Lime Green Bike Lanes: Garish or Gorgeous?

bikelanes.jpg
The Department of Transportation is testing colors that would make bike lanes more visible to motorists, and they started with a strip of green in Brooklyn Heights — on Henry Street between Clark and Montague. Folks are already debating this color choice on StreetsBlog, where some are calling it “Gorgeous!” and others are calling it “insane lime-neon green.” We’re all for bike safety, but we think that a more muted color could still stand out against the pavement — and might be more appropriate for brownstone-lined blocks. Can somebody call Benjamin Moore and let him know that there’s a demand for street paint in the soft tones of his Historical Colors collection? —KZ
High-Visibility Bike Lanes in Brooklyn [StreetsBlog]
Colorful Lane Could Keep Bikers Safer [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Photo by McBrooklyn

0 Comment

  • This could be a good poll.

  • Hi visibility is gorgeous. Love it. Just say no to ‘historical’ colors, yuck.

  • Gross. I was in BH yesterday where they were painting it.

  • When bikers obey signals and biking regulations then they should have their own lanes.

  • gorgeous…bikers in this city deserve all the help they can get.

  • Love the concept, but a softer color would be more eye-pleasing.

  • WOW is that ugly – if you got to paint the whole road why not at least use yellow – since that is actually a color that has some meaning in roadway signage

  • FANTASTIC! Anything the city can do to help keep motorists out of bike lanes is great!
    To Anonymous 9:12: I agree that many cyclists ride recklessly and disrespectfully–and it bugs me to death that they give the rest of us a bad name. Many of us cyclists are conscientious and careful, and we shouldn’t be punished for the faults of others.

  • Agree with StateStreeter to a point as I try to be as careful and respectful as possible when I ride. But as a cyclist sometimes you are forced to be an ass especially in a not really bike friendly city where cars/trucks park or ride in bike lanes and cops don’t give a shit, pedestrains cross against the light and dare us to hit them in crosswalks, riding the greenway bike path and pedestrains decide to walk down it 4 across blocking the whole thing oblivious to the walkiway parallel to hit, etc etc. Kumbaya

  • 9:18 forget reckless, i’m referring to ILLEGAL bike riding. I have never NEVER seen a bike stop at a red light in brooklyn heights. NEVER!

  • i think its a cool color.

    it would make bike riding much safer.

  • 9:18, I’m sure most ppl would say that you are in the minority.
    Every day I see cyclists riding the wrong way down one way streets or riding on the sidewalk or riding straight through red lights. Out of all the cyclists I see every day I can only remember a handful that have not done on of the above.

    Anyway, as to the color, how about a terracotta red?

  • And you never see cars or pedestrians do anything reckless or illegal?

    Can we take away their right to public throughways too?

  • garish.

    love the idea though.

  • I see the vast majority of cars and pedestrians obeying the laws when it comes to streets and sidewalks.

    The vast majority of cyclists do not.

    Surely you can understand that simple point?

    BTW, I do cycle in nyc.

    Vast m

  • I don’t think cars ignore bike lanes because they don’t know they are there, I think they ignore them because they just don’t care and there’s no enforcement of car-free bike lanes. Personally, I am all for bike lanes, but I think this color is a bit much and won’t solve the problem of keeping cars out of bike lanes.

  • Looks garish today, I’m sure it will look fine in a year, when it’s worn down. Maybe by then cars will be used to the fact that it IS a bike lane so the garish color won’t be necessary.

  • Anything to make the bike lanes safer. On the approaches to the Brooklyn Bridge (near impound lot) cars routinely drive on them then honk at biuke riders who are in them. Lovely. Seems to me we really have to physically separate the bike lane from carlanes. Have to agree that many bike riders do all the evil things above. I really don’t want to hit one but it is hard when they bomb through redlights at Washington and Lafayette.

  • Maybe we don’t ride in the same city.
    to list two major ones jaywalking and double parking.

    I agree there are a lot more cyclist now and many do not know even the simplest rules and there needs to be better education and enforcement.

    I think seperate bike lanes will go a long way to organizing the roadways so everyone can get their space.

  • I think that it’s a great idea, easier for cars to avoid bike lanes… will keep cyclists alot safer… also hope that cyclists start obeying traffic rules too…

  • urbny, I know ppl jaywalk and I know cars break the law but the vast majority do not. However, the vast majority of cyclist do break the laws.

    All I want is for cyclists to take those laws as seriously as most drivers and pedestrians do.

    BTW, anyone see how well the bike lane along 8th ave below 14th st is left alone by cars. Even cabs don’t go there. I know it’s only one example but that’s not too shabby considering that this is only painted white lines.

  • 9:37, ride a bike and maybe you’ll see it differently.

  • Love the color – it stands out so much more than a solid yellow. Cluefree Me, I thought the color choice was part of Bloomberg’s whole Green NYC campaign.

    I have to agree with the sentiment that “OK, the lane’s there, now use it!” As a BH resident it’s become second nature to dodge the sidewalk bikers on Montague, the delivery guys AND recreational bikers going the wrong way on all the one-way streets, and everyone on two wheels blithely flying through red lights (or blocking the crosswalks with their bikes when they deign to stop). I wish the ever-present traffic cops in the nabe would ticket cyclists more consistently instead of nailing the poor UPS truck all the time.

  • how about just white with arrows and the bike lane logo left in knockout – that is – with the street showing through.

  • In 1972 while hitching through Europe, I was impressed by the separated bike lanes with their own traffic signals in CROATIA. Boy have we a long way to go. Three cheers to those who risk life and limb biking on the streets of NYC. Bloomberg should take the Fed millions to really make NYC bike friendly.

  • my comment was directed at 9:12 that bikes don’t deserve a bike lane not what percentage of bad people do what activity

    I love bike lanes especially when cars aren’t parked there, people don’t walk out from behind a truck in the middle of a street and when bikes aren’t coming right at me the wrong way.

  • Yikes! We have to jump through hoops with landmark to work on our own houses and yet we get a bright lime green street?! That’s just crazy!

  • NO NO
    NONO NO
    NO NO NO
    NO NO NO
    NO NO NO
    NO NONO
    NO NO O!

    (I got too bored to do the “o” but I hope this expresses my disdain for this color)

  • 9:55
    BTW, I do cycle in nyc.

    Didn’t you see that in my 9:37 post?

  • i like the green. its very european.

  • looks like the ugly aftermath of a St. Patrick’s Day green beer-chugging contest.

  • urbny, my point is that cyclists are not taken seriously by the police and seem to have a bad rep with drivers and pedestrians because of the bad behaviour of the majority.

    All I’m saying is that if they start cleaning up their act then I bet you will start to see a change in attitudes for the better which will provide better long term results than contunuing to disobey laws.

    BTW, what about 8th ave below 14th st and the fact that cars do avoid that lane?

  • I’m a driver who’d like to ride a bike, and who’d like my kid to ride to school next week. I am very pro bike lanes, I think the green is a bad choice (I am a designer. I love that color, but it means nothing as far as the well known symbolism of street paint colors. White, yellow or even red would have more meaning. I understand the “Green = Go” and “Green = Soft warm eco fuzzy green” thing, but I think its misapplied). HOWEVER the biggest thing I want as both a driver, a biker and a pedestrian is some education. For example, can I ride a bike against traffic in a bike lane, or can I only go against traffic? Can I be ticketed for NOT stopping at traffic lights? As a driver, when I make a left turn, am I supposed to be in the traffic lane, or can I wait to turn in an unoccupied bike lane? If there is a bike lane, if there is a bike on the road which is NOT in the bike lane, could he/she be ticketed?

    My major problem with bike lanes is that I don’t have a freaking CLUE how to use em. My daughter is a learners permit driving teen and NONE of the bike lane info was included in her exam or in any of the driving lessons she’s had.

    So to sum up, visible is great, green is questionable, how the HELL are we supposed to know how to use bike lanes without some ongoing public education?

  • I am all for the bike lanes but this color might be a bit too much. Create all this historic districts and then this horror.
    As a frequent pedestrian on Manhattan Bridge…most cyclist are Type A maniacs. Way too aggressive and fast and arrogant. Yes – there are those who are polite and cautious.

  • Good point George. The bottom line is cyclists don’t have a safe way to bike in this city. The streets rarely have bike lanes and when they do there is often someone driving in it or double parked. It is a terrible city to cycle in. I’ve cycled in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, both of which have motorists, bikers and pedesetrians that obey the laws of the road as well as seperate lanes and lights for cyclists to boot.

    Bloomberg should make a real push to make this city more bike friendly while focusing on awareness for all.

  • I have never seen a bike rider receivng a ticket for riding on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way down a street, or not obeying a traffic signal. Every day I see motorists receving tickets for infractions much more minor than this. Obviously there is double standard at work. Why should bikers who ignore the law with no repurcussions be given their own lane?

  • >For example, can I ride a bike against traffic in a bike lane, or can I only go against traffic?

    I really must want to go against the flow. I meant go WITH traffic of course.

    Anyhow, I reiterate, since I am re- posting – we need education about these lanes.

  • none of the stonersnobs will ever come to a collective decision on a color, so….who F’in cares! Make it even greener!

    (insert smiley face here)

  • I live on Henry Street, and I think this is hysterical. I vote for leaving it – it’s so out of character but that is what makes it so great. It’s not trying to “fit in.” And, I also made the ‘think green’ association.

    Agree also that cyclists in the Heights never stop, and the worst offenders are middle aged yuppies and even worse, parents with kids on the back. Delivery men on bikes are more law abiding than anyone else

  • There has to be a more attractive color, especially for a brownstone-lined street. Even a more natural green. You’d think, a city of artists and designers, they could at least have consulted one who would have saved them from completely ruining the picturesque quality of this street.

  • There has to be a more attractive color, especially for a brownstone-lined street. Even a more natural green. You’d think, a city of artists and designers, they could at least have consulted one who would have saved them from completely ruining the picturesque quality of this street.

  • why the hell would bikes obey traffic lights? and why would you care?

    bike lanes are pointless and only serve to provide a false sense of security. cares can hit you or worse open their doors right into you and park just fine in those bike lanes and you probably don’t have a very good idea of the rest of the cars around you because you’ve been riding in what you think is your our lane.

  • I think the occasional solid metal pole along a painted line is sufficient. After a few cars are wrecked for driving in the wrong lane, things may change.

    Enforcement will never happen – the police presence in Brooklyn is just too low to bother with this stuff. Drivers need to be physically separated from the bike lane.

  • “Delivery men on bikes are more law abiding than anyone else”
    Oh PLEASE. Delivery men are among the worst, especially when it comes to riding on the sidewalk and the wrong way down one-way streets.

    The worst worst, however, are hipsters on fixed-wheel bikes–they can NEVER be bothered to stop OR EVEN SLOW DOWN at a light, and like to weave dangerously around oncoming traffic.

    For the record, I’m a die-hard city cyclist, and I consider myself very conscientious and respectful of others. But I certainly don’t always stop and wait at every red light–because often it feels a lot safer to get a head start on the traffic that’s bearing down behind me. If there were more dedicated (and, ideally, physically separated lanes) cyclists might not feel the need to ride so defensively.

  • it’s a new program and I think a shocking green will get the point across – to cars and drivers. hopefully the color will fade with time OR they’ll repaint in a year with a more muted color

  • the reason cars get tickets is because cars KILL people.

  • I live on the side of the street with the bike lane, and now I’ll feel guilty about parking my car temporarily on that side while I’m unloading stuff.

    (there is no place else on the block to park temporarily while unloading)

  • Yellow is the most visible color to the human eye. This a very yellow green, so, that may be their point.

    However, why not just use actual yellow but in a more “earthy” tone (light mustard).

    I have retouched the photo to try out a couple of options (I work with graphics). Can I upload it anywhere?

  • Fat Bike Mom, those are all really good questions, and I hope someone who knows the answers writes in. I have been wondering about the same things. I have been thinking about getting a bike, and realized I really don’t know the rules for riding in this city.

    If anyone has answers, please write. No matter what color the bike lanes are, we need to know the rules of the road. It is rather typical that the city would go through all of this expense without spending a dime on education.

  • Colored bike lanes are a good experiment (garish colors exepted). Anything that increases motorists’ awareness of cyclists on the road is a good thing.

    I very much like the type of bike lane they recently put on Carlton Avenue. The right side bike lane is a couple of feet out from the parking lane, AND there is a single white stripe demarking the left side parking lane. This design allows cyclists to keep away from the “door zone” and guides motorists along a clearly delineated, single, driving lane.

  • If you want to read an article on riding in the city

    http://www.transalt.org/press/magazine/926NovDeccc/12-13streetwise.html

    FatBikeMom you always ride with the traffic.

  • Why can’t the police simply ticket cyclists who fail to obey the traffic law. There are so many nowadays. It would be a significant new revenue stream for the city, thus ample incentive, will make cyclist more conscious of road rules and make the streets safer for everyone.

    Do cyclists object? If so, why?

  • saw it yesterday…thought there was some oddly timed St. Patrick’s Day bike fest this weekend! As such, I really think car drivers will look at it and think that there is no parade, so I can drive on it. New color please…perhaps some dotted yellow lines as well

  • I’m fine with the color! Anything that helps cars notice they’re not supposed to drive in the bike lane is great. Muted colors clash less but really, brighter colors are more noticeable and are likely to last longer.

  • I’ll consider obeying some of the rules when i get more respect from motorists.

    I cycle to the city 2-4 days a week.

    Many drivers (cabs, forget it) don’t even understand that bikes have a right to be on the road.

  • urbny, see what I mean?
    Look at biker and cyclistgal’s responses. They both disobey traffic laws.

    Granted I jay walk but I can’t recall any occassion where I have broken the law in a (zip)car.

  • All I can say is, as a pedestrian, I’ve been hit twice by bikes and not once by a car. Just because bike collisions don’t kill people doesn’t give bikers the right to ignore red lights or use sidewalks.

  • I drive a car more than I should but probably ride my bike over 50 miles a week. Sometimes for exercise. Sometimes for errands.

    I ride very safely becuase I know that my own life is on the line. I wear a helmet. I use lights at night.

    But when cars aren’t coming, I don’t stop at lights. To all the whiners out there, I know this is a really hard concept to grasp, but get over it. It is exactly like jaywalking and I know you, like any new yorker, do it safely all the time.

    (BTW, my grandmother got a ticket for jaywalking in NYC in the 40s. I invite you to encourage cops to start enforcing this again.)

    I look both ways obsessively and never take a risk that would affect me or anyone driving a car. While cars can KILL people, I understand that an errant cyclist can cause an accident for others.

    As a driver, I myself have had to avoid hitting cyclists b/c of the unnecessary risks they take, but this is not how the vast majority of people ride–for the reasons stated above.

  • motorists respond better to the color red (green means go, after all)…red would look nicer too…

  • I’m going to be biking home on this street tonight, so I’m glad to see it.

    I do think Fat Bike Mom has a point re: the recognizable symbolism of street signage. The best color would have been the same forest[?] green that is used for the city bike lane signs. Then you’d have consistency of symbolism, and it would still be very visible.

    But better this than nothing. I’m all for it.

  • I’m going to be biking home on this street tonight, so I’m glad to see it.

    I do think Fat Bike Mom has a point re: the recognizable symbolism of street signage. The best color would have been the same forest[?] green that is used for the city bike lane signs. Then you’d have consistency of symbolism, and it would still be very visible.

    But better this than nothing. I’m all for it.

  • Having worked in an oral surgeical practice for many years, I can tell you
    lots of folks get run down by careless cyclists, lots of times on sidewalks…
    the injuries were very serious, broken jaws, front teeth smashed out, orbital fractures…
    I think that cyclists need to be better educated in how to ride safely in city streets…

  • Can I also add that I think it’s great this conversation is happening here (and with a mostly civil tone :).
    Part of the reason this is such an issue is that, despite the wonderful efforts of groups like Transportation Alternatives (rah rah!), there simply hasn’t been enough discussion and education to keep up with the exploding numbers of city cyclists in the last few years.
    As Fat Bike Mom so articulately pointed out above, people–cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers–don’t know all the rules and aren’t as aware of each other as they should be. Cyclists on Brooklyn Bridge don’t yell at pedestrians because they’re mean and aggressive (mostly;)–they do it because the faded ground markings and inadequate signage mean pedestrians don’t know they’re causing a hazard in a dedicated bike line.
    The city’s made HUGE improvements in improving bicycle conditions (I see a tremendous difference from when I started riding 8 years ago), but I still think they could do more. (And no, I’m not saying this is an excuse for people to ride recklessly in the meantime…)

  • awesome. most of you so worried about the conformist palette of “Brownstone” neighborhoods have plenty of the other green (money), so spare us the griping. Safety– or at least an honest attempt at same– first.

    or, ok: safety second: first let’s scorn the histrionic anti-cyclist posters. yes, i’ve never seen anyone wait for a red light crossing Atlantic, Flatbush, 4th Avenue, Rogers Avenue, Ralph Avenue, Wilson Avenue, Flushing, 86th St, Avenue U, Pitkin Ave, King’s Highway, Glenwood Road, Conduit Avenue, etc. (or are some of these not “Brownstone”?)

    thanks for keeping a sharp look out anyway.

  • For the record, there is no excuse for a cyclist that hits a pedestrian, even if they are jaywalking–or doing anything else for that matter.

    The may be no stated “right of way” rule for this, but it’s only common sense that pedestrians come first.

    Again, I and the majority of cyclists are vigilant with this regard. For those that are not, maybe there should be consequences, especially if a collision occurs.

  • For the record, there is no excuse for a cyclist that hits a pedestrian, even if they are jaywalking–or doing anything else for that matter.

    There may be no stated “right of way” rule for this, but it’s only common sense that pedestrians come first.

    Again, I and the majority of cyclists are vigilant with this regard. For those that are not, maybe there should be consequences, especially if a collision occurs.

  • 1) I would not paint the lane a solid color. Given the amount of street repairs, potholes, wear and tear, it will soon end up looking ugly, warn out, broken, etc. It would be better to paint these via a colored pattern that is also reflective paint. Patterns: polka dots; dashes, etc. A break in this kind of pattern will be less obvious to the eyes. 2) Absolutely enforce bike traffic regulations – why not get a license? 3) Offer cyclist anger management classes. Sorry, but there is something about the cyclist people that reeks of eco or tour de wherever snobbery. I see it in the City and outside the City. Cars and their drivers are the evil spawn to these people. If you dare to toot your horn to warn them that you are coming up behind them, you get yelled at, get the finger, expletives, etc. More annoying cyclist pet peeves: the weekend bike clusters who all insist on wearing their skin-tight stretchies that do nothing more than show off their less desireable parts. For them, cycling is a religion, and how dare drivers be on the same road. One of the worst out of the City places is Rt 9W heading from NJ into Rockland County. You know eavry one of these bozos and bozettes drives a car – but man, they snarl, ride 2-4 abreast, often OUTSIDE the right side bike lane/shoulder. Over and Out!!

  • Wayyyyyyy fugly. Appreciate the idea, but it’s hideous.

  • Bikes occupy a space on the streets that’s somewhere between being pedestrian and automobile. So it’s seems logical that bending the rules makes sense in some way that acknowledges that.

    Here’s my manifesto.

    Everyone in this city jaywalks. Everyone. So it doesn’t seem like a big deal for me to run a red light on a bike when there is no danger. It seems implicit that when you are the one breaking the law, you cede to the person who is following it: i.e. the pedestrian who is walking with a walk sign.

    It seems that most car drivers in this city double park and fail to single lane changes and turns. Cops let this go, which is fine. But I have the right to yell at someone who double parks in the bike lane and smack their car if they put me in danger, just like a I have the right to yell at or brush a pedestrian who sees me coming in the bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge and doesn’t react.

    Bikes should never be on a crowded sidewalk. Though the people doing this tend to be delivery guys and scared newbies. If you’re too scared to ride in the road, you shouldn’t be out there.

    There is a hierarchy of safety. In uncertain situations, bikes should cede to pedestrians and cars should cede to bikes. I find that of all motorists, cabbies understand this best. In general, they’re predictable and don’t want to hit you. It’s the suburbanites and buses that are most dangerous. Get out of the way of these people.

    Discuss.

  • JL, I completely agree with you. Riding a bike through a red light is absolutely no worse than jaywalking. When done with caution and alertness, it will cause no harm to others. Drivers are just jealous! ;)

    It also must be said that there is a particular culture that surrounds riding a bike in NYC. Because it is generally unsafe to be a biker here it has become a breeding ground for a particularly aggressive style of rider. Depending on where you ride, it is often absolutely necessary to be aggressive on your bike, especially in Manhattan, to avoid accidents and put drivers in their place. So its these brave souls that are riding like crazy that get all the attention. You never remember the safe riders because, well, you don’t have a reason to remember them.

    I ride to work everyday, up and down Clinton and Henry to the Brooklyn Bridge. For the most part, I don’t have too many problems on these streets. The most common occurrence for me is actually not cars, but pedestrians that jaywalk as I’m riding through a green light! More often than not, I get a dirty look from said jaywalker as if I’m supposed to yield to them. But I’ve come to accept this and consciously look for these people.

    Lastly, I’m grateful for these bike lanes, I do believe they make my commute a bit safer and the green is a fantastic color choice. It’s easy on the eyes, it contrasts with the road wonderfully, and doesn’t make the road look like one big caution sign (say if it were yellow);

  • 10:36 AM:”the reason cars get tickets is because cars KILL people.”
    Do you remember this incident?

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E0DB143BF933A15752C1A961958260

  • Sean,
    You sound like you are probably one of the arrogant bike riders. You don’t need to follow all rules but others should.
    Chill out. Bridges paths are not Interstates of the bike world. They are a place for tourists to view our city, people to take a stroll, etc.
    You feeling you can yell and brush them says much about your attitude.
    I feel for the person (if their is one) that shares your homelife).

  • Saw the lanes this morning and was shocked by the color. On my way back down from the dry cleaners on Montague, the color looked much better and picked up the lighter green tree leaves on the block. Not so bad. Yellow would be weird because there’s nothing yellow in the Heights.

    A lane divider would be nice too. Like a little bump between the car road and the bike path. I read that Transportation Alternatives suggested the bike lanes be textured in addition to painted.

    Lastly, one of the biggest problems with the Henry/Clinton Street bikelanes is delivery people riding the wrong way down the lanes. I’ve been hit by bikes going the opposite direction that cars go on Clinton.

  • Sean’s comments are absurd. As are the previous poster who said bikers can bend the law. As long as bikers blatantly disregard the law they should not even be allowed on streets.

  • I only started bike commuting yesterday (bike was broken for a year or so), so my opinion is skewed, but I think these are neat. And green hardly ruins the character of the street, or at least no more than blacktop pavement does anyway. (They’re not all green, though, right? Yesterday I rode to CG via the Manhattan Bridge, and the Jay Street lane was… blue, wasn’t it?)

    Drivers actually seemed to have a better understanding of it than they usually do of the striped lanes (my morning commute is through Chinatown, with double-parked vans every six inches and wild swerving). So I’m in favor. It does feel more like Amsterdam or something, too. Plus, a lot of bikers cruise down Jay.

    Also, stereotyping folks: Vehicles of all stripes break the law, and blaming “hipsters” or “Park Slope stroller moms” is nothing better than trolling. Yeah, there are a lot of bikes that run lights. But then again, most bikers travel slower than the speed at which cars roll through stop signs.

    Also, in three years living in New York, I’ve never seen *anyone* get ticketed by the NYPD — car, bike, bus, ped, truck… nobody. They seem kinda busy. Also, there’s nowhere to friggin’ pull somebody over.

    The Triboro Bridge cops, on the other hand, are vigorous… when I lived in Astoria, I’d see ten stops in the time it took to wait for the M60 sometimes.

  • JL, you may not do it but I have nearly been run down on a of occassions when I have the walk by a cyclist going through a red light because they think there are no cars. This is a cyclist going straight through on an avenue, not turning onto a street with a walk.

    Note how many ppl are complaining about bikers (and bikers about cars) but not many pedestrians complaining about drivers. I agree with the heirarchy thing above. Pedestrians are more in danger from cyclists than cars and cyclists are more in danger from cars.

  • The painting is a good idea, but why not paint it in a shade that would complement the surrounding red bricks of the buildings on the block? The lane would still stand out in brick red, but that green is big-time FUGLY!

  • Just wondering…How do the police issue a ticket to a bike rider? Bicycles aren’t registered like vehicles and riders aren’t licensed like drivers. If the rider refuses to show ID, what can the police do? Seize the bike? Arrest the rider?

  • This is one of the stupidest things I ever saw. The BHA must be behind it.

  • Who ever is saying that pedestrians follow the traffic laws is so wrong. I would argue that pedestrians are far worse than bikers when it comes to traffic laws. I can’t tell you how many times I have been riding my bike and had pedestrians boldly step in front of my bike to cross the street on a red light. This behavior is not the exception, it is endemic to New York Pedestrians. It is a behavior that I see as much while driving a car in New York City. Pedestrians have now qualms stepping out in front of a car while crossing on a red light. Pedestrians are brazen law breakers and they are fearless and rule New York City. I have lived in New York City all my life and when I think about all the times that pedestrians have stepped in front of my bike it is a miracle that I have never hit anyone. When I think about all the times that cars have sped past me giving me no more than an inch of space it is a miracle that I have not been hit. When I think about all the car doors that have opened as I have rode by it is a miracle that I have not landed in the hospital. When it comes to biking, New York City is the wild west… it is about staying alive. Once pedestrians and cars start showing respect for bike riders, perhaps the bike rider’s inner psyche will calm down and go from staying alive to peaceful coexistence.

  • All of you who are saying that green is a bad choice because it has no meaning (unlike yellow, red, etc) are wrong.

    NYC calls these lanes “Greenways.” So the color is very appropriate.

    I do think that the shade of green is too bright, but that’s besides the point.

  • Geez, everybody is becoming such traffic nazis. Ticket the motorsists!
    Ticket the cyclists! Arrest the pedestrians!
    Traffic = Vibrant city
    No Traffic = Buffalo

  • I saw somewhere that this color is part of a new Federal program. If that’s the case, they may not have had a choice.

    As someone who hopefully will begin biking to work I really wish there were separate lanes like in most European cities and in Montreal.

  • 12:12 – I still (as will many others on this board who have complained about cyclists) you are in the minority with that pov.

  • Are you telling me that you do not see (if you don’t do it yourself) pedestrians everyday cross the street when the light is red. Are you telling me that you have never been in a car that had to slow down to avoid hitting a jaywalker? Please! You are laughable and an embarrassment to New York City. You should have your citizenship revoked and be sent to pasture.

  • All I’m saying is that everyone bends the rules. Let the cyclists bend them too. It makes the city a better place. There are too many people who still meander around this city with a car driver mindset. This city is scaled to be cycled, not driven. It will be a better place with more cyclists.

    Also, the Brooklyn Bridge is in part a commuter path for bicycles. People need to learn to respect it. I understand there are tourists, but blatant disregard for the bicycles there is dangerous and irresponsible. More explicit signage would help.

    If you’re complaining about the majority of bike riders in the city you clearly have never ridden one here. Get off your chubby butt and try it. It makes the world better.

  • With any luck, more apparent bike lanes will encourage more people to ride bikes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I’d love to be able to ride my bike to work, but I’m afraid of all the traffic.”

  • biker: Yes, cars KILL people, but bikes still HIT people. Bikes hitting people can still put people in the hospital. Bikes violating traffic laws and hitting people and then riding off anonymously is still a crime. To say that bikes shouldn’t be ticketed because they cause less injury when striking pedestrians is asinine.

  • If we really want to be more like Europen cities, we should know that they want to be more like us. See Stoner’s Berlin postings as a case in point.
    This is true in Europe from Dublin to Zagreb, Moscow to Lisbon.
    Europeans love American free enterprise, Americans’ dislike of authority. But a certain sector here wants us to be more stiffled, more conformist, more classist, like LONDON (ahhh) or Paris (oohhh) or Copenhagen (blissss)
    Phooey!

  • I’m going to paint my brownstone and the front of my side walk that color and see how many bike riders i can catch. You know… like fly paper.

  • I hate people on cars who try to steer clear of the bicycle doors opening and then the baby seats in the bicycle get in the way of my SUV and it ends up in Gowanus where the houses costs more than 1 million dollars and it smells like Paris in the earyl spring and we all send our kids to PS 321 because it is the only school in the whole city worth sending our little ones to.

  • I’d love to see the stats for how many pedestrians are killed by bikes versus the number killed by cars. Can’t imagine it’s very close.

    Sure bikes can hurt people, but any accident on a bike is more likely to hurt the biker than anyone else. A pretty big disincentive it seems.

  • Agree would be nice if NY were easier for bicycling.
    Yet get to keep your comparsion in persepective. Amsterdam, Copenhagen are much smaller cities to begin with.
    And cities are much older with the street grid patterns and wide streets /avenues that are much more auto accomodating here in NYC.

  • Try riding a bicycle in central Paris.
    Ha! They would kill you in about five minutes.
    -Or try painting a big green stripe in one of the nicer residential distrcits.

  • 12:36
    What I am saying is very simple:

    Some salkers jay walk (break the law).
    Some drivers break the law.
    A lot of bikers break the law.

    More walkers are put in danger by both bikes and cars than bikes are put in danger by walkers.

    The vast majority of walkers obey traffic signals as do the vast majority of drivers. The vast majority of bikers do not. Just look at the number of ppl complaining about bikers here.

    I bike in the city and I can be objective enough (as a biker) to admit that a majority of bikers give the minority a bad rep and this goes against them when it comes to getting what they need. Just witness the police treatment of bikers. Clean up your act first and I bet relations with police will improve.

  • This is a color and concept intended to SAVE LIVES. Why does it matter if any of you think it’s garish? This is the most yuppie post I’ve ever seen on this site, and that’s saying a lot.

  • Make the color more subdued, and put in a “rumble strip” between the car lane and the bike lane, so the car drivers will hear when they are drifting into the bike lane. (I think installing the rumble strip would require repaving, however.)

  • I’m sorry, but the “vast majority” of walkers do not obey the law. There is no basis for this assertion.

    EVERYONE in this city jaywalks. And they rarely look for bikes when the do. I can’t tell you how many people are shocked when I’m coming through an intersection (with the light) and get indignant when I warn them that I’m coming.

    MOST drivers make illegal lane changes. I’m sure you’ve noticed this too.

    Bikers are demonized because most people haven’t ridden one in the city and are stuck in a suburban auto mindset. It’s not because we break the rules. It’s lack of understanding for why the rules are broken.

  • If everyone in this city jaywalks then you would not see anyone standing on the curb waiting for the walk sign.

    Oh but you do. You see scores of them at any given moment. That’s not too hard to understand is it?

  • And what I am saying is that it is a two way street — if the pedestrians and cars show some respect for bicycle riders then bikers will do the same. I don’t think you ride your bike enough to be objective about this. Trust me, that once the xxx person has stepped in front of your bike and the xxx car has cut you off, opened their door in your path, zipped an inch past you, you become rather emotional about these things. It is really scary and dangerous riding a bike in this city and you don’t seem to viscerally understand this basic truth; much more dangerous and scary than being a pedestrian or car driver. But no matter, because the fact is this city will become more and more bike friendly each year and I truly hope that pedestrians and cars and bikes will learn to play well together. BTW, I spend a great deal of my life as a pedestrian (i love pedestrians) and sometime I drive a car as well so I feel that I can be pretty objective. FYI, I have never been a part of Critical Mass.

  • I think there should be better enforcement of rogue bikers — perhaps there should be cops on bikes who sole task is to make bicycle traffic stops. But there should be some common sense discretion used and focus should be placed on ticketing bikers who are displaying genuine aggressive tactics. Bikers are in a position to safely evaluate intersections and cross against the light provided that they yield to any pedestrian, biker or vehicle who has a green/walk. Pedestrians should follow the same guideline. Bicyclists who fail to yield in this manner, who ride against traffic, who ride bikes without operative brakes or who ride while wearing earphones should be ticketed — they are a menace. Pedestrians who walk six paces into the street before looking up, or who walk in clearly marked bike lanes, forfeit their rights to complain about NYC bicyclists and should expect to be in a bike/ped accident at any time. Cars and trucks that drive in bike lanes, cabs that stop in bike lanes, and drivers who pass and then turn and cut off bicyclists whether in bike lanes or not should be ticketed and fined. Cars and trucks that double park in bike lanes should be towed. Cops and placard holders who use bike lanes as commuter parking should lose their jobs.

    BTW, the proper way to double park for deliveries on a street with a bike lane is on the side *opposite* the lane. On narrow streets, it is preferable to have moving traffic in the bike lane than stationary traffic.

    All this said, I don’t hold out much hope that people will ever share the roads very well here. But every little bit helps.

  • 1:30: Everyone jaywalks at some point. Don’t be a tool.

  • The color might set some folks teeth on edge, but I think that it will help to keep cyclists so much safer from traffic as the green bike lane can be clearly seen by motorists.

    9th Street is a bit confusing, and while it’s great that there are now bike lanes, those lanes aren’t as visible as the green lanes.

  • “Bikers are demonized because most people haven’t ridden one in the city and are stuck in a suburban auto mindset. It’s not because we break the rules. It’s lack of understanding for why the rules are broken.”

    Sorry, this is just not true, although frankly I’m not even really sure what exactly you’re talking about. Car drivers are MUCH more law-abiding than many bike drivers, who seem to do whatever the hell they want and then complain about how the city never does anything to accomadate them. For instance I’ve rarely seen a car driver drive against traffic but I see bikers biking against traffic every single day. Also I’d have trouble imagining how someone would get hurt by a jaywalker, but I know people have been killed in the city by bikers booking down the side walk…

    I also dont get why biking is supposed to be so virtuous in a city that has about the best public transportation in the city.

  • Biker/Driver/Pedestrian: Well put. It’s about common sense.

  • Bravo biker/driver/pedestrian 1:35–very well put.

  • “I also dont get why biking is supposed to be so virtuous in a city that has about the best public transportation in the city.”

    Because being a sloth is not virtuous.

  • yep well put biker/ped/driver from 1:09.

    As for 1:37, you still don’t get it do you? Maybe everyone has jaywalked in their life but the vast majority do not make a habit of it. It’s too dangerous.

    However, I see bikers breaking the laws all the time. I rarely see a law abiding biker but always see law abiging drivers and walkers.

    You haven’t asked me how I am as a biker BTW.

  • They should put up physical barriers so that it really is safe to ride on city streets. Ex-Mayor Koch wrote about this months ago, how he started off doing this on 5th Ave in lower Manhattan and then how he changed his mind because they looked silly at the time. And how he now wishes he kept them. It should be really safe to ride in the city not just a gentle color coded reminder for drivers who choose to ignore the bike lanes.

  • 1)pedestrian
    2)bicycle
    3)automobile

  • There are at least 3 different groups here:

    1) Doing something for the bikers is what’s important.

    2) Wow. Green!

    3) The beautiful streets of Brooklyn are part of the reason we live here, and part of what gets us out of our houses. The green stripe draws too much attention to one part of the street and diminishes the unity and beauty of the block as a whole.

    Yes, I’m in group number 3. I’m a biker too, and think bike lanes are an important part of urban design. Just not THE most important part.

  • I agree completely with sean.

    This city is so unbelievably car centric but we love to think we aren’t. Everything revolves around the automobile. If you’re afraid to ride a bike, then the auto terrorist win!

  • let’s also require people to purchase vintage cars and period costumes if they want to live or drive here.

  • This should not be painted a color, at all. Instead, the city should paint horizontal white lines in the bike lane. The green looks ridiculous–like there’s a miniature St. Patrick’s Day parade a-comin’.

  • Oh please! Sean and glf only see what they want to see. “Everyone jaywalks” they say. Funny, I don’t and neither do my friends. However I did have one friend cross the street when it was his right of way, and he got hit by a car. I did have another friend walking down the SIDEWALK and she got knocked over by a bicyclist. She got really banged up.

    I have lived in 3 other major cities in the U.S. in addition to NYC and I have never ever ever seen bicyclists break the laws like they do here. Never. It’s shocking. I have literally never once seen a bicycle stop at a light. I have never seen a bicyclist use hand signals. I seldom see/hear them use the bells on their bikes to let people know when they are coming through, and when they do use their bells I’m totally appreciative. Lastly, as a pedestrian all I can say is I have had so many near misses with bikes, but not yet had a near miss with a car. Knock on wood.

    Can I ask why on earth those on bicyclists think they are more superior and more “green” and politically important than pedestrians? We’re not guzzling gas by walking down the sidewalks, you know. Don’t know if you noticed that. Bicyclists should be on the side of pedestrians, not against them. The bicyclists’ hatred of pedestrians here is really creepy and disturbing and stupid. Pedestrians are afraid of your bikes, people. Think about that. Afraid of you, because they’re afraid of getting hit and hurt. Try and muster up a little human sympathy.

  • I wish cyclists could email cell-phone photos of cars parked in bicycle lanes with additional identifying information, resulting in a ticket to the person violating the lane.

  • Anonymous 11:32 said “1) I would not paint the lane a solid color. Given the amount of street repairs, potholes, wear and tear, it will soon end up looking ugly, warn out, broken, etc. It would be better to paint these via a colored pattern that is also reflective paint. Patterns: polka dots; dashes, etc. A break in this kind of pattern will be less obvious to the eyes”

    There’s another REALLY good reason not to use that particular solid shade of green – red green color blindness. It’s the commonest kind and that shade will turn pavement colored to someone who can’t see green. RG colorblind people can tell traffic lights by position. I agree with 11:32 and chlllllll above about horizontal white lines. Something with a pattern will be more visible and more meaningful to drivers. A white reflective pattern will also be visible at night, which is VERY important.

  • I live in Copenhagen, (am an ex-Brooklynite who still checks-in on Brownstoner once in a while to see what’s going on…), a city where bikes come first, but also a city where no one, but occasionally me, jaywalks. I bike to work and so does my husband and so do most people who live within 6 miles from their work. What I think is the best solution for bike lines is slightly elevated bike lanes like we have here. They are about 6 inches above the road. They are certainly not disgraceful and motorists are most likely to respect them. They are probably very expensive to make but just think of how great New York would be as a truly bike-friendly city? Imagine if all of you could bike to work, alleviate traffic AND get in shape?!? But I am glad to see, in any case, that NYC is taking steps towards making the city more bike friendly…

  • It would be nice if the cops started cracking down on rogue cyclists, but I guess that they must be too busy helping harassed moms in Carroll Park…NOT!

  • “This is a color and concept intended to SAVE LIVES. Why does it matter if any of you think it’s garish? This is the most yuppie post I’ve ever seen on this site, and that’s saying a lot.”

    It matters because if there’s a color and/or other method that works better AND looks better, why wouldn’t we advocate for that? If you google “green bike lane” or “green bicycle lane”, you’ll see lots of discussion on the pros/cons of green bike lanes. There’s certainly no consensus that DAY-GLO green works the best. God forbid that we might think this isn’t a binary issue of bike safety vs. aesthetics.

  • 2:50pm: That is a great idea. Wish we had it in NY. I would take out my bike to work if we had elevated bike lanes.

  • Instead of lime green paint why not put in something drivers WOULD pay attention to, like a 4″ curb (as mentioned above)???

    It might be expensive to raise the entire bike lane 6″ but a 4″ wide, 4″ high median divider wouldn’t be that expensive to build.

    If they can put in speed bumps on everywhere, why not a little curb to keep us safer?

  • Look, despite our many differences, I think we can ALL agree with msa that this should be polka dotted.

    Anybody ever see that fur-and-purple brownstone in Greenpoint? Frankly, the whole city should look more like a John Waters movie. (Note: I am not being sarcastic)

  • I hate pedestrians! I hate the way they put one foot in front of the other to take them from here to there. They’re so commonplace.

  • I love it. It’s like biking on grass.

  • The little dividers were tried in few places once. Collected litter, garbage and little things that punctured bike tires. Became nuisance, obstacle and eyesore.

  • I can’t imagine meeting a single person living in this city who doesn’t jaywalk. It just makes sense to do it. That’s why no one gets ticketed for it.

    It is the right thing to do under the right circumstances. Just like running the occasional red light on bike at a quiet intersection.

    Being a pedestrian is virtuous. And so is riding a bike. We’re all on the same side. You just need to learn to accept the cyclist culture here. But I agree, no bikes should ever be on a busy sidewalk.

    The reason you don’t see bikes breaking the laws in other cities, is because it doesn’t make sense. NYC’s density and congestion makes it uniquely suited for everyday cycling.

    And, for what it’s worth, I think the bike lanes should be crosshatched but any color is fine with me. I can’t believe people think that a bright color on the bike path ruins the quaintness of their block yet they tolerate car exhaust and truck noise.

  • I don’t care if it’s a color, I think the main issue is that most drivers (and I’m one) drive in the lane because they often have to, because a car is double parked or unloading and it’s the only way around. A small curb would help a bit I suppose but would need to be driven over if cars double park. I see motorcycles riding in the bike lanes, I guess they are bikes.
    They put bike lanes on Grand and the pizza guys still ride on the sidewalk, the only thing that will stop that is a ticket, same with drivers or motorcycles or bad bike behavior.

  • YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    Notice how many more “yes”s I typed then the person who typed “no”s which should be evidence of my strong support for the color.

  • Are you kidding me? Even if the color was cool looking when it was painted, how long do you think that it would take to start peeling and to be stained with chewing gum and garbage? I agree with the person that commented about the hypocrisy of Landmarks if the city can paint something like this in front of your house. As a bike rider I love Amsterdam’s path at one level higher than the street. Maybe we could just have a small ridge to separate the cars from the bikes.

  • 7:28 – The brownstones are what are historical, not the pavement on the street. Historical districts need to adhere to national safety measures as well.

  • Sean, in response to your comments which are still showing a definite “spin” towards cyclists’ interests, actually yes I never jaywalk. I walk to the corner and wait. Why? Because a dear friend of mine was hit by a car when he had right of way. He ended up in the hospital with a head injury. If it’s possible to get hit when you’re doing everything right, just imagine the risk you take on when you don’t.

    As for other cities not having the the bicycle culture one finds here, that’s absurd. The cities I’ve lived in are Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle. All have plenty of bicycles, and plenty of cars too. So I still stand by my statement that I have NEVER seen as many bicyclists riding so recklessly as I do in NYC. Bicycles here don’t stop only when as you say, it’s “an occasional red light at a quiet intersection.” It happens a lot more than that and everybody knows it, including you. You are willfully, knowingly bending the truth.

    Bicycles are not superior to pedestrians. To use the argument used here earlier about who can kill who, bike or car, a bike can kill a pedestrian. Therefore YOU guys yield to us. Not the other way around. I’m really really tired of having to dodge a bicycle coming down the sidewalk full speed right at me, and me standing there wondering if I should step right or left in order to not get hit. And tired of crossing the street on MY RIGHT OF WAY and have a bicycle fly by, mere inches from me.

  • it’s both hillarious and depressing to me to see how deluded so many of the responses to this are. is it so hard to consider other perspectives and to get outside of your own tiny little worlds to look at the bigger picture? people in every group (cars, cyclists, pedestrians) break laws every day and most of you conveniently only see what you want to see – exactly what supports your own myopic views. i’d be willing to bet that you ALL break the laws on the streets, but excuse yourself from doing so because you can justify it to yourself. “i was just unloading my car” “no cars were coming and i was running late” “the bike in front of me was moving so slow!” then you’re quick to point the finger when you notice other groups breaking the law and say “they all do it!” because you see what you want and ignore that which doesn’t support your tiny little views.

  • to reply to 12:18 a cyclist is much more likely to be injured in a collision with a pedestrian.

  • Jacob, stop the “spin”. Of course a pedestrian is the one most likely to get hurt or killed when hit by a bicycle. Hi, pedestrians don’t wear helmets. Bicyclists do. The man who died this Spring in Washington DC after being hit by a bicycle in a crosswalk, died on the spot from a severe head injury. The head can easily get injured when a person is knocked down.

  • tired: you’d be more persuasive if you slowed down and used proper grammar.

  • Those statistics on the number of deaths on bicycles nationwide compared to deaths in cars are obviously completely irrelevant in NYC. Duh. Much safer to cycle in rural Kansas than, say, here. My hat is off to people brave enough to do that shit on the avenues of Manhattan, or even Brooklyn–you’re not catching me on two wheels anywhere in this town.

    By the way, I saw another of these painted bike lanes on Henry Street in (I guess) Boerem Hill, and it was fine–a sort of forest green color, MUCH less offensive than this lime color.

  • how slippery is this thing in the rain?

  • The paint does not make the road any more slippery. Sherwin-Williams,the nation’s largest paint company, sells traffic paint that can be applied to asphalt or concrete in any color!

    http://www.sherwin-williams.com

  • I live on Henry Street and the bright green is absolutely offensive!

  • I cycle on Henry Street most days and I do feel safer with the high-visibility color.

  • You guys are crazy, the green is beautiful!

  • I went there yesterday on Henry St I think it’s a great idea. It mixes great with the trees. & it also shows that bikes are green & are the best way to get around. On my way I went from Elmhurst Queens to Soho via 59 St Bridge to BKLYN Hts there via the BKLYN BRidge to Coney Island Via Prspct Pk & the OCN Pkwy then to the Shore/Belt PKWY Grnway to Pennsylvania Av to Jamaica Av to Wdhvn Blvd Back to Elmhurst

  • In the Netherlands and Belgium all bikepaths are done with a brick-red colored asphalt. It stands out sufficiently and is pleasing to the eye. As you know we Dutch are very much a bicycle nation so we have plenty of experience in this field!