Today, Department of Transportation employees were once again out in full force, scolding cycling scofflaws.
Last week, as bike-share stations were installed, we noticed the swarm of yellow-jackets handing out bike-law pamphlets and chatting up cyclists as they waited at red lights. Were these bike-lane babysitters actually a deterrent to “Premium Rush” types? Well, one cyclist peddling the wrong way dismounted his bike and walked it across the intersection, and another turned off the avenue after a DOT worker blew her whistle at him.
Brothers Jessie and Robert Nelson both received pamphlets. The avid cyclists dismissed the idea, floated by the Post, that the workers might be a poor use of tax dollars. “I don’t think it’s a waste of money at all,” said Robert, 31. “Pedestrian safety as well as driver safety is pertinent and a very appropriate way to spend taxpayer money.”
In fact, Robert thought the pamphlets should be more widely available. “I’ve lived here since 2004 and have never seen this,” he said after receiving one.
Jessie, 30, insisted that despite their bad reputation, bikers aren’t the only culprits. “You have emergency vehicles parking in the bike lanes. You have homeless people pushing their carts in the bike lanes. You have cabbies pulling over in the bike lanes,” he said.
Lesa Westerman, an East Villager who teaches at P.S. 19 and uses her bike to run errands, agreed pedestrians were often in the way. “From a bicyclist’s point of view, they are a problem, and I’m oftentimes dinging my bell at people. New Yorkers will not wait on the curb. They’ll step off of the curb, and then they’re in your bike lane.”
That aggravation is compounded, she said, when delivery workers bike against traffic. “It is a problem, because when they’re coming the wrong way, they’re putting other bicyclists at risk,” she said. “Often, they have power packs and they’re speeding up to 20 miles…