Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bikes and Peds

I understand pedestrians don't want to get run over by bikes. In truth most bikes don't want to hit pedestrians. So it's a disservice--even dangerous--to simply have crosswalks cut through bike paths with nothing telling the pedestrian to look for bikes.

The city generally just tells bikes to yield to pedestrians. I'm not against this. But what does it mean? Do I stop if there's a pedestrian who might jump in front of me? And bikes do have something called momentum. It's just easier for a pedestrian to stop for a second and go than stop and wait for a bike to stop and then go. Wouldn't it be in everybody's interest to inform peds when bikes (or cars) might be zooming by? Why not at least least inform people there is a bike lane they're crossing? (This is particularly a problem on Queens Plaza North and the Hudson River Greenway.) And how about a few more of these signs on bike paths.

I've only seen one, and now I can't even remember where I took this picture. You see, because it's a bike lane. Instead there are more signs saying "shared path." But if a bike lane is a shared path, isn't it really just saying it's a sidewalk on which bikes can ride? And you can't ride a bike down a sidewalk if there are two pedestrians strolling side by side who may or may not be in the right. 

The other day, after a tour of the Steinway factory (yes, you can and should take a tour of the Steinway Piano factory), I finally made it to SingleCut Brewery (19-33 37th St.). Nice place.

I just wish I liked their beer (and I do like beer). Maybe they just use too much hops. Or maybe they just use some kind of hops I don't like? I don't know, but I don't like any of their beers. Regardless, I wish them well. Coming back through Astoria Park, there's a nice new recreational bike path there. Not good for commuters... But nice for going through the park, I suppose. But then there's this sign:

Now I don't know anybody who reads these things bottom to top. It's not the way our eyes work. It's also not the way the English language works. The shame is that "ahead peds to yield" means something quite different from what I think this sign is trying to tell me. But when I doubt I always believe my lying eyes.

In other news, bike share starts tomorrow and I can't wait!

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