» Bicycles

January 20, 2015

New Yorkers spend a lot of time complaining about traffic, and how too many cars on the road (and double parked delivery trucks) contribute to the insane level of congestion. Is it really that there are too many cars, though? We found an interesting article wtih another perspective — let’s compare the actual space taken up by cars, buses, bicycles, and real people.


City Metric’s article starts with an image from a protest in Latvia where cyclists used neon pieces of wood to create the frame of a regular vehicle, and attached it to their bikes. The result? Each bicycle now took up the space of a car. A good visual impact.

The point of the moving protest was to highlight that whilst experts usually point to pollution, congestion, and deaths caused by cars — we should also focus on the sheer size of vehicles and the space they take on our roads. Most cars carry 1 – 3 people, whereas the same space could be used for 6 bicyclists or one row in a public bus.

Image,_Cycling_Promotion_Fund,_space_taken_by_carsNow check out this fascinating photo study from Cycling Promotion Fund. This group shows the space taken up by 69 people — walking, in bicycles, in a public bus, and in vehicles.

Just something to think about.

Filed under: Bicycles — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 9:58 am
December 20, 2013

We just read an interesting study reported by The Atlantic Cities, claiming that the NYC bike lanes are actually good for business. During NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s tenure (2002 – 2012), more than 290 miles have been carved out of NYC streets for bicycle lanes. Many of these NYC bike lanes are ‘protected’, meaning they are created next to the curb and protected from traffic by a lane of NYC parking.

When these lanes were first installed, many drivers and local businesses were concerned that taking away one lane for vehicle traffic would create more NYC congestion and traffic, and be bad for the local businesses.

Columbus Ave, Upper West Side

NYC DOT had built a protected bike lane and pedestrian safety islands while narrowing travel lanes for motor vehicles on Columbus Ave. According to the tax data, revenue was up 20 percent over the baseline in the second year after bike lanes were implemented in the area. This compares to an area just south on Columbus Ave without bike lanes, where revenue was up 9 percent.

The Hub, South Bronx

The Hub is a congested and chaotic intersection in a working-class neighborhood of the South Bronx, Read more…

Filed under: Bicycles — mtohn @ 2:13 pm

NYC Wayfinding_Signs_12-13

It’s with great joy that I welcome Walk NYC, NYC”s latest signage, which clearly shows streets, landmarks, NYC subways, WiFi hotspots, and neighborhood names.

Walk NYC’s signs meet some of the challenges of navigating our great city:

Everyone is going in a different direction, at a different pace. Some of us are in a hurry, some are walking at an excruciatingly slow tourist pace, some are heading towards a specific place, some are simply walking as the stores beckon us. Some of use want a subway, some want to walk, some want a CitiBike, some want a NYC taxi. This is so different from typical wayfinding challenges, like airports and hotels, where most people are entering and exiting from core places and at the same general pace. But in NYC, we’re all headed somewhere else.

I know more than you know.  A local may be looking for a specific address or cross-street, whereas a tourist might just be trying to figure out Read more…

Filed under: Bicycles,Buses,Getting Around NYC,Subways,Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 1:03 pm
December 16, 2013

With Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio trying to improve daily life for NYC residents, Crain’s New York Business has gathered a list of ways to make getting around NYC easier. Here are some ideas for walking, NYC driving, NYC parking, subways, buses, ferries, deliveries, pay by phone, NYC Muni-Meters, bike lanes, and pedestrian plazas:

NYC Parking Ideas

Text to pay NYC Muni meters. Allow drivers to register a credit card with the city, text the number of the Muni meter to register their location, and pay the NYC parking fare, says Michael Woloz, a lobbyist for the taxi industry. No more fumbling for change, running out to feed the meter or waiting for approval in the freezing cold.

Neighborhood parking permits. Residents would pay an annual fee to park in their neighborhood. Everyone else would pay a metered or daily rate.

NYC Driving Ideas

Give NYC control of all the roads within the five boroughs. Read more…

October 21, 2013
Source: http://copsinbikelanes.tumblr.com/

Source: http://copsinbikelanes.tumblr.com/

NYC Citibike program has added 6,000 bicycles to our NYC streets, and NYC Mayor Bloomberg has carved out more than 290 miles of NYC streets for bicycle lanes from 2002 – 2012. That translates to a lot more cyclists on NYC streets and sidewalks. In fact, according to Fast Company, NYC issued 25,000 citations to NYC bicyclists for riding on the sidewalks in 2012. 

But maybe those cyclists had no other choice? Filmmaker Casey Neistat has released a video and photos of NYC bicycle lanes being blocked by no other than NYC police cars! He’s even got a blog, Cops in Bike Lanes.

FYI, the fine for ‘stopping, standing, or parking within a marked bicycle lane is $115, but we’re pretty sure these NYC police vehicles aren’t being issued or paying these NYC parking tickets. 

Filed under: Bicycles — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 1:14 pm
May 9, 2013

In 2012, NYC started installing Bicycle Lanes — street lanes dedicated to bicyclists. A Protected Bicycle Lane is located between the curb and a lane of parked cars. A Regular Bicycle Lane is located between a curbside lane of parked vehicles and a lane of traffic.


Source: Streetfilms

Whilst NYC is encouraging bicycle riding, we’re seeing more bicycles chained to poles and trees. Many sidewalk bicycle stands are overcrowded, frequently making it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the curb. And with Citi Bike’s NYC bicycle sharing program set to unload 6,000 bikes starting May 27, 2013, we’re going to need places to put all these bicycles.

NYC DOT is testing out a new Bike Parking Corral. These corrals are located adjacent to a Protected Bike Lane, right where a car would usually be parked. The first Corral is being piloted on 9th Ave and a single car space has room for 16 bicycles.

We like this idea:

  1. we’re not wasting any street space on cars that don’t park efficiently,
  2. NYC bicycle riders are protected, and
  3. this gets the bicycles off the sidewalk.
Filed under: Bicycles — Tags: , — mtohn @ 6:13 pm

NYC Citibike_bicycleAfter a number of stops and starts, NYC’s bicycle sharing program, called Citi Bike, is set to launch on May 27, 2013.

Sign up by May 17, 2013 — you can have the privilege of being part of Citi Bike’s first week

Sign up after June 2, 2013 — you can take a Citi Bike for a spin anytime.

Some Key Facts

  • 8,000 members have already signed up
  • 6,000 bikes & 330 bike rack stations in Manhattan & Brooklyn to start
  • 10,000 bikes at the height of the program

How It Works

1. Purchase access for a period of 24 hours, 7 days or annually (Annual membership is purchased online).

  • Annual Membership: $95, 45 min rides*
  • 7-Day Membership: $25, 30 min rides*
  • 24-Hour Membership: $9.95, 30 min rides* Read more…
Filed under: Bicycles — Tags: , — mtohn @ 5:46 pm
July 31, 2012
NYC parking Bike Lanes A

More cars parked next to NYC Bicycle Lane, 1st Ave & 63rd St

NYC Parking 1st Ave & 63rd St

Cars parked next to the protected bike lane on NYC's 1st Ave

NYC Mayor Bloomberg has added 290 miles of bicycle lanes to NYC since 2002. They are most visible on 9th, 2nd, and 1st Aves, where the bike lanes are ‘protected’. A Protected Lane places the bicycle lane and a 2 foot buffer between the curb and a lane of car parking to protect the cyclists from traffic. After a little bit of market research, I believe these protected bike lanes are costing NYC revenue and parking spaces.

Full disclosure before I go any further. I am a fan of NYC public transportation. I regularly take the NYC bus and subways as well as walk. I take a taxi only when I’m in a rush, it’s late, or the subway or bus will take too long. I also drive to get in and out of Manhattan, but I rarely drive in the city. And I never ride a bicycle in NYC.

I wasn’t an early fan of the bicycle lanes because they took away one traffic lane that could be used by cars and taxis, and the new Select Service (fast) bus lanes on 1st & 2nd Aves also take away one lane of traffic.

NYC Parking

Cars parked curbside on E 85th St

But lately, these bicycle lanes feel like they’re doing more harm than good. A few days ago I took these photos of cars parked next to the protected bike lane on 1st Ave in the 60s (photos above). Read more…

July 25, 2012

NYC Citibike_bicycleWith an additional 390 miles of NYC bike lanes added since 2002 – for a total of 700 miles of NYC bicycle lanes- you’ll soon be able to pick up a bicycle on the street and ride away!

Sometime in the second half of 2012 (the launch date seems to be a moving target), the Citibike program will launch. Here’s how it works:

1. Purchase access for a period of 24 hours, 7 days or annually (Annual membership is purchased online).

  • Annual Membership: $95, 45 min rides
  • 7-Day Membership: $25, 30 min rides
  • 24-Hour Membership: $9.95, 30 min rides

2. Go to any of the 600 bike-share stations to access one of the 10,000 bicycles in Manhattan, Brooklyn, & Queens Read more…

Filed under: Bicycles — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 12:44 pm
March 27, 2012
NYC Bridge & Tunnel Toll Plan, Sam Schwartz

Courtesy: Wall St Journal

Sam Schwartz, aka ‘Gridlock Sam’, has been working on a new plan to ease NYC’s traffic and congestion. This isn’t the Congestion Pricing Plan from 2008. This plan is designed to encourage public transportation where it’s available by charging vehicles at congested areas, and not charge where there isn’t good public transportation. Here are the highlights of the plan:

  • Queensboro Bridge/59th St Bridge: No toll into Manhattan becomes $7 toll to reduce the congestion on the bridge. Read more…
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