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  1.  

    Joe R.

    There WAS a traffic signal there, and by eyewitness accounts the cyclist had the light, and was riding at a recreational pace, not speeding. If both things turn out to be true, then he is less culpable than you make him out to be. Sure, you should do your best to avoid pedestrians, even when they’re crossing against the light, but in this case he may have done that but still hit someone.

    As for “not speeding” in urban areas, that generally means keeping speeds to 20 to 30 mph-for both bikes and cars. Few cyclists can maintain 20+ mph anyway, so the idea of needing traffic calming for bikes is moot.

    Central Park is a special case. It’s bad form to be going for your personal best when the park is most crowded but it should be allowed during off-peak times.

    On the grade separation, I would ask what’s more important-preserving the park’s appearance, or saving lives? Note that we can build bridges which resemble those built in parts of the park when it was constructed. My idea is to have the road go down at crossings so pedestrians crossing the bridge don’t need to go up or down. By doing it this way you would get far less opposition.

  2.  

    CheshireKitty

    Actually, I am for a much lower speed limit on non-limited access roadways. There is carnage on the streets from speeding – lowering the speed limit would do a lot to end it.

    Incidentally, it is not nothing to be hit by a bike and survive. I know someone who was hit and badly injured and traumatized by the incident. It is certainly not nothing. The statistic that 2 have died so far vs. the thousands killed by cars, doesn’t take into account those that are hit by bikes, what happens to them.

    Overall, the perception is bikes have “taken over” on certain busy streets, that pedestrians are forced to almost “cower” in the face of the relentless/unpredictable/dangerous bike traffic. The danger appears to be more acute because bikes routinely do not observe traffic laws. Yet, as we know, more are killed by cars. The issue for many is that at least cars stop at red lights and most usually at stop signs – the same cannot be said for bikes. So if you step out onto a crosswalk and have the light, and a bike comes along, exactly like what happened to the victim in Central Park, if the bike doesn’t brake, and you go crashing to the street, you may survive, or, you may not. This lack of confidence in bicyclists’ behavior, the expectation that they may not in fact stop, is what is causing pedestrian antipathy to bicyclists. If every cyclist slowed down approaching an intersection and stopped, exactly like cars, the paranoia would vanish.

    The fatality in Central Park just underlined everyone’s impression of cyclists – they don’t always stop at crosswalks, some speed, you thus take your life in your hands when you cross the street. A situation like that leads to only one outcome: Regulation.

  3.  

    Dmitri Fedortchenko

    The take away from this is that if you want to be sure that you are not at risk of prosecution for killing or injuring someone with your vehicle, drive a car. Sick.

  4.  

    CheshireKitty

    Grade separations in the park isn’t a bad idea, but imagine the outcry of the park people, the preservationists, and so forth. Good luck with trying to get traction on that idea.

    People don’t like to wait, but they do like to live. If the crosswalk was signalized, she might have had a chance, had the rider actually slowed down & stopped. Of course, we know that he wasn’t about stopping that day as he was compiling a speed record & uploading it to Strava to garner kudos. Very nice. It was more important for him to compete on speed rather than respect innocent human life. Isn’t that a rather warped perspective? The exact analogy is someone drag racing down Broadway mid-day on a weekday when the thoroughfare is filled with traffic and pedestrians. Obviously, no-one would ever do it – yet this brainiac who hit the woman felt he could get away with deliberately speeding in Central Park of all places, probably the most heavily used park in NYC.

    I’m not sure what the solution is; maybe regulation is a possible approach. Even with regulation, motorists regularly mow down pedestrians, as many have noted on this thread. There are all sorts of traffic calming (i.e. slowing) schemes that are used – the same thing could be applied to bicyclists. In an urban area, the ethos should be, you are not going to speed, either in a car or on a bike. You will eventually get there, but you will not necessarily have “fun” doing so – it will be a slog. That is necessary so everyone using the road, pedestrians, the disabled, cyclists, motorists, mass transit vehicles – all arrive at their destinations in one piece.

  5.  

    CheshireKitty

    I could agree with you if cyclists were all polite, and yielded to pedestrians and so forth; but the perception among many today – motorists and pedestrians – is that cyclists, or some of them, are bike nazis. This is what they’re called, and it’s for good reason. They ride recklessly and they speed, some may get a kick out of nearly knocking people over. And the fatality in Central Park, was caused by someone who just couldn’t apply the brakes, and even if he had, was probably going too fast to have stopped in time anyway.

    Actually, there should be greater penalties for motorists who accidentally kill pedestrians. As things stand today, they can say, I didn’t see them, and the death is simply ruled an accident, the motorist just walks away, without even points on their license. This is wrong, and sends the wrong message.

    Bicycling here has to become as routine and humdrum as it is in Holland. There, it’s just part of day-to-day life. A show-off, like Marshall, would be laughed at in Holland. How could a Marshall even think to race in the crowds of Dutch cyclists. It would be preposterous – ditto anyone who would presume to parade about in expensive spandex, or riding the most expensive “snobby” bike. In Holland, the bike is a conventional means of transportation – there are entire bike garages, like we have car garages. I’m all for safe bicycling, not speeding, or showboating. Those who wanna speed should go to a velodrome, not speed down crowded streets.

    In order to enhance safety, streets probably have to be made even slower than they already are. Lowering the speed limit is one thing, but probably physical barriers to speeding have to be put in place, such as actual speed bumps. Anything to slow down cars and bikes and level the playing field for pedestrians.

    There is nothing wrong with bicyclists as long as they’re not allowed to “take over the road” or intimidate pedestrians, by speeding or riding recklessly. The penalties motorists are subject to, should be applicable to bikes. Regulation might instill a sense of responsibility in cyclists, such that they may not simply laugh off receiving a ticket, pay it, and then simply assume they can keep on breaking the law, without an eventual penalty of license revocation (which is of course not possible at this time).

    Yes, it is true that the de facto practice is to pause and walk/ride at red lights, and that this practice is not ticketed. But what about the cyclist who may not even pause – who is really reckless that way? The cyclist who may be heading into a R turn and decides it’s not worth it stop because they’ll be making the turn – what about a pedestrian who doesn’t see them coming? A pedestrian and a cyclist not observing the light is not exactly the same thing. Yes, a cyclist may swerve to avoid a pedestrian crossing against the light, and set off a chain-reaction accident. However, a pedestrian cannot simply by walking crash into another pedestrian and cause them to die, whereas a cyclist can.

    Let’s see what DOT Commissioner Trottenberg does in response to the accident. Clearly, though, there is chaos on the streets. It was one thing to make the streets more “bike friendly” but it was another to allow the streets to “sort themselves out” every man to himself. Sometimes that laissez faire policy can go wrong, very wrong.

  6.  

    CheshireKitty

    Well, you can change that headline to “Victim Dead” now since Jill Tarlov has died. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/09/22/former-1010-wins-employee-struck-by-cyclist-in-central-park-dies/

    Reckless cycling + speeding = dead pedestrian. Very sad.

  7.  

    Khal Spencer

    Average speed isn’t peak speed. One has to look at the section of the course. Gawd, we have a 4 mile ascent to our ski hill here. Its 5 mph up the hill, and I’ll take the 5th Amendment on the downhill speed–but its a rural road with nothing to hit but trees, mule deer, or the grille of an oncoming Ford Super Duty. Suffice to say, self preservation is important.

  8.  

    Khal Spencer

    If he was going 28 in a 25 zone, that is hardly excessive. Folks need to hold their fire on prejudice until the investigation is over. Strava notwithstanding, we don’t know how the culpability will be dished out.

    I’ve nearly nailed peds who have suddenly changed course and stepped in front of me while not paying attention. Safety is a shared endeavor, and sometimes, a small mistake has horrible consequences. Racing cyclists may look like they deserve scorn to others, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Marshall deserves to be blamed for this–we just don’t know enough yet.

  9.  

    Khal Spencer

    The difference could also be that a cyclist is going slower and hits with less force than a motorist, hence less serious injuries. The similar injury rate simply means that cyclists are as likely to crash with peds as motorists. That needs to be looked at carefully to find out why–the assumption that cyclists are careless is prejudice, not fact. The UK study also noted that sidewalk cycling in the UK is a serious issue causing crashes. Infrastructure is an issue.

  10.  

    Khal Spencer

    Turns out he may have been a Strava acolyte, Jym–with all the baggage that entails these days. Have no idea about your brakes comment. My comment goes to whether he was hammering along for a PB or paying attention and riding within reasonable limits.

  11.  

    Khal Spencer

    The really pathetic and wildly prejudiced Post article is yellow journalism at its worst, but as I suspected, Mr. Marshall appears to have been a Strava acolyte, with all the baggage that adds to the story. As I have said on my own web site, unsanctioned racing on public roads puts cyclists into the public’s worst light when things go wrong. Shit like this happens and in spite of what motorists are guilty of, and they are guilty of plenty, we get caught in the spotlight.

    My hope is that a fair investigation tells us what happened, what went wrong, and as Brad Aaron says, that the cops do as diligent a job next time a motorist flattens someone. Sadly, I expect that will not happen. This is a man bites dog story, which is why the cops are on it like cats on red meat.

    For highly competitive cyclists (yes, this means you), the bottom line is when you want to push the envelope, do it in a safe place. I could always find stretches of my 12 mile commute to the Univ of Hawaii (or my present commute to Los Alamos National Lab) where I could/can get the heart rate up to redline without putting innocent civilians at risk. Often, that means altering my route home or to work so I can hit more isolated stretches really hard, or hit a 7% uphill grade at a 160 bpm heart rate–at less than 10 mph. That social contract, to wit, not letting our racer’s narcissism trump public safety and in return, expecting safe roads to ride on, is something we all owe to the public. I love pushing my limits on my bicycles, but I don’t have the right to do so if it means putting anyone at risk other than myself.

  12.  

    Joe R.

    Most of those thoroughfares still have enough traffic signals to be annoying but you can usually pass reds without slowing much due to the great lines of sight. The LIE service road is pretty decent for fast riding after maybe 9 PM. Union Turnpike past Francis Lewis Boulevard isn’t bad, either. For really decent riding though you need to go past city limits in the wee hours. I can pretty reliably ride the 6.3 miles on NY25 West from Glen Cove Road to city limits nonstop, or close to it, if I ride after about midnight. The lights are all on sensors that time of day but there isn’t much traffic on side streets to trigger them. The Belt Parkway Greenway is nice, but a bit too narrow in spots.

    You do raise an interesting point though. If cyclists had more places available where they can “let it out” they would be more apt to slow down in mixed traffic situations. I think a few 10+ mile bike highways would be more than suitable for that, while also serving as important arteries for transportation minded cyclists.

  13.  

    Isaac B

    My condolences to all who loved Jill

  14.  

    lop

    Queens blvd is great Sunday mornings, then up Manhattan avenues on the way to van Cortland. By the time I get to south county I’m a little tuckered out. Enough to enjoy going at a moderate pace on the shared path without it feeling obnoxiously slow at least.

  15.  

    lop

    BMW and some other ‘sporty’ brands often get mentioned. Tinted windows, license plate cover (to avoid photo tickets), price etc.. generally don’t.

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Teenager-Hit-Car-Brooklyn-Police-261499681.html

  16.  

    Jeff

    Sure there are. All of the major thoroughfares in Eastern Queens and what have you that us transportation-minded cyclists lament as auto-dominated speedways? Seems like an appropriate place as ever for roadies to “let it out” if you ask me. Hell, even I enjoy riding in places like that. They certainly aren’t congruent with what I embrace as a “livable city”, but from a more hedonistic perspective, I can certainly “let it out,” if you will.

  17.  

    Reader

    If Jill Tarlow had been walking or biking across Central Park West or 5th Avenue and been hit by a driver, few outside of Streetsblog readers might have heard about the tragedy and the subsequent non-investigation by the NYPD. There is absolutely nothing inappropriate about pointing that out.

    And that should be the real scandal: that advocacy groups like Streetsblog and TA actually give a damn when a pedestrian is killed under *any* circumstances by *any* person and call out reckless behavior by *all* street users — including cyclists — but the NYPD and their mouthpieces at the Post seem to only care when it’s a cyclist that’s responsible. The time to point that out is now so that hopefully no one else has to die.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jill Tarlow. All life in this great city of ours is precious. If only the NYPD agreed.

  18.  

    ralph

    I don’t think the media and NYPD response to the Tarlov tragedy is a bad thing at all (and I’m not implying that Brad Aaron says it is). Now we can simply demand of the NYPD, the media and the DA: “Treat EVERY pedestrian casualty as if they had been hit by a bicycle.”

  19.  

    Yes, I still blame cars

    “And during non car hours between the pedestrian /child cyclist lane and the bike/cop/parks vehicle lane.”

    Or there could be only “non-car” hours in the park, always. Set the whole thing up for bikes and peds 24/7.

  20.  

    drloosen

    Tears for the family of Mrs.Tarlov, who could have been any of us. There is (or was) a way for cyclists to exercise in the Park without endangering people–do it at early hours when there’s plenty of maneuvering room. But it’s interesting that there are dog runs in NYC but no legal public space for cyclists to let it out, huh?

  21.  

    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    I should have put the word odd in quotes, since I was being a little ironic. Of course, yeah it isn’t odd.

    I am not so sure about the exotic car thing. I have been involved in this movement since the mid-1990s, I can’t recall many times ever hearing about the make of a car – and when so it usually was not a ped-car crash but more of a car-gets-wrapped-around-a-tree at a high rate of speed. Or car vs car on a highway.

  22.  

    LisaS

    Cycling through the park today was very strange. But, sort of expected. Cops at a number of lights. Central Park Conservancy patrols at the other lights. Signs asking for any information about the crash. And, SO IRONICALLY BUT SADLY EXPECTED AS WELL, cars speeding through the park. I only saw cyclists pulled over. Never a car. I’m sick of it.

  23.  

    lop

  24.  

    Dan Berkman

    So the lesson here is: If you operate your bike recklessly and are in an accident you will be treated as sociopath and sent to prison but if you drive your car like a sociopath every single day and hurt someone you will be treated as just another poor soul involved a tragic accident.

  25.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    This shouldn’t be surprising. While a ride of such length would be excessive as a commute, a ride for pleasure on a summer day could easily take twice that amount of time, or more.

    Indeed, I can say that every one of my off-day (weekend or selected vacation-day weekday) rides for the past several years has lasted at least four hours on a light day, and more typically runs into seven or eight hours. That’s what summers are for!

    So maybe the answer would be to carry multiple batteries, and change them every few hours.

  26.  

    Jym Dyer

    Gonna dredge up a myth from 2 years ago? That’ll fit right in with the lie about no brakes.

  27.  

    Jym Dyer

    Just so you know, @p_chazz can be relied upon to cast aspersions on San Francisco bicyclists regardless of any facts. The prospect of exploiting this tragedy has apparently made him bicoastal.

  28.  

    Kevin Love

    You go places that take more than 2-3 hours?

  29.  

    wkgreen

    p_chazz -There is a difference between speed and safety that Mr. Dartley does not take into consideration, and he seems to equate bicycles and motor vehicles in that regard. Slowing down bicycles while making the environment that they are in more chaotic, not “hostile”, (ie. making an already constrained one way bike lane into a two way road) is not making anyone safer. A slower car would be much less likely to inflict serious injury than a fast one, but bicycles cause serious or fatal injury in a different way. Almost universally it’s due to a head injury from a fall. Speed contributes to the problem of bicycles when it creates chaos, and that’s not to say that it shouldn’t be regulated, but speed is not THE problem. Got it?

    It’s a nuanced argument, I know, but try not to be “careless” or “thoughtless” in your reading, and understand the whole thing before commenting. You can do it. I’m sure of it.

  30.  

    Joe R.

    Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the beast that the combination of small size and relatively high power usage means short battery life. That said, unless you regularly go on rides of more than 2 or 3 hours I’m not seeing that the battery life is a big limitation. Either these have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, or they use AAAs. Rechargeable AAA Eneloops are the best option in the case of the latter. I guess it might also be possible to rig something where you put a bunch of batteries under the seat, then run a wire to the camera. That could give you 12 hours or more of battery life.

    I would think of the camera the way I think of my GPS and headlight. I need to recharge the batteries for each after some fixed number of hours, so I keep track based on the usual length of my rides (about 1.5 hours). The headlight batteries need a change after 2 or 3 rides. The GPS is good for about 6 to 8 rides. Depending upon which model camera I bought, I might get 1 or 2 rides per charge.

  31.  

    Kevin Love

    No, right now is precisely the right time and place to be pointing out the hypocrisy. Because if nothing is done, the pile of dead bodies killed by car drivers is just going to keep building up.

  32.  

    qrt145

    I have a camera, and battery life / memory was a showstopper for me because I could never get into the routine of charging it and erasing it every day. Now it’s collecting dust…

    Also, the vibration of the images when mounted on the handlebars was terrible. I guess for evidence it’s fine, but when I tried to watch the video for fun, it quickly gave me a headache.

  33.  

    qrt145

    Not odd at all: they clearly want to demonize him as some sort of rich yuppie with an eccentric pastime to make “Real New Yorkers” like him even less.

    On the other hand, it may be that they just find the notion of a $4000 racing bike as incredibly exotic. But I’m pretty sure that if someone killed a pedestrian using, say, a $300,000 Ferrari, they would report extensively on the make, model, and price. Of course what they think as an extreme price for a car is very different than an extreme price for a bike. And they don’t stop for a second to consider than even a fairly expensive bike is still cheaper than a cheap car.

  34.  

    walks bikes drives

    I have often thought of attaching a camera to my helmet or bars, but the battery life always stops me. Are there cameras out there with more tha. 2-3 hours of battery?

  35.  

    dr2chase

    Dog bites man. Things will be back to normal soon. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I am prepared to be cynical and disappointed.

  36.  

    J_12

    I think you know the answer. The motor vehicle is the one instrument that typically does not get held as evidence when you use it to kill someone.

  37.  

    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    I also found it odd that news outlets were actually reporting on the make of the bike AND how much it cost. And the kind of handlebars. I mean when is the last time you saw a car-hits-ped story say something like “the driver was behind the wheel of a Dodge Neon which has an approximate value of $15,000?”

  38.  

    sammy davis jr jr

    Could not agree more! The 8th Ave sidewalk is too narrow for the volume of pedestrians. After factoring in obstruction – fixtures such as street signs, muni-meters, pay-phones, sandwich boards, and newspaper boxes – there’s barely 6 feet across for pedestrian flow.

    While I find it annoying when pedestrians walk in the bike lane, I can’t blame them at all!!

  39.  

    BBnet3000

    I think they’re just repeating the statement, which also brings up unsafe driving.

  40.  

    Justin Ryan

    I agree 100% with what’s written here, but it is the wrong time and wrong point to be making right now.

    I bike often all over the city, and am constantly disgusted by the rude and reckless way so many bicyclists ride around pedestrians. When on a bike, I watch pedestrians expecting me to blow straight through a red light and swerve through a crosswalk full of people, surprised when I slow down and stop at the line. Reckless cycling is the norm.

    Streetsblog rightly bangs the drum about horrible drivers and road design, and NYPD’s usual lack of interest in traffic violence — it’s time to do the same about reckless bicycling with the same sincerity, since even this avid cyclist thinks it’s becoming a menace.

    I am so sorry for Jill Tarlow and her family, and how totally unnecessary her death was. The safe streets community should be expressing the same support for them and outrage against the conditions that caused her death as for any other victim.

  41.  

    Joe R.

    The study neglects to mention the magnitude of injuries. A similar injury rate per billion km traveled in mostly meaningless for two reasons. One, the term “serious injuries” may mean different things here for bicycles versus for motor vehicles. A serious injury caused by a cyclist could mean you had to have a cut stitched or an abrasion treated. A serious injury cause by a motorist could mean a month in traction. Two, using billion km traveled is not as a good a metric as using per hour of exposure. “Per hour of exposure” is what is typically used for occupational hazards. Given the much slower average speed of bicycles, if you used injuries per hour traveling as a metric, you might conclude cyclists cause 1/4 or less the number of injuries motor vehicles caused.

  42.  

    JoshNY

    Are you mentioning that to suggest that this received an unusually high level of media coverage because the victim and her husband have media connections, rather than because the injuries were caused by a cyclist? Or just to provide added color? Forgive me if I’m drawing an unwarranted conclusion.

  43.  

    JoshNY

    Well said, Brad.

  44.  

    A Source

    Jill Tarlow is a former employee of 1010 Wins and was married to an executive at CBS, which issued a statement:

    “We are heartsick over the passing of our dear friend and former 1010
    WINS Radio colleague Jill Tarlov. As we mourn the loss of our friend and console Mike and his family, we are committed to doing what we can to bring greater public awareness of the perils of unsafe and distracted driving by motorists and cyclists that endangers pedestrians. Far too many people have been killed or seriously
    injured on our streets.”

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/09/22/former-1010-wins-employee-struck-by-cyclist-in-central-park-dies/

  45.  

    Joe R.

    That’s a very interesting piece of evidence. The lack of agreement on whether or not he had the light, how fast he was going, etc. all just gives more weight to cyclists riding with cameras all the time. We can’t depend upon the police to protect us from bad driving. We can’t depend upon our fellow citizens to give an accurate accounting of what happened. Video is the first, last, and best witness in these instances. Had Mr. Marshall had a video of the incident, questions of his part in this would have been resolved already.

    I also feel we need video cameras running 24/7 at all intersections. That would protect the innocent and ensure there is an accurate record of what happened when collisions occur. Why we don’t already do this is beyond me.

  46.  

    alaindumonde

    Ms. Polanco, your comment is ridiculous. A 9-year-old boy is dead and will *never* have the chance to pursue *his* livelihood. And Ms. Marino: Yes, there is a difference between recklessness and negligence, but that doesn’t mean that someone shouldn’t face consequences for negligence. If negligence is defined as “failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons,” as it is in the dictionary I consulted, then negligence is, by its definition, a form of breaking the law. Perhaps the penalties shouldn’t be as suffer as for injuries or death that come about through recklessness, but there should be penalties. Otherwise, what deterrent is there against paying more attention to one’s phone than one’s surroundings?

  47.  

    luke

    The problem that leads to most crashes is that most people are idiots. Some drivers are absolutely capable of passing a carriage by using the bike lane, and can do so without endangering anyone and without inconveniencing anyone. Many cannot. The road winds around a lot. There isn’t great visibility. Not all drivers will even wait until they can see and be seen before trying to pass. There should be a curb or pedestrian refuge between the bike lane and car lane. And during non car hours between the pedestrian /child cyclist lane and the bike/cop/parks vehicle lane.

  48.  

    Joe R.

    The lights weren’t there, nor were they needed, prior to when cars were allowed in the park. That’s the only reason I could think of for why they’re there. There used to be a gentlemen’s agreement in effect the rest of the time where cyclists could ignore the red lights unless a person was crossing. That went out the window in the last bikelash.

    I personally think the park might be getting too crowded for safety nowadays. Remember during the high crime days the park was used by a lot fewer people, so cyclists had a lot fewer potential collisions with pedestrians. Given the volumes of people in the park, we should seriously consider doing one of two things-either grade separate the busier crossings, or monitor the volumes of people in the park, and restrict further access when those volumes are too high for safety. It’s pretty obvious what we’re doing now isn’t working all that well.

  49.  

    Joe R.

    The only way society can deal with chaos/danger is to pass laws. The hubris of arrogant cycling behavior of some cyclists leads to the nemesis of “annoying” laws for all cyclists.

    Guess what? This is classic group think, collective punishment. So let’s punish everyone for the behavior of a few. And let’s pick on a group which happens to be a minority. Substitute black for cyclist in your sentence. Better yet, put in the n word. Now let me know if you still think it’s a good idea.

    Back when I was in school in the 1960s a lot of teachers thought like you. Once of my favorites was when the entire class had to waste time writing “I will not talk in class” 1000 times because one or two kids couldn’t shut their mouths. Supposedly the theory is the other kids would get on the case of the bad kids eventually and reign in their behavior. Of course, it didn’t happen that way because they were, well, good kids who were afraid to confront the bad kids. All this group punishment did was waste everyone’s time. The bad kids still did what they did but the teacher got out of her responsibility to identify and punish the troublemakers. Doubtless the fact that she didn’t want flak from their parents had something to do with it. If she punished everyone, she couldn’t be accused of singling out poor Johnny whose parents will swear he was always well-behaved in class.

    That crap ended the day a bunch of us “good” kids put nice stuff like cat turds and dead roaches in the teacher’s desk. Keep pushing on “good” cyclists with more and more restrictive rules, and they might do something analogous on a societal level, maybe even make examples of the people who had such laws passed.

    The police are too lazy to go after the minority of really bad cyclists because it might mean they’ll actually have to do real police work. And it is a very small minority of cyclists causing issues. It’s basically delivery cyclists causing problems in most of the city, and sport riders causing issues riding fast when the parks are too crowded. Both issues can be solved. Require paying delivery cyclists by the hour, not by the delivery. Or better yet, pick up your own food. Amazing how the same people who want their Peking Duck in 10 minutes bitch about the kind of cycling required to get it there in time. As for the parks, have a higher speed limit (or no speed limit) between 9 PM and 6AM or 7AM. Keep the parks open all night, and during hours when the higher limit is in effect, the traffic lights are off, and the rule is peds must yield to cyclists. Cyclists will need to have lights bright enough to make them easily visible. This give sport riders a window of 9 or 10 hours to do their business. The rest of the time, have a 15 mph limit, and require yielding to peds at crosswalks.

  50.  

    Joe R.

    Here’s the problem with everything you wrote-you’re taking a system which is creating most of the problems and making it even worse. Traffic lights are fine and would be largely obeyed by everyone if they were seldom encountered. Stick one on every block and if obeyed they reduce average travel speeds for bikes and pedestrians by a factor of 2 or 3 or more. That’s why they they’re largely ignored by both groups, and not exactly obeyed by motor vehicles, either. Instead, we should remove every single traffic light which is not needed for safety. That basically means ALL of them other than the few at intersections with no lines of sight (i.e. blocked by things like bridge abutments and such). We should also remove all parking within 75 feet of an intersection to ensure clear lines of sight. Do all that and you can safely negotiate intersections without traffic signals, provided you’re going 20 mph or less. Motor vehicles would no longer speed to make lights, nor could they drive at ludicrously high speeds safe in the knowledge that a string of greens gives them the right-of-way. Traffic lights don’t exist to slow down traffic. Quite the opposite, actually. They’re like air traffic control for cars. And you want to take a system which is largely a monumental failure and make it worse? No thanks.

    The only thing I agree with here is separate space for everyone. That includes at intersections. Our cumbersome system of traffic signals is a failure because it depends upon compliance. You get less compliance as you have more traffic lights because nobody likes to wait for 45 seconds or more every block or two. No, put bikes above everything else so they pass over intersections. Design things so a cyclist is only off these bike highways for a few blocks of every journey. That will make them much more likely to ride carefully in mixed traffic. You’re living in fantasy land if think bikes and pedestrians will stop every block or two. Traffic lights are the problem. Forcing obedience to them is not an answer-for anyone. Nor would we want to. You can engineer safety and also engineer out the need to stop for safety. It costs more, but people’s time is worth something. Also, we you grade separate, there’s no issue of depending upon compliance with traffic controls for safety.

    If not for motor traffic in Central Park those silly traffic lights wouldn’t even be there. The first thing we should do is ban cars from Central Park, and take out the traffic lights. After that we should grade separate the busier, more problematic crossings. That would likely solve all the problems.

    The TSA and other 9/11 security measures have all been monumental failures. That eyesore of a replacement for the WTC, the so-called Freedom Tower with a windowless bottom portion, is a monument to terrorism. I don’t know how you can defend any of our knee-jerk reaction to 9/11. The terrorists won, but most Americans are too stupid or self-absorbed to see it. Now we pen people in for New Year’s like cows. No, the answer isn’t more regulations and more security. Ben Franklin said it best-“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

    As I said elsewhere, you might be better off in North Korea. Those who think like you don’t deserve to live in the United States.