Saturday, September 8, 2012

NYC Century Bike Tour-Last Year Issues

Riding thru the red signal on Ocean Parkway and Neptune Avenue
This coming Sunday the NYC Century Bike Tour will include thousands of cyclists throughout the five boroughs in various bike tours.  This event is a highlight of the Transportation Alternatives schedule and experienced and recreational cyclists can choose from a variety of routes to participate based upon distance and time.  The fee is $65 to join if you are not a TA member.
Ocean Parkway is not included in the bike tour.  But Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach is one of the routes that cyclists will follow for some of the longest tours. And as we know Neptune Avenue crosses Ocean Parkway.  Last year I encountered the bike tour as I walked down Ocean Parkway to the Boardwalk.  Many of the cyclists rode in packs and the lack of discipline or consideration of traffic rules and pedestrians was alarming.
Here are two of the photos that I took and the letter that I sent to TA.
Cyclists occupy large areas of the road and cross against the red signal

"While I support the greater use and enjoyment of cycling in the city I must report that during the tour event on Sunday 9/18 too many riders were not obeying traffic rules.  I walk down Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn to the Boardwalk every morning and today part of the tour took crossed Ocean Parkway on the Neptune Avenue route.  Ocean Parkway is a 6 lane highway and Neptune Avenue particularly is one of the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn.Recently a walk countdown timer was installed at that intersection which indicates our concern for the people in that neighborhood many of whom are elderly.  However, dozens of riders in packs rode through the intersection against the red light.  Also many rode three or four abreast in the traffic lanes.  If they did stop or slow down on Ocean Pkwy it was for a moment until they found a gap in the traffic so they could continue.  Too many riders have little regard to pedestrians and I myself (who is a rider) had to wait to cross even though I had the light and the riders were riding through it and trying to beat the oncoming Ocean Pkwy taffic.  This is not what I consider a safe or responsible way of using the roadways of this city and gives a bad name to cyclists.  Many of these riders were experienced and unfortunately they were the ones who seemed to encourage the rest of the pack of riders to continue in this unsafe manner.  I have photos from this morning that I would like to send to you. Thank you."

Here is the reply from TA.

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM, Ben McRoberts <ben@transalt.org> wrote:
Hello Allen,

Thank you for comments and concern regarding the NYC Century Bike Tour.

Transportation Alternatives is committed to promoting safe and legal bicycling, as evidenced through our Biking Rules! campaign. (www.bikingrules.org)
We also promote it on the NYC Century Bike Tour web site and expect all riders to follow all traffic regulations.

Again I am sorry to hear that some cyclists on our tour were not obeying the rules of the road, and I assure we will continue to promote Biking Rules!.

Best

Ben