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City Deploys Agents to Police Bike Lanes Ahead of Bike Share Launch

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ahead of next month's launch of a new bike share program, the city’s Department of Transportation is deploying so-called "street safety managers" to restore order back to bike lanes and make sure cyclists — and pedestrians — are obeying traffic signals.

Teams of four street safety managers will be sent to key locations in Manhattan during peak morning and evening rush hours on weekdays through October. But not everyone is convinced a refresher will work.

“This city is a city of jaywalkers and bikers,” said East Village resident Richard Sloate, whose wife was hit by a cyclist.

The bike share program will introduce 6,000 bikes to the city's streets and bike paths. Training exercises were held in the East Village this week.  

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Comments [12]

D from East Village

When these DOT "street safety managers" moved on at the corner of First Ave and East 11 street so did obeying traffic rules for bicyclists. ..and that was only for the bicyclists who were actually using the bike lanes. ..many don't even do that.Looking out my window as I write this I just witnessed two bike riders going through red lights on First crossing East 11. ..and only one was in the bike lane...and now I see three others on East 10 crossing First against the red light. Anecdotal yes, but not uncommon.. this was all within a 5 minute period.

May. 08 2013 02:28 PM
Kristina Harrison from NYC

I am glad to see that something is being done about monitoring the bike lanes. The 8th avenue bike lane above 34th Street is a NIGHTMARE to ride in at the end of the day because so many pedestrians use it as an extra sidewalk. In addition, cars turn left without looking for bikes cutting off cyclists. Often it feels to me more dangerous to ride in the bike lane than in traffic. I very much hope the traffic monitors are stationed around 8th ave and 34th-50th Streets.

May. 02 2013 01:01 PM
tk from East Village

I am surprised that no one has commented on the dangerous combination of alcohol, young bar-hoppers and cheap thrills in neighborhoods like the East Village and the LES. All it will take is a small charge to their parents credit card for the chaos to begin. I watch them now run wildly into the streets to meet friends of run after taxis, fall off sidewalks etc. This is going to be a real mess on the weekends...

May. 01 2013 03:58 PM
ab from Brooklyn

If they want to share same street let all bikers be licensed, insured and tagged. I dont see many cars running red lights and going against the traffic. But I see bikes doing it almost every minute. Also if you install this stupid station for nikes can you at least locate it where no parking rules are in effect. Dont take valuable parking blocks. Bloomberg suck %^&*

Apr. 30 2013 10:57 AM
Frank from UWS

Funny how people can get so worked up over this little issue but turn a blind eye to so many bigger social ills, political and corporate malfeasance, wars and corruption. Where are people's priorities? Who really cares about these? If you don't want to bike, don't bike.

These have worked in dozens of other cities around the globe. Time for New Yorkers to get with the program and focus on more important things.

Apr. 29 2013 08:16 PM

I agree with Peter that the quote from Richard Sloate was gratuitous, in that its only visible purpose was to elicit controversy. Comments so far aren't as hot as they could become, but if that's what WNYC wants, the writers will have to put in a bit more effort than tossing off an offhand quote out of context.

Apr. 29 2013 01:56 PM
Chris from New York

Please - this is not about helping NYC residents. This is for the tourists, the 2nd largest industry in NYC, and I think it's going to be a mess. Clueless tourists clogging up the streets and biking around without helmets = accidents and deaths. Then they'll sue the city.

They installed one of these stupid bike racks on my street. 20+ bikes taking up 5 parking spots so tourists can go shopping at Century 21. The bikes will be jutting out into traffic and basically eliminate one lane of traffic. The only way to park the bike is to cut against traffic.

Any carbon emissions "saved" by these bikes will be offset by the clogged traffic.

Apr. 29 2013 01:33 PM
Karl from Midtown

I'm not anti-bike (I ride myself), but I think these bike shares are going to be a nightmare. There's going to be too many tourists who haven't ridden a bike in years not paying attention to where they're going (the "Sunday driver" affect). I've seen this play out in miniature on Governer's Island; people acting like the bikes there are toys and swerving into other lanes. Formerly, there was a self-selected community of bikers - I think encouraging people who never would've biked to start doing so in Manhattan is an invitation for disaster. I predict some deadly accidents, unfortunately, even though the city has installed many protected bike lanes. This Summer will be the proving ground, I hope I'm wrong.

Apr. 29 2013 10:46 AM
Toby from Brooklyn

Now that we are paying more attention to pedestrians and people on bicycles, when will there be some rules for runners who clog the sidewalks while the rest of us are trying to get to subways, buses, etc. In the past two weeks I have twice almost been knocked over by runners who are on the sidewalk, not looking where they are going, ignoring traffic lights, and in some cases, running in groups so there is no room on the sidewalk for the walkers.

Apr. 29 2013 08:45 AM
James from Manhattan

Ah yes, another treasure trove of fines is about to be uncovered, given the general absurdity of treating bicycles, which weigh typically well under 100 pounds, equivalently with cars, which regularly weigh over 2,000 pounds, and regularly travel at much higher speeds. What I want to see is the treatment of electric-powered bikes as motor vehicles, requiring registration as such. Virtually unknown to city streets a year ago, these electric bikes are now a staple among delivery men. You see the guy going twice as fast as the other bikes without peddling? He's on the electric bike, or what I like to call "illegal bikes." If a distinction is not drawn between peddle bikes and electric bikes, then, as sure as night follows day, the electric bikes will become more heavily regulated, and drag peddle bikes into a web of heavier regulation along with them.

Apr. 28 2013 05:36 PM
Paul From Brooklyn from Brooklyn, NY

I hope Peter sees the irony in calling this an anti-bike article while being such an obvious member of the cult of bikes. In Greenpoint on any given day, I see bikes ignore the law at about 100-1 ratio to the number of car violations I see. I bike, and I'm embarrassed how many fellow bikers don't follow basic rules of the road. For the record, I don;t , and never have had a drivers license or a car, and have myself been hit by a texting biker running a red light, so put that assumption back in your pocket and use it somewhere else...

Apr. 28 2013 03:07 PM
Peter from Manhattan

I hope that the new traffic safety inspectors will also make sure that drivers are obeying traffic laws. If we could just keep drivers from violating bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, that would be great progress.

Also, the quote from the man whose wife was hit by a cyclist adds no value to the story. Without context, we can't tell what happened and who was to blame. I can only conclude that this is an underhanded attempt to stir up anti-bike sentiments. I expect better from WNYC.

Apr. 28 2013 10:18 AM

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