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    This would be a great option, for peds and bikes, but does not resolve the conflict with cars at intersection. We really need to reallocate time and not only space to ped/bikes



    Don’t forget Madison with a DOUBLE bus lane!



    If you were a “progressive” and weren’t suckered by de Blasio before the
    2013 election, you were mocked. But in this matchup, he was no more than the Obama to Quinn’s Hillary. Quinn just happened to be crueller, and perhaps (unlike Hillary) stupider. You know, Bill was Just Going To Fix Everything.

    I don’t know of many people who read the de Blasio warning signs correctly. RWAs of course predicted crime-ageddon, but most RWAs are idiots and the rest are delusional or sociopathic. Nobody I know of on the center-right or even center-left, the people who should be more discerning, actually realized de Blasio was more or less just Bloomberg again. Even Zephyr Teachout, no idiot whatever you think of her politics, thought de Blasio had some magic reformist cred.



    If there are too many pedestrians, deal with that first by giving them some sidewalk space. Nearly all the avenues need wider sidewalks.



    That’s incredibly ridiculous that that happened to you, especially since you were complying with the law. I disagree strongly with you as to tactics but you see the bullshit we’re dealing with. I obey traffic laws if I see a cop. But even then, I will not submit myself to ridiculous compliance where it is 100% safe to do so. Like, when I get off the Greenway at Clarkson (one of the few “safe” east way egresses from the Greenway for some distance north/south),-74.0103513,3a,75y,98.72h,71.98t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s3-n6uMdoYaqkDmc272xDYw!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656
    I am going to ride on that ridiculously wide and barren sidewalk and I’m not going to ride on the unsafe cobble stones and share the road with cars flying off of West Side Highway.

    The problem is that the NYPD is literally, too fucking stupid to properly enforce the law. They’re telling us, the NYPD that is, that their officers, are literally, too fucking dumb to figure out which violations actually harm people and which are just nuisances to enforce. I don’t really believe that the NYPD cannot figure this out. It’s the leadership that’s rotten. It’s quite easy to just enforce the bike laws where it actually endangers others. We need to push the NYPD to prioritize that and shame the fuck out of enforcement of the type that that caught you, and T-Intersection stings. People should be fired for that. Straight up. That would be proper Vision Zero.



    Considering Bratton’s expertise on keeping traffic moving and ignoring vehicular crimes, I’m sure we’re all very interested in what he has to say about bicycles.


    Joe R.

    Isn’t it better to sign the exceptions than to design a law based on the worst-case scenario (poor sight lines AND many pedestrians)? Don’t forget this will be a statewide law. Conditions in other parts of the state, or even less congested parts of NYC, are such that what you state is gross overkill. I might understand required a stop before passing through an intersection on a red light in midtown between 7 AM and 7 PM. I don’t understand the point of requiring a stop before turning right regardless of where the intersection is located. In places like the Netherlands, right turns are always “free”, meaning you just need to yield to pedestrians, if any are there. Cyclists aren’t going to learn how to yield properly if they’re not allowed to do it. In fact, some of your concerns about the erratic way people ride their bikes are likely bought on by micromanagement. Treat adults like children, that’s exactly how they’ll act. Treat them like responsible adults capable of making decisions, and you’ll get that instead. We don’t need to treat cyclists like little children, micromanaging every facet of how they deal with intersections. In the end it does more harm than good. They fail to learn good bike handling skills. They fail to get good at dealing with the kinds of unexpected situations where experience and judgement mean avoiding collisions. Anyone who opposed this law as written doesn’t need to follow it if passed. If you feel better waiting the full cycle on red, or stopping before proceeding, you’ll still be free to do that.

    Any fears the law will be abused can be addressed in two ways-education and enforcement. The first few times a cyclist usurps someone’s legal right-of-way passing a red they go to a class where experienced cyclists teach them the nuances of safely passing red lights. Obviously a lot of people might exhibit poor judgement in the beginning because they just never developed the experience, or perhaps weren’t intelligent enough to learn on their own. That’s what the classes would be for. If you still repeatedly get caught after taking classes, then you would get fined.

    Of course, a better answer is to just build a lot more non-stop cycle routes but I doubt NYC even knows how to do this.



    At this point, the danger of the NYPD issuing a frivolous fine probably exceeds any benefit society gains from fining people for any sort of “quality of life” violations. It turns the citizenry into an ATM for the city.


    Benjamin Kabak

    Short of de Blasio’s spineless leadership itself, Bill Bratton is the single biggest impediment to Vision Zero.


    Mathew Smithburger

    I doubt you rode very much over those 30 years, but nearly every cyclist I have spoken with (and I’d say about 100 or so of them) has had some interaction with the cops (including myself) over the past three years regarding some type of traffic rule violation mostly fictitious. Now we are talking about mostly about middle aged women and men, most like myself and you, have been “driving” our bikes for many years in the city.

    In addition, your assertion cyclists “drive their bike in an erratic and dangerous manner”, the empirical evidence proves that cyclists are a safer bet than drivers. Since you write as if you have some policing background I’d suggest you check your stats and get back on that though I will provide some help with that see below.

    Finally, cyclists (as well as pedestrians, other divers, stationary objects like houses and light poles) should fear cars, as their drivers are oftentimes, inexperience with basic car handling skills, combined with not paying attention, which seems to contribute to the problem. In fact approximately 300 (THREE HUNDRED) souls are lost every year in this city to such drivers. However as the NYPD is currently configured by Police Commissioner Eleanor Bratton the victim is the problem.



    Why the fuck is a police chief even allowed to comment on political matters? This is not supposed to be a political position. His job is to enforce the law, not influence how it’s written.



    I’m really dreading Bratton’s successor. Will it be Joe Arpaio?

    Bill de Blasio is barely better than Rudy Giuliani.



    “De Blasio Seeks Horse Carriage Compromise” I wonder if the people that went out and slammed Quinn in order to boost Deblasio on the basis of his promise to end the carriage industry on Day 1 feel betrayed or just stupid……



    I haven’t seen how you drive your bike. But I’ve noticed far too many people on bicycles who look like they have plenty of experience driving a car — but once they get on a bike saddle, they seem to forget everything they learned in driver’s ed and drive their bike in an erratic and dangerous manner. Oftentimes, inexperience with basic bicycle handling skills, combined with fear of cars, seems to contribute to the problem.

    I’ve been biking for 30 years, including at least 15 years in NYC. And in that time, I’ve had ZERO encounters with cops — except when I was involved in a serious crash with a pedestrian. Unless there is racial profiling involved in your case, all I can say is you must be doing something wrong.



    I’m a long-time daily commuter bicyclist, and I don’t support this law as stated. Yes, I understand that sight lines are better on a bike than a car, and all the other arguments for this law. The problem is, there are very few universals. Some intersections may be relatively safe to cruise through a red light, whereas others are not. Some intersections are safe at some times of day in some conditions, and not others. Even T-bone intersections can be full of pedestrians, and trucks stopped at red lights blocking the view of these pedestrians. A blanket Idaho-stop law would almost certainly be abused, leading to increased pedestrian injury, if not fear.

    What I WOULD support is the following:

    1. Legalize right on red after stop, for bikes. The primary reason for this is bikes can do a right turn in two steps in a way cars cannot: (a) turn right into the parking lane while watching for pedestrians, (b) merge left in to the travel lane, once things are clear. Right on red is safe and legal for cars almost everywhere in the USA, and there is no reason it cannot be safe and legal for bikes as well.

    2. Consider creating signed bike corridors where the Stop sign is explicitly changed to “Stop except for bikes.” These bike corridors would be on side streets that run alongside busy thoroughfares (Ocean Ave, Brooklyn?), where stop signs were installed to funnel auto traffic to the main thoroughfare. It makes sense to allow bicycles to use the side street without stopping every block, WITH PROPER SIGNAGE, in order to separate bicycle traffic from heavy auto traffic one block away.

    Finally… for the impatient New York cyclist, remember that you can always walk your bike through the red light with little risk of a jaywalking ticket. This act engenders the kind of safety we need to see around pedestrians and is appreciated by everybody.


    Alexander Vucelic

    Bratton proves time and time again, He really despises New Yorkers.


    Joe R.

    Not that it wasn’t already abundantly obvious, but Bratton needs to go. Not just for this, but for his dated ideas on policing.



    The difference between “doing something for cyclists” and “doing something for cycling” is still lost in New York.


    M to the I

    I don’t blame peds for not wanting to stand on the painted refuges on 2nd Avenue. I’m amazed by the amount of car/truck tire tracks that go right over those refuges? If there were some sort of protection like a planter I think some peds would stand there. But there are not even flexiposts on the corners of intersections with WB streets. Its like DOT wants drivers to cut the corner and drive over the painted ped island when making a turn onto 2nd.


    Joe R.

    I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I’ll probably need to do that again if the bill actually passes.


    Joe R.

    Here’s a bunch of reasons:

    1) Cyclists have excellent visibility and situational awareness, just like pedestrians, and therefore can judge if it’s safe to proceed through a red light. Motorists are isolated in a metal box with poor visibility. As a result, unless lines of sight are very good, they can’t safely pass most red lights.

    2) Traffic signals and stop signs only exist for the convenience and because of motorists. Their purpose is to keep motorists from colliding with each other, and to allow driving at speeds higher than about 20 mph. If not for motorists, these traffic controls wouldn’t need to exist at all. There’s no justification applying them to modes of travel they weren’t meant for in the first place.

    3) It’s often safer for a cyclist to pass a red light because they’re far away from a pack of accelerating vehicles all jockeying for position when the light turns green.

    4) Even if #3 wasn’t true, the light timing and sheer number of traffic signals and stop signs in this city results in an unacceptable time penalty for both cyclists and pedestrians. It also results in a huge additional amount of energy use and muscle strain. Studies show it takes as much energy accelerating back to speed after a stop as it does riding two or three blocks. If you think it’s so easy for cyclists to behave just like cars at red lights or stop signs I invite you to try it for at least 10 miles, better yet 20. I’m a strong, experienced cyclist and I’m physically incapable of doing this.

    5) There is no safety or other benefit gained by forcing cyclists to wait the full cycle at red lights, or come to a complete stop at stop signs. Cyclists are perfectly safe to themselves and those around them if they cautiously treat both as yields.

    6) Recklessly blowing through red lights at high speeds without looking isn’t a behavior the majority of cyclists engage in. It wouldn’t be legal under this or any other contemplated law allowing cyclists to pass red lights.

    7) If a cyclist misjudges the situation when passing a red light, which in itself is extremely rare, it’s usually only the cyclist who bears the consequences. They will get hurt or die if a motor vehicle hits them. The driver will be just fine. If they hit a pedestrian, speeds are usually so low that likelihood of serious injury, really any injury, is exceedingly rare.

    8) Technical cyclist infractions are often used by the NYPD as a way to stop minorities. As such, they constitute a form of institutional discrimination. And as mentioned previously, these tickets for technical violations serve no safety or other purpose. They’re just used to meet ticket quotas. They’re a waste of valuable police resources.

    The only reason for requiring bikes to treat red lights and stop signs like motor vehicles is because someone wants to be a control freak, and also as a back door way to discourage cycling. Tickets and/or being forced to ride in a manner which is slow, strenuous, and sometimes more dangerous is a sure way to decrease the number of cyclists.



    I actually think that in NYC cyclists should come to a full stop every time at all six stop signs in the city and should wait at the full cycle for all 10 million red lights.

    But your argument is garbage. Drivers engage in significantly more dangerous and illegal activities in a routine way all the time–from speeding (and more speeding) to blowing lights to not signalling turns to tailgating (an especially dangerous thing when what you’re tailgating is a bike). Every one of these things could kill people or cause very significant harm.

    And yet their activities go largely unchecked. If police addressed even a fraction of dangerous actions by drivers it would be one thing. (It would also be nice if actually dangerous actions by cyclists were also addressed–not running lights at T intersections or just plain old “you’re cycling, you must be behaving illegally” tickets.)

    But police overlook dangerous driving (and are themselves very, very frequently the most dangerous drivers around) so we might as well make it harder for police to go after not-dangerous behavior. Maybe it will make them go after dangerous behavior?

    Nah. They’ll just blame cyclists and pedestrians for all their woes.


    Alexander Vucelic

    good point – 8 people Killed by cyclists in 14 years.







    Alexander Vucelic

    why ?

    because drivers kill or maim 50,000 New Yorker every year. cyclists haven’t Killed a New Yorker in 3 years. drivers are dangerous and need to be stopped from killing





    Mathew Smithburger

    For most of my 53 years as a citizen of the City of New York I had absolutely NO interactions with the police UNTIL I bought my first bike. Then you’d think I was Son of Sam. What does that tell you? We are wasting valuable police resources and taxpayers’ money. Why not leave cyclists alone and ramp up focus on drivers who run red lights, speed, turn on red (shout out to all the NJ peeps in a hurry to check their lawns and take their fat little kids to soccer practice) or double park. Or focus that attention on taking guns off the streets. Or illegal panhandling or guarding all the valuable retail banking space in our city. Why the obsessive need to harass people on bicycles? Maybe because we are not depended upon the power brokers in this city, the municipal unions, the real estate/parking/Uber lobby? We can’t be controlled. Next thing you know we might start voting in a more cohesive manner…..Whoops! Maybe then maybe Mayor De Blasio and that elderly housewife from Boston who is our police commissioner, I forgot the lady’s name, will not find themselves invited back for a second term.



    Seriously, if DOT won’t reduce car lanes and parking where the CBs are asking for it, what hope is there for the areas with car centric CBs. Vision zero doesn’t apply to them?



    This is ridiculous – there is no reason in the world why cyclists shouldn’t stop for red lights and stop signs. If you think that they should be able to blow a red light “as long as they’re careful and look both ways first” then by the same logic why not let careful drivers do the same thing?

    The whole thing presumes two things, 1) that cyclists are inherently more cautious and responsible than car drivers (they’re not), and 2) that the potential for injury caused by bicycle/pedestrian collisions is not serious (it most certainly is).

    The reality is that a lot of cyclists in this city blow red lights recklessly (weaving through crossing pedestrians at high speeds) and a law like this will only increase such behavior as it shifts the boundary of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Don’t tell me what I am in accord with. I don’t agree with the law that requires bicyclists to stop for the full period of a red light (just as I don’t agree with restrictive immigration laws). But disagreeing with this law does not give us the right to unilaterally disregard it.

    I should mention that I was once a victim of this stupid law. What makes it doubly galling is that this happened a couple of weeks after the killing of Mattieu Lefevre, and at the same corner of Morgan and Meserole.

    The police were conducting a crackdown — but they were targeting the potential victims of vehicular violence rather than the potential perpetrators. I stopped at the light on that corner and then walked my bike through the intersection while straddling it. The cops rolled up on me and gave me a $190 ticket.

    The police had been lying in wait; and they were just picking off cyclists. I would bet that I am the only one of all the cycoists whom they caught who was actually walking his bike rather than riding it! (I wonder what they would have done had I been walking beside the bike instead of straddling it. I suspect that, as ticket-crazed as they were, it would have made no difference.)

    That law is outrageous; that law is wrong. That law should be changed, as Reynoso is trying to do. But I strongly doubt that it can be changed right now, as the enemies of this type of change vastly outnumber those who support it.

    If we hope ever to have a chance at changing this absurd law, we’ll need lots of other legislators to join in the effort. But you can forget about that if all these legislators hear from their constituents is complaints about bicyclists.

    So this is why it’s in our interest to follow the laws (even the stupid ones), so as to minimise the complaints that these anti-bike crazies make to their representatives.



    I like to think of it as returning the sidewalk to its pre-car obsessed configuration.



    At least they paint them as islands, as opposed to Allen/Pike Street where you’re expected to ride over a painted bulbout, or in some locations a painted or paved pedestrian plaza.


    walks bikes drives

    Is this an April Fools joke? I mean, sensible talk about cycling in NYC?


    walks bikes drives

    Right on red would still require a stop, so it is not staying in motion. You won’t preserve momentum, but you will lessen time spent not doing anything.


    walks bikes drives

    Actually, bikes don’t get that advantage. If a cyclist enters the intersection during a LPI, they have entered the intersection against the light, and therefore subject to a red light violation.






    Bikes should stop or yield to pedestrians at T intersection, and then proceed if it is clear.

    Bikes get the same advantage from an LPI as do pedestrians (a jump on turning traffic and a chance to establish themselves in the roadway before the cars start to move). That some pedestrians might dart out against their signal while the LPI is running doesn’t really change that. Bicyclist always have to watch for pedestrians darting out when they don’t have the signal.


    Prolly Nottenberg

    No longer can Trottenberg and de Blasio hide behind the fig leaf of “community opposition.” Because of their refusal to follow (let alone lead) on this issue—whether due to incompetence, political miscalculation, or simple lack of interest—innocent people will die.


    Joe R.

    The easy answer to the problem you mention is to either move as far left as possible, or to prohibit parking where it blocks lines of sight. The latter should be done regardless of whether or not an Idaho-stop law exists. As a pedestrian I can’t safely cross streets if parked cars block my visibility until I’m practically in a traffic lane. I don’t understand how or why we even allowed this practice of parking right up to the crosswalk in the first place.

    The second thing worth mentioning is pedestrians crossing in general are not much of an issue in the outer boroughs outside of peak times. I could pass 10,000 red lights and maybe I’ll actually see someone in the crosswalk while I’m passing once or twice. Upstate and in other places where this law would also apply, pedestrians are even less common. That’s why I said to design the law for typical conditions, not the outliers. Places with busy pedestrian crossings are outliers, even in NYC, outside of midtown Manhattan.

    The third thing is not all intersections have poor visibility, even with parked cars. I’d rather you deal with things on a case by case basis than make laws which apply to worst case scenarios. If you have a few intersections in the outer boroughs with poor visibility, then sign them to require a complete stop before proceeding. That said, as a cyclist I’m not really sure that you gain anything in terms of either safety or visibility by requiring a complete stop, as opposed to slowing to a few mph. If you have to stop completely, it means you have to put your foot down, which in turn means you have to look down before you stop to make sure you’re not putting your foot in a pothole. That means you’re not looking for pedestrians while you’re still rolling. To me it’s safer to slow down as much as lines of sight require while covering your brakes. At 5 mph you can stop virtually on a dime if anything comes your way. if not, it’s far easier to get back up to speed without picking your feet off the ground, looking down to get them on the pedals, perhaps downshifting to your lowest gear to get going, etc.

    When’s the last time you got a ticket for passing a red late at night?

    I never got a red light ticket. Then again I make a point of not passing red lights in front of cops.

    The first time a cyclist going through a red gets hit by a car there will be calls here that the driver wasn’t exercising due care.

    Not from me. The only exception to that would be if it’s obvious based on the amount of damage that the driver was grossly exceeding the speed limit. Chances are good a cyclist who makes a mistake, thengets hit by a driver, will survive if that driver is going the speed limit or less. I tend to think the attitude here is similar if a jaywalking gets hit. Most are prepared to exonerate the driver so long as he/she was sober and not exceeding the speed limit.


    Nick Ober

    That’s a really good point. Do the buses on 6th and 5th Avenues get less love since there’s a subway line underneath for much of their routes or is there another reason? There are bus lanes on other avenues — most conspicuously on 1st and 2nd obviously.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    See other post in this thread, but clear interpretations of NYS VAT VII-34 § 1234 and RCNY § 4-12(p) are that pretty much any “taking the lane” is legal, given the laws’ stated “exceptions” and the perpetual conditions of NYC streets


    Nick Ober

    Second Avenue south of 23rd street only has a 9 foot combined bike lane (buffer + lane) which is why it’s less usable and also why it doesn’t have concrete islands.



    A cyclist going through a red at a T intersection isn’t conflicting with motor traffic, just crossing pedestrians that can be hidden from view. Either parked between a bike lane and a sidewalk, or on the other side stopped at the red light the cyclist is going through. Little kids and pets don’t always walk right next to adults and shouldn’t have to, and are easily hidden by short sedans. Would it be so burdensome to say that if there is a parked car, dumpster, stopped car etc…blocking sightlines that the red requires a full stop before entering the crosswalk?

    Pedestrians use the delayed green from a LPI going the other way to add to the minimal time they are allowed to cross the street. Is it appropriate to combine them darting across at the last second with cyclists that don’t first stop at the red light, even if the LPI has come on?


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    The law is essentially, “You shall ride in a usable bike path or along the right side of a roadway unless you have any reason at all not-to”. For practical purposes, there isn’t much enforcement that can be done with this on NYC streets. There’s always traffic in the right lane, and that’s always a reason to not-use-it; similarly, if you’re entering a one-way road from the left, there’s always a reason to keep to the left side.

    The same flimsy law allows any cyclist to disregard a bicycle lane and take a traffic lane, anywhere in the state.

    In NYC, local laws go further.
    RCNY § 4-12(p) extends use of bicycles on one-way 40-foot-wide+ roadways to either the right or the left. This applies to pretty much every avenue in the city.



    #1 might make sense in midtown during the day, but most times in the rest of the city there is no need for a full stop.

    During much of the day and much of the night motor vehicles that are parked and those that are stopped at red lights significantly reduce visibility. If you’re in a bike lane passing a car waiting for the green you won’t necessarily be able to see if there’s a dog or little kid five feet in front of the adult you think you can easily ride in front of. Given that poor visibility is it really appropriate to go through without stopping to check if it’s clear? What easy to understand, easy to follow, and easy to enforce rule keeps cyclists from striking or delaying pedestrians crossing the street anywhere in the city at any time of day but still allows you to ride through lights the way you want at 3am? Sometimes this sort of issue is dealt with by passing a more restrictive rule, and having the police exercise discretion on enforcement. When’s the last time you got a ticket for passing a red late at night?

    I agree fully with #3. If a cyclist makes an error in judgement when passing a red light, there’s no reason anyone but the cyclist should be at fault.

    Really? Do you think most streetsblog posters would agree? Do you think they will 12 months after this more permissive idaho stop law is passed? If someone is hit when jaywalking there’s generally a contingent here trying to come up with reasons that the motorist could have been at fault, and that is upset that the police don’t start with the assumption that the driver is responsible for the crash. The first time a cyclist going through a red gets hit by a car there will be calls here that the driver wasn’t exercising due care.


    Seth Rosenblum

    I’m pretty sure it’s legal to take the right-most lane, since it’s a >40 foot roadway. But I don’t think it’s legal to take the left car lane.


    Larry Littlefield

    In a way, it all comes down to “do you trust the police?”

    They could argue that such a rule would make it more difficult to bring enforcement actions against cyclists doing actually dangerous things. They’d go to court and argue they did yield. They did stop. And it would have to be proven. Thus the police could say make the rules restrictive, and rely on officer discretion to limit enforcement to when it is really needed.

    But they have failed that test. The only bicycle enforcement, in general, is when they get orders to go out and write some tickets. And they only ticket those doing things that ought, in fact, to be allowed, because those bicyclists are moving slower and stop when the police say so. Since they aren’t bicycles or scooters themselves, the police couldn’t stop those blowing lights and buzzing pedestrians if they wanted to.



    And sometimes the response is a fence.



    You make a reasonable point about bikes, however, don’t overstate it. There are plenty of places, and occurrences of people locking bikes to fixtures in the public realm, and those bikes disappearing after private entities (which may or may not own those fixtures) have them removed.

    The other point that’s missing, there is a difference between a parking facility which is public space dedicated to the storage of private vehicles, and a public plaza which not supposed to be monopolized in that way. I would make the argument that if you park your car on a sidewalk/other no parking zone, it would get towed, sadly I’m under the impression that’s not the case. Hence the entire problem.