Monday, July 30, 2012

Rules of play#1-West Mall

It's a beautiful day on Ocean Parkway for a walk but pedestrians including walkers, strollers and joggers shoud keep to the pedestrian path and not walk in the bike lane.

A nice open ride on the new mall

Biking can be a great experience but you have to play by the rules

The place to be where you can walk safely.

Pay attention to where you are walking

Out of touch as bicyclists approach

Walkers should be in the path on the left

Not a safe way to take a stroll

Pedestrians to the left...riders to the right.  Then we will all get along.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bicyclists Using Cameras to Capture Accidents

Bicyclists Using Cameras to Capture Accidents -
These cameras may be a two-edged sword when it will also show cyclists going through stop signs and red lights.
Yesterday I was returning form my walk to the Boardwalk and I was crossing Neptune Avenue at Ocean Parkway.  I had the walk signal. As I was about to step up to the curb I felt a whoosh behind me that forced me to turn around.  A cyclist had just sped past the cars on Neptune Avenue waiting for the light to turn to cross Ocean Parkway without even a pause crossed six lanes of traffic, two malls, and two service roads against a steady red signal without so much as a pause.  This bravado is happening too often when cyclists feel that they have an equal share of the road but are unwilling to obey the same traffic laws as motorists.  And I am a bike rider who uses OP every day.  In the game of chicken with tons of steel the cyclist will lose.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ready for my closeup

Owner just groomed him/her on one of the benches on Ocean Parkway.
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Ocean Parkway Bike Path south of the Belt Parkway

The video starts just south of the Belt Parkway as the rider is passing Lincoln High School. The first intersection can be problematic because of the traffic entering from the right.  Notice that the cyclist turns his head to see if there is any traffic entering the access road to the main road.  The yield sign on a light pole is old and inadequate to warn drivers on the service road to yield to pedestrians/cyclists crossing.
The condition of the path outside Lincoln is fair.  It is due for an upgrade.  Be prepared for pedestrians on this section since there is no separate pedestrian path. After the next intesection the path divides again. Notice that the cyclist does the "pause and pedal" move which he/she slows down just enough to check for any cars entering that intersection.  When satisfied that his way is clear he blows through the red light. I especailly like the quick head turn to check out the traffic.
What happens next at the Neptune Avenue intersection is an excellent teachable moment.  Only buses are permitted to make a right turn from the main road onto Neptune Avenue.  Yet, this Access-a-ride joker makes the illegal turn right in front of the cyclist.  At the same time a car is making a left turn onto Neptune Avenue and will proceed to completely block the bike path totally oblivious to the oncoming cyclist. Remember he is permitted to stop at that location even though he is blocking the bike and pedestrian paths.  The cyclist makes a wise decision to pass him from behind.
The access road to the service road comes up next.  This intersection is one of several on Ocean Parkway that doesn't have a yield to pedestrian sign for the OP traffic who want to enter this road.  The cyclist must his head almost completely around to see if any cars are entering this road.  The signage at this location is totally inadequate and the DOT has been informed about this issue. The cyclist proceeds when no traffic is observed.
Once again at the next intersection, Oceanview Avenue, a car blocks the path.  Unlike the previous instance the cyclist chooses to pass the car from the front.  Not recommended.
The video ends just at the good part.  Because we are coming up to the final leg of the journey to the Boardwalk. I contacted the person who made the video to see if he would add the final piece of the trip and the first part of the ride from Prospect Park getting to Ocean Parkway.  I hope so unless anyone else wants to volunteer.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brooklyn biker ticketed after he asks police to stop  blocking Ocean Parkway bike lane, video shows

Screen grab from  Ben Kopciel’s video. Brooklyn biker ticketed after he asks police to stop  blocking Ocean Parkway bike lane, video shows   - NY Daily News

Check out my last posts and this issue of blocking the path poses a serious danger to cyclists who have the light but are forced to swerve around the cars. But there is nothing illegal for cars waiting for the light to turn to stop over the bike lane in the intersections.  DOT has to come up with the rules of play.  I will also post other photos illustrating a major problem to safe riding on the bike path..

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

a ride down ocean parkway

Came across this cool video on YouTube. Our rider seems to have used one of those video camera on the helmet devices which gives us a great view of his/her ride down Ocean Parkway.  The start of the video is just south of Avenue P and continues just north of Avenue S.  There is a subsequent video that I will post that takes us further down the parkway.
What this short video shows is the danger bike riders face in trying to cross the avenue intersections even though they have the right of way.
At Kings Highway two vehicles block the bike lane so fully there is little room to swing around.  The safe choice is to swing around behind the cars.  I don't recommend this rider's choice of passing the cars from the front. Too dangerous to be that close to the main road but our rider maneuvers deftly around without losing a beat.  A slight movement of the cars however could send  the rider into the parkway traffic.  Please pass from behind or just wait.  But this clip is a great illustration of the hazards that bikers still face on a fairly enjoyable ride down the path.
Oh....the rider did cross against the red signal on Quentin Road after checking our the cross traffic.Not recommended.
The riding path pictured the video is still yet to be repaved and the mall renovated.
My thanks to the creator of these videos.

Getting screwed

Thanks to the workers who come everyday to replace hazardous boardwalk timber.  Looks like there is only one  two-man crew to keep up with miles and miles of broken and rotting wood.  It may take as long as  30 minutes to replace each board.  Do the math.  There seems to be only enough manpower to deal with the most hazardous areas.
Miles of boards to repair
Area where a woman's leg broke through the rotting wood
Look back on the posts of September 2011 to see my first photo essay on the conditions of our favorite pathway by the sea.  It was meant to be light-hearted but there are serious safety issues that must be addressed now.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More hazards on bike path

Large cement stones pose hazard to cyclistss
As if the recreational cyclist didn't have enough obstacles to a safe and smooth ride along Ocean Parkway, large pieces of broken curbstones have appeared on the west mall bike path.  It seems that these stones that appear mostly between Avenue U and Avenue R have been placed into the bike lane for whatever purpose. Even though we have moved many of them to a safer space the stones reappear back in the path.  Hopefully a recent phone call to the Parks Dept will expedite their complete removal.  In the meanwhile if you come across one that poses an immediate hazard please push it into the grass if you can. Sudden contact with these objects can cause serious injury to the rider or damage to the bike.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Particular Pigeons

Pigeons on Ocean Parkway won't eat regular Cheerios...waiting for Honey Nut??
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Now what?

Bike path ends at Seabreeze Avenue.  No signage to help
riders continue. However...
The bicycle path ends at the Boardwalk. Now what? Boardwalk restricts bike riding after 10am. Bike walking on the boardwalk is the only option as crowds swarm the amusement area. There is an option for a bike lane to continue on Surf Avenue along Asser Levy Park.  Or if you don't mind sand on your tires...

the Ocean Parkway bike path actually ends here...

or here....

or here...
or here...

or here.