Bike Lanes: Waste of Paint?

8/11/2010 Update:

Do you believe the bike lane hype?

Hoboken411 received an email from a resident who’s fed up with the bike lanes in town after nearly getting decapitated at 13th and Bloomfield Streets. She sent a letter to Mayor Zimmer and soccer buddy turned bike-whiz Ian Sacs.

“Living in Hoboken for over 25 years, I’ve totally been able to hold my own. We all have. But one item I’d like to bring to your attention is those bike lanes you’ve been promoting the hell out of the past year.

I’m not a full-time bike rider, but I do occasionally take some trips along the waterfront or to a store downtown for a quick errand. I’ve never had an incident where I felt I was in danger from moving vehicles or open car doors. Things were just fine. I rode my bike in a way I felt was proper.

I noticed that some side streets had bike symbols and arrows painted on them in the past few months. And after reading some of the press releases from city hall, and how “safe” these markings were supposed to make our streets, I decided to give the city the benefit of the doubt.

Riding home from the Hoboken Farm Boy the other day, I took a left onto 13th Street, following the bike lane as I was supposed to do. Next thing I know, a car door opens 10 feet in front of me. I quickly swerved out of the way to avoid the door, but flipped the bike in the process, scraping my shoulder and spilling my vegetables and vitamins. The driver apologized and was kind enough to help me get back on my feet. I wasn’t injured badly, and just wanted to get home to collect my senses.

But I noticed that the bike path markings were practically gone from the street. What kind of paint did the city waste taxpayer dollars on? Watercolor?

Please don’t waste any more time and effort with these ridiculous bike markings that are designed to socially condition residents. All the neighbors I’ve spoken with also think they’re useless. And why on such narrow streets? The only way I see any kind of designated bike lane working is if parking was completely removed from one side. And that ain’t happening anytime soon.

So please get back to work and try focusing on more important needs in Hoboken. Like lowering our taxes and maintaining adequate police and fire departments. You’re going about it all wrong.”

See previous bike lane story after the jump…

10/19/2009:

hoboken-bike-lane-8th-street

Does it do any good?

There’s been quite a bit of debate about Hoboken’s Bike Lanes that have been painted on various streets around town – some folks like promoting a “greener” city with less car use, while others feel it’s a complete waste and poorly executed in town.

Lately, I’ve received several emails about the latest additions to the bike paths in Hoboken, painted on various narrow cross streets (such as 8th – as pictured above) with comments such as:

  • “These markings are useless!”
  • “No one will pay attention to them.”
  • “People will still bike on any street they want to, it’s just a waste of paint.”
  • “Just political.”

What do you think of the newest bike lane markings on the cross streets?

Leave a Reply

56 Comments on "Bike Lanes: Waste of Paint?"

HHoney
Member
HHoney

After all this time, I don’t understand why the City of Hoboken is still struggling with something so very simple. Cities like New York, Portland and Minneapolis (to name just a few) have tackled and solved pretty much every urban bike challenge.

For example, with the car door incident, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland put the bike lanes between the curb and the parked cars – this way it is still on the legal/right side of the street, minimizes door issues (these never really go away) and gets bikes off the sidewalks. The side advantage is that it reduces and in some ares eliminates double parking because there just isn’t room.

The solutions are already out there, free and so simple. Why is the implementation of them so difficult?

matt_72
Member

The cheap solution is some paint on the street like we have now. The cheaper solution is to do nothing and let the bike riders just ride on the street like they have been doing for years. Your solution sounds a little expensive, especially if some sort of barrier has to be put b/w the parked car & the bike lanes.

Plus all the pizza joints & dry cleaners will be furious b/c your solution makes it impossible for their customers to double park when making a pickup (hmmmmmmm, maybe I kinda like your idea if it gets rid of that annoyance).[quote comment=”196095″]After all this time, I don’t understand why the City of Hoboken is still struggling with something so very simple. Cities like New York, Portland and Minneapolis (to name just a few) have tackled and solved pretty much every urban bike challenge. For example, with the car door incident, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland put the bike lanes between the curb and the parked cars – this way it is still on the legal/right side of the street, minimizes door issues (these never really go away) and gets bikes off the sidewalks. The side advantage is that it reduces and in some ares eliminates double parking because there just isn’t room. The solutions are already out there, free and so simple. Why is the implementation of them so difficult?[/quote]

Journey
Member
Journey

Even if the city offered classes in how to ride a bike correctly, there is no legal way for them to force anyone to take the class.

So maybe you should contact your state legislator and ask them to enact a bicycle riding licenses. Then start working on a walking licenses.

Sadly you can’t force people to do what is in their own best interest.

I learned a long time ago how physics of a head to head collision between a bike and car differ from being rear-ended by a car. I’ll go with the math that is more in my favor.

getz76
Member
getz76

You cannot have bike lanes and double parked cars. It doesn’t work.

Tow the double parked cars, and ticket people even if they are in their cars and double parked. Otherwise, yes, it is a waste of paint.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

Agreed.[quote comment=”195954″]You cannot have bike lanes and double parked cars. It doesn’t work.Tow the double parked cars, and ticket people even if they are in their cars and double parked. Otherwise, yes, it is a waste of paint.[/quote]

paramecium
Member
paramecium

The bike lanes are there to remind people that bikers have just as much of a right to be on the road as cars. that is all.

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover

Bikers have responsibilites first and foremost. That is the problem w these markings.[quote comment=”177073″]The bike lanes are there to remind people that bikers have just as much of a right to be on the road as cars. that is all.[/quote]

YipYap
Member

Matt_72 – “1 parking space is 1 parking space too many in my book.” and “150 fewer spaces in town”

Don’t let anyone ever accuse you of being too flexible Matt.

If we could get 150 residents to commit to trading in their cars for bicycles then would you agree?

matt_72
Member

A. It is more than 150 parking spots (I bet it is almost 150 if you count just the spots north of 8th st)

B. And all those metered spots are short term parking for the local businesses

C. I’d agree if you can get 150 or so residents who actually park on Washington St nightly to give up their cars AND every business on Washington St. who would be impacted agrees to give up a large percent of the short term parking their customers depend on.

D. Neither condition will ever happen in my lifetime, just like you won’t pop open Google maps and see for yourself that it is a heck of a lot more than 150 cars that would be removed to accomodate a few bikers that don’t know how to ride a bike on the right hand side of the road in a lane that is almost wide enough to accomodate a car passing a double parked car.

In response to YipYap who said:
Matt_72 – “1 parking space is 1 parking space too many in my book.” and “150 fewer spaces in town”

Don’t let anyone ever accuse you of being too flexible Matt.

If we could get 150 residents to commit to trading in their cars for bicycles then would you agree?

justaview
Member
justaview

if you can’t ride a bike in hoboken without a bike lane you shouldn’t be riding a bike at all.

In response to YipYap who said:
Matt_72 – “1 parking space is 1 parking space too many in my book.” and “150 fewer spaces in town”

Don’t let anyone ever accuse you of being too flexible Matt.

If we could get 150 residents to commit to trading in their cars for bicycles then would you agree?

plywood
Member
plywood

Which is one of the reasons people don’t (especially children). Who is a bike lane hurting?

In response to justaview who said:
if you can’t ride a bike in hoboken without a bike lane you shouldn’t be riding a bike at all.

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover

Bike lanes hurt in giving inexperienced cyclist a false sense of security. It is preposterous to promote cycling when numerous cyclist do not know that they have the same responsibilities of a vehicle…ie, ride the correct direction, not on the sidewalks, follow signals. I hold Zimmer accountable for accidents and injuries in that she recklessly promotes biking without having any biking ordinaces in place nor enforcing the state law.

Shame on her. It will only blow up in her face when there is a death /serious injury. In the interim everyone should be exercise extreme care for the numerous cyclist traveling opposite traffic. God forbid you should hit one and have to live with the injury/death of a cyclist on your conscience due to this vapid administration.
[quote comment=”176361″]Which is one of the reasons people don’t (especially children). Who is a bike lane hurting?In response to justaview who said:[/quote]

Easy-E
Member

Personal responsibility, have you heard of it?

The problem in Hoboken isn’t bike riders, or the lanes, it’s the assholes in the cars who don’t give a damn.[quote comment=”196022″]Bike lanes hurt in giving inexperienced cyclist a false sense of security. It is preposterous to promote cycling when numerous cyclist do not know that they have the same responsibilities of a vehicle…ie, ride the correct direction, not on the sidewalks, follow signals. I hold Zimmer accountable for accidents and injuries in that she recklessly promotes biking without having any biking ordinaces in place nor enforcing the state law. Shame on her. It will only blow up in her face when there is a death /serious injury. In the interim everyone should be exercise extreme care for the numerous cyclist traveling opposite traffic. God forbid you should hit one and have to live with the injury/death of a cyclist on your conscience due to this vapid administration.

[/quote]

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover

Easy-E, you are easy in the head. Just go down any street and it won’t be long before you see a cyclist riding against traffic. This is illegal and unenforced. Bicycles have the same “personal” responsibility as vehicles. I will repeat again, anyone who promotes cycling as in Hoboken without educating or enforcing is culpable for the accidents that occur. It would be as if the town closed the eyes if all the traffic signals stopped operating or allowing cars to drive how ever they like.[quote comment=”196028″]Personal responsibility, have you heard of it?The problem in Hoboken isn’t bike riders, or the lanes, it’s the assholes in the cars who don’t give a damn.[/quote]

Easy-E
Member

I ride my bike several times per week, I rarely see someone riding against traffic. Most riders follow the rules of the road, and this is a question of enforcing the law, which is what we have a police force for.

Is the mayor responsible when some random driver disobeys the law and hits a pedestrian? Do the police come to City Hall and give her a ticket?

Unless a person on a bike or on foot suddenly darts into traffic, the driver of a car is responsible if they hit them. End of story. Sorry your little fantasy world doesn’t mesh with reality.

I think it’s funny that you contradict yourself from one post to another. It’s the Mayor’s fault! No, it’s the biker’s responsibility first and foremost!

What a character.[quote comment=”196034″]Easy-E, you are easy in the head. Just go down any street and it won’t be long before you see a cyclist riding against traffic. This is illegal and unenforced. Bicycles have the same “personal” responsibility as vehicles. I will repeat again, anyone who promotes cycling as in Hoboken without educating or enforcing is culpable for the accidents that occur. It would be as if the town closed the eyes if all the traffic signals stopped operating or allowing cars to drive how ever they like.

[/quote]

getz76
Member
getz76

You are out of your head. You can’t go two blocks in this town without someone on a bike riding the wrong way down a one-way street.[quote comment=”196037″]I ride my bike several times per week, I rarely see someone riding against traffic. Most riders follow the rules of the road, and this is a question of enforcing the law, which is what we have a police force for.Is the mayor responsible when some random driver disobeys the law and hits a pedestrian? Do the police come to City Hall and give her a ticket?Unless a person on a bike or on foot suddenly darts into traffic, the driver of a car is responsible if they hit them. End of story. Sorry your little fantasy world doesn’t mesh with reality.I think it’s funny that you contradict yourself from one post to another. It’s the Mayor’s fault! No, it’s the biker’s responsibility first and foremost!What a character.

[/quote]

Easy-E
Member

Only an idiot makes the choice to ride unsafely in a town where drivers act the way they do in Hoboken.[quote comment=”196057″]You are out of your head. You can’t go two blocks in this town without someone on a bike riding the wrong way down a one-way street.

[/quote]

youme66
Member
youme66

Then we have a lot of idiot cyclists in town.[quote comment=”196064″]Only an idiot makes the choice to ride unsafely in a town where drivers act the way they do in Hoboken.

[/quote]

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover

Case closed. Easy has some kind of attachment to this to be so dense.[quote comment=”196072″]Then we have a lot of idiot cyclists in town.

[/quote]

Easy-E
Member
Computers are great, now they’re so easy to use, anyone can get online. Even crazy people. Feel free to ignore the facts nutty, it’s amusing that you’re so tied to the idea that the Mayor just isn’t using her Nazi-mind-control ray to make riders obey the law instead of it being an law enforcement issue. Cops writing tickets. http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/regulations.shtm 39:4-14.2, 39:4-10.11 Operating Regulations. Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near to the right roadside as practicable exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. A bicyclist may move left under any of the following conditions: 1) To make a left turn from a left turn lane or pocket; 2) To avoid debris, drains, or other hazardous conditions on the right; 3) To pass a slower moving vehicle; 4) To occupy any available lane when traveling at the same speed as other traffic; 5) To travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded, but otherwise ride in single file. Every person riding a bicycle shall ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic. In New Jersey, the law states a bicyclist must obey all state and local automobile driving laws. A parent may be held responsible for the child’s violation of any traffic law. ——————————— You’re right, maybe we need an extra serious law to make people obey: 39:4-14.2a Operating Regulations Animal_Lover amendment: WE REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME! WE’RE LOOKING AT *YOU* HOBOKEN BIKE RIDERS![quote… Read more »
animal_lover
Member
animal_lover
Dearest Easy, and this may not by easy but you need to consider why there might be enactment of local ordinances that address federal or state laws that are already on the books. Hint, it has to do with enforcement and local application. For example consider local ordinances of Megan’s law, pay-to-play and even anti-tethering laws.[quote comment=”196097″]Computers are great, now they’re so easy to use, anyone can get online. Even crazy people.Feel free to ignore the facts nutty, it’s amusing that you’re so tied to the idea that the Mayor just isn’t using her Nazi-mind-control ray to make riders obey the law instead of it being an law enforcement issue. Cops writing tickets.39:4-14.2, 39:4-10.11 Operating Regulations.Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near to the right roadside as practicable exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. A bicyclist may move left under any of the following conditions: 1) To make a left turn from a left turn lane or pocket; 2) To avoid debris, drains, or other hazardous conditions on the right; 3) To pass a slower moving vehicle; 4) To occupy any available lane when traveling at the same speed as other traffic; 5) To travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded, but otherwise ride in single file. Every person riding a bicycle shall ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic.In New Jersey, the law states a bicyclist must obey all state… Read more »
matt_72
Member

The cops don’t enforce a ton of things in town.[quote comment=”196034″]Easy-E, you are easy in the head. Just go down any street and it won’t be long before you see a cyclist riding against traffic. This is illegal and unenforced. Bicycles have the same “personal” responsibility as vehicles. I will repeat again, anyone who promotes cycling as in Hoboken without educating or enforcing is culpable for the accidents that occur. It would be as if the town closed the eyes if all the traffic signals stopped operating or allowing cars to drive how ever they like.

[/quote]

justaview
Member
justaview

Not me, but if you need a designated area maybe you should be walking! No?

In response to plywood who said:
Which is one of the reasons people don’t (especially children). Who is a bike lane hurting?

plywood
Member
plywood

I can hold my own in traffic, and have for many years. I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about the future and the trends in transportation. Riding a bike is just more dangerous than it needs to be and more a daily routine than many non-bicycle riders realize. My dad never owned a bike. I ride one every day. I think there should be bike lanes for reasons stated earlier. We will probably never see eye to eye on this so why don’t just let it go.

In response to justaview who said:
Not me, but if you need a designated area maybe you should be walking! No?

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