These days many people are eager to get on a bicycle and ride our dangerous roadways, competing in NYC traffic. They see it as a liberating experience. They don’t realize all the implications in the decision to ride a bike in city traffic. Above all they don’t realize that those who started the NYC bike initiative, former DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg usually rode around town in their NYC limousines.
You can’t just put on a helmet and think you are safe on the treacherous streets of NYC even though bicyclists are legally bound to obey all the rules of the rode, including stopping for red lights. How many bicyclists actually stop for a red light?
I’ve seen bicyclists riding on Woodhaven Boulevard in the area of Rego Park with very young children on their back bicycle seat! One can certainly build a case for reporting this practice to the Administration for Children’s Services. That’s how dangerous this is!
Bike Lane Proposal: This is what we have so far in NYC Community Board 5 where mapped out areas in our neighborhood will eventually have bike lanes (left). These types of bicycle lanes have two identities – Shared Lanes where cyclists and motorists share one travel lane marked by a painted “sharrow,” (a newly established word/identity for painted lines) which indicates cyclist position and right-of-way. The other bike lane type is identified as Dedicated Lanes where cyclists ride adjacent to motorists in a striped bicycle lane. In both scenarios street parking for cars is protected. That’s all part of the “sharing” concept.
That means that we in the CB5 area will eventually have bicycle lanes on all the main roadways, including on the periphery of Juniper Valley Park. It’s a huge undertaking and will re-identify the use of our neighborhood streets. Many of our elected officials have already stated that the streets are not only for cars, trucks and buses. They are for everyone to use. Somehow I doubt many of us have ever viewed busy city streets reeking with dangerous traffic and fumes as places that “everyone” can use. They make it seem like just an innocent frolic in traffic.
We are embarking on a dangerous undertaking and it would be good if all who are hopping on the bandwagon of riding bicycles on NYC streets will stop a minute and give it serious thought. You have to make sure you have good health insurance that will “ride” with you should you be seriously injured, make sure your Last Will & Testament is up to date and above all, make sure your family is protected should you be seriously injured and end up in a wheelchair for life.