Life in the Bike Lanes

Video screen capture. Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. of Streetfilms usually makes longer videos, but this two minute shortie is epic: it clearly shows how useless painted-on bike lanes are. He was gathering video for a bigger production, and tells Streetsblog:

Streetfilms Shortie - "The Cars are Due on Jay Street" (Okay, they're already here.) from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

The level of disregard for the bike lane is just about unmatched anywhere else in New York City. Even with all that bike lane obstruction, 2,400 cyclists a day use Jay Street, since it’s a critical link to the Manhattan Bridge. NYC DOT is working on a plan to replace the current design with parking-protected bike lanes on each side of the street. I intended to sit on all my “before” footage to use in future pieces, but I just couldn’t believe how bad it was, so I posted this. I had budgeted about an hour to film Jay Street, but I only needed about ten minutes to sufficiently document the dysfunction on camera. As you can see, the immediate yield was very high.

Meanwhile in Toronto, two cars lost control in pretty much the same neighborhood, one taking out the storefront of a convenience store. It was all very good timing, in that the front of the car in in the busy Harbord Street bike lane. Nobody was seriously injured so twitter had some fun with it:

And of course, being Toronto, they had to put Drake into the picture.

There is a big debate about bike lanes happening in Toronto right now, with one of the arguments being that they are bad for business. I would think that being afraid to walk the streets because of flying cars might be bad for business too. On the same day, another car lost control and crossed a bike lane to land in the window of Bar Raval, a wonderful spot covered on TreeHugger here for its interior.

Both crashes were on streets with painted bike lanes; it could have all been much worse. An object lesson in why we need better bike infrastructure and slower speed limits.