Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

February 14th, 2019: The Lanes The Plow Forgot

We've got lovely weather for Valentine's Day:

Thursday Weather

Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. Wind chill values between 20 and 30 early. Southwest wind 9 to 13 mph.

Thursday Night Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 42. South wind 6 to 8 mph.

Sunrise: 6:52am

Sunset: 5:29pm

And of course warmer weather means more slush, so be sure to fender up.

As for conditions out on the streets, yesterday was hit-or-miss.  Here are some of the hits:

While uptown there were plenty of misses.  North of the GWB the 181st Street pedestrian ramp to the Hudson River Greenway remained uncleared:


As did the Greenway itself:


At 170th Street, judging from the tracks, the protected bike lane appeared to be of more use to drivers than cyclists:


And on avenues such as St. Nicholas, "taking the lane" was sometimes the only option:

St. Nicholas

Yet the Fort George Hill bike lane (unofficially New York City's steepest) was clear, go figure:

Fort George

While today's warmer weather will help reclaim some more real estate for cycling, it's frustrating that just a few inches of snow is enough to knock large portions of the city's bike network offline, and this is just one more indication of how badly we need a bike mayor.  When a greenway or a protected bike lane is unusable a pleasant commute turns into a stressful one--and often drivers are even more impatient as usual due to the snow.  And yet, there are people out there who are upset because--insert record scratch sound--the city is plowing the bike lanes before the car lanes?

Not if you ask residents in Queens. They’ve taken to social media to post pictures and videos of specialized vehicles plowing new bike lanes while car lanes go unplowed and unsalted. According to Eric Bethel, who owns Cooldown Juice on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, bike lane plows made at least four passes in front of his shop before regular plows came through.

They say that like it's a bad thing.

Anyway, if this did in fact occur, sadly there's little chance it will become common practice anytime soon.  As for Vision Zero "jumping the shark" (what year is this again?), that will only happen when the police choose to block the car lane instead of the vehicle lane:

Though if that ever happens we'll need snowplows in hell.