Call to Action

10 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"The City has begun milling 6th Ave from 14th to 23rd St., and we should call the DOT Manhattan Commissioner to request that they widen the bike lane when they re-pave. Andrew Vasselinovich, the Bike Coordinator at DOT, has already made the request as well.

In a 2003 letter from DOT to TA, the agency stated that it ""will no longer Plan or implement bicycle lanes that are narrower than five feet in width."" You should cite the letter when you call.

The person to call is Margaret Forgione, the DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner, or Colleen Chattergoon, the Community Coordinator.

(212) 487-8341

It is definitely possible for DOT to make the bike lane wider, and people should call and ask for it to be re-striped at a minimum width of 5-feet, or a buffered bike lane!

We are asking you to make phone calls as individual New Yorkers who are concerned for bike safety.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
Contrarian Opinion

I know you're all going to hate me, but in my opinion, bike paths are not a good thing. They are very dangerous because cars are always cutting into them to take turns or just driving in them. They are often strewn with glass. And they are adjacent to opening car doors.

I prefer to ride in a traffic lane, which is illegal when there is a bike lane but legal (in New York City) in the absence of a bike lane. Since my preference is to ride in a traffic lane, I personally am not in favor of bike lanes.

Ok, you can throw tomatoes now, I'm ducking.

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

The object is to get safe bike lanes. With enough advocacy, one step at a time, we could eventually turn this city into a truly bike-friendly community. (Call me a cockeyed optimist.) So I respect your desire not to ride in a bike lane that's narrow and unbuffered and has double-parked police cars blocking the way, but we have to make the effort to improve these conditions. (And, by the way, it is legal not to ride in the bike lane if it is unsafe to do so - such as when parked cars are blocking it.)

Anonymous's picture
Stephen Crowe (not verified)
When the sky is a bright canary yellow...

"...I forget every cloud I've ever seen...

I have to admit, I was quite skeptical of the new bike lane on 8th Ave. when it first went in two weeks ago. Like many of the city's bike lanes, it's frequently clogged with pedestrians, blocked with double parked cars and chock full of delivery boys riding against traffic in the bike lane. Adding insult to injury, I recently overheard a fellow cyclist joking that it's a new ""left-turn"" lane for cars, which seems to be often true.

And yet, having the new bike lane makes a HUGE difference. Last week I rode up 8th Ave. from my apartment on 24th St. to meet some friends at Central Park West and 90th St. for some evening laps. I made the trip in 15 minutes, even in 6:30 p.m. rush-hour traffic. I was gobsmacked.

Carol, you can call me a cockeyed optimist too! Progress happens in small steps. I think NYC is already a great city to bike in and has a lot of potential to be even better if the bike community remains active, involved and vocal."

Anonymous's picture
George Arcarola (not verified)
6th Ave

Stephen, I use 6th Ave as my route uptown 'cause it passes right in front of my office. So I am watching, with interest, the work being done on the street surface. A 15 minute ride up 6th to the Park on a newly paved road, with a bike lane to boot might be great. Though I wonder if I can get my heart rate high enough without at least two near death experiences on every ride uptown!!!

Anonymous's picture
nycc member (not verified)

"In my opinion, most drivers don't respect or even care about the bike lanes ,the real solution is a better design for them ....if it is put along the curb ,as in other cities, with rubber pylons separating it from the next lane ,which is for parked cars , this eliminates most ""dooring incidents ""& double parkers .The bike lane also has its own traffic signal .This is a dedicated bike lane!"

Anonymous's picture
josh (not verified)
the nature of Bike lanes

To Chaim,

Steve Faust and other longtime bike advocates consider bike lanes a buffer -- not to keep bikes in but cars out. Of course it doesnt work that way, but if you think of it as a safeguard, then you dont have to reject it completely. I use the outer white line as a guide (not getting too close to the parked vehicles), and confidently take the adjacent lane when there are double-parked cars.

And it does cut down travel time because when there is congestion, guess what, you zip along (barring of course delivery trucks, peds, and double parkers).

I think they are excellent for introducing families to bicycling, since I use them to take my daughter to school as well, and make use of them whenever they are available -- honking motorists politely to get out of the bicycle lane. You can stop in them and dont have to worry about a high-chassised SUV rolling over your child when they titter and fall.

I havent used the 8th Avenue bike lane yet, but plan to soon, and hope 6th Avenue gets a buffer, as well as more crosstown streets linking the east and west sides.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
Partial Agreement

Hi Josh,
I agree that bike lanes are better than riding in traffic for youngsters and inexperienced riders. But for experienced riders, especially those who can pretty much keep up with the pace of vehicular traffic, riding in a car lane is preferable--just my opinion. Perhaps I am suicidal!

Anonymous's picture
josh (not verified)
I agree

No, you're absolutely right. When you are moving at a clip take the lane. It's a lot safer!

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

That took all of three minutes.

I spoke with Colleen Chattergoon. She was very friendly, said they had received a lot of calls and were waiting for a response from the office of traffic operations. She said people who had phoned would receive a call back with the response.

That lane really is treacherous. I hold my breath whenever I (try to) use it.

Thanks, Carol, for the precise directions.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
We get one more foot!

"Courtesy the Manhattan Borough Commissioner's office, the DOT will ""squeeze out"" one more foot for the bike lane!

Next goal: 23rd to 34th Streets."

cycling trips