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Report: More Cyclists are Reporting Blocked Bike Lanes on Vernon Blvd. Than Anywhere Else

Citi Bike location in Long Island City

Sept. 13, 2018 By Tara Law

Cyclists are more likely to report blocked bike lanes along parts of Vernon Boulevard than anywhere else in the City, a company that analyzes city data has revealed.

NYC 311 received more reports about blocked bike lanes on Vernon Boulevard between 44th Drive and 45th Road in the last year than any other part of the City— 112 in all, according to the data analysis service Localize.city. Of these complaints, 72 were made about the area near 44th Drive and 40 were made about 45th Road.

A section of Vernon Boulevard in Astoria— between 34th and 35th Avenue— had 31 reports, the fifth most reports in the City.

Localize data scientists analyzed 311 data from Sept. 4, 2017 to Sept. 4, 2018 to come up with the complaint rate, according to the company.

Cyclists have been able to report blocked bike lanes since 311 added the category in October 2016, according to a report by Streetsblog.

Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg said that the 311 data may not reflect the extent of the problem, because it is unlikely that every cyclist reports blocked lanes.

“This is a relatively new 311 category, and some cyclists may not even be aware that they can file such complaints. Many are likely unable to call, text or email when they are pedaling,” said Eisenberg. “But there are still some areas with a critical mass of complaints where cyclists are feeling especially frustrated when drivers block their lanes, potentially causing them to swerve into dangerous traffic.”

Cyclist filed a total of 4,230 complaints about blocked bike lanes in the last year, according to Localize.city. These reports made up 1.4 percent of all parking complaints to 311.

Paul Steely White, executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement that blocked bike lanes can be very dangerous for cyclists.

“When a city prioritizes convenience for motorists above safety for bicyclists, drivers block bike lanes,” said White. “That’s not just annoying — it can also be deadly, as it forces people on bikes to merge into other lanes with mixed traffic. The best way to keep cyclist rights of way clear is to design streets so that bike lanes are located between the parking lane and the curb.”

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13 Comments

Sunnyside Voter really pissed at the Skillman lanes

Boohoo…. I’ve been run over by a cyclist on the sidewalk at 52nd St stn.. I regularly dodge cyclists traveling against the traffic on a one way, don’t even talk about red lights or the cyclists still using the main lanes even when a bike lane exists…. AND THEY PAY NO TAX.




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thanks for the info, mr. tax expert

Wait, if I have a bike I don’t have to pay taxes?! I wish my accountant had told me!

Thanks for sharing your anecdote though. That single isolated incident should inform DOT policy decisions in a city of 8 million people. Have you ever jaywalked or driven faster than the speed limit?




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Anonymous

Way to be opaque. The comment is directed at illegal immigrants who recklessly operate scooters to deliver hipster’s meals thrice daily, get paid in cash, and pay no taxes.




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Friendly Neighborhood Biker-Man

Far more folks have been run over, injured by, and killed by drivers than people riding bicycles. That doesn’t invalidate other drivers’ concerns. Many drivers blow through red lights & stop signs, use bike lanes as their parking space – even when there are actual spaces available – and yes, I’ve even witnessed drivers intentionally drive the wrong way down a one-way. That doesn’t invalidate law-abiding drivers’ concerns.

While you’re correct that there aren’t specific taxes for bicycles, the taxes associated with car ownership largely go to state and federal highways – and don’t even cover the full cost, meaning we’re ALL footing the rest of that maintenance bill. Our general taxes (income, property, sales, etc.) are what pay for the city’s local roads. So those of us who ride bikes DO pay taxes to maintain the roads we use. That’s not even getting into the extremely small wear-and-tear bikes inflict on roads compared to cars.




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anonymous angry voter

Oh boo hoo… pay road tax to help cover for all the unnecessary lanes ruining businesses on Skillman thanks to JVB whose partner is a cycling activist.




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ONE TIME I SAW A BIKE RUN A STOP SIGN

ONE TIME I SAW A BIKE RUN A STOP SIGN
ONE TIME I SAW A BIKE RUN A STOP SIGN
ONE TIME I SAW A BIKE RUN A STOP SIGN
ONE TIME I SAW A BIKE RUN A STOP SIGN




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your_neighbor

Lots of people want to equate bicycle riders with automobiles but bicycles are more like pedestrians. Some pedestrians cross at red light, jaywalk, walk out from between parked cars, etc.

Some bike riders also ride disrespectfully – in my observations as both a pedestrian and a bicycle rider most of those are the motorized (electric and gas powered) delivery guys and the weekend spandex wearing racers.

Lots of bike riders in NYC have little experience and blocking bike lanes has killed several people recently.

Let’s all just be careful and watch out for one another.




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Jones

How do I report bicyclists who run red lights or ride on the sidewalk? Or those e-bike riders who don’t have a license or aren’t required to get insurance?




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keep your toys out of traffic

We should start reporting all the bikers that don’t stop at red lights, which is most of them. This irresponsible behavior creates very dangerous situations that are contradictory to vision zero. Cops on bikes would be helpful in discouraging this dangerous behavior. Hold these clown responsible via ticket blitz. Funny how transportation alternatives pushes for these lanes, some poorly designed/placed, but once the lane gets built they wash their hands of it, unless something bothers the biker.




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Friendly Neighborhood Biker-Man

Speaking of toys, just earlier this week I witnessed the driver of a Mustang use the bike lane on Vernon to go around two cars stopped at the red light in front of Rainey Park, and subsequently blow through the light. Fortunately I was riding a bike well enough behind this dangerous driver, and nobody was attempting to cross from the park either. Nobody should be blowing through red lights whatever the vehicle, but I’ve seen as many cars do it on Vernon as I have bikes, and one is far more likely to seriously injure or kill a pedestrian than the other. So yes, let’s start reporting ALL the vehicle operators that don’t stop at red lights.




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A Woodsider

How does one identify and report a bike or a motorized bike rider who has NO identifying license plate? That is why bikes and motorized bike should be registered, licensed and insured! What does one report? A vehicle with two wheels just blew a light? It was a red one? If bikes had license plates, then the operator can be ticketed! Share the roads, share the responsibilities!




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Friendly Neighborhood Biker-Man

I, sincerely, would love to hear your thoughts about how to put such a system into action. I have a hard time figuring out how the following would work:
1. License plates. Personally, I can’t always read the license plate of a passing car because of the text size and movement. Logistically a plate on a bike would need to be much smaller. How can we ensure they’re readable?
2. What age would you propose we begin requiring licensing and the necessary exam for would-be bicycle riders? Plenty of young kids ride bikes – should they be exempt from licensing? If not, how do we license a 5 year old?

I’ll also note that plenty of people on bikes are ticketed in this city despite the lack of registration and licensing, but much like someone driving a car and breaking a law, an officer generally has to be witness to the law-breaking for any repercussions. I’m all for installing red light cameras across the five boroughs to catch scofflaws of all vehicle types if you are though!




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