Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NY Times Article about Bike Lanes

In this article, journalist Michael M. Grynbaum discusses the abuse that is prevalent in NYC's bike lanes. No, we're not talking about physical beatings or verbal berating going down in the lanes, but the lack of respect for which the lanes require to properly work. How many times have I been riding my bike in a bike lane and thought to myself, "I didn't know this was the old man pushing a shopping cart full of cans and bottles lane" or passed a delivery guy or a ding bat on her cell phone speeding down the lane in the wrong direction, forcing me to literally pull over to let them pass.

However, for all intents and purposes, the biggest violators of proper bike lane usage, by far, are pedestrians and drivers. As a long-time NYC bicyclist who rides on a daily basis as my main mode of transportation, I can ascertain that I see more people on foot or behind the wheel abusing bike lanes than bicyclists, themselves.

Read the article for yourself, and think about your own personal interaction with the lanes. Are you one of those careless bicyclists who pays no mind to the direction of the lane, or a jay walking pedestrian who cuts in the lane or between cars, causing thoughtless peril to others?

If so, it's really just as easy NOT to be.

I added a comment on the Times story, below, discussing how it is actually bicyclists who are more in danger than pedestrians and drivers in the bike lane abuse scenarios:

People are really anti-bicyclists in these comments, but bicyclists are at much more risk than pedestrians, car drivers and passengers, who are completely oblivious. Bicyclists' heads are on a swivel, they have to be - they have people walking out in front of them against lights or from in between parked cars, car doors coming at them, people turning cars into them while speeding around corners, and vehicles, delivery trucks, even cop cars parked in bike lanes, making bicyclists have to veer into the street in front of fast moving cars. Riding a bike in NYC is like a non-stop obstacle course navigating around people who don't give a crap about anyone but themselves. Bicycling in the city teaches people to be alert, aware and attentive to others, or else a cyclist will suffer physical consequences. That's a message all of society could benefit from.