12 March 2014

Are Bike Lanes for Biking?

Dear Mayor DeBlasio,

Yesterday morning, on my bike commute from the Lower East Side to Penn Station, I encountered 24 obstacles in the bike path.  I ride along the East River for approximately half of my route, so I was only counting for two miles.

I'm not counting vehicles crossing the bike path while turning, even though they're ignoring the law that says they're supposed to yield to bicyclists.  I'm also not counting vehicles or pedestrians or other objects partially in the bike path -- only complete obstructions.

Today, I "only" counted nineteen.

That comes to 8.25 obstructions per mile, on average across two days.

I've been biking in New York City for 25 years.  This morning I wondered if having to ride in and out of the bike path so frequently, cutting in and out of the stream of cars and trucks, might be more dangerous than not having a bike path at all.

If you’re serious about Vision Zero, you need to get serious about sending a message to drivers of motor vehicles that the bike lane is not a passing lane, a standing zone, a double-parking zone, or a turn lane. 

Pedestrians might also be encouraged to remember that it’s not a texting zone or a jogging path.

Thank you for your time.

Heide Estes
New York, NY

Copy: Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg