Grr. Apparently the WordPress app doesn’t save changes – this was a very early skeleton. I’m hoping they’ll have my final piece recoverable somewhere.
The Department of Sanitation does a horrible job of plowing bike lanes
My hopes were dashed by the time I reached Bergen Street a few blocks into my journey. The lane there was impassible, forcing me into regular vehicle traffic. Probably half of the lanes I saw were worthless.
The Department of Sanitation divides the city’s streets into three categories for snow removal. (You can see where your block stands on this map.) Here’s a supposed “primary” street, which I used to reach the Fifth Avenue bike lane.
DSNY should give priority to bike lanes. The inconsistency of conditions creates dangerous situations for cyclists, particularly on busy thoroughfares. If I’m riding my bike up First Avenue in Manhattan and the next block isn’t plowed, what are my options? Cycling, the great equalizer of solo transportation options, must be available as frequently (and as safely) as possible.
Bridges are no fun
I crossed all three Manhattan-Brooklyn bridges this weekend, two by foot and two by bike. No experience was enjoyable.
First up was the Brooklyn Bridge during Friday morning’s sleet. The accumulated slop turned the wooden surface into a skating rink. Ditto with a ride over the Manhattan Bridge on Saturday. The ramp was totally clear; once on the edifice proper, however, things got messy. On the bright side, I did have the place all to myself.
I ran both the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges later that evening. Both were still slick, and the few cyclists I saw (two on each) were taking their trips very slowly.
When all three bridges are hazardous, there’s no way to get between the two boroughs without giving the MTA some coin. This defeats somewhat the purpose of using a bike.
Salmon are especially dangerous
There’s no excuse for riding the wrong way, known as salmoning. There’s almost always a complementary lane the next block over (e.g., Dean & Bergen; Court & Smith; Wythe & Berry).
The offenders are almost exclusively delivery cyclists. Their rationale makes some sense: they’re paid on a per-delivery basis, so each detour they take costs them money. But with snow encroaching on bike lanes, available space is reduced. This adds more risk to taking a bike.
Somewhat off-topic, but related:
Pedestrians are oblivious to the laws of physics
Look, I’m guilty of this on occasion.