Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This NYC bike lane stuff pisses me off

The bike lanes in NYC

So here we have some trouble a brewin' in NYC with the new bike lanes. Not surprisingly, drivers aren't respecting them. Double parked trucks, inconsiderate drivers ::gasp:: and a myriad of other obstacles have appeared in having a seamless integration of the new bike routes. Much of those troubles were to be expected, I don't think it's necessarily earth-shattering to think trucks would double park and obscure the lane of travel.
So some renegade cyclists came along and decided, unlawfully, to spray paint additional messages into the lane, hoping to add greater visibility, to contribute to the acceptance that they're there, they're staying, and darn it, move your car/truck from my lane of travel. So what was the solution? Spray paint heart-bicycle images and called it a LOVE LANE. This pisses me off.
How can cyclists concurrently be complaining about lawfullness while breaking the law? How can they be concurrently complaining about poor signage while sloppily spraypainting a clown on a bicycle?
How can they be complaining about drivers, et al taking the lanes seriously while applying the moniker, "Love Lane"?

I believe the DOT has already recognized that they need to be painted differently, in some cases painting the lanes green. If drivers or other people randomly started adding their messages to the lanes, I doubt we'd be too happy, so why start the trend? Increase enforcement of the $115 fine (where does that money go anyway?) and let's all take this seriously.

Clowns on bicycles indeed.


Anonymous said...

Taking my life into my hands...

The point of the spray painted messages was to provoke coverage of the issue. The folks involved know it's illegal and did it anyway. Think civil disobedience.

Never mind that from a car it's invisible. And pedestrians will only see them when crossing the street. If they were really trying to inform drivers they'd have to do something else.

That leaves press coverage, which is going OK I guess... it is a big problem though. I ride down there just enough to have experienced some of the "joys" of city biking, and the bike lanes are often placed so that clearing a double parked truck, or taxi pulling over for a fair can be far more dangerous than just riding down the middle of the street.

So my reaction to all this was positive.

At the same time, I have similar reaction to the general flaunting of rules of the road one sees by cyclists all the time... however, casting stones makes my shoulders throb, I'm not as young as I once was... (Que Gerry!)

Jenni said...

Ok, I'm in for civil disobedience, but that's not what the article says they were doing it for. The article says
"some bicyclists have resorted to inventive means to discourage the incursions. On a recent weeknight, nine men and women rode their bikes through the West Village on an outing — unsanctioned by the city — intended to make the lanes more prominent."

Anonymous said...

Yah. That's simply what they said to the reporter... because you can't say "The point of our unsanctioned ride was to get your ass out of bed to cover our story..."

I's just sayin...