Last month, a road rage incident in New York City between a cab driver and cyclist ended with a British tourist tragically losing her foot after the taxi driver drove onto the sidewalk hitting the woman.
At the time TreeHugger and other sites, noted that this accident may have been avoided if Manhattan's 6th Avenue had a proper bike lane. Now, thanks to a DIY effort by New York City cyclists 6th Avenue has at least a partial bike lane between 42nd and 50th street, near where the accident occurred.
Right of Way is a NYC-based activist collective "dedicated to asserting the rights of car-free street users -- including pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters" and took it upon themselves to paint a DIY bike lane on the busy street last Saturday.
As night fell on Saturday, about a half-dozen bicyclists emerged from a huddle outside the New York Public Library and began pedaling north. They rode through crowded Midtown blocks where tour buses passed slowly and tourists walked along sidewalks, carrying cameras or copies of Playbill from Broadway theaters.
The bicyclists dismounted at West 49th Street and Avenue of the Americas, where a taxicab struck a tourist from England last month, severing the young woman’s leg.
One of the cyclists used a brush to sweep grit off the roadway. Another placed stencils on the macadam. Spray paint followed, and after several minutes a line had been created marking a separate, though unsanctioned, bike lane near the curb, replete with logos of the sort used by the city and another depicting a bicyclist with wings.
“We’re doing something for the public good,” said Keegan Stephan, one of the founders of the group, called Right of Way. “So I think it’s O.K., even if it’s illegal.”
Pix11 has video (removed due to autoplay) of the bike lanes and spoke with both cyclists and drivers about what they think of the DIY effort.
Painting DIY bike lanes is technically illegal, but this form of guerrilla activism has actually been successful in pressuring city officials to install permanent bike lanes. It's too soon to say whether that will happen with this stretch of 6th Avenue, but as Pix11 reports so far it seems like a case of "no harm, no foul."