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Posts tagged "drivers"

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TLC Gets Drivers on Bikes to Get a Different Perspective

In a first event of its kind, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission organized a bike ride thru the streets of East Williamsburg for some of its for-hire drivers so they could see what it is like to be a bicyclist on the streets of New York City.

Even though the Citibikes-riding group selected a route with many protected bike lanes and striped lanes, the route was frequently blocked by trucks, cars and delivery vehicles. And during the more industrial parts of the ride cars went by fast. Both bike advocates and drivers had a friendly discussion during and after the ride.

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Worst Things About Drivers in New York City!

A few days ago, amNY cobbled this truly cringeworthy list of "Worst Things About Bicyclists in New York City". The clickbait appears as if it was quickly culled together just moments before publishing deadline. Many of the items are illogical, and as usual (and they know it) serves to amplify the war on cycling.

But take a gander. Some of the things on their list are completely idiotic like: "Those who don't wear helmets", "Citi Bikes and tourists" and "Spandex". Yes, those are actually three of them. There's even one: "They have no fear" featuring a rider riding up an avenue in what looks like about five inches of snow!

I can only give them support for "They ride on the sidewalk", yes we certainly shouldn't. And also "They go too fast in the park", which I would qualify as times when parks are heavily-populated on weekends/holidays/etc in the afternoons. But if cyclists are trying to avoid crowds and ride respectfully, they have a right to get a workout in the park as much as anyone.

I've waited for amNY to do their journalistic due diligence and give us the opposite list regarding drivers. I suspect one isn't coming, so I came up with my own "list".

They Kill People

They Kill People

They Kill People

They Kill People

They Kill People Read more...

StreetFilms
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Mary Beth Kelly on NYC’s 25 mph Speed Limit (Families for Safe Streets)

In this 90 second PSA, Mary Beth Kelly, one of the founding members of Families for Safe Streets, shares her opinions on how she would like to see driving practices change when NYC institutes its historic, citywide 25 mph speed limit on Friday, November 7th.

StreetFilms
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Watch as Copenhagen Drivers Turning Right Exhibit Incredible Patience for Cyclists (as they should)

Amazingly, I put up this montage of nearly raw footage I shot in Copenhagen to exhibit the patience of drivers as they prepare to make right turns as passing cyclists cruise by with little fear of every being "right hooked". I didn't think it would get more than a few hundred views so I didn't put it on Streetfilms proper. Now after over 6000 plays (almost all thru social networking shares) I changed my mind and put it up.

What's most amazing is that in two or three instances of each shot there's a point where American drivers in most of our cities would have gunned it to make the turn. Or just invaded the cyclist's space.

Of course the reason so many Copenhagen drivers exhibit so much patience is with a 42% bike mode share, they are cyclists themselves. And also all Copenhagen school kids receive lots of road education while in school.

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Videos from Stockholm, Malmö & Copenhagen: Featuring CPH Driver Patience, Vision Zero and NYC Bike Lane future?

Our newest video showing new-fangled bike stuff from Copenhagen was such an immediate hit (30K plays in 3 days!) I decided not to wait to post a "bonus" video showing the respectful cooperation between turning drivers & cyclists. Why? Well we all know the dreaded right hook collisions that happen often in the U.S. and other places.  In Copenhagen they're almost unheard of which is thanks to the education drivers must go thru and the traffic safety all residents get taught while in grade school. Plus: with a bike mode share of 42% that means that most drivers are likely cyclists sometime during the week.

The primary goal of this Streetfilms swing was to visit Stockholm, Sweden and talk to residents & experts about walking, biking, transportation and livability. Also: Vision Zero, a term which has been embraced NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio as a program to cut the number of traffic deaths on the streets of New York. I was very lucky to have Mary Beth Kelly from Families for Safe Streets accompanying me and we met with Claes Tingvall, the Director of Traffic Safety at the Swedish Transport Administration. Above is that full interview, but you'll also be seeing him in at least one other Streetfilm in the near future.

DSC08951The above photo is from Stockholm and is what I envision as the future of NYC protected bike lanes. Recently, they've began a trial study in Södermalm on Götgatan Street, by upgrading an older, narrow bike lane (see it to left in photo) by removing a travel lane for cars and moving parking out, freeing up a wide space for bikes, which gets crowded at rush hour.

DSC08956It looks a lot like the typical NYC style Avenue except that every few feet there are small concrete barriers, something that is cheap, easily deployable and would be a nice deterrent we could use in NYC lanes.

DSC09059

The same street also offers something I found, well, bike-adorable (see above). Most bike travelers are familiar with the "Copenhagen left" style turns, which is rolling up to the light and waiting across the street for another green to make a left. This is typical in Stockholm. And on the same street Götgatan, they have recently installed turning wait areas on all four corners via a nicely crafted nook in the sidewalk!

Finally, I had intended to get to Malmö, Sweden for a full day since I have always heard so much great stuff, but thanks to a bad back, jet lag and a long train delay, I only got to stroll around for a few hours. But I still wanted to show what a peaceful place it is and put together this short montage of footage of my experience. I will have to go back.

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Three Children Too Many March: NYC Residents Fight Back for Safer Streets

A new group, Three Children Too Many, held a march for traffic justice for recent victims of senseless crashes in or near Jackson Heights. The rally was well attended and about 200 people joined up at three different points during the 30 block walk.

The rally was met along the route by numerous elected officials and some of the parents and friends of those killed by cars - all of them preventable tragedies. Particularly moving were Amy Tam and Hsi-Pei Liao who spoke about their three year old daughter Allison's death in a brave, emotional speech which can be seen here in its entirety.

We need immediate action. We can no longer wait for any other children to suffer the same fate. We have a new mayor that must put plans in motion to change our streets. A promising new council who must draft new legislation to dramatically lower speeds and raise the penalties for drivers. And we must lean on our state government to allow NYC to have more speed cameras, more red light cameras and more autonomy in making our city a liveable, safe place for children to walk the streets.

 

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How Many NYC Drivers Fail to Signal?

If you walk on New York City streets (or frankly anywhere in the U.S.), you're well aware of how much unlawful and dangerous driving happens on nearly every block: red light running, speeding, double-parking, you name it.

I first moved to NYC in 1991, and one thing that seems to have gotten much worse since then is the percentage of drivers who fail to signal their turns. I've lost count of the times I've been walking or bicycling and nearly been hit by drivers who didn't use their directionals. Anecdotally, I would estimate that about 25 or 30 percent of drivers don't signal.

So I set out to put my theory to the test where I live in Jackson Heights, Queens, taping the first 100 turning drivers I saw. I won't spoil the final count, but this video is more evidence of the poor quality of driving across the city. Failing to use blinkers makes it hard for walkers, bikers, and other motorists to anticipate a driver's behavior -- this is basic Driver's Ed, people -- but so many people just don't do it.

Every week we read horrible stories of drivers crashing into pedestrians or mounting sidewalks -- and yet hardly anyone is ever charged or even issued a ticket. NYPD could be issuing plenty of tickets for drivers failing to signal turns on just about any block at anytime. They could start a crackdown tomorrow, it doesn't require more legislation. It doesn't require an officer to be stationed in a car with a radar gun. Just stand on the corner and pull people over. Simple.

NYPD credits cracking down on small crimes with helping to dramatically lower the city's overall crime rate. If we started to show less tolerance for "smaller" infractions, might drivers in NYC eventually change their overall driving habits?