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    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.


    Mark Walker

    The M5 and M7 buses (which I ride regularly) really could use a dedicated lane. And those are not the only buses that slow to a painful crawl on Sixth Ave.





    I applaud these challenges to the DOT protected lane template. Hopefully this mile long stretch 6th Av can be the beginning of a new solution that stops favoring traffic flow at the expense of other users.


    Alexander Vucelic

    peak motor volume according to DOT happens at 23rd and Is a mere 1,970 per hour – easily handled by 3 Car lanes and a dedicated bus lane ( exclude parking/loading during Rush Hour to accomodate bus lane)

    10′ of erstwhile lane becomes

    4′ wider sidewalk
    3′ wider bus lane
    2′ wider Parking buffer
    1′ wider bike Lane




    Of course, this point of view is immoral, because it fails to take account of the inhumanity of the law in question. Yet this view persists.

    You know what else is immoral, fining people over $100 for treating T Intersections as yields. Or fining people in excess of $100 for stopping at reds and then slowly proceeding through it when safe on their bike and then be lectured on the importance of “street safety.” That shit is immoral. But you, like the “but they broke the law by illegally immigrating here crew,” are in accord just the same. It’s not just an inconvenience — harassing enforcement of the law outright discourages people from riding altogether. So spare me the f—ing lecture about how I’m an enemy if I slow roll through reds in Alphabet City when it’s safe to proceed. It’s frankly inhumane to take a broken windows approach to bicycle enforcement in light of the fact that, if the NYPD wanted to, they could fine bicyclists all day and night for violations that truly endanger others.



    Just curious, what makes you say it’s legal? I was reading about a proposed protected bike lane in Baltimore, and the city’s DOT quelled backlash from vehicular cyclists by saying that protected bike lanes are considered “bike _paths_”, and therefore the Maryland law which states that cyclists must use a bike _lane_ when available does not apply.

    Is it a similar situation here, or is there another interpretation of the law that makes it so?



    This makes sense for one main reason: it would push enforcement to egregious violations only.
    One of the most irritating things (and I’ve never been ticketed) about the way cycling rules are enforced now is that the community asks for 100% bike enforcement, CO’s set up blitzes to remind beat officers bike violations exist, they trap 300 cyclists in 3 hours for doing nothing out of the usual, and come back to the community and say well we did 300 tickets this time compared to 200 last year-to-date.
    What Reynoso does with this is to codify caution instead of outlaw it. This puts the onus of caution on the bike rider and 9/10 times they will follow it. But if you have a guy going against traffic in the middle of 6th Av, by all means enforce. I’ve always thought the NYPD comstat has lacked a measure of quality. Getting a 50% increase in tickets sounds impressive, but is certainly not when you consider that it was done in 3 hours of relatively wasteful work. I’d much prefer a CO detail 10 tickets to people doing idiotic things, because that would create a better example of what not to do than hunting people down for rolling through a red light at a T-intersection at CPW.
    Treat cyclists with respect by passing a law they can respect. Then you get the safety discussion to a more meaningful place.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    34th to 14th on Second Ave is not bad.
    South of 14th, it requires some patience, but if you’re on a Citibike then it’s really not a problem (the speeds are slower, the brakes are good, and maneuvering around sudden pedestrians in the roadway is easy enough). If I’m on a dedicated road bike, I take a traffic lane, as my 25mph sprint speed is about as fast as the traffic anyway. And it’s legal to do this, no matter what cranky people say


    Seth Rosenblum

    I think the reason for this has more to do with the “flush islands”. They don’t feel safe enough to pedestrians, so they wait for the light in the bike lanes instead of the pedestrian refuges. Pedestrians in the bike lanes forces cyclists to ride over the flush islands, thus reinforcing the feeling they have. On first avenue, there’s a reassuring amount of concrete that encourages pedestrians to cross the bike lane completely.

    The dimensions of the 6th avenue bike lane will be the same as with second avenue, 6 ft + 3 ft buffer: (slide 27)


    Seth Rosenblum

    The biggest concern expressed by the committee members was that this bike lane would turn out just like 8th avenue north of 42nd, where the volume of pedestrians spills out into the bike lane.

    The DOT’s concern with taking away a lane was that there was a significant volume of car traffic “that has to get where it’s going”.



    Does anyone have the dimensions of the Second Ave protected lane (from 23rd St to Houston St) handy? Because I find it downright unusable and seek alternate routes (without any kind of bike infrastructure) whenever possible, yet am reasonably satisfied with 1st Ave.


    Joe R.

    I agree removing traffic signals is a better approach. Arguably, if NYC didn’t have traffic signals or stop signs everywhere we might not even be talking about an Idaho stop. Unfortunately, for now anyway we’re stuck with the built environment. In the short term an Idaho stop is a good idea. In the medium term we can and should build non-stop bike routes, even if it means costly full-out grade separation. In the even longer term, reducing the number of motor vehicles so we can get rid of traffic signals makes the most sense.


    My Own Private Idaho

    Coincidentally, StreetsPAC is holding a fundraiser for Reynoso on December 8th: If anyone in the Council deserves the support of those of us who read Streetsblog, he’s it.



    What culture has embraced them fully? We should be talking about removing lights and timing the ones that remain for common cycling speed. That’s what bike friendly places, including some in the US, have done.


    Joe Enoch

    Allowing bicyclists to do exactly what this law proposes will make conditions safer because it will focus the spotlight on legitimately dangerous bicycle activity such as riding the wrong way, failure to yield and blatantly running reds.