12 May 2010

Bike Lights

Perhaps they've been there a while, but yesterday was the first I'd noticed these new bicycle traffic lights on Broadway in Times Square. I know Bloomberg and his administration love biking and bike culture, but I didn't know we'd get our own lights. What next? Bike traffic cops?


KSx said...

I saw these a while ago too, on Broadway south of 34th.

I have nothing against normal bike lanes, but the "deluxe" infrastructure -- these lights, the green lanes, Cemusa "bike shelters," and especially things like the "bike lane" sidewalk over the Pulaski Bridge, where pedestrians have been sold out to bike advocates -- is ridiculous.

By building these expensive showpieces, Bloomberg and bike advocates are suggesting that bikers behave like cars -- stopping at lights, etc. -- when anyone who walks in this city can see that most behave like fast moving pedestrians.

That's fine so long as they stay off the sidewalk, and don't confuse their pleasure and convenience with something that's good for the world. If they are riding a bike instead of driving a car, good for them. Otherwise they aren't doing anyone but themselves any good, and to act like biking is their gift to the city is a bad joke.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I agree with you on the lights and such. Bike lanes are great. But, aside from plenty of places to lock up the bikes, bike riders don't need anything more.

However, maybe the light will cause bike riders to behave more like cars, and stop at lights. I think they might, since the lights are so specific.

I disagree with your last paragraph, however. Riding a bike instead of driving a car is better for the world, and the city.

KSx said...

"Riding a bike instead of driving a car is better for the world, and the city."

Maybe my last paragraph didn't come out right, because I completely agree with that statement.

Unknown said...

I've also seen these on, for example, Allen St in the LES. They have them b/c the bike lanes are to the left of the traffic lanes, and so the bikes need to stop when the cars have a left-turn signal.

I think that if bikers want to continue to get lanes and other infrastructure we're gonna have to start to follow at least some of the traffic regulations (no sidewalks, no wrong way on one-way (marked) bike lanes etc. In pedestrian heavy areas, the bike lights seem like a good idea (although I'd just prefer a "bike yield" sign

Anonymous said...

It's a question of where to put the money when. The time will come when bike lights are right and appropriate, but now basic infrastructure is what's needed.