I continuously cut off, almost hit by a-hole bike messengers. I would like to see a seperation in statistics for regular riders and messengers who take it right to the edge.
I'd say, based on my observations, delivery & messengers are often the worst. When I see bikers behaving inappropriately (riding on sidewalks, against traffic, too fast, not yeilding courteously), they are usually messengers or delivery people. Most people who are just biking for transportation or exercise seem to be courteous.
There was an interesting discussing of biking in NYC on NPR (Lopate? Leherer? I forget). An advocate pointed out that all traffic laws were written for cars. I thought it's probably time to write specific bike laws, (for example, red lights are stop & yield right-of-way, as opposed to assuming bicyclists must wait for a green).
I am planning a bike trip from Boston to Washington, DC this summer. I have a few questions about the bike path along the Hudson, and I thought that someone on this list my have recent experience that they could share.
We will be coming from Van Cortlandt Park to Midtown for a couple days, and then back up to the GW to continure our trip through New Jersey.
Here are my specific questions:
1. Is the Henry Hudson Bridge passable by bicycle or is it currently closed to bikes? Will it be open in July of 2008? Any advice about the Broadway Bridge as an alternative?
2. Has the road next to the Amtrak tracks been paved or do we need to use the Henry Hudson Parkway sidepath between Dyckman and 181st?
3. Is there now a continuous path from 145th to 125th near the North River Treatment plant? The ariel photos show what looks like a path next to the railroad tracks from 145th to 135th and a parking lot from 135th to 125th. I understand that there has been a new development called Harlem Piers under construction there. Is that complete now or will it be by July 2008?
4. Has the path between about 93rd and 83rd been completed, or is it still diverted to the other side of the Parkway there?
5. What is the status of the area about 59th near the Trump development?
6. Which pathway on the GW is open and likely to be open in July 2008?
Thanks for your help!
Riverside Park (from 156th to 58th st.) is very bicycle friendly. I would check out the detailed maps on http://www.riversideparkfund.org/vis...ap/?c=Park-Map. There are continuous bike paths for the length of the park (including past the treatment plant).
If Harlem Piers is still under construction when you ride, there will likely be a temporary bike/jogger path near the old one with appropriate signage. South of that, it's clear sailing all the way to Battery Park City.
From 83rd to 93rd, people typically ride along a wide path called the Serpentine Promenade, which is set back from the river's edge. So while it can be interpreted as being "diverted to the other side of the parkway", IMO it the best and most scenic way to go.
Phase IV of Riverside Park South (at 59th) should be open this summer. Either way, it does not effect the permanent bikepath, which runs behind the park (going underneath the elevated highway).
Hope this helps. As a former resident of Boston, I'd be interested if you could post here on how the trip ends up.
Skinny Wheels and Others Get a Roof Over Their Heads
By MIKE PEED
Published: April 6, 2008
LIKE a newly appointed C.E.O., a 53-year-old bike messenger named Robert Tellado has suddenly found himself in possession of a prime parking spot.
Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times
A cantilevered roof and even an instruction sheet.
“I used to have to chain my bike to scaffolding over there,” Mr. Tellado said a few days ago as he stood near Union Square, preparing to head out on another delivery run. “But look at me now. I’ve got this beautiful new bike shelter.”
Mr. Tellado was referring to an elaborate contraption with silver supports and a cantilevered roof that protects bikes from rain and snow. The structure is at Broadway and East 17th Street, and it is one of only four quietly erected around the city late last year. They were created by Cemusa, a Spanish design firm that is also building bus stands and public toilets for the city.
Each new shelter accommodates eight bikes, and the city’s Department of Transportation plans to have a total of 37 such shelters installed — not so many, given that an estimated 120,000 regular cyclists live in the five boroughs. But if they are well received, said Ted Timbers, a Transportation Department spokesman, “we will certainly look to add more in the future.”
For Mr. Tellado, who works for a company with offices just down the block, the new shelter was a windfall. Now, when he visits his dispatcher, his most essential possession can generally be stored somewhere safe and legal. On this afternoon, six bikes sat locked to the racks of the shelter, which have individual iron humps meant to accommodate one bike on each side.
“I’ll be back in 15 minutes,” Mr. Tellado announced as he tossed a bag across his shoulder. Before riding off, he added: “I watched this thing being built. When I was realized what they were doing, I was, like, ‘Whoa. Nice.’ ”
Another user of the bike shelter that day was Hilda Marmolejo-Pérez, an art therapy student at Pratt Institute. She had parked her black Marin Novato, which resembles a mountain bike with skinny tires, at the shelter near Union Square while she visited a doctor in the area.
Ms. Marmolejo-Pérez said that she found the racks of the new shelter much easier to use than the city’s smaller and more prevalent m-shaped racks, which are intended to hold four bicycles apiece.
“I just never know what to do with those,” Ms. Marmolejo-Pérez said. “But look right here,” she added, pointing to a diagram titled “How to Park to This Bicycle Rack.” “There’s a little instruction that shows you exactly how the bikes are supposed to go.”
Copyright 2008 The New York Times.
Thursday, April 24th, 2008
Paco Abraham Turns Duane Reade on to Bike Racks
Yesterday DOT announced it is seeking submissions for the first ever bike-friendly business awards. This being the week of Earth Day, a few bike-positive firms have come to our attention recently -- Macy's, W Hotels, J Crew -- but the most substantial business-led effort to improve the city's cycling environment this year may have come from Duane Reade. The omnipresent drugstore chain has asked the city to install bike racks at all its New York locations -- 150 in Manhattan plus dozens more in the outer boroughs.
Okay, this doesn't quite match the awards criteria, which are more about providing a welcome environment for employees who commute by bike, but it is a very public-spirited step that deserves major kudos. The request is the largest ever received by the CityRacks program -- "by a comfortable margin" -- said DOT spokesman Ted Timbers. And the story behind the Duane Reade bike racks suggests another award -- one for individual activism.
Duane Reade's request was prompted by none other than Streetsblog reader and frequent commenter Dave "Paco" Abraham.
Paco (above), a television producer for Sharp Entertainment, describes himself as the kind of person who asks everyone in the office to use the other side of the printer paper. About a year and a half ago, he started commuting by bike on a regular basis, from his apartment in Cobble Hill to his workplace in Chelsea. The experience gave him a new perspective on the city. "That got me thinking about all the little details that help a biker out," he said.
He had already been in touch with Duane Reade about waste-reducing measures like providing cloth totes instead of plastic bags, and the idea for bike racks seemed like a natural progression. About six months ago, he made his pitch.
"Every corner has a Duane Reade or Starbucks," he said. "If every one of them had a bike rack, then that’s more for everyone to use. Cyclists and Duane Reade would benefit. A messenger can just run in for chapstick or bottle of water or whatever they need. Or a guy in a suit can get his deodorant right before going to work. No one has to hunt for a place to park their bike." (See the full text of his email pitch below.)
His contact at Duane Reade was very receptive to the idea. "When we heard Dave’s proposal we thought it was a great idea to give our customers easier access to an environmentally friendly means of transportation," said Lauren Purdo, marketing manager at Duane Reade. "Adding the convenience of bike racks, if that helps cyclists gain better access to our store, then we’re happy to provide that."
While the racks will come at no cost to Duane Reade -- DOT's CityRacks program handles the installation -- the company could easily have made an excuse about "sidewalk clutter" or some other perceived risk, and dismissed the idea. Instead, they embraced the notion of a rack in front of every location.
Duane Reade's bulk request now gets mixed in with CityRacks' general installation list. Each store site will be evaluated, and DOT will install the racks over the course of the next six to nine months, according to their press office.
Asked whether he had any advice for other bike advocates who want to float a proposition to the private sector, Paco said a well-thought-out phone call can be enough to get the ball rolling. "If people have good ideas, it never hurts to reach out to a company," he said. "Definitely be persistent about it... It's not like I had a brilliant idea, it's just a little thing that could make a bigger difference."
"If you think out both sides of it, try to see it from their eyes," he added. "Either they may want to do good, or they may see a business opportunity." Here's how Paco made his case in an email to Duane Reade:
a. the Cityracks program of the NYC department of Transportation provides free sidewalk bike racks upon request. Just as Duane Reade is known for having a Chase ATM at every location, perhaps wherever street logistics allow, there could also be a bike rack.Photos: Bikes - Paco Abraham; Paco - Jenny Wiese
b. a bike rack in front of every Duane Reade means a commitment to the growing community of urban cyclists in NYC
c. a bike rack in front of each location also implies more pedestrian traffic and therefore is likely to bring more customers. If you have to stand in front of a Duane Reade just to lock up your bike, you'll be more inclined to run in and grab whatever quick items needed, or perhaps do a substantial shopping and throw purchases in the duane reade tote bag which goes in your bike basket. it appeals to the messenger who needs chapstick for his windburned lips, or the business suit biker who needs deodorant before heading into a shareholders meeting.
© 2008 The Open Planning Project.
Time Out NY has posted 4 great bike routes in the city (2 Manhattan, 1 Queens, 1 Brooklyn) as part of a biking insert in the latest issue.
You can check them out here:
Greenway Along Brooklyn Waterfront Begins To Take Shape
Cycling Tour From Greenpoint to Red Hook Will Give Preview
By Amy Crawford
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, published online 04-30-2008
BROOKLYN — When his daughter, Jordan, was 10, Milton Puryear bought her a bicycle. The pair rode across the Brooklyn Bridge and through Manhattan, to ride along the bike path in Hudson River Park. It would be the first and last time.
“It was too stressful,” Milton Puryear recalled. Jordan is 17 now, he said, and “she’s never ridden her bike in New York City since.”
Puryear grew up in Washington, D.C., where the streets were a little friendlier.
“You could take your bike out of the garage and ride in the street,” he said. “Not that many kids in New York have a bike. When I was a kid, most kids had a bike.”
Puryear moved to Brooklyn in 1978, and over the years he has watched the Brooklyn waterfront change, its once busy warehouses and docks falling into disuse. It would be great, he thought, if the blighted shoreline could be used by local residents for strolling, jogging and riding a bike.
Today, Puryear is vice chairman and director of planning for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, which is organizing the construction of a landscaped pedestrian and bicycle route that will eventually stretch from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint.
Though most of the greenway is still in the planning phase, the Greenway Initiative is offering cyclists a preview of the route between Greenpoint and Red Hook, as guides lead a 10-mile ride this Saturday morning.
‘Great Waterfront Views’
“What they’re going to see is the route and some great waterfront views,” said Puryear. “But they won’t see anything built.”
The Greenway Initiative has organized an annual preview ride since 2003, but this year, the landscaped route is a little closer to becoming a reality. The first segment will be built along Columbia Street in Cobble Hill, and Puryear expects half a mile to be completed this summer. Community Board 1, representing Williamsburg and Greenpoint, just approved the project at its April meeting, and designers will begin work on the five-mile stretch in Northern Brooklyn this summer. Old warehouses are now being demolished for the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, through which part of the Greenway will also run. “The overall picture is that we’re moving into design,” said Puryear. “We’re hoping that we can get five miles constructed within the next two years. When you’re coordinating with multiple agencies,” he added, “it can take years.”
Funding Is Key
Funding, Puryear said, is another challenge.
So far, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, whose district includes most of the future greenway, “has done most of the heavy lifting,” said Puryear. Velázquez, who has called Brooklyn’s shoreline “one of the greatest waterfronts in the nation,” secured $6.6 million in federal funding for the Red Hook, Navy Yard and Greenpoint sections and $8 million for the Sunset Park section.
“She’s definitely been dedicated to the greenway,” said Gail O’Connor, a spokesperson for Velázquez. While this is an excellent start, said Puryear, the entire greenway could cost as much as $50 million. Borough President Marty Markowitz has sponsored planning money from New York state, but the initiative still needs construction funds. Puryear also plans to approach City Council members Letitia James and David Yassky for funding. Meanwhile, private donations support the initiative’s operating expenses.
Noah Budnick, projects director for Transportation Alternatives, said the cycling and pedestrian advocacy group was doing whatever it could to support the Greenway Initiative. Budnick said the greenway would enable more people to commute to work, which is especially important in areas that are far from the subway.
“In Greenpoint, Red Hook, even in DUMBO, transit access is very much lacking,” Budnick said. “People are happy to have the prospect of a safe, car-free bike route.”
Budnick, who bikes the six miles from his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant to his office in Chelsea every day, has a personal stake in making bicycling to work safer. In 2005, he was badly injured when his bicycle hit a pothole on Sands Street, near the off ramp for the Manhattan Bridge bike path. But, poorly maintained roads are not the only hazard cyclists have to contend with in New York, he said. Beware of (Some) Drivers
“There are drivers who speed, cars parked in bike lanes, lawlessness. New York drivers aren’t looking for cyclists,” he said.
Eventually, Budnick hopes there will be protected bike paths branching off from the completed greenway, taking cyclists safely into neighborhoods and to parks, transit and the East River bridges. Though the greenway is still a long way off, Brooklyn cyclists are already looking forward to it.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Thomas Kim, who owns Verrazano Bicycles in Bay Ridge. Kim, who bikes a mile to work every day, said that more of his customers would commute by bike if they had a route that was safe from traffic.
Phil Cabbad, who owns R & A Cycles in Park Slope, agreed that biking in Brooklyn could sometimes be tough.
“Cars don’t even look at bikes,” Cabbad said.
(Funny, I more often have a beef with pedestrians than cars. Just the other day, a woman was standing in the middle of the bike lane on Bleeker st. We played chicken, and as she stepped back on the curb--where pedestrians belong--she cursed me. As though I had done something wrong by not swerving into the car lane, which was filled with speeding cabs, so as to respect HER "right" to stand in the the designated bike lane.)
May 2, 2008
5 Boroughs by Bike This Weekend
Photograph from the Bike New York/5 Boro Bike tour
The 5 Boro Bike Tour is this Sunday, the one day of the year where 30,000 cyclists will have total right of way throughout New York City. The tour begins in Battery Park and ends in Staten Island after winding 42 miles throughout New York. In addition to the approximately 30,000 riders, The 5 Boro Bike Tour happens with the help of about 1,500 volunteers. Video and photos of last year's event can be seen at Bike NY's site here.
There will be major street closings to accommodate the tour, so driving in the city is probably not the best idea Sunday. There is a schedule, however, so plan accordingly. There's a photo contest associated with the tour, although organizers request that picture takers pull over before snapping their pics. Past winning entries are viewable here.
And while Sunday is devoted to bikes, it would be negligent to not mention Saturday's Great Saunter. Organized by Shorewalkers--a group whose purpose is to highlight the waterfronts of NYC--the Great Saunter is a 32-mile walk around the perimeter of Manhattan Island. Ambitious New Yorkers will no doubt be participating in both events.
By Dave Hogarty in Arts and Events
2003-2008 Gothamist LLC. All rights reserved
Very cool. Thanks for this Brian.
Bike Lanes, Intended for Safety, Become Traffic Battlegrounds
Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
A delivery truck double-parked in a bike lane on East Ninth Street. Drivers often ignore regulations that forbid blocking the lanes.
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
Published: May 4, 2008
James Frederick was in Manhattan cycling west in the Prince Street bike lane on a recent morning when a green Ford parked in the lane forced him to swerve into the narrow roadway where cars and vans were rushing past.
“It’s kind of scary because the cars next to you just keep going,” said Mr. Frederick, 49, a messenger who lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “The city just put this lane in a few months ago, but it’s not respected by drivers.”
On streets clogged by pollution-emitting cars, buses and trucks, New York City’s quest to establish reasonably safe cycling paths by adding to its roughly 300 miles of bicycle lanes has been welcomed by cyclists. But the lanes are often battlegrounds between cyclists and drivers who seem undeterred by the clearly demarcated paths.
Although city regulations forbid cars from blocking bike lanes — a violation that carries a $115 fine — those rules are routinely ignored by drivers who use the lanes as parking spots, loading zones and places to pick up passengers. Such maneuvers have enraged cyclists who say they are unlawful, rude and dangerous.
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.
At a bike lane on Hudson Street near Christopher Street, one rider placed a cardboard stencil on the pavement, and others covered it with white spray paint. When they lifted the stencil an image of an automobile bisected by a diagonal line was left behind.
“I want to remind drivers that it is not all right to be in bike lanes,” said Barbara Ross, 44, a human resources manager, who lives on the Lower East Side and has been a volunteer for Times Up!, an environmental group that promotes nonpolluting transportation. “A lot of drivers don’t think twice about parking in a bike lane because no one tells them not to.”
Over the next two hours, the bicyclists roamed north, creating a variety of painted images including ones in the shape of a bicycle with a heart and the words “love lane.”
While painting messages on public streets is illegal, Ms. Ross and her companions said that they meant their markings as a service. Most bike lanes in New York are separated from cars only by stripes of white paint, they said, and additional reminders are likely to help cyclists and, maybe, yield more respect from drivers.
The city has also been examining bike lanes with an eye toward improvements. The Transportation Department has widened some bike lanes and added painted buffer zones to further separate vehicles from bikes. Some bike lanes in Brooklyn and Manhattan have been painted green to make them more visible.
And in a report last month, the department announced that it was continuing a project begun in 2006 to add 200 miles of bike lanes to city streets over three years. That plan would also create lanes that connect highly trafficked roads and lead to popular destinations, like parks and bridges. Agency officials said that 110 of those 200 miles would be finished by the end of June.
“We believe that a connected network of bicycle lanes throughout the city increases safety, comfort and mobility for cyclists,” the transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, said in a statement.
While talk of bike lanes might seem a recent development in a city not always regarded as being bike-friendly, New York was home to the country’s first bike path, in 1894 — along Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn connecting Prospect Park and Coney Island, according the Transportation Department’s Web site.
In 1970, Mayor John V. Lindsay joined about 1,000 people in a bike ride down Fifth Avenue sponsored by a group campaigning for bike lanes. But his support for the group waned and the campaign essentially fizzled.
Ten years later, Mayor Edward I. Koch became frustrated when bike lanes that he had built on main thoroughfares like Fifth Avenue and Broadway, which were separated from motor vehicles by asphalt islands, were criticized by drivers and pedestrians and, even worse, ignored by many cyclists. As a result, he ordered that the islands be removed.
But Mr. Koch’s idea to create a barrier between bikes and cars was revived last year when the city built a special lane on Ninth Avenue, from 16th to 23rd Streets, in which a line of parking spaces separates a bike lane from three vehicular lanes. Cyclists have generally praised the project, but many complain that vehicles still routinely stop in other lanes around the city.
In response, some cyclists have handed out fake but realistic-looking summonses to drivers in bike lanes, leading at times to arguments. Others said they have slapped stickers on cars that look like those pasted on vehicles that fail to make way for the Sanitation Department street sweepers.
One cyclist has started a Web site, nyc.mybikelane.com, where people can post photographs of motor vehicles in bike lanes. Photos have shown livery sedans, armored cars, city vehicles and newspaper delivery trucks.
Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department, said that there had been a significant increase over the last year in summonses issued to drivers for double parking and moving violations, and for standing in areas, including bike lanes, where that is not permitted.
“Motorists who park or stand in bike lanes can expect to be ticketed,” he said.
And what might the nighttime campaign to give some bike paths greater prominence yield? A visit the next day to some bike lanes in Lower Manhattan found several cars and trucks standing or parked on the paths.
On Second Avenue, Lynn Roman, a 42-year-old construction company employee, sat behind the wheel of a gray Toyota Land Cruiser just north of St. Mark’s Place.
Ms. Roman said she planned to be there only briefly while a passenger ran an errand but added that she rarely paid attention to bike lanes.
“I have other things on my mind,” she said. “This is the city. Bike lanes belong in parks.”
A few moments later, Jon Weiner, 34, a sound engineer from TriBeCa who was riding a BMX bike, said he had come to expect a cavalier attitude from drivers in bike lanes.
“A lot of them don’t seem to have any idea that they’re doing it,” he said. “And if they do they don’t care.”
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
Last edited by brianac; May 4th, 2008 at 05:49 AM.
The New York Daily News has released some pictures of last weekends Five Boro Bike Tour:
Riders made their way along East 138th Street in the Bronx as part of the Five Boro Bike Tour.
A pair of riders approach the Third Avenue Bridge as they prepare to leave the Bronx for Manhattan.
Two other riders stop for a break along Third Avenue before joining their fellow riders in crossing the bridge.
Five Boro Bike Tour riders cross the Third Avenue Bridge.
Some 30,000 riders made the trek, including a trip over the Third Avenue Bridge.
The Third Avenue Bridge is part of a 42-mile course around
New York City.
The 42-mile tour also led riders through Bay Ridge on the Belt Parkway.
The riders travel through Bay Ridge on the Belt Parkway,
with a view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the distance.
Copyright 2008 New York Daily News