Broadway’s bicycle lanes – we hardly knew ye?



Broadway’s bicycle lanes – we hardly knew ye?

In NYC this summer, Mayor Bloomberg will shut down a section of Broadway in midtown to become a bike-ped paradise. But here in the “Creative Capital”, the long-planned bike lanes on Broadway are in danger of being killed before the paint hits the ground: rumor has it that a well-placed member of the City Council opposes them. As we all know, our Broadway is wide enough to accommodate a parking lane, bike lane, and a motor vehicle lane running in each direction, with room to spare. Please come out to show your support at a critical neighborhood meeting!

Wednesday, May 13, 6 pm, at the Public Safety Complex in Providence.


  • Alan Barta
    May 7, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I suggest a class action suit versus Providence for defying federal and state statutes that mandate analogous accommodations for bicycling wherever there are some for motoring. Broadway striping was promised for at least 5 years. I volunteered to paint it myself, but was told the unions claim the work.

    This is why I wasn't enthused about the Blackstone Boulevard lanes. I knew that it would instill resentment on a road that already was fine for cycling; not only fine, but routinely being used by clubs for paceline training.

    Providence has all but lost its existing 4 miles of bike lanes to construction and neglect. Kinsley/Promenades's 1 mile each direction is all but effaced, needs refreshing. Allens was simply eliminated when I-Way went in, plus it's never maintained… metal bits, railroad tracks, sand, sharp gravel, tsk, tsk!

    Ah, yes, the I-way. Another patch of new highway that bans and cuts off cycling. Where's your vigilance? Are they going out of their way to deny you access? Or is it just contempt for the law? Let a judge decide.

  • Jelena
    May 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Recently I went for a ride there to see how it looks,since I've heard of the recent works. And although I'm supporting the whole idea and I loved the way it was arranged, what made me worry was not the cars but pedestrians.They don't seem to notice or just don't care anything about the bike lane – the green colored paths, bike sings or similar. It was the most frustrating experience, trying to maneuver around people, who were carelessly either walking down the path or just stepping on it without slightest worry they might get hit. Even those who saw me coming at them did not want to move although there were clearly on the bike marked path. So what to tell you? It is the busiest area in city and until there's some better promo awareness about urban bicycling, I won't be going there anytime soon.

  • Bill Lewis
    May 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

    I think bike lanes are not good, it puts you square in the door zone. You'd be better off learning to ride in the lane and staying out of the way of doors.

    I have biked all my life and will never ever ride in harms way again(I've been doored once, and broke the guys fingers). This is not a panacea for safety. it would be better to get the police active in enforcing speed limits.

  • Dennis
    May 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I'll be at the meeting to help support, but once again I'll bring up the subject of PSAs. According to NPR, many media outlets are actively searching for Public Service Announcements in lieu of cheap advertising spots. This could be an opening for some much needed public education on bike lanes, where bikes should be riding, laws and how to play nice.

  • Alan Barta
    May 13, 2009 at 4:30 am

    PSA open source article; freely quote.


    You bought a car to go fast, yet everyone's in your way. Ever consider that those who bike or walk take up less room on the road? They're your friends, not impediments.

    Some motorists have a mistaken idea about roads. They don't have exclusive use of them. Roads are public rights of way, shared space in a civilized society. As weather improves, slower traffic increases. By law, bicyclists must ride on roads. Construction workers may be busy fixing them. Joggers, walkers and wild animals may cross or occupy. A child chasing a ball has the most right to the road. Kids and pets can’t be licensed or regulated, probably can't read or reason, yet may pop up anytime. Drivers are obligated to avoid collisions. This is why the top speed is only 25 mph unless posted otherwise. Any faster, vehicles can't be stopped soon enough and tragedy results.

    All traffic code was written to protect people from the deadly momentum of motored vehicles. The onus for safety always rests on motorists. Since they had to be able to read to get a license, they should be the first to understand. By its nature, motoring is physically easy; it takes hardly any extra effort to drive safer.

    While separate facilities for cyclists and pedestrians are mandated alongside major roads, cities have fallen behind in compliance. This creates undue hardship. Pedestrians are mostly struck where no crosswalks or sidewalks exist. Bicyclists are overtaken where roads narrow. Bad infrastructure kills. Additional, narrower lanes challenge space and increases motoring fatalities, too. Breakdown lanes, which bicyclists use to let drivers pass, are disappearing. Riding defensively, cyclists relinquish travel lanes out of courtesy, not because they must.

    By law, bicyclists ride in the right 1/3 of the travel lane, not gore areas, gutters, over grates, parking spots, or sidewalks. Experienced riders track a straight line, not weave, but you can never be sure what they might do to avoid cracks, debris or sand on nation's 47th rated roads. Their behaviors vary; beware. They're entitled to use all of the road. Some may ease to center before turning left. Otherwise, they'd have to abruptly turn across multiple lanes at busy intersections. Motorists wouldn't do this; neither should cyclists. With slower capacity to accelerate but unencumbered hearing and sight, cyclists often only yield for stop signs, stop then go at red lights because they must to get across. They often hear trailing cars before drivers see them. Honking is cruel, dangerous, pointless, and possibly illegal.

    Truth be known, licenses are seldom revoked or violators sentenced. Small fines unchanged for generations aren't always given. Law enforcers can only ticket those they catch. Safety relies upon drivers voluntarily complying. Even without strict deterrents, why let a horrible incident haunt you?

    Always buckle up and turn off cell phone before starting car. Don't enter intersections unless you can go completely through. Never drive in breakdown lane, pass on the right, or weave impatiently. Signal intention beforehand to change lanes or turn. Stop at crosswalks and railroad crossings. When in doubt, slow down. Take the initiative to make driving an occasion to demonstrate your good manners and a pleasure for all in the community. If you scoff at such advice, you don't deserve to drive; surrender your license before it's too late.