Shared Roadways: Finish the Job
Many view the cure to traffic safety, especially for 2 wheeled mopeds, scooters, is increased police ticketing of automobiles and delivery trucks, especially on bike lanes and intersections.
While this indeed in the best of all worlds would definitely help, it is subject to many the allocation of police person al, and regardless of what they might say, if a higher priority crime is taking place, assets will be moved (As they should).
So we do support this, but not as the solution, but more reinforcement. The real solution is vehicle registration (At sight of sale), cameras, and traffic controls at our intersection.
Following is our recent op ed regarding traffic controls at intersections:
January 7, 2023
Shared Roadways: Finish the Job!!!!!!!
New York City has continued to come up way short in providing a safe environment for transit on our streets. We cannot accept tragedies anymore, like the recent truck/bicyclist fatality in Astoria on 24th avenue. There is no excuse!!
Too much rhetoric on this issue worries about blame. Who causes what. This is not what is needed. An accident-causing serious injury or death is life changing to all involved.
Even if someone did not cause the accident, they are still scarred for life.
Therefore, we should stop worrying about blame, and instead put in place common sense solutions that make the streets safer for all.
“No block should have a bike lane installed without the appropriate traffic controls” “All blocks currently with bike lanes should have the appropriate traffic controls”
As our transportation network evolves, many changes are happening. Non-traditional forms such as Bicycles, Electric Scooters, skateboards, roller blades, one-wheel scooters, and many other innovative vehicles are gaining in popularity!
We think it would be irresponsible to create Bike lanes without instituting proper traffic controls. Automobiles and pedestrians all have traffic controls such as lights, stop signs, and crosswalk timed lights to make sure they are safe. Why are we treating non-traditiional modes as unworthy of the same respect and protections afforded everyone else on the road?
Installing dedicated stop signs and traffic and turning lights on the bike lanes would be just as
important as any concrete barrier. Perhaps more so! We also call for the installation of these traffic controls on all existing bike lanes! We need to catch up!
While many complain that Bikes and other non-traditional transit do not follow traffic laws, without traffic controls they often have no choice.
From Steve Scofield (Member of Transportation Alternatives, however not speaking for T.A.):
“For cyclists, often obeying traffic signals designed for cars is less safe than doing something technically illegal. Having a green light that both allows cyclists to proceed straight and cars to turn across the bike lane is a recipe for disaster, as we’ve seen all too frequently. For example. cyclists often go through a red signal if there’s no cross traffic, to get a jump on cars lined up behind the red. This is because these cars will often turn into a cyclists’ path once the light is green. Also, it’s frequently safer for a cyclist to make a left from the left lane on a red light if there’s no cross traffic, than it is waiting for the green and having cars whizzing by him on both sides while waiting for an opening to turn”.
And often turning automobiles and trucks have blind spots where they cannot see someone passing on their right or left, again creating a conflict.
An example of what works are the bike turning lights on Second Ave where several intersections have timed lights specific to bike lanes. If this had been installed on 24th avenue, perhaps the recent fatality could have been avoided. There would be no conflicting turns that would cause an accident.
Automobile usage in the city will probably be declining, and these alternative forms of transit will increase. An investment in the common-sense traffic controls will pay dividends for years to come.
While some may say this is too expensive, how does it compare to the value of just one life?
Everyone must remember that whatever vehicle or apparatus they are driving or riding, traffic conflicts can turn it into a lethal weapon.
Richard Khuzami, President
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