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Is this the worst bike lane in NYC?

Original title: "The Cars are Due on Jay Street" (Okay, they're already here.)

That title is just a fun take on one of my favorite "Twilight Zone" episodes. But the absurdity of cars constantly parking in the Jay Street bike lane is not fun. And it is dangerous.

Today while riding 26 miles collecting footage, amongst my missions was documenting a whole bunch of street conditions that NYC DOT is actively working on improving. One of them is Jay Street in Brooklyn which has seen chronic double-car parking (and worse) forever. The amount of disregard for the bike lane is nearly unmatched anywhere else in New York City. Luckily, NYC DOT is working on a plan to install 5 foot, parking protected lanes on each side of the street, a conduit that sees over 2400 cyclists per weekday!!

I intended to sit on all of my "before" footage to use in future pieces, but I just couldn't believe how bad it was so I just posted this. In fact, I only had to spend ten minutes filming before I was confident I had enough. I had budgeted about an hour, but as you can see (especially the first shot) the immediate yield was very high.

On top of it all, NYPD loves to hand out cycling tickets up and down Jay Street. But how many tickets do they write for these drivers? I'm not sure, but something tells me close to none.

We sure could use a fleet of Peatonitos in action, like here a few months ago attempting to clear the lane of cars. Watch here:vimeo.com/158135821

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  • Paul Schimek

    Is it because of NYPD's habit of giving tickets to bicyclists outside of bike lanes that both the cameraman and the one cyclist shown move back into the bike lane way more often than is necessary or safe? Given that the bike lane is completely unusable (as well demonstrated here), why otherwise would anyone attempt to use it? So motorists can pass more closely and race to the next light? Then the question is, why is there so much double parking? What is the price for curb parking? Setting an appropriate price could make curb parking available to those who really need it. Finally, the planned separated lane may 'solve' the double parking problem but -
    * 5 ft + 2 ft buffer is not enough room for safe passing of bicyclists and keeping out of door zone
    * motorists may illegally park at the end of the block and at driveways, really blocking in bicyclists
    * people will walk in the lane, and will cross the lane without looking - to get to parked cars or to cross the street.
    * there will be the usual problem of motorists turning into and pulling out of driveways (if there are are any) -- and intersections as well, depending on how those are configured

  • Justine Valinotti