Cycling is one of the most planet-friendly means of transportation, but American infrastructure and personal selfishness do very little to help foster a healthy bike culture. One infuriating video on Reddit elegantly sums up the problems cyclists face every day.
In a video posted to the r/MicromobilityNYC subreddit, a user shows New Yorkers’ blatant disregard for biking infrastructure, with numerous sizable vehicles obstructing an already small bike lane.
On just one city block, the video captures no fewer than nine large cars and trucks parked in the bike lane, despite the fact that there is also parking on the opposite side of the street.
“This is why we can not ‘share’ the road with car drivers,” the video’s caption reads.
The original poster went into detail about the specific issues at hand in the comment section.
“This is a failure at every level of the city,” they wrote. “The [Department of Transportation] has failed to build lanes that can not be invaded, because the legislature has failed to update the laws so that they can do that (requirements on access to the lane from emergency and cleaning vehicles), because the FDNY and DSNY have not updated their fleets to modern urban sizes and standards, and all of this is relevant because the NYPD has failed to not be a bunch of chucklef***s that are almost universally waging a culture war against micromobility riders that includes gleefully ignoring the needed enforcement to keep our spaces un-invaded in the hopes we’ll just go away.”
The user also detailed numerous achievable solutions to the problems that they observed, including retractable bollards to block cars without preventing emergency vehicles and street sweepers from accessing the lanes, increased camera usage to better enforce parking violations in the bike lanes, stronger enforcement from the NYPD, more concrete barriers blocking the bike lane from traffic, or even building car-free street networks on a small fraction of the city’s streets.
These issues are all the more frustrating when you consider that research has repeatedly shown that bikes and scooters have positive effects on the environment and quality of life, especially compared to gas-guzzling cars.
Users proposed their own improvements in the comment section.
“We need more truck loading zones. The city could easily take some spots on the left and replace them with loading zones. You can be upset at the cars, but the truckers are just trying to do their job,” one user wrote. “Smaller trucks and/or cargo bikes would be nice but let’s be realistic– most trucks won’t be replaced so easily.”
“There need to be some consequences to this otherwise there will be no change,” another user said.
“I found some hard to peel off stickers (like the ones they use when they boot cars) that say unauthorized parking etc on Amazon. Just buy a pack and slap them on the windshield and door,” a third user commented.
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