Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bikers Hit Riding in New York Street Bike Lane

Today, while downtown, I went to the City Market to get my hair cut. I happen to mention to the lady cutting my hair that I often ride my bike to work. She warned me to be careful - she said she had four people in her shop last week that were hit while riding bicycles in the New York Street bike lane. Fortunately no fatalities. The bikers told her that the drivers crossed the bike lane where it weaves in and out or at a turn. She said one was an inattentive driver who was talking on her phone when she cut into the bike lane and struck the bicyclist.

I have often warned that bike lanes often make commuting by bike more, not less, dangerous. The lanes also give bicyclists with a false sense of security...people think that line is going to protect them from cars. It won't.

7 comments:

Downtown Indy said...

Was that 4 in one incident or 4 separate ones?

I nearly bought it a rew weeks back going east on Market at Alabama. Some idiot sped up right at the corner and turned right across my path.

I was doing 12-15 MPH yet somehow was able to keep upright while my handlebar grip dragged all the way from front door to back fender on his car. I thought I was going to do some asphalt somersaults for sure.

His excuse? "I was in a hurry and I didn't see you."

Since I live south, I don't have much experience with the bike lanes - only the short stretch of East St. which is only 4-5 blocks long.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Four separate incidents.

Citizen Kane said...

DI, just last week, while just starting home on my bike, I saw two bikers (appeared to be the racing type) were traveling eastbound (20+ miles/ hr) on Market in the left lane crossing Alabama. Nevertheless, a car came up behind them and decided that they were not not going fast enough, should not be in the left lane, etc. and went around them in the short distance between Alabama and New Jersey, turned left, and nearly decapitated the lead biker who was also just about to make the move to turn left (while going 20+ miles /hr). Unfortunately, I was too far away to get the license plate and report this reckless behavior. Frankly, the sheriff in the guard house at the CCB should have witnessed it also, but I am sure he was sleeping or otherwise distracted.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Besides all the problems with law enforcement, I think the danger of biking in Indianapolis is also propelling the powerful citizen purposeful protest of the murder by car done by the speeding police officer, on a non-emergency run, and evidenally, drunk. Who knows how many thousands of bikers in Indianapolis have been victimized by motorists recently? Who is keeping track? .

varangianguard said...

I saw a bike lane while traveling up Illinois St. yesterday. Besides the fact that a car in front of me kept crossing the line into the bike lane, it is apparent that the bike lanes are hardly wide enough for bikes either. You've already mentioned the "next to the parked cars" item, but I could easily see what you meant.

Bike riders in Indy are taking their safety into their own hands by using these bike lanes. Those things have just been squeezed into the existing traffic template by people who no doubt haven't ridden a bike in a long time.

Downtown Indy said...

I have not heard one peep about the state's '3 foot' law that went into effect at the beginning of the year.

So an important bit of legislation, that at the very least would serve as an excellent educational tool, goes virtually unknown.

I continue to hear 'Get on the sidewalk!' (and other, unrepeatable, imperatives) as cars swoosh by only inches away - almost every time I am riding.

Paul K. Ogden said...

DI,

I haven't had a driver yell at me since I used to commute to Greenwood which included some roads not bicycle friend.