By Joseph N. Manago
As a Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe biker, I have been biking along Queens Boulevard in the new green bike lanes, while serenading myself with some songs from “The Wizard of Oz.”
“Follow the green brick road, follow the green brick road…” — a parody of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” — as I dodge vehicular traffic from all sides in the green bike lane.
Ground rule No. 1 is for bicyclists to “stay near the right curb or edge of the road, or on a usable right shoulder of the road, to avoid undue interference with other traffic.”
The rule of staying to the right . . . (Driver’s Manual, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles).
Yet, the cited bike lanes have been designed and constructed near the left edge of the service roads in violation of the bicycle rule of the right. Further, motor vehicular traffic may cross diagonally at some points from the main road, through the bicycle lane onto the service road, while ongoing cars, buses and trucks traverse the bike lane to pass slow or backed up traffic in the single service road.
There are no provisions for law enforcement of illegal motor traffic within the bike lanes only demarcated with yellow and white painted lines. Ironically, despite the dangerous hazards of these bike lanes, a bicyclist “must ride in a bicycle lane, if a usable one is available” (ibid.).
We need new safety, environmental and business impact studies of these nascent bike lanes.
So, “We’re Off To See The Wizard” resonates in my mind, the wonderful wizard of the NYC Department of Transportation.
To me, this Kafkaesque nightmare is another failed experiment in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive social conditioning.
Joseph N. Manago