Skip to content

Recent Comments



    I’m glad that taking the lane is never an issue for you. I support it in theory, but in practice, in my experience, it sometimes is very much an issue. I guess LA is just nicer.

    Here in NYC, people honking at you for taking the lane is the least of the issues, annoying as it is. More serious and even more frequent than honking is when people pass you unsafely, maybe even on purpose to make some kind of point, but who knows. Even when there’s a second lane, empty and available for drivers to pass, they pass with inches to spare by only changing “half a lane”. (Admittedly, riding in the gutter does nothing for the unsafe passing issue.)

    Even worse is when enraged drivers crash into cyclists on purpose, as was reported last week.

    (I do take the lane much of the time, but try to be pragmatic about it.)



    Old numbers, but nycha residents were 0.5% of members July 2013. Has that changed much?



    They’ve said that the first new sections will arrive in 2015, but do we know _when_ in 2015? Will it be by next summer? Dec. 31?



    My risk of right hooks dropped to zero when I realized that being visible and predictable yielded a much nicer ride than hugging the gutter for the convenience of drivers around me. They pass and there’s never an issue. People claiming that cycling requires sprinting along with traffic, or staying out of their way are only making the issue worse. They are the ones getting hooked, and making cycling dangerous for themselves.



    There are certain areas where double parked cars are concentrated so I dont have to literally do it the entire time. Through most of my commute the blocks are 200 feet long (this is typical in much of Manhattan and Brooklyn), with right hook potential every 400 feet.

    This would more or less require me to take the lane the entire time to get rid of the hook potential, which frankly I don’t feel like doing. It would be too slow in traffic and too fast for me to sustain when cars are flowing smoothly, which would piss drivers off. Like I said, only possible for a small portion of cyclists.

    If we are trying to encourage cycling for more than .5% of the population we have to do better than saying “take the lane”.



    The email I got said this:
    “NYC Bike Share will use this winter season to overhaul the entire fleet of bikes and service docks and kiosks, ensuring that Citi Bike is ready to roll come spring. We will work closely with the team at Alta Bicycle Share to improve our operations and the technology that powers bike share.”

    It almost sounds like they are going to swap everything out this winter. Let’s hope that is the case.



    NYCHA fee should be even lower. Something like $10-20 a year would be better. The amount of money that Citibike loses on these discounted memberships is probably nominal. The benefits to increasing diversity in the bike network would be substantial. Many of the NYCHA properties are far from subways and this could become an essential resource for them.


    Sick of It

    I think this guy is blowing smoke up our asses. He runs a para-military organization. Sure, culture is hard to change. But the whole point of a para-military organization is that commanders can issue orders and percents and officers can execute those orders quickly. So, I’ll believe Chan and friends when I actually see NYPD taking meaningful action against drivers who maim, kill and behave recklessly on NYC streets. Until then, I think this guy is completely full of sh*t along with Bratton, Ameri and the rest of these politicians in blue. They still do not view motor vehicle violence as a form of crime in need of policing. It’s all “accidents” to these guys. If they were really taking action then they certainly would’ve done more than “question and release” the woman who killed the 8-year-old girl on the sidewalk in front of her school in the Bronx. Right? I mean, can anyone think of a more heinous crime than that? Do any of these f’ing NYPD people have children of their own?



    There hasnt been any bikes rolling off the assembly lines for months, thats why no Alta system has expanded this year. Not because Alta was shaky, but because their supplier was in Canadian limbo. Ottawa gave up waiting, closed their entire system, and relaunched with brand new bikes and docks built by someone else. DC was able to expand because they bought those stations used.



    So wait, the Company that made all the bikes was liquidated? I heard it went bankrupt but did it stop operating altogether?



    And then chase you down and beat you for shits and giggles.


    Joe R.

    I’m thinking they might wonder if it’s a UFO, cruise missile, new surveillance drone. The NYPD really would be dumb enough to just gawk at it, wondering what to do.


    Joe R.

    No need to go 25 mph. Just get speeds up to 18 to 20 mph. At that point the speed differential between velomobiles and everything else is manageable. Most riders can handle 18 to 20 mph. Even children hit those speeds or more going downhill.



    Technically not allowed, but the cops probably wouldn’t know what to make of it.

    You think that would keep them from arresting you and confiscating your fancy bike?



    Yup, theyve provided NO explanation. Alta was just the middle man. They operated the system. They did the maintenence, re-balancing, and call center. They never have actually BUILT the bikes or owned the patents. Until THAT company, the one that actually went out of business gets sorted out…no new bikes. That, or the entire Citibike system is pulled and switched out with a new supplier like Bcycle or Social Bikes.



    How many 8 and 80 year olds can ride 25+ mph as safely as they can bike 10-15?


    Joe R.

    If you’re lucky to be on a street where traffic goes something like 15 to 20 mph, then nearly any cyclist should be comfortable taking the lane. On quiet side streets, I pretty much always take the lane, even with cars behind, and I never need to sprint, nor do I have any other issues. If we’re talking arterials, then that’s where the “fun” begins. Don’t get me wrong-it’s awesome on many levels to be in a stream of motor vehicles going at high speeds. At the same time though I realize if cyclists really need to ride like this on certain roads to avoid being right-hooked, then it’s not going to help increase mode share.

    Also, LA drivers from what I’ve heard are quite a bit more polite than NYC drivers. I’ve been run off the road by cars trying to get around me even going downhill at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. That’s not a typo. I was going 20 mph over the speed limit, but these jackasses in cars still felt some primeval need to get in front of me.



    You account is certainly different than mile. I rode 40 miles through LA yesterday, much of it in traffic, and not once was I forced to sprint to be safe. I ride along at my generally reasonable pace, take the lane to avoid right hooks, and didn’t have any issues.


    Joe R.

    I’m going to say it’s possible *sometimes* but in general I agree with you. Only an outlier of cyclists can mentally and physically pull it off. You have to overcome two obstacles-getting into the traffic stream to start with, then keeping up. The first part is actually the most difficult. My technique is to wait until traffic slows enough so there’s no more than a 10 mph differential between your speed and traffic speed. I time things to start accelerating into the first available gap at 100% effort. If you’re not strong enough to go from 15 mph to 25 mph in under about 4 seconds, don’t even both trying this. If you do, you’ll depend upon someone letting you in the gap in order to not be rear-ended.

    The second part-keep up with traffic once you’re in the stream, isn’t as hard as it might sound. Remember you’re drafting off the vehicles in front of you. I actually find I can maintain 25 to 35 mph speeds without killing myself once I get into the traffic stream, depending upon what’s in front. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be behind a bus or 18-wheeler. In that case, you can go past 50 mph, provided your bike has a high enough gear, and provided you can match the acceleration rate of the bus or truck (possibly with a loaded 18-wheeler, often NOT possible with a bus). Anyway, once you’re in the stream, be prepared to get out the second you can no longer keep pace with traffic. Typically that happens when you hit the hills. A cyclist just doesn’t have the power to climb even a mild grade at 30+ mph.

    Almost forgot-if you decide to run with traffic at prevailing traffic speeds, make certain it’s on a street which you already know is in good shape. At high speeds, you’re just not going to have time to react to potholes which are hidden by vehicles until the last minute.

    If all this sounds physically and mentally demanding, then that’s because it is. As I said, only a minority of cyclists can pull it off.



    And will they switch the software over to 8D, the former Bixi partner that did the software on the older Bixi systems and made a sort of post-Bixi setup in Seattle? Maybe that’s the answer, and that the Citibikes will soon look like this — different, but still fits the dock:×413.jpg

    It’s kind of like Bixi was the PCC streetcar of bikes — universal enough and popular enough that it went to every city and influenced successive generations of vehicles.



    Great news!

    To provide some context, though, the system was originally supposed to launch in summer 2012 with 10,000 bikes and 600 stations. Looks like we’ll actually get to that number sometime in late 2016 or early 2017.



    Yeah, Ottawa is one of the few Bixi cities to dump the system entirely – they switched to CycleHop.



    It’s the software that’s the problem. The bikes and stations in DC work great.



    great that NYCHA gets practically free parking and a bike share discount.



    Yes finally!!! Super exciting news. Now they just need to finish the Harlem river bike path and the ridership with flourish :D


    Joe R.

    Sure, you would need to slow down for the mini-cloverleaves, but that’s really a non-issue. You would need to slow down anyway if there was a regular intersection. The cloverleaves make things safer than a regular intersection, probably also faster.

    Sad to say, I wouldn’t put much stock in anything major happening on the bike infrastructure front in NYC unless

    1) mass transit was decimated, perhaps by a major

    2) Gas hit $20 a gallon

    I’m thinking with advances in 3D printing we may well see sub $1,000 velomobiles in time. $2,000 is the price point where I would seriously consider one, even without existing infrastructure for it. I would probably take it on the Long Island Expressway just for kicks. Technically not allowed, but the cops probably wouldn’t know what to make of it.



    A bike-share system inevitable needs a large geographical scope within the city to work, else one of their major advantages (multiples points to pick or drop the bike) disappears. ‘Community businesses’ cannot do that.


    Mr Cogsworth




    Does the NYCHA resident discount apply to those living in housing projects only, or does it include those receiving NYCHA Section 8 vouchers too?



    Are they still using Bixi bikes and Bixi stations? The software can be made better, sure, but every single time I’ve used Citibike over the last year I’ve run into problems with broken docks that won’t release or accept bikes. The station equipment is not holding up and it is driving people away from bikeshare after one too many frustrations.


    Anne A

    My understanding is that Citibike is being affected by the same basic issues as Chicago’s Divvy Bikes and other systems using the same equipment. Maintenance has been more challenging due to availability problems with parts. Here in Chicago, we’ve been seeing more bikes out of service for this reason. I’m sure that NY folks are doing as we are – locking bikes into the docks for service if they are having significant enough issues to affect safe operation.



    “I do it all the time to get around double parked cars”



    An interesting little quote about Parks charging MTA for tree removal, per the Post:

    “It certainly is a waste of money,” said MTA board member Jonathan Ballan, who voted against the procurement the agency approved on Monday.

    Because the MTA is in the business of making money, so obviously they would know…



    Where are the new bikes going to come from? I thought that the supply chain is broken, and Alta hasn’t received any new bikes since before Bixi’s bankruptcy.

    I hope that Related isn’t going to continue Alta’s record of overpromising and underperforming.



    Interesting dream, though I wouldn’t put money on it ever happening.

    I don’t see even $2,000 leading to an explosion of velomobile use. A couple hundred bucks for a serviceable bike with a rack and some panniers takes care of most people’s usual cargo needs.

    Wouldn’t you need to slow down to use mini-cloverleaves?



    Not sure why they would avoid that area in phase 2, given that stations were already cited there prior to launch.



    As a proud resident of the McGorlick Park section of Greenpoint… God. Damnit.


    Joe R.

    The answer to that is get the slower riders on e-bikes to even out the speeds. Yes, a purist will say you no longer have just human power. Practically speaking though, e-bikes make a lot of bike trips feasible which otherwise aren’t.


    Joe R.

    While we’re dreaming, I was thinking along the lines of elevated, roofed bikeways, perhaps with some means to channel prevailing winds into a tailwind to increase speeds of conventional bikes a few mph on average. The roof would also provide shelter from inclement weather. On the roof level you could have a path for velomobiles. The upper level path wouldn’t need weather protection as many velomobiles are fully enclosed. The lower level could have more frequent exits/entrances than the upper level. Think of it sort of like an express and superexpress route. The lower level is regular bikes going from maybe 8 mph up to ~25 mph. The upper level would be velomobiles going up to whatever speeds their aerodynamic design permitted (~50 mph with the latest designs).

    Intersections with other elevated bikeways could be handled the way highway intersections are now, except you don’t need huge curve radii. A “mini-cloverleaf” could fit just fine in the space above a regular arterial-arterial intersection.

    Velomobiles aren’t big on account of their cost. Get the cost down to maybe $2,000 or $3,000. They’ll be wildly popular. Even if you couldn’t care less about speed, they make great all-weather utility cycling machines with a huge amount of cargo capacity.



    The NYPOST’s headlines, of course.



    So in other words, I have to stick out my arm and get into the flow of traffic. If this is how we’re going to expand cycling in New York we are going to have to start from scratch because most current cyclists are not comfortable doing this. I do it all the time to get around double parked cars but to do it at every other corner (every ~400ft) is asking too much.

    How are you supposed to reliably be able to get out into the flow of traffic without riding fast? This requires an extremely assertive cyclist to begin with even assuming there isn’t a substantial speed differential. Are you really going to get into a stream of cars going 25mph while going 10mph?



    This interview is a positive step in an otherwise abysmal public relations effort by the De Blasio administration and the NYPD regarding Vision Zero. So far the company line has been ignore all negative events and criticisms, plan everything positive behind the scenes, and only address the public when a new strategy is unveiled.



    If they’re convicted of the misdemeanor (a crime), it goes on their record. If they have a decent lawyer they’ll plead it down so this will only apply to poor scofflaw drivers.



    MIsdemeandor?! I guess we should be thankful for small mercies. So striking and/or injuring a pedestrian with the right of way is the same as having an ounce of weed or painting graffiti?

    Btw, how does this result in a ‘criminal record’ if the penalty is not criminal?



    Nothing to do with VC, and doesn’t require riding fast. Just don’t ride the gutter near intersections, and you’ll find it becomes impossible to get hooked (unless someone crosses multiple lanes). You call it a “major danger”, but there are simple and effective ways to avoid that situation.



    Except for the few times when someone turns across multiple lanes, I successfully avoid nearly all right-hook incidents because I don’t ride in the gutter.



    That’s not enough. My experience suggests that many drivers think that bicycles are stationary obstacles, meaning that even if they see you and pass you safely, they feel it’s perfectly OK to turn across your path right after they pass you.

    The only protection against hooks is to assume that every vehicle will turn across your path at the intersection, regardless of which lane the vehicle is in. Just this morning I was cut off by a truck making a turn across four lanes of traffic (and it was a small truck, so it was not a question of the truck having a limited turning radius).



    1970s Anglosphere cycling advocacy at its finest. I’m among the more vehicular cyclists I see on a daily basis, but simple fact is that VC only works for a small portion of the population, an even smaller portion than are cycling in New York already.

    I’m to the right most of the time because I want to go around car traffic when its slow, not sit in it, and because I can’t maintain the 20+mph that most people would expect of someone not using the bike lane or staying to the right when car traffic is moving.

    This would actually work OK if all drivers signaled or if we had good infrastructure. The latter isn’t coming, so I’m at least hoping for the former since the NYPD seems to be receptive to enforcement at the moment.


    Morris Zapp

    Where were Bratton and Chan during the months before 19-190 became law? After the bill was written and it was all but certain to become law, and fairly soon? Between the time de Blasio signed it and the law took effect? Where were they?

    How many victims will see zero justice because NYPD wasn’t prepared to enforce from day one?

    How in the hell has NYPD not “touched base” with the DAs before now?

    Why does there continue to be a gulf between what the mayor says and what NYPD does and doesn’t do?

    Who is in charge of NYPD?



    My commute is 12 miles each way. Jeans, a t-shirt, and as many layers of sweatshirts and jackets as I need. No problem at all other than needing to take over a bathroom stall for five minutes to wipe off with a wet washcloth before toweling off and putting on my office attire. My crotch looks nothing like hamburger.

    That said, what I meant was the dudes who zoom around (almost always in spandex) training for races while making things very unsafe for everybody around them. Circling around parks at high speeds, or shooting down greenways. They are the spandex douchebags, and they both look and act horribly. I’m happy to dismissively alienate them.