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Report: More Cyclists are Reporting Blocked Bike Lanes on Vernon Blvd. Than Anywhere Else

Citi Bike location in Long Island City

Sept. 13, 2018 By Tara Law

Cyclists are more likely to report blocked bike lanes along parts of Vernon Boulevard than in anywhere else in the City, a company that analyzes city data has revealed.

NYC 311 received more reports about blocked bike lanes on Vernon Boulevard between 44th Drive and 45th Road in the last year than any other part of the City— 112 in all, according to the data analysis service Localize.city. Of these complaints, 72 were made about the area near 44th Drive and 40 were made about 45th Road.

A section of Vernon Boulevard in Astoria— between 34th and 35th Avenue— had 31 reports, the fifth most reports in the City.

Localize data scientists analyzed 311 data from Sept. 4, 2017 to Sept. 4, 2018 to come up with the complaint rate, according to the company.

Cyclists have been able to report blocked bike lanes since 311 added the category in October 2016, according to a report by Streetsblog.

Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg said that the 311 data may not reflect the extent of the problem, because it is unlikely that every cyclist reports blocked lanes.

“This is a relatively new 311 category, and some cyclists may not even be aware that they can file such complaints. Many are likely unable to call, text or email when they are pedaling,” said Eisenberg. “But there are still some areas with a critical mass of complaints where cyclists are feeling especially frustrated when drivers block their lanes, potentially causing them to swerve into dangerous traffic.”

Cyclist filed a total of 4,230 complaints about blocked bike lanes in the last year, according to Localize.city. These reports made up 1.4 percent of all parking complaints to 311.

Paul Steely White, executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement that blocked bike lanes can be very dangerous for cyclists.

“When a city prioritizes convenience for motorists above safety for bicyclists, drivers block bike lanes,” said White. “That’s not just annoying — it can also be deadly, as it forces people on bikes to merge into other lanes with mixed traffic. The best way to keep cyclist rights of way clear is to design streets so that bike lanes are located between the parking lane and the curb.”

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26 Comments

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Tank

Yeah blame the cops. like they ain’t got nothing better to do. With the population growing with all the high-rise buildings going up in Long Island City and you’re worried about a bicycle lane the 108 Precinct has more important complaints to respond.. don’t blame the cops just take another route.

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Eats'a Pizza

I assume you’re addressing the people who feel the need to drive cars in a highly dense city.

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Anonymous

Blocked bike lanes — how quaint. Just wait until the BQX trolley is running on Vernon. We’ll all be wishing for such a minor inconvenience.

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brooklynmc

I can’t wait for the trolley. In Europe, where cycling is way bigger than in the US, many cities also have trollies. I just got back from Poland where trollies, cyclists, bikes and pedestrians seem to flow well together.

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Ed Babcock

This demonstrages the basic flaw in the bike lane concept. It isoates everyone else on the street from the curb. Goods need to be unloaded from trucks into the stores so you can buy those goods. The whole world cannot be permitted to grind to a halt so that bicyclists can never be in danger.
This whole special privilege concept eliminates the basic ability of people using the street to be flexible. That is essential to a crowded place like NYC’s ability to make the whole place work. I suppose we could eliminate the buses and put streetcars back in place if nobody is allowed to be outside of their designated lane.
Apparently the mayor likes streetcars.

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Shawn

I totally agree with that Ed.. Vernon Boulevard has restaurants stores factories and they all need their goods delivered. My advice to the bicyclists take another route. These businesses been in Long Island City way before they even thought about this bike lane. Nothing better to complain about.G.A.L.

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brooklynmc

It would be nice someday if Park Avenue could be a park or a greenway with a bike lane, cafes and wider sidewalks.

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brooklynmc

Though I agree that the bike lanes probably should not be put on busy commercial strips, I think the “special privilege” people are really the people who think it is OK to block not only the bike lane, but also the sidewalk, forcing everyone to walk in the road. Children, elderly and strollers. The city should be smarter but try not to forget who is breaking the law here. Cyclists are just trying to get to work like the rest of us but have a much bigger chance of being maimed or killed while doing it. Keep in mind that most people in NYC do not own a car. To us, cars are more than just a huge nuisance.

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Chris

cyclists are 3% of the population so deserve 3% of the street. On Vernon that’s about 1 and 1/2 feet. Anything else is fair game

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BikeLanesAreTheMainCauseOfTrafficCongestion!

It’s an industrial area, for God’s sake, with loading docks everywhere, staging areas for commercial vehicles, taxi garages and repair shops. How in the world did the white bro bikers, and the car-hating DoT, expect that these dedicated bike lanes would work on Vernon Blvd?!

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Dan

White bro bikers….jeez, what’s wrong with someone choosing to bike to work because the subways are a mess? If it’s a nice day out, I’ll bike to work and save the hassle of sitting in the smelly subway station waiting for a train that may never come. Bikes add more options so cars aren’t needed for every single person in the city. If you’re already complaining about a lack of parking spaces then you should be happy that the city is promoting a bike friendly neighborhood. I didn’t buy a new car in part because I knew i could bike places.

For anyone curious, here’s a video that shows the issue with these lanes. These 18 wheelers and construction trucks park in the bike lanes. Hell, you can even see regular drivers driving their car because they think this is a special lane just for them.
https://youtu.be/7Bdw7ZGPmxA?t=2m52s

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brooklynmc

No. It was and industrial area. Now, it is a residential neighborhood. People need to grow old with grace and not bitterness. Yes, things change.

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the Sept. 13, 2018 comment on jaywalking and Manafort. My take on this as a bike rider is: there are many cars and even a valet parking for a restaurant on 44th drive that block bike lanes. Vernon Blvd. I travel once in a while does not seem as bad. Maybe a different part of Vernon than I travel is bad.

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Concerned Citizen

Blame the 108th precinct for not ticketing these vehicles. Every morning the trucks can be found parked there and yet the officers drive right by without incident. I had several close calls in the bike lane having to divert into oncoming traffic b/c I could not get around the multiple trucks. We are very lucky no one has been seriously hurt (yet)! So much for vision zero enforcement.

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Shawn

I agree with you don’t blame the 108 Precinct they got better things to do than worry about a bike lane..

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brooklynmc

LIC is not the most crime ridden neighborhood. Exactly what better things do they have to do that keeps them from enforcing laws? They actually have special police just for traffic you know. All they do though is give parking tickets to local residents or they just sit in their cars. Texting.

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Shawn

I can’t believe you would blame the 108 Precinct.like the cops don’t have enough to do. With the population growing in Long. Island.City .with all the high-rise buildings going up 108 Precinct needs a lot more cops I like to see you if you were a cop go to a domestic violence call in the projects you would think twice about blaming the 108 Precinct. For trucks blocking a bicycle lane really. unbelievable. Really get a life.

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Concerned Citizen

It takes 2-3 minutes to write a ticket and I guarantee that after writing just a few of them the behavior stops and the road becomes more safe. If you don’t enforce it the drivers will continue to push the limits as they have already done. Regardless of the crime/offense the police are responsible for protecting all citizens. Also, I am no Deblasio fan however the mayor also expects the police to enforce the laws with Vision Zero so there is that.

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MRLIC

One time I saw a cyclist run a stop sign; whereas motorists in NYC have never broken the law. Do these cyclists think they’re above the law? One almost hit me while I was jaywalking to the bowling alley.

How come Trump’s Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud but these scofflaw cyclists don’t get ticketed?

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Bike

Me too I seen that same guy on the bike run right through a stop sign.. one time I was hit by a bike when the light was red and I was crossing the street. Ride your bike in a park.

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