At Last Somebody Who Understands!

September 11, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I have no doubt this will get the bicyclistas panties in a collective wad but I’m gonna post it anyway…

Earlier this week the Mister and I went to Long Island City to get some dinner. To this end we walked across the Pulaski Bridge. Actually we we didn’t just walk, we multi-tasked: about every twenty feet or so we had to dodge some jerk on a bicycle. There are signs posted asking these brave foot soldiers in the battle for a greener New York City to dismount. I have seen them, apparently they haven’t. Of course I imagine it is kind of hard to read when you are tearing down the sidewalk like a bat out of hell.

I want to like bicyclists, really I do. But until some of the less considerate among their ranks decide the law applies to them, I’m keeping my distance…

and I suspect we’ll be seeing more signs like this.

Miss Heather


9 Comments on At Last Somebody Who Understands!

  1. neighborhood threat on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 11:04 am
  2. I greatly respect anyone who’s brave enough to bicycle in NYC, but I do not respect 99.9% of the cyclists going across the Pulaski bridge. There’s one lane, we have to share it, and that’s why they have to dismount. I’ve had people run right into me on purpose “to make a point”. It’s rude and inconsiderate. Your time is not more valuable than mine.

  3. Mark India on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 11:14 am
  4. Ms. Heather,
    While I do think you’re right that too many cyclists ride WAAAY too fast on the Pulaski bridge, i think it’s important to keep a couple things in mind. Firstly, the sign asking folks to dismount their bikes is at the top of the bridge, after the stairways leading down on the Brooklyn and Queens sides right after crossing the Newtown. This creates confusion, because a cyclist can enter the bridge without being confronted with a sign, and then easily overlook the small, posted sign halfway over the bridge.

    And really, this is New York. Are you telling me you’ve ALWAYS obeyed EVERY traffic sign? Never jaywalked? Always waited for the walk signal? et, al. When you say “the law applies to them,” we should be asking ourselves (Christ-like) who among us has not sinned against minor traffic laws?

    Also, cyclists have no other choice but to take the narrow pedestrian path; the joints on the car-path are a death trap. Mutual respect from both sides (a bell-ring and an ‘excuse me’ from the cyclist, an friendly scoot-to-the-side by the pedestrian) would go a long way to ease tension.

  5. missheather on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 11:31 am
  6. The real issue is common courtesy and respect for other people: inconsiderate bicyclists are a symptom of this (larger problem). What used to be called “manners” are sadly becoming more and more rare nowadays. I suppose I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t KNOW that most of these people had parents who taught them better. Seriously.

  7. rheingold on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 11:37 am
  8. Spiffy illustration on the sign. Seems like it’s trying to prevent collisions between cyclists and people whose wardrobe comes from the Sears catalog circa 1976.

  9. AMOJA on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 12:15 pm
  10. I absolutely agree with Neighborhood Threat. I’ve been run into twice from behind on the bridge and was yelled at by the bicyclist both times. Neither time was I given any warning, and once, just last week, I was walking around the structure that drops the net over the traffic lanes when hit. Certainly a considerate person, even one that can’t read basic signs, would notice that a person ahead of them might have to walk around a giant steel obstruction, and slow down.

    And Mr. India has it wrong. It isn’t about breaking minor traffic signs. It’s primarily about safety, and less importantly about being considerate. The signs are posted well before you reach the Newtown creek (from GP) and before you go over the LIE (from LIC). Yes, they should be posted at the base from both directions, but I don’t think this would make much of a difference to the bicyclists, who seem to believe they have the right of way (which they wouldn’t have even if signs prohibiting this practice weren’t posted).

    Now, why, exactly, am I being told to watch MY step? Maybe I should do what I’ve wanted to for years: rivet large, neon yellow arrows pointing at the signs asking riders to dismount to bring attention to them.

  11. biked79 on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 12:53 pm
  12. i am guilty of ridding my bike over that walkway, but when coming across a pedestrian i always either say “on your left” or ring my bell, I have never come across a disgruntled pedestrian when I keep to these practices. OF course i am still breaking the law. But as I see this sign, as a cyclist i see it has a warning to pedestrians to watch there step as they cross the street, cars and buses are not the dangerous part of riding a bike in this or any city, its the pedestrians who walk out on a crosswalk and just because they don’t hear a car they think its safe but then the bike ends up swerving to get out of there way.

  13. Jay on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 2:39 pm
  14. Personally I have no problem with that small minority of cyclists who ride over the bridge slowly. I don’t mind, as a pedestrian, sharing that space with them and inconveniencing myself a little by moving over to give them room. I’d only ask that they accept inconveniencing themselves by making that short stretch the slowest part of their journeys.

  15. jake_tuff on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 3:04 pm
  16. This isn’t about breaking minor traffic laws, its driving a fucking bike 30 miles an hour on a damn sidewalk where pedestrians can’t see you.

    The excuse that the joints are a death trap are disingenious. The joints arent a problem if you slow down. Using that logic I should be able to hop my car onto other surfaces if the road is too bumpy to do my desired speed.

  17. dupreciate on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 6:07 pm
  18. If the joints in the car lanes aren’t a death trap, how about the cars doing 70-80 mph over the bridge?

    I’ll continue to use the pedestrian path to bike over daily – keeping slow speeds, and always yielding to peds, even if it means stopping. Especially with strollers, kids, dogs, etc.

    And trust me, I have to put up with the assholes on bikes even when I’m on a bike myself.

    On that note, I’m off to the Pulaski. See you guys there!

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