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Thread: Biking in New York City

  1. #541
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Common sense zero = make a law .


    Should Biking & Texting Be Illegal? Some Bike Advocates Say “No” To Treyger Proposal

    by Rachel Silberstein


    Source: micurs via Flickr

    Last month, Councilman Mark Treyger proposed a comprehensive bike safety legislation package to help minimize bike casualties, winning support from the City Council’s Transportation Committee, the mayor, and bike advocacy groups like Bike New York.

    But while no one thinks it’s a smart idea to text and cycle at the same time, not all bike advocates think the law would make streets safer.

    One criticism is that the bill is an example of legislation-by-anecdote. Treyger cites his own experience of witnessing a near-collision in front of his Stillwell Avenue office as evidence of the dangers of biking and texting, when, in fact, there is little data demonstrating that texting while cycling has caused any fatalities.

    From StreetsBlog New York:

    No doubt, texting and biking don’t mix, but is there any evidence that texting while bicycling has caused actual crashes? When asked for data that show the need for legislation, Treyger only produced stats showing that the number of crashes between cyclists and pedestrians rose from 2012 to 2013. He could not offer data on how often cell phone use by cyclists actually contributes to crashes

    “It is hard to pinpoint exact data,” he said. “Quite frankly, after what I saw, I don’t need to see data to know that was wrong and that was dangerous.”

    Secondly, some argue that cyclists would be disproportionately targeted by traffic cops, as they are more visible than drivers of cars. Furthermore, the proposed cycling laws are even more stringent than current laws for motor vehicles. Doug Gordon, a television producer who runs the biking blog Brooklyn Spoke, writes:

    Treyger’s bill “would ban any use of a cellphone, tablet or computer except when attached to a hands-free device. It’s currently legal to fiddle with a smart phone while riding a bike.” Drivers are free to fiddle with GPS devices, dashboard touch-screens that require them to take their eyes off the road just to change radio stations or adjust the AC, and many other non-cellphone devices. These distractions have likely caused more fatal crashes than texting-while-biking.

    There’s also plenty of research to show that hands-free devices do little to limit a driver’s cognitive distraction. If Treyger wanted to save lives, he’d propose, or at least discuss, banning the use of a cellphone in any form, handsfree or otherwise, while operating a motor vehicle.

    Finally, some folks are worried about how the law will be implemented. For example, Gordon cites research showing that tickets for bike infractions like riding on the sidewalk are disproportionately used as an excuse to pull over black and Hispanic young men. Enforcement of these laws, he adds, are just a waste of valuable police resources and time.

    This recent viral photo of a cop intercepting a bike for a traffic infraction, seems to highlight the challenges of enforcing bike laws:



    http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/...yger-proposal/

  2. #542
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    Time to move to Plan "B" for stopping cyclists in mid stride




    if that fails, move to plan "C"


  3. #543
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    ^ lofl!

  4. #544
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    Taming Boulevards

    New York City unveils Vision Zero pedestrian safety plans.

    by Branden Klayko
    18th March, 2015


    Dani Simons / Flickr

    Step by step, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign to promote pedestrian safety is going into effect across the city’s five boroughs. In February the mayor signed a measure to reduce the citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 mph. Now the city’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has released the most detailed plans yet to address the issue, calling for targeted approaches to redesign the city’s most dangerous streets—high-traffic corridors and intersections.

    “We know arterial streets are the most dangerous in New York City,” Caroline Samponaro, deputy director at Transportation Alternatives, a street safety advocacy group, told AN. “They make up about 15 percent of city streets. What they did in the reports is look at the most dangerous of the dangerous and identified 154 corridors total across five boroughs.” For instance, 127 miles of priority corridors in Queens comprise just six percent of the borough’s total roads but make up for 47 percent of pedestrian fatalities. Similar figures were cited for each borough.


    Heat map of pedestrian fatalities in Brooklyn.
    Courtesy NYCDOT

    These findings are backed up by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s 2015 “Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report, which identified the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, and Queens’ Woodhaven and Queens boulevards as safety trouble spots. All four are targets of Vision Zero safety plans.

    Collectively, the plans call for implementing at least 50 street redesign projects along the identified corridors. Additional measures include adding speed cameras, increasing pedestrian crossing times, and targeting police enforcement, especially in evening and overnight hours when collisions tend to spike. Each borough plan further delineates additional changes tailored to conditions on the ground in each borough such as better lighting at underpasses and additional signage.


    Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Plan target areas in Brooklyn (left) and Queens (right).
    Courtesy NYCDOT

    The safety plans were generated by crunching crash data and scrutinizing the geography of pedestrian collisions, taking into account dozens of community meetings and thousands of public comments. The analysis indicates where concerted street redesign efforts will have the greatest effect.

    NYCDOT is also calling for special emphasis on senior safety. In Manhattan, seniors make up 14 percent of the population but account for 41 percent of pedestrian fatalities. Redesigned streets and education campaigns are expected to curtail those numbers.


    Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Plan target areas in Manhattan (left), Staten Island (center), and the Bronx (right).
    Courtesy NYCDOT

    While pedestrian deaths have decreased substantially across New York City—some 50 percent over 30 years—Staten Island is the statistical outlier, with an 11 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the same period. Pedestrians there make up 48 percent of all traffic fatalities. The NYCDOT’s target area is focused around the northeastern corner of the island at the ferry landing, where major new developments are underway, including a shopping mall by SHoP Architects and the New York Wheel Ferris wheel.


    Pedestrian plazas are known to have traffic calming effects.
    Stephen Rees / Flickr

    Samponaro praised the city’s safety plans, yet urged the NYCDOT to avoid a patchwork approach to redesigning streets. “We need to look at the most dangerous streets in their entirety,” she said. “Not just intersection by intersection.” She hopes the city continues to utilize “early action treatments” to enact quick fixes like painting pedestrian plazas and neckdowns using the NYCDOT’s operating budget.

    The first four streets to be redesigned are Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue, Queens Boulevard, and the Grand Concourse, which make up 20 miles of the overall 443 miles of priority corridors. De Blasio called for these “Vision Zero Great Streets” to be finished within the next four years using $250 million from the city budget.

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=7916

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