Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

February 20th, 2019: Walk Like The Wind

Snow is on its way:

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday Snow, mainly after 4pm. High near 33. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. North wind around 7 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Wednesday Night Rain, snow, and sleet before 9pm, then rain and sleet between 9pm and 10pm, then rain after 10pm. Temperature rising to around 38 by 4am. Wind chill values between 25 and 30. East wind around 9 mph becoming northeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch possible.

Sunrise: 6:43am

Sunset: 5:37pm

And a Travel Advisory is in effect starting this afternoon:

This morning, TA is staging the pedestrian-bus showdown of the century:

NEW YORK -- Transit advocates will gather Wednesday morning at 8:30 at the corner of 14th Street and Avenue A in Manhattan to see if they can beat the M14 bus -- the city's third-slowest -- in a "race" to Union Square. The M14 is the ninth-busiest bus route in all of New York City, and travels at an average speed of less than 4 miles per hour, or close to walking speed. The MTA plans to increase bus service when the partial L Train shutdown (or "slowdown") begins this spring, but Mayor de Blasio has not yet committed to preserving a right-of-way for buses along 14th Street.

Hey, it's never too late to start training.

Though to beat the M14 moseying is probably more than sufficient.

Meanwhile, Big Scooter wants to come to New York City, and here's how much they're paying for lobbying:

Bird spent $142,000 in 2018:

Over the last year, Bird Rides Inc. has hired several firms to represent its interests including Blue Suit Strategies, Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz, the Mirram Group, Dickinson Avella Vidal, and Tusk Strategies, which has close ties to Council Speaker Johnson and is known for its successful effort in helping the ride-hailing service Uber avoid new regulations in New York City in 2015 (those regulations did pass in 2018).

David Estrada, Bird’s chief legal officer, is among several Bird employees who have also registered as lobbyists in New York. By the end of 2018, Bird had spent about $142,000 on its lobbying effort, according to city and state lobbying records.

And Lime spent $146,000:

The company had already spent about $146,000 by the end of last year and plans more. Capalino & Associates’ contract runs through the end of 2019 with a $10,000 monthly retainer. Urban Strategies was retained to work for the company through the end of May for $5,000 each month.

Legal electric scooters would introduce an exciting new category of road user for the NYPD to ticket, so you'd think the mayor would be in favor of them--especially given his endorsement yesterday of the NYPD's practice of ticketing cyclists after drivers kill cyclists:

"Whenever there is a fatality... it’s a horrible situation, and we all feel it. That does not mean we’re going to stop enforcement," de Blasio said. "We’re going to be enforcing on anybody who we think puts other people in danger, period."

Wait, who's putting who in danger?

He also seemed to imply that he's making the streets safer by traveling to the gym via motorcade:

The mayor also said he had his NYPD detail pull over a woman who was texting and driving on the FDR:

Well, first of all, it's a - whenever I see anything out the window that requires police action, you know, I'll say it out loud to the detail in my car and they communicate with whatever vehicle is trailing us to go and deal with it or to, you know, reach out to the precinct to whatever it may be. So, no, I mean, literally we were driving on the FDR and someone next to us was overtly paying more attention to her device than to driving her car. And I just said, pull her over, take whatever enforcement action you would take in that situation, give her some on-the-spot education because I can't, you know - I'm saying this as a parent. I don't understand why people take that chance. They could kill someone. You know, it's just, it's too - you get too engaged and too involved when you're texting or even for some people while they're speaking on the phone if they're not doing it, you know, in the legal way - if they don't have a headset or whatever. People just get too caught up in the device and it's dangerous. So whenever I see it, I tell the cops, go get them. Please.

Wow.  Just imagine how many people he could single out for "on-the-spot education" if he rode a bike.  Plus, he'd also get a little on-the-spot education himself.

He really should try to use some of the city's bike infrastructure just once.

Speaking of bike infrastructure, yesterday we looked at the High Bridge, and today let's visit the bike lane on Vernon Boulevard along the East River waterfront in Queens:


I did a longer post on the Astoria/Long Island City area for Citi Bike awhile back, but the Vernon Boulevard bike lane is a personal favorite of mine in that I'm often in the neighborhood with my family so it's sort of a home away from home.  

Oh sure, you'll find drives in it from time to time:

In fact it's the most-complained-about bike lane in the city in that regard:

And there's also that DOE facility, of course and the Costco...

Even so, on weekends such as the one I visited on recently it's generally as stress-free as any bike lane gets in this town:


Plus, it's two-way (every bike lane in the city should be two-way):


And it's a significant part of an inter-borough bike route with full Citi Bike coverage that allows you to ride between Red Hook and Astoria Park mostly on dedicated lanes.

Oh sure, there are gaps in the Vernon Boulevard bike lane, such as this one:


Which means the connection to the Pulaski Bridge isn't seamless like it should be:

But it's still not too far:


And overall riding between Brooklyn and Queens is about a thousand times easier than it was a decade ago:


So while there are still things to complain about, there's a lot more for the rest of the city to envy.

Maybe the mayor should take a spin on it sometime.