Scofflaws, All – Part 2

While video taping bikers for Scofflaws, All, I discovered two other situations that exist Houston Street and First Avenue: 2) bikers who go through the red light at First Street and don’t even look! as people with the Walk sign cross the street; and 3) people who stand in the street waiting for the Walk light at First Street, as bikers try to get into the bike lane.

I went back with my video camera on 8/23 but I found that Situation Number 2 is not that common. I thought it might be because on 8/21, when I crossed the street with the light, a woman on a bike almost ran into me. She was coming right at me (slowly but steadily) as I crossed the street. When I could see that she was oblivious, I stopped, to make her stop, which she did, but she didn’t even look up! She just tried to move around me, without even acknowledging that she had almost hit me.

But after standing there with my camera on 8/23, taping every change of the Walk light, I saw that bikers went through the red light at First Street only a couple of times, and they went around the people in the cross walk, not into them.

That’s when I became aware of Situation Number 3, probably the most hazardous. The problem is caused by construction work taking place on First Avenue. Barricades have been put into place that separate the bike lane from the rest of First Avenue.

1st-and-1st-construction

This is entirely a feng shui thing. Pedestrians see the barricades and understand that traffic is closed to cars, and because of the steel plates where the green paint of a bike lane should be, they’re not even conscious of its existence. The lack of a traffic island there, the likes of which exists at Second Street, compounds the situation.

bike-traffic-island
Second Street traffic island

Once construction is completed, I’m sure this will all be resolved. They’ll probably even put in a traffic island. All’s well that ends well!

***

One last thing: I came upon an article while looking for information for this piece, called Confronting the Scofflaw Cyclist. It’s a good look at the notion of “scofflaws” as it applies to bicyclists.

***

This is probably the last time I’m going to write about this, since the foot injury that led to my taking the subway to work been remedied, and I will no longer be here on a regular basis. (I’ll write about that shortly.) I’ll just end by saying that Situation 3 has already been resolved, with the placement of a large sign blocking the entrance to the bike lane at First Street. Bikes can no longer enter there, so the danger of pedestrian collisions has dropped to approximately zero.

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