State should green-light cyclists running red lights, say riders

The Brooklyn Paper
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Give them a break — no brakes.

A Williamsburg pol’s proposal to allow cyclists to ride through red lights and stop signs so long as the coast is clear would bring the city’s laws into sync with the way many pedal-pushers say they already roll.

“I make my living by running red lights,” said bike messenger Jeffrey Jones.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D–Williamsbu­rg) on Tuesday pitched a plan to legalize cyclists treating red lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs.

Reynoso himself admits to cruising through stop signs and red lights on occasion, and thinks it speeds up travel times for everyone, according to a New York Post report.

But cyclists currently have to follow the same rules as drivers and pay the same fines when they’re caught blowing the signals, which cyclists say is totally disproportionate — a 25-pound bike does not pose the same danger as a two-ton death machine, said one bike booster.

“Considering the amount of money for the fine, it’s ludicrous,” said Greenpointer Darren Lipman, who gets around town by both bike and car, and claims police once slapped him with a $190 ticket for riding through “an extremely safe” intersection.

But bikes can still maim pedestrians — cyclists in Brooklyn hit and injured 86 walking commuters last year in crashes that didn’t involve cars, according to city data.

Reynoso’s bill claims changing the law wouldn’t make things any more dangerous, however, as cyclists would still have to slow their roll before cruising a crossing.

“Bicyclists would still have to slow down in order to insure that the intersection is clear of pedestrians, vehicles, and other bicycles,” it reads.

The Council can’t change the traffic laws, but Reynoso’s proposal would have the city call upon the state to make the changes.

His pitch is based on a similar law that has been in place in pastoral state of Idaho since 1982, giving the action the nickname the “Idaho Stop.”

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ferken Derya from Midway says:
Good news for the sellers of glass tube candles teddy bears deli flowers and white bikes.

Let anarchy rein!
Nov. 30, 2015, 7:46 am
Against from NYC says:
No, no, no!
Nov. 30, 2015, 8:11 am
100% NO from NYC says:
NO WAY is it's okay for bikes and not for cars.
The thought that bikes pose less danger than cars is ludicrous. In fact, it is the opposite.

Bikes offer the rider no protection whatsoever while cars have 4 wheels, a steel cage, safety belts, air bags and now sensors & radar for accident avoidance. Further, looking at it from the point of view that a bike does less damage than a car is narrow minded. Bikes running intersections are no less a cause of auto collisions than another auto. Lastly, bikes shouldn't have the right to get anywhere faster than a car just because it's faster if they break the law, especially if they're "bike couriers". There's no reason bike courier companies should be putting their workers at risk just so they can make more money - sad the riders are too dumb to recognize it.
Nov. 30, 2015, 8:44 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
^^^3 extreme cases of the BEETUS^^^
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:27 am
ty from pps says:
100% NO -- When you make a statement like "The thought that bikes pose less danger than cars is ludicrous. In fact, it is the opposite." You should follow it up with words that actually support that statement, not just additional unsupported proclamations.

(Have you ever been on a bicycle?)
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:36 am
AMH from Harlem says:
"But bikes can still maim pedestrians — cyclists in Brooklyn hit and injured 86 walking commuters..."

Sure they theoretically can, but do they pose a significant danger at all? How many of those 86 injuries were permanent (the definition of "maiming")? How many were killed by drivers of motor vehicles?
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:41 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Well, as long as it's not you! I am more afraid of bring hit by a bike than a car. A car is highly visible. Bikes are not, until they are right upon you.
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:55 am
ty from pps says:
Me -- Your irrational fears shouldn't determine law and policy.
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:58 am
ty from pps says:
As a question to all of the people who clearly have never been on a bicycle, why are you so convinced cyclists are hellbent on throwing their bodies off their bikes and onto the ground, against cars and other objects?
Nov. 30, 2015, 10:02 am
Ken from Upper West Side says:
Reynoso's proposal makes perfect sense, acknowledging that because bikes and motor vehicles are different, somewhat different road rules should apply. Allowing cyclists to get a head start at signalized intersections will also reduce the number of cyclists struck by turning vehicles. Meanwhile, your article's "no brakes" lede is highly misleading and inflammatory. As the article later notes, the bill would specifically require slowing at intersections.
Nov. 30, 2015, 10:31 am
Reader from Brooklyn says:
"Give them a break — no brakes."

This tabloid format is just so idiotic.
Nov. 30, 2015, 10:40 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
HA! ... Love it! Yer mook is stuck in traffic in his four-door, yer hipster scoots on by. Love it. Good idea.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:03 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
It's not irrationalwhen you've been sideswiped by a bicycle and your friend has been hit and knocked over by one. This obsession with bicycle riding by grown men is childish.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:13 am
Jane from Bay Ridge says:
No. Absolutely not. They already skirt most of the rules of the road they're required to follow, and after having both myself and my sister hit by cyclists (in two separate incidents), they should be held to the same exact standards as anyone driving a vehicle.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:15 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
This is the best idea I've heard for a while, so of course the comments on it are among the dumbest. 100% No takes the cake for one of the all time stupidest things said, which is good news for Jane who is saved from that ignominy.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:26 am
Jane from Bay Ridge says:
Well, Hipster Mike-when you've seen near misses because one of your bearded brethren felt that they're too special to wait for a light, or cut in front of a truck, or ride on the sidewalk, or ride the wrong way on a street, you take umbrage with crap like this.

And the next time you have to pay your medical bills out of your own pocket because one of these knuckleheads hit you, knocked you out, and rode off, you may come to understand those of us against it.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:30 am
Brian Van from Gramercy says:
@Jane from Bay Ridge:

So you mean cyclists should be allowed to run red lights whenever they want & get away with leaving the scene of fatal pedestrian collisions? Because those are the standards for driving a motor vehicle in NYC nowadays.

Bicycles are held to a HIGHER standard, mostly because police find it simple and politically convenient to ticket cyclists on major bike routes who treat red lights like stop signs (while still yielding the right-of-way). Compare that to the years-long political effort it took to just get less than 200 speed-detection cameras in a city of 8 million that can only be active near schools during school hours. Most pols never had such worries about fairness when it came to increased bicycle enforcement, eh?

To be clear, I'm not sure that I would unconditionally support a statewide "Idaho stop" law. I do think they should look at the issue and honestly approximate how such a law might impact safety or right-of-way violations. Obviously a cyclist would not have the right-of-way at a non-empty intersection (and would still be liable for a ticket for failing to yield in such a situation), but I'm tired of hearing about cops using empty intersections and empty roads for ticket stings of any type - against cars, bikes or pedestrians. It's a waste of our time and takes resources away from productive Vision Zero efforts.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:40 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Jane feels embittered that I said that 100% No had the stupidest comment and she's putting up a fierce fight for that dishonor!
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:45 am
Jane from Bay Ridge says:
Those are not the standards, and you know it.

Not sure where you've been living, but I've NEVER seen a cop give out a summons to a cyclist, and I've watched them watch cyclists run red lights.

And REGARDLESS of how empty a street is or what time of day or night, you (the Universal You) should be required to observe all traffic safety laws (whether pedestrian, cyclist, or motor vehicle operator). By not observing it, people fall into bad habits (if they don't already have them).

(Incidentally, I'm all for red-light cameras and speed cameras.)
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:50 am
boof from brooklyn says:
"This tabloid format is just so idiotic."

Actually, the Brooklyn Paper is a broadsheet.

Nov. 30, 2015, 12:08 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
They should allow this - after bikes and bikers are registered and insured.

Think about the revenue!
Nov. 30, 2015, 12:55 pm
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
How many people have been killed by cars' negligence in the last 10 years?

How many people have been killed by cyclists' negligence in the past 10 years?

no contest! drivers are just sad the city is changing around them and their cars are dumb!
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:08 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
More people are driving cars than riding bicycles so your comparison is mathematically nonsensical.
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:12 pm
ty from pps says:
OK, Me. Let's look at proportional numbers... go ahead.
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:20 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
17 motor vehicles in the picture and one bicycle.
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:28 pm
and 100% NO from NYC says:
If anything, bikes should be held to higher fees for breaking the law as they pose more hazards to themselves at a price to motorists liability. Motorists shouldn't have to pay for unprotected cyclists injuries but the way the laws are presently written, they are.
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:28 pm
...and 100% NO from NYC says:
Not only shouldn't this law not pass, it shouldn't even be presented. Stop empowering unprotected cyclists from turning our streets into a free-for-all - they're out of control already, let's not make it worse. Vote NO to this bill!
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:29 pm
......and 100% NO from NYC says:
I would take a trade off though; if we can get all cyclist registered with plates and insurance, and have them accountable for their actions, I'm sure most of the cyclist mayhem will be reduced significantly. It's a trade off that I'm sure the cyclist majority is unwilling to exchange. Freedom & Responsibility vs anonymity - I'm sure the latter will prevail.
Nov. 30, 2015, 1:37 pm
ty from pps says:
"cyclist mayhem" HAHAHAHA! You're adorable, 100% NO. How do you even make it outside your door each day? Again. Your irrational fears shouldn't determine law and policy... actual facts.

Me - There is ONE car and ONE bicycle and ONE bus in that photo. The other cars are parked. No? And you completely missed my point. I was welcoming you to look at injury and deaths in a way that isn't "mathematically nonsensical." Do the math. Apply ratios and weighting to the statistics. Let us know how dangerous bicyclists are to the very fabric of society compared to motor vehicles. You're the one that wants to prove that cars are less of a threat than murderous cyclists... Or do you expect us to do the work for you? (And prove you wrong, and listen to you tell us how we're lying.)
Nov. 30, 2015, 3:15 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Most of the arguments against the law are not well thought out. Which is the infraction that causes a cyclist to collide with a pedestrian, running a red light or failure to yield? Since that question is obviously rhetorical, the point is simple: enforcement needs to focus on what provides the most safety to all road users. For pedestrians, and motor vehicles, what needs to be enforced is failure to yield. Empty intersection enforcement does not help traffic safety. What pedestrians (that are only pedestrians and not cyclists as well) don't realize is, if all vehicles are forced to yield, their safety will increase. Not so with red lights, as most pedestrians who are injured, in any way by vehicles, are hurt by turning vehicles. The same is true for cyclists. The way to increase cyclist safety of turning vehicles is to allow them to get out in front of vehicles, crossing the side street before a turning vehicle. This happens by allowing cyclists to go through the light when safe. Some cyclists just think of the speed difference, because it will increase speed, just like right on red decreases travel time for cars. But the realistic reason to allow it is not the travel time issue but the safety issue. When Idaho introduced the "Idaho Stop," they have seen statistically significant reductions in traffic injuries and fatalities across all road users. Moral, focus on what actually makes people safer. If the laws as written does not make everyone safer, then changing the laws makes sense. Focus not on the idea of whether cyclists are rule breakers, but if the rules themselves make everyone safer.

@100% No from Brooklyn - thanks for seeming to look out for cyclists, from a driver's perspective. But if you really were concerned about cyclist and pedestrian safety, you would focus on motorist behavior, since it has been shown to cause the vast majority of collisions. And realize, as I said above, that truly looking out for cyclist safety would be allowing cyclists to proceed through intersections with caution. This won't change the threat to pedestrian, vehicle, or cyclist of the cyclists who fly into intersections with a death wish, which are by far the minority. But it will allow those who are cautious to be safer.sent
Nov. 30, 2015, 3:39 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Sorry, that was @100% No from NYC, not Brooklyn.
Nov. 30, 2015, 3:40 pm
Zero Vision from Vision Zero says:
"Safe" is a relative term. A rider might "think" they have enough time to go through a red light, then splat. For pedestrians worried about getting hit by a cyclist, get low then give them the shoulder. If you're older swing the cane...
Nov. 30, 2015, 4:58 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I was once hit by a cyclist running a red light. We both fell down, but I got up first and then made sure to stab her. I pulled out my knife which I carry at all times, and jammed it straight in the ——. If I get hit by any bicycle again when I have the walk light I will cut their throat, go through their pockets, take their ID, find out where they live, and keep ll everyone there by duct taping their mouth shut and chop of their fingers and stick them up their nose so they suffocate on their own fingers and put a mirror in front of their face so they can watch.
Nov. 30, 2015, 4:58 pm
Keith from Greenpoint says:
Jim from Cobble Hill: you got my vote........
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:11 pm
imfrom from flatbush says:
HELL NO!!! No way this proposed law should be passed. There are too many bikers who have no regard for pedestrians with current laws.
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:18 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find this to be a bad idea on all levels. Why exactly should cyclists be allowed to run red lights when all vehicles can't? Let's not forget that there are already a number of cyclists that are doing this right now and long before this was even thought of. Seriously, I'm getting tired of hearing about how a rolling stop can work for cyclists, but they have to understand is that they aren't in some rural town, they are in a big city, and doing so can actually place them into harm's way. What were the supporters taking when they thought about this? If cyclists should get a right to run a red light or treat it like a stop if the intersection is clear, then so should all other people who drive a vehicle in a claim for fairness. On a side note, I still feel that bicycles should be registered, insured, and licensed, but the bike zealots will always be crying foul to that, because it will mean that they can be tracked should they ever hit anyone especially in having their license plate number read.
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:28 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm soooooo surprised Tal Barzilai thinks this is a bad idea.

Tal - Do you actually type these words fresh every time or do you have a document you just copy-and-paste from?
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, how about giving us reasons to why cyclists should be allowed to run red lights instead of making personal attacks?
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:43 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Statistics and facts about car drivers
The number of people with a driver’s license in the United States rose steadily from 1988 to 2010. In 1988, the number of licensed drivers totaled 163 million and by 2010 this number had increased to around 210 million.
Number of cyclists/bike riders: Number of people who have been cycling within the last 12 months in the United States (USA) from spring 2008 to spring 2015 (in millions)
This statistic illustrates the number of cyclists and bike riders within the last 12 months in the United States (USA) from spring 2008 to spring 2015. In spring 2008, the number of people who have been cycling within the last 12 months amounted to 47.16 million.
Nov. 30, 2015, 6:21 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Tal, I didn't notice any personal attacks there. He didn't call you an idiot, or fat, or anything of the like. Those are personal attacks. Saying that he is not surprised you are against it is like saying he is not surprised Westboro Church members wouldn't support gay marriage. Asking if you cut and paste... You say the same things and have the same arguments everywhere you post. They are like political talking points. There is actually no attack there.

As for reasons, read my post above. It outlines reasons. Being from Pleasantville, if course you will have a very car centric attitude because you can't do much in the suburbs without one. In the city though, cars are the minority. Pedestrians are the forefront of all issues because they/we outnumber all others. But when it comes to vehicle issues, there is a difference between allowing bikes to operate under different rules than other vehicles for a simple reason: cyclists have a more vested interest in the safety of crossings than cars do because a cyclist stands to be injured in any collision. A driver has that interest removed because of all the safety features in a car. They can easily collide with a pedestrian at high speed and not even get a scratch on them. While a bike doing the same thing will send the rider to the hospital as well.

There are a few bad actors on all sides, such as drivers doing 60mph on urban streets, pedestrians who walk in front of anything that moves, with out without the right of way, and cyclists who barrel into intersections with a red light. Nothing except vigilant police presence and enforcement will stop that. But the vast vast majority of cyclists do not ride in an unsafe manner, and being allowed to enter and cross intersections in a safe way will benefit the cyclist safety wise because the biggest threat to a cyclist is a moving car. Crossing a clear intersection, after yielding the right of way, allows a cyclists to proceed while the cars at the intersection are stationary, amplifying the safety of the cyclist.

Everyone seems to be of this idea that allowing cyclists to proceed with the Idaho Stop or the Paris Stop will create total street anarchy. But the truth is, most cyclists are already riding this way for self preservation. For example, when I am riding up the Central Park West bike lane, a class 2 lane that cars can easily enter, I have to ride out of the lane very often because of cars blocking the lane. To do this safely at rush hour, I have the choice of moving ahead through the red light, putting me in front of the parallel cars with a safe distance once the light turns green, passing the stopped car safely, or I can wait for the light, swing out into traffic when I get to the car, and hope that an oncoming driver is attentive enough to see me. The other option is to sit in the bike lane, behind the parked car, and wait for it to move, because even once the light turns red and all of the Northbound cars stop, there is not enough room to squeeze past the car in the bike lane and the one in the right lane right next to it.

So, I have a suggestion- obviously you don't have the safety perspective of a cyclist. Come take a ride with me, see what feels the safest for you on a bike. Ride my way, see how this law would increase your safety.

*note for above, while you might think my use of 60mph is an exaggeration, it is not all too uncommon. The average driver drives at a rate of 5mph above the speed limit (I was actually taught that in driver's ed) and I have found that I have to be very attentive to my speedometer, because it is very easily to speed while still driving comfortably (yes, I have a car too).
Nov. 30, 2015, 6:41 pm
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
I honestly do not ride enough in Manhattan to be sure, but it seems like there are just too many pedestrians to go through many lights without stopping. I certainly do the Idaho stop when riding in the more residential areas of Brooklyn.
Nov. 30, 2015, 7:05 pm
jay from nyc says:
Josh, you are correct that most cyclists are breaking the law already, (but then weirdly in your own post you later state the opposite) and yes, it creates alot of problems and the current state of things actually is pretty close to anarchy. And yes, the vast MAJORITY bicyclists do break the law, they now want to change the law, because they are tired of getting tickets.
Is it as dangerous as a car?I dunoo, but that is not the legal standard. Knives are not as dangerous as guns but you can't walk around with an 8 inch knife either.
Bono was hit by a bike and may never be able to play guitar again. Some might think that is a good thing, but that is how he makes his money. The biker that hit him has no insurance to cover a persons lost wages or injuries. Why make that problem bigger?
This is just a dangerous stupid idea, by this total light weight of a city council member who admits he violates the law. he should be locked up under the provision that allows the police to lockup someone if their biking is a danger,this city council man qualifies as such, and he is also a HORRIBLE example for children.
Hey kids grow up to work in the government and then you too can break the law or even write the law to suit you! This is the same reason why people like sheldon silver exists. TOTAL DISGRACE.
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:21 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Trollerskates- there are hundreds of intersections in Manhattan where the Idaho Stop would be safe, or even safer than stopping for the light. Many in the core would end up not allowing cyclists to proceed, obviously, but that is the point of the Idaho Stop. You come to a stop and ONLY proceed when conditions permit, which might be when the light turns green.
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:37 pm
Tyson White from UWS says:
Tal Barzilai,

Drivers are licensed and insured, yet 21.5% of drivers in NYC involved in fatal pedestrian crashes left the scene.
Only about half the hit-and-runs are solved
Nov. 30, 2015, 9:55 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Jay, a very interesting argument. First, if you read clearly what I wrote, my focus is on safety, not the letter of the law. But I am always intrigued by the circular argument of it is against the law because it is unsafe, and it is unsafe because it is against the law. When you are stuck in that cycle, you will never get anywhere. Laws can be changed so that they make more sense. You can't say a law makes sense just because it is the law. You have to look at it critically.

Yes, Bono was hit by a cyclist. He was also on a bike at the time, himself. It also happened in Central Park, with two training cyclists, not on city streets. Yeah, I'm a U2 fan too, but really drawing at straws to say bicyclists cause mayhem, like to poor Bono.
Nov. 30, 2015, 10:35 pm
Julian from Fort Greene says:
The logic is irreproachable: Bicylists already disobey the,traffic laws, so let's change the laws for the bicyclists. The DOT is spending millions of dollars expanding bike lanes and otherwise catering to the bike cartel yet bikes ride the streets free. They don't have to be registered or licensed and their upkeep is up to the owner. There are no state inspections of bikes for safety. Still the bikers whine. They've been spoiled and entitled and so now think they're being victimized by the rules of the road. They're like the tantruming brats at colleges. And Councilman Reynoso is like the weak college administrators who coddle the pouting brats. Red lights are for the peasants in buses, trucks and cars.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:18 pm
.........and 100% NO from NYC says:
You can't compare statics between cars and bikes. Volumes and carry capacity are worlds apart.

What you need to focus on is the human brain that's lacking in each (ie. see comments above). Therefore you need controls to think for us and unfortunately that will never change as well as the need for controls in equality, hence why this law cannot pass.

And if you want different, you can find it in Idaho! "Go west my friends >>>"
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:36 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
How about this for those of you who can only see from a windshield perspective: if bike lanes continue to be installed throughout the city, and other traffic laws change to make all road users safer, our costs for liability insurance will decrease. In other words - change the laws, let the government spend the money building bike lanes which statistically make the streets safer, and it will save you money!
Dec. 1, 2015, 12:02 am
Less talking and more listening from Manhattan says:
Josh; Its not about from where you look, but how you see. And as we'll never see it the same, we'll need to make it equal.

Ditto 100% NO
Dec. 1, 2015, 12:56 am
Josh from Manhattan says:
Less Talking, you are right, it is all about how you see. The majority of people can only see from their personal perspective, and will not see from the perspective of all that are involved. While I do not think I am unique, I am looking at it from all aspects. I spend the majority of my transportation time on foot, both alone and with my family and young son. I also own and drive a car in the city, and also cycle around for transportation purposes. So I have the luxury of seeing from all three perspectives, allowing me to, pun intended, put the arguments into perspective. That's the typical problem with most people - they are extremely insular in their views and refuse to hear the viewpoint of others. If it affects them, they will argue for what is best for them, even if it is to the detriment of others. If it does not affect them, they will argue for the status quo. If they are not well versed in how it affects them, they will argue strongly for the status quo. It has to do with the lack of most people being able to think critically.
Dec. 1, 2015, 9:43 am
Ken from Brooklyn says:
every bikers tires should be slashed if violating rules stop signs, red lights, red flashers of school buses, driving wrong direction etc all they do pointing fingers and drive off what a shame!!!
Dec. 1, 2015, 10:58 am
D from M says:
I'm a frequent biker that tries to follow the rules. At heavy traffic intersections, I generally stop at the light and wait for the green. When there isn't much traffic, I'll slow down, look both ways, then continue on. I do this for two reasons. Regaining momentum, for the first few petals reduces your control which generally coincides with being where a car could be turning, losing control where you need it most. Second, it gives me separation from drivers. Both of these reasons make yielding safer for bikers and cars and in theory should not harm pedestrians. The problem comes in when people don't slow down at all at intersections, bike in the wrong direction, or aren't carrying a light (or a helmet) on these dark evenings. To optimize safety for all concerned, I suggest legalizing bike yields at lights but upping resources to ticket bikers that are doing actions that endanger others (going the wrong direction, biking through intersections full speed, etc.). That way we can punish the bad bikers who threaten others without endangering the good bikers who follow the rules.
Dec. 1, 2015, 11:02 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
For all the idiots who think cyclists are such a menace and should have plates/insurance:

and this is just the latest of many entitled motorists who "flout the law" -as Tal likes to say.
Dec. 1, 2015, 11:30 am
ty from pps says:
Dec. 1, 2015, 12:29 pm
Lee from Park Slope says:
Bikes are worse than the cars....especially those unregulated delivery bikes who are more like stealth bombers and will mow you down in a second.

So I say NO!
Dec. 1, 2015, 3:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, personal attacks can also imply those who tend to act defensive or gang up on those who don't see things their way, plus they don't give much reasons to their claims. Nevertheless, I feel that cyclists shouldn't be allowed to do this at all. They aren't just placing themselves into harm's way be blowing red lights and stop signs, but also placing pedestrians into it as well. For the record, I don't condone the action of reckless drivers yet I hardly ever hear any other cyclists condemn the actions of rogue cyclists. Should cyclists be allowed to ride through red lights when other vehicles can't can turn into a slippery slope with other groups asking for special treatment of the laws. Why not just overturn the law of not allowing for right turns on red after a complete stop all over NYC? I could never understand why NYC is the only place in the entire country that doesn't allow for vehicles to make a right turn on red throughout all five boroughs unless there are signs that allow for it. Everywhere else in this country, motorists can make a right turn on red after doing a complete stop and yielding to the intersecting traffic, who has the right of way for having a green light on their street, unless there is a sign saying that they can't, so I don't see why this can't be lifted for NYC. Overall, I won't allow cyclists to roll through traffic lights and signs without obeying to them until that citywide no turn on red law is overturned for motorists. Seriously, I could never understand why I have to wait for a green light in just Manhattan alone to make a right turn when the intersecting road is clear after I stop there, but a cyclists can just go right through it without having to put on the brakes at all.
Dec. 1, 2015, 5:03 pm
Josh from Manahattan says:
Tal, so what you are saying is you won't support a change for cyclists, when safety is involved, unless you get something out of it?

The reason there is no turn on red, city wide is due to multiple issues. First and foremost, it is because it is a state law, whixh, in order for state laws to apply in NYC and single out.only NYC, are written broadly to any municipality with over a million people, which singles out NYC. Then, NYCDOT gets overrides on specific intersections.

Second, sight lines are different in NYC intersections than suburbia. Suburban intersections are daylighted to 15 feet from the corner/crosswalk with parking restrictions. In NYC, the parking restrictions end at the crosswalk, giving a much shorter view.

Third, and most importantly, through so many intersections, a right on red would cause the driver to have to be attentive to cross traffic with the right of way AND pedestrians crossing in front of the car, often coming from the other direction than the driver would be looking while waiting for an opening in traffic. Because the majority of intersections in Manhattan, and a huge number in the other boroughs as well, it is a blanket prohibition.

Now, your next argument is going to be, if this is the case, how could we argue for bicycles to do it? Because of the size of the bicycle, the rider just has to observe the crosswalk, and then they can cross the crosswalk BUT NOT ENTER THE INTERSECTION. Then, can enter the intersection when clear. Of crossing straight, the cyclist could stop at the other crosswalk as well, still clear of oncoming traffic. Also, cyclists have greater field of view than a driver because of lack of any surrounding vehicles. You and others keep emphasizing cyclists blowing through lights and intersections. With or without passage of this law, that behavior would still be ILLEGAL. Again, the issue here is not whether a cyclist is obeying the light, it is whether the cyclist is YIELDING.

You stated that you never hear cyclists denouncing unsafe cyclists. It has been done several times in this thread. There are many of us who do that in person as well, shouting out cyclists doing something wrong. Most cyclists are against people riding the wrong way (salmoning), riding on sidewalks, blowing through red lights without yielding. The vast majority of the people advocating for the change in law also agree that stepped up enforcement needs to happen for the other laws. The police need to prioritize and enforce all of the traffic violations that are truly dangerous to pedestrians and others. When a cyclist runs a red light and hits a pedestrian with the right of way, for example, the dangerous infraction was not that they ran the red light, but that they failed to yield to the pedestrian. Thus, to have the police use enforcement to make pedestrians safer, they need to focus on the infractions that will make them safer. Very often, police officers just want numbers of tickets, so they will stand at an intersection that a cyclists can easily cross safety, and so often will do. This gives tickets to cyclists who may not ever actually do something unsafe, but they just broke the letter of the law, without putting a single person at risk. If the police used that same officer and placed him at an intersection where there actually were people crossing and focused on failure to yield, then they will write fewer tickets, but the tickets will actually impact cyclist behavior. For example, I received one of those bogus tickets a couple years back. My cha he I behavior now is just that I won't safely cross the intersection of police are present. It didn't change my behavior because my behavior was not unsafe to begin with - so you understand, I will never cross and intersection where I will cause a pedestrian with the right of way to take any different step than they would have if I wasn't there. Same with an oncoming car that has the right of way. I will only cross a light if it does not affect anyone else. This is actually the way most cyclists who cross intersections against the light does it. Just like the vast majority of jaywalkers cross against the letter of the law, but are 100% safe in doing so. There is another law proposed that will legalize a lot of the jaywalking that is not dangerous to anyone and clarifies pedestrian right of way.
Dec. 1, 2015, 7:12 pm
Julian from Fort Greene says:
Does Mike from Williamburg not have a life? He seems to get his kicks from commenting about every other poster. He tends to pick out one he deems dumbest in a field of all dummies. Why is someone so brilliant not using his time to help solve climate change or income inequality instead of denigrating the feeble minded?

(No doubt Mike from Williamsburg will denounce this comment, too.)
Dec. 1, 2015, 9:41 pm
greg from williamsburg says:
Josh, A lot of people including myself do not have the patience or aptitude to explain this to people that don't ride. Thank you for the time you committed. Even if you didn't sway one of the sheep you clearly rounded the flock.
Dec. 2, 2015, 1:04 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Thanks, Greg.
Dec. 2, 2015, 4:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Josh, I hate to break this to you, but your statement on what motorists do doesn't excuse cyclists such as yourself from flouting the laws. As a matter of fact, you tend to be dodging the entire issue of cyclists flouting the laws. Nobody is saying that motorists aren't a threat when they are flouting traffic laws, but this isn't what the subject is about. We are talking about whether or not it's a good idea to have cyclists run a red light, and you have yet to answer me on that. Instead, you just give a whole statement on how it's bad to drive while ignoring the fact that bicycles can be just as dangerous, and there is proof to that. You have to understand that two wrongs don't make a right. Also, pretending to act like a victim to the rules isn't going to get them changed when so many will just be viewing cyclists as nothing but overgrown children and that there should be enforcement on them rather than less.
Dec. 2, 2015, 6:44 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Ok, I guess now I am starting to see why you have such a "loyal" following to your posts. So, I can't help but ask if there is something wrong with your reading comprehension. I have actually addressed all of what you are talking about over and over again, which is why Greg went so far as to thank me for the detail I put into the explanation. The fact that you seem to pretend I haven't is just absolutely intriguing. It is literally like trying to have an intellectial conversation when the other participant is just a piece of paper that just has taking points written on it. I'm sorry, but you really are no longer worth my time. Continue living your life with blinders on.
Dec. 2, 2015, 9:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Josh, I feel that you reading a reflection in the mirror, because I tend to find it all backwards and that you are really describing yourself here. If anyone here is wearing blinders, it's you, not me. On plenty of other websites that are more open such as the NY Times, I usually get heavily recommended for what I have to say about this issue and even get a NY Times Pick for that as well. I was even applauded greatly at a Vision Zero hearing for what I had to say about cyclists not following the laws rather than booed. Seriously, your talk about motorists are the only threat due to flouting the laws, which I do agree on, still doesn't make cyclists any less of that when they do it nor does it give them any reasons to do that either. For the record, I'm not against safety, but I feel that you can't have safe streets until all groups follow the rules and play their role in safety, not just one group only. By your logic, maybe Hamas isn't much of a terrorist group since the Israel Defense Force kills a lot more as the anti-Israel crowd claims and I can almost equate that to what the anti-car crowd has to say about motorists while ignoring what cyclists can do. Since you mention perspective, it's like saying what defines right and wrong or even good and bad, because that can always change definitions depending on who views it. For example, not everyone thinks that hate groups and terrorists are bad guys but rather martyrs in their perspective. Overall, the car culture is just like the WNBA, because no matter how much you hate it, this isn't going away anytime soon, so learn to live with it. Then again, you probably won't like motor vehicles even if they were all to go either electric or hybrid tomorrow, because they are still motor vehicles and your group pretty much despises them no matter what. As for mentioning Pleasantville, there are lot of things you don't know about my hometown. Much of this town is very walkable even though I don't happen to live around the town center myself, plus Pleasantville is one of the few school districts in Westchester County not to have school buses. In other words, we aren't your classic definition of the typical suburb. BTW, the Metro-North RR station is heavily used and you have to show up there as early as you can if you want a parking stop in the commuter lot there or you don't get one at all. Judging by your claim on Pleasantville, I'm guessing that you haven't been outside of your own area that much, but maybe if you came over, you would see it in a much different way as I do for anyone else's.
Dec. 3, 2015, 5:19 pm
give it a break from a tired place says:
Man you guys are boring, same nonsense over and over. You'd think that the road rage would would help dispel some of that negative energy.

Going to be now..........
Dec. 3, 2015, 11:40 pm
Jay from Brooklyn says:
Maybe if they didn't run red lights and stop signs they wouldn't get hit by cars. They cause damage to vehicles and leave the scene all the time. Definitely need insurance and registration for bikers.
Dec. 8, 2015, 9:26 am

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