August 13th, 2019: Bending The Car Culture Means It Will Just Keep Snapping Back Into Place

Heavy rains today so plan accordingly:

Tuesday Weather

Tuesday Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 10am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 79. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Tuesday Night Showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then a chance of showers. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low around 69. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Sunrise 6:04am

Sunset 7:57pm

Here's the current state of NYPD bicycle enforcement:

The fact so many people think this explains a lot.

In the Bronx, Willis Avenue is getting a new bike lane:

The city has boasted that the 1st Ave. bike lane will take you from Brooklyn to the Bronx, but as of now once you're in the Bronx you're on your own.  So this should be an improvement.

We may be getting rain today, but yesterday was beautiful and we've still got plenty more beautiful days to come.  This means the greenways will be crowded, so here's a reminder:

If we're going to break the car culture we might as well break our bad habits while we're at it.

Speaking of which, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has pledged to "break the car culture," but yesterday it seemed like he was only willing to bend it:

Here's what he had to say on The Brian Lehrer Show:

The busway would ban through-traffic on most of the busy Manhattan corridor to accommodate the street’s 26,600 daily bus riders. Though the city has studied area traffic volumes and believes nearby side streets can appropriately absorb diverted traffic from 14th Street, Johnson asserted the plan was drafted in a “piecemeal” fashion that could threaten safety on those roads.

“I’m afraid that if you have the box blocked on these side streets and cars can’t turn because the block is totally backed up going across town, then it’s going to create unsafe conditions for pedestrians, for cyclists, for people who live on those blocks,” Johnson said during an appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “That’s what I’m concerned about.”

Most cyclists would probably be willing to call him on that bluff--and if you're one them put this in your schedule for tomorrow evening:

But wait!  Now it turns out maybe he's on board after all:

Good.  Breaking the car culture means we need better buses.  We also need to free up the curb so we're not sharing the sidewalks with garbage:

And our bike lanes with sanitation vehicles:

If you can even find the bike lane, that is:

Lines on the street marking bike lanes get worn down over time as cars roll over them, cyclists say. Some markings are barely visible while others have disappeared entirely.

Indiscernible lanes give drivers one less visual cue to look out for bikes, making it even easier for cars to invade their space, according to cyclists.

"This is a dangerous situation," said Boerum Hill cyclist Patrick Schnell, who frequently rides a deteriorated bike lane on Bond Street. "... People continually reference how many miles of bike lanes we have in New York City, but it doesn't reflect the reality because these bike lanes are just on paper in many cases."

If the bike lanes themselves can't stand up to all the cars in them then what chance do the cyclists have?

Finally, the NYPD will "throw the book" at the driver who killed a cyclist on Coney Island Avenue on Sunday:

Cop sources said Monday they plan to throw the book at motorist Umar Baig, 18, who they blame in the death of beloved 52-year-old cyclist Jose Alzorriz.

Too bad it's not much of a book:

But under New York law, the horrifying crash may not add up to a crime worthy of more than some traffic violations — unless Brooklyn’s DA is willing to take on an uphill court battle, legal experts say.

In the meantime, he could still be out there driving:

Police detained Baig after the crash, but released him late Sunday without charges.

Cyclists and pedestrians receive inadequate protection against drivers from the infrastructure and the law.  It's a losing combination.