Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hunter Study Points out Obvious & Misses the Point.

The Times uses this photo to illustrate a cyclist riding the wrong way. Ummm... what about the truck parked illegally in the bicycle lane?

City Room blogs on a 'study' out of Hunter College.

From the Times reporting it amounts to students looking at cyclists and deciding that since they aren't wearing helmets and are riding against the direction of traffic - they must be a safety problem.

Hmmm... How about spending your time looking at ways to create more bicycle infrastructure? Of course I haven't read the study - but I wonder if they report on the fact that most bicycle lanes are blocked by illegally parked cars - sometimes police cars.

Here's part of their absurd conclusion...
“With the ranks of cyclists growing in the city and the amount of street space becoming even more fiercely fought over, it is imperative that all three groups — cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians — abide by the traffic laws and be more respectful of the rights of others who share that space,” Professors Tuckel and Milczarski wrote in their conclusion.
Luckily there is a voice of reason in the article - Wiley Norvell, from Transportation Alternatives says “It’s our philosophy that good street design gives us better behavior....It doesn’t surprise me to see high rates of traffic infractions on streets that do not have provisions for bicyclists.”

5 comments: said...

It is ironic. I was at Hunter and did my own study of bike commuters and had very different results.

schroepfer said...

As unpleasant as it is to see, are you sure it is illegal for a commercial vehicle to be parked like that? Not so in some states, since they've got to park somewhere to deliver bike parts to the bike store.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comment! It is 100% illegal. In New York City the law requires all vehicles to park outside the bicycle lane. It is ALWAYS illegal to park in a bicycle lane in NYC.

The correct thing to do is to park in the traffic lane and leave the bicycle lane free. The city even made a little diagram to illustrate (which I can't seem to find at the moment).

There is a $115 fine for parking, standing or driving in a bike lane.
You can see violators here:

RJ said...

I don't know about other states, but it wasn't until THIS YEAR that bicycling laws became included in Driver's Ed tests!

So how IS anyone supposed to know how a bicyclist should behave?

spiderleggreen said...

Perhaps cyclists would follow the traffic laws more, if they made sense. I often take bike lanes going other directions because the lanes are so screwy. Trying to figure out why they suddenly stop and other absurdities, isn't worth my time.

The push to get more cyclists and pedestrians to follow traffic laws is all about making it easier for cars to a fast as they please, without having to pay attention to what's going on in front of them. Cars are the most lethal of the three. That's where you're going to find the best way to reduce fatalities. Don't be fooled!