, the cost of living in the city went up forcing many to move to the outskirts or what was originally the suburbs at the time before the formation of the 5 boroughs in 1898. I am sure that carriages were not free rides, so if you didn't have the money for one, you had to get up real early and walk all the way down, and the same if you didn't own a horse. Of course this lead to the demand for transit that would help people get from one place to the other faster with cheap fares for everyone to afford at the time. This is sort of why I think bringing back the commuter tax is a bad idea for NYC, because a good percentage of their workers are from out of town. Speaking of commutes, drivers still outweigh cyclists by a lot, and even those that walk outnumber those that use a bicycle according the US Census Bureau.
Jan. 10, 2011, 5:35 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
No kidding that drivers outweight cyclists but city policy could change that eventually. The fact is the present laws and infrastructure make cycling pretty much pointless as a means of transport in much of the city. Even I'll admit that. 12 mph cruising, combined with stopping/waiting for every light to average 5-6 mph overall, might work just fine for a 2 mile commute in midtown ( and you can just as easily walk that distance, anyway ), but it’s not going to work at all for someone going 12 miles one way from outer Queens or Brooklyn. Efficiency ( i.e. speed ) is a very important parameter in the transportation work, second only to safety. Unless this is our next focus, efforts to further bike use will get nowhere. I cycled 3168 miles last year, sadly not one mile of it to actually go somewhere. Lack of parking, congestion, other factors essentially make cycling near useless to me as a means of practical transport to places I might go. I would love for that to change in the future.
Jan. 10, 2011, 6:16 pm
mike from windsor terrace says:
I think the police should stop the cars that speed on city streets and weave in and out. Cars go terribly fast down Caton Avenue, McDonald Avenue, Ocean parkway, Fort Hamilton Parkway, Linden Boulevard, etc. etc.

The bicycle and rider weigh at most a few hundred pounds, while the cars and trucks weigh one two three etc. tons.

The police should concentrate on the greater threat to our safety.

Don't stop the thundering rabbits while there are rampaging elephants!

On the other hand, the police might stop the people riding fast on the sidewalks on bicycles.

Oh, I don't know, just make it safe to walk around the neighborhood.

I will advise you at once if I see any low-flying helicopters in crash patterns.
Jan. 14, 2011, 9:25 pm
Daquan31 from West Boston says:
Tal, you are the best salesman for bicyclists the world has ever seen, with your 380lbs. frame, and 20-ton load of —— nontheories. How could you be so retarded? I would say that you aren't real, except even the best talent in Hollywood couldn't have invented the likes of you, even allowing for the parody Tals.

Stop being the world's most thick-headed dip——.

-Tannis Baker
Jan. 11, 2012, 11:49 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links