Bike lane rules lack common sense

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As a Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe biker, I have been biking along Queens Boulevard in the new green bike lanes, while serenading myself with some songs from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Follow the green brick road, follow the green brick road...” — a parody of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” — as I dodge vehicular traffic from all sides in the green bike lane.

Ground rule No. 1 is for bicyclists to “stay near the right curb or edge of the road, or on a usable right shoulder of the road, to avoid undue interference with other traffic.”

The rule of staying to the right . . . (Driver’s Manual, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles).

Yet, the cited bike lanes have been designed and constructed near the left edge of the service roads in violation of the bicycle rule of the right. Further, motor vehicular traffic may cross diagonally at some points from the main road, through the bicycle lane onto the service road, while ongoing cars, buses and trucks traverse the bike lane to pass slow or backed up traffic in the single service road.

There are no provisions for law enforcement of illegal motor traffic within the bike lanes only demarcated with yellow and white painted lines. Ironically, despite the dangerous hazards of these bike lanes, a bicyclist “must ride in a bicycle lane, if a usable one is available” (ibid.).

We need new safety, environmental and business impact studies of these nascent bike lanes.

So, “We’re Off To See The Wizard” resonates in my mind, the wonderful wizard of the NYC Department of Transportation.

To me, this Kafkaesque nightmare is another failed experiment in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive social conditioning.

Joseph N. Manago


Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Cecilia Rivera from E. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY says:
Mr. Manago, Regards.

Agree with everything, but where you duly noted that a bicyclist "must ride in a bike lane, if a usable one is available".
Don't know about you and am not going to judge because I never seen you bicycling.

Bicyclists MUST also OBEY the rules of the road as motorists and I have seen many a times, bicyclists blowing through red lights as if these rules DON'T apply to them too.

And while mostly motorists are partly to blame with why bicyclists have to maneuver to cycle safely because motorists and delivery drivers double park and block traffic to other motorists and public transport vehicles.

In seeing bicyclists blowing through red lights without regard to the rules of the roads, I HAVE also seen them nearly running into pedestrians, injuring some even.

I HAVE also noticed bicyclists cut off motorists with the legal right of way and is why some wind up getting injured themselves.

But overall, I get what you're saying regarding bike lanes, because not too long ago on Grand Street and Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, a trucker with a suspended license, struck and injured a bicyclist as both were turning right on Bushwick Avenue.

And no sooner than it happened than the Department of Transportation released info of promising to come up with a "safety action plan" for the street by the Spring of 2017.

Spring 2017 HAS come and gone and NO plan has yet been released.
This crash "reinvigorated" calls to the city to come up with a plan.

If the Department of Transportation, who's in charge of the roads, haven't come up with a plan to address these issues it's because they simply DON'T care.
Dec. 5, 2017, 10:16 pm

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