Biker havoc in Hoboken

Letter: Dangerous Hoboken bike-riders on sidewalks

Hoboken411 reader Allison witnessed a nutty incident this week downtown, and shares her observations about what took place.

Bike riders should alert pedestrians

“The issue of bike riders vs cars/pedestrians comes up often on Hoboken411, so I wanted to write in and tell you something I saw while walking to work this morning. I was on the sidewalk on Newark between Park and Garden heading towards the PATH (south side of the street). This particular sidewalk area is fairly narrow to begin with and there was a woman walking ahead of me about 100 yards.

A man on his bike came from behind me on the sidewalk going full speed and went to pass the woman up ahead.

He did not have a bell or anything to warn pedestrians of his approach – thankfully the woman didn’t suddenly move to the side otherwise he would have smashed into her.

Instead, he passed her going full speed while hitting a parked car on the street as he sped by. This car was actually a small pickup truck (dark blue) and when I walked past I noticed that there was a piece of plastic that was missing from the sideview mirror due to the bicycle impact.

I have no problem with bicycle riders whatsoever – I understand the environmental as well as health benefits. However, I’d like bicycle riders to let us know if they are pedestrians and thus will be riding on sidewalks, or if they are motorists and will be riding on streets. If I knew that bicycle riders across town share sidewalks with pedestrians I’d make sure that I’m alert and watching out for them at all times.

However, I see the “bike lanes” on Hoboken streets when I’m driving, so naturally assume that is where I need to watch for them.”

9 Responses

  1. paco says:

    If you want to ride like you’re on some rocky mountain train all by yourself purhaps busy city streets and side walks is not the place for you. Nearly wiped out another chineese delivery bike riding clown because he just blew through an intercection over by Church Towers. What a waste of pan fried dumplings that would have been.

  2. bokenbiker says:

    What a jerk. This kind of behavior is why people like me (who ride in the road and treat a bike like the vehicle that it is) get so much grief from drivers around here. IMHO bikes should never be on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come close to being hit by these idiots while walking around town.

    Here’s the local regs as they stand:

    J. Riding on sidewalks.

    (1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk at a speed greater than the walking speed of pedestrians.
    (2) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
    (3) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall keep as close to the curb as is practicable to allow pedestrians to walk along sidewalks without impedance.

    Now that we’ve got lanes :roll: and sharrows, we really need to do like many other towns across the country and ban all people over a certain age (say, 14?) from riding on the sidewalks at all.

    • HomeTeam says:

      Funny, our bike loving mayor can’t even abide by those rules!!![quote comment=”216848″]What a jerk. This kind of behavior is why people like me (who ride in the road and treat a bike like the vehicle that it is) get so much grief from drivers around here. IMHO bikes should never be on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come close to being hit by these idiots while walking around town.Here’s the local regs as they stand:J. Riding on sidewalks. (1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk at a speed greater than the walking speed of pedestrians. (2) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian. (3) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall keep as close to the curb as is practicable to allow pedestrians to walk along sidewalks without impedance.Now that we’ve got lanes and sharrows, we really need to do like many other towns across the country and ban all people over a certain age (say, 14?) from riding on the sidewalks at all.[/quote]

    • cyclewag says:

      Thank you bokenbiker for sharing the rules of engagement per riding a bike on sidewalks. Gang, Bike Hoboken has worked with the city administration to bring Hoboken all the new bike related infrastructure including lanes, sharrows like on River Street (shared roadways), bike racks, the repair station at the PATH (new replacement tools coming) and bike education programs.

      We should use the bike lanes and respect or pedestrian neighbors. If you must ride the sidewalks then please be smart and cautious and ride slowly, ride to the outside of the sidewalk (curb side), use your bike bell (I know most peds where head phones and ignore us), nicely say excuse me and passing on the left (I know, they don’t now their left from right) but we can try as we are pedestrians too and would expect the same courteousness. Thanks.[quote comment=”216848″]What a jerk. This kind of behavior is why people like me (who ride in the road and treat a bike like the vehicle that it is) get so much grief from drivers around here. IMHO bikes should never be on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come close to being hit by these idiots while walking around town.Here’s the local regs as they stand:J. Riding on sidewalks. (1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk at a speed greater than the walking speed of pedestrians. (2) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian. (3) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall keep as close to the curb as is practicable to allow pedestrians to walk along sidewalks without impedance.Now that we’ve got lanes and sharrows, we really need to do like many other towns across the country and ban all people over a certain age (say, 14?) from riding on the sidewalks at all.[/quote]

  3. homeworld says:

    While we’re at it, why don’t we stop letting giant commercial vehicles from getting residential parking permits? They make walking/biking/driving through intersections and backing out of driveways very dangerous. RED Development and RJD each have an entire fleet of dump trucks and other large vehicles that somehow get to park as if they are residential cars.

    I inquired about it with Ian Sacs, and he was perfectly content for them to do it and does not see any problem with it. Meanwhile all of our neighboring cities have laws regulating commercial vehicles parking on public streets, but here in Hoboken we issue them residential passes.

    • YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

      There are pros and cons to that practice–it facilitates residential construction projects, provides an advantage to local companies and makes life easier for the customer, but at the expense of the neighbors. The practice would probably not pass the ‘public nuisance’ test if the vehicles aren’t moved for several days/weeks (or if they are being used as dumpsters). Issuing residential permits was probably the easiest way for HPU to ‘solve’ a problem without modifying the city code, but it’s probably illegal if the vehicles exceed the 2.5 ton GVW limit specified under 141A-2.[quote comment=”216852″]While we’re at it, why don’t we stop letting giant commercial vehicles from getting residential parking permits? They make walking/biking/driving through intersections and backing out of driveways very dangerous. RED Development and RJD each have an entire fleet of dump trucks and other large vehicles that somehow get to park as if they are residential cars.I inquired about it with Ian Sacs, and he was perfectly content for them to do it and does not see any problem with it. Meanwhile all of our neighboring cities have laws regulating commercial vehicles parking on public streets, but here in Hoboken we issue them residential passes.[/quote]

      • homeworld says:

        Looks like a nuisance, if you ask me.

        I’ve seen plenty of them stay in the same spot for days at a time. Sometimes even filled with construction debris.

        [quote comment=”216853″]There are pros and cons to that practice–it facilitates residential construction projects, provides an advantage to local companies and makes life easier for the customer, but at the expense of the neighbors. The practice would probably not pass the ‘public nuisance’ test if the vehicles aren’t moved for several days/weeks (or if they are being used as dumpsters). Issuing residential permits was probably the easiest way for HPU to ‘solve’ a problem without modifying the city code, but it’s probably illegal if the vehicles exceed the 2.5 ton GVW limit specified under 141A-2.[/quote]

  4. cyclewag says:

    Gang it only takes a few jerks to make it really bad for the rest of us bicycle riders. Please be careful when riding around town, follow the rules of the road, it could save your life and that of a pedestrian. Use the new bike lanes as that is what Bike Hoboken worked with the city administration so hard to bring to our city. Last year Bike Hoboken worked hard to obtain a unanimous city council vote that resulted in 10 miles of new bike lanes. You’d be hard pressed to not find a bike lane in our town now.

    2 years ago 87% of survey takers to a Bike Hoboken survey said they’d come off the sidewalks and use new bike lanes. Well they are here and more are coming each month. 11th street was just painted. Use the bike lanes please and stop at stop signs and red lights. I just makes good sense.

    If you must use the sidewalk then please take heed to the local laws: Riding on sidewalks.

    (1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk at a speed greater than the walking speed of pedestrians.
    (2) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
    (3) Persons riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall keep as close to the curb as is practicable to allow pedestrians to walk along sidewalks without impedance.

    Be smart, ride safe and follow the rules as we all need to coexist.
    Be warned that HPD will start enforcing road rules and issue tickets. That sort of feedback I don’t want to see happen to us.

  5. animal_lover says:

    I watched a cyclist jump a crowed sidewalk on my street last week. The sidewalks are narrow and around 5:30PM people were walking mostly two abreast. I watched the biker, wondering at what point he would get off his cycle. He never did. He tightly slalomed between several groups of people and then pulled in at his front gate. The whole time I watched from the curb which I had stepped off trying to avoid the cyclist. Unbelievable!! He could not get off his bike on a crowed sidewalk to walk the one half block to his home. I could go on and on with outrageous city cyclist stories.

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