Bikes still a primary concern for Stuy Town-Peter Cooper residents

Executive Officer Ernesto Castro of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper residents expressed concerns about cyclists around the property, especially the bike lane on East 20th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C, at the Tenants Association’s annual meeting last Thursday.

Resident Susan Mason said that a mom in the neighborhood said her stroller was hit while her child was in it. Mason did not specify if this was at the intersection of East 20th Street and First Avenue but said that the corner seems to be a problem.

“Since you’re trying to educate the bicyclists, it would be helpful if you could send officers to 20th and First because cyclists are constantly going through lights there,” she said.

The 13th Precinct’s executive officer, Ernesto Castro, noted at the meeting that there has been one collision reported at East 20th and First so far this year, and the NYPD usually focuses traffic enforcement on areas with more crashes, including East 23rd Street and Second Avenue, as well as at Sixth Avenue.

TA president Susan Steinberg also noted that the two-way bike lane recently installed on East 20th Street has made some residents feel less safe and one resident at the meeting said that while he has never been hit, he has had close calls on the street.

Graduate student Sophie Maerowitz, however, told T&V at the meeting that she uses the bike lane all the time to get from her apartment on East 14th Street between Avenues B and C to Baruch College and the protected lane is the safest way for her to get across Manhattan and get from her job on the Lower East Side to class.

“Since they’ve installed the two-way bike lanes, visibility has increased immensely and I see a lot of cyclists using that lane,” she said, citing a recent study from researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico that found that protected bike lanes reduced traffic fatalities by 44 percent. “To try and rip out this incredibly safe, proven traffic treatment because some residents are nervous about being close to cyclists is not reflecting the data that we’re finding nationally.”

The Tenants Association also voted at the meeting to re-elect Alvin Doyle and Susan Steinberg as directors for another four-year term. Doyle served as president of the TA for 23 years and Steinberg, the TA’s current president, has been a member of the board since 1996.

Peter Cooper Village resident Anne Greenberg, the TA’s vice president, also updated residents at the meeting on the state legislature’s efforts to pass pro-tenant rent bills by June 15, as well as the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board vote on June 25.

21 thoughts on “Bikes still a primary concern for Stuy Town-Peter Cooper residents

  1. The data does not support the concerns that are being shared about bicycles & the constant use of fearmongering anecdotes is a tired act. Bicycle use in our neighborhoods is going up and up every year & anything that increases safety is going to increase bicycle use, so it’s about time “concerned” tenants start offering suggestions about how to better circulate cyclists away from pedestrians and vice-versa, rather than framing everything around the terribly unlikely solution of taking cyclists off the roads through lane removals & legal harassment.

    • How about cyclists just follow the rules of the road? Simple solution. if not then police should ticket first and arrest scofflaws next. The issue is that NY’s fattest won’t get off their lard asses and do anything about it. They (NY’s fattest) can’t even park more than a block from the precinct (regardless of the dangers they cause) because they can’t make a walk of longer than a block. Pathetic!

      • Here we go again with the “you people all break the law” nonsense. I wonder how what you said has anything to do with the calls to rip out the 20th Street Lane and not-replace-it. Go back to hanging out with your miserable buddy over at Stuyvesant Town Report.

        • Stop constantly breaking the law. You consistently complain that people call out cyclists for constantly breaking the law but you never deny you or others do it, because you know saying so would make you an unbelievable liar. You just think it is OK that you do it, because some stupid statistic (probably bullshit to begin with) doesn’t prove a point one way or the other.

          Never cross 20th street so I have no opinion.

          No idea about the rest of your nonsense.

        • Part of the problem here is that, in order to certify/justify my own transportation, I have to swear to you that I have never broken a traffic regulation. I certainly try not to – I stop at red lights, I don’t go on the sidewalk, I’m very observant of which-way-to-ride-on-one-direction-streets. That said, I am probably more of a habitual lawbreaker when I drive a car because I go 60 in a 55 while driving & sometimes don’t come to a 3-second full stop at every stop sign? And yet I would not ask the state to go after all the other drivers who do that. I don’t think it makes a difference. I don’t think it helps society to make sure every driver is perfect, though it does help society to make sure each driver is not doing anything egregious. If I see someone arguing for ticky-tack enforcement, I’ll call it out. It’s hostile and it shows a complete lack of priorities.

          The other problem is that I have to deny to you that OTHERS do it too. Why do I have to be responsible for anyone else who breaks the law? I don’t think it’s OK, but I guess I don’t go to other people’s apartments and wrestle them to the ground until they swear on the threat of death that they’ll never break a law on a bicycle again. Only THEN can I argue that cyclists shouldn’t be targeted for harassment, only fairly targeted for unsafe riding?

          These rhetorical requirements are stupid and demonstrate clearly how some people think people on bicycles have something to prove before they are given the rights and courtesies of other Americans.

        • Part of the problem is that you’re not very convincing when you state that you don’t break the law, just that you try not to. I’m sure prisons have plenty of people in them that tried not to break the law, but whether they tried or not is irrelevant as it is in this case. You can’t deny that others do it because you would be lying. Just go to first avenue and stand on any corner and count the endless number of cyclists who DO break the law. I remember someone challenging you to do just that. I’m betting you never took the person up on that offer. Given that the vast majority of cyclists (taken from watching cyclists behavior at red lights) violate the law with impunity and regularity, cyclists do have something to prove as empirical evidence shows that their arguments, like yours, are baseless.

    • According to the crashmapper site, there was only one, repeat one, incident involving bicycles on that stretch of E20th between 2012 and this year.

      Now, since the installation of this ‘safety improvement’, we’ve matched that in just a few months. This does NOT increase anyone’s safety, and there was no reason for it in the first place, given the rarity of incidents previous to this being shoved down the community’s throat (with no prior notice, as required by law).

  2. “The Tenants Association also voted at the meeting to re-elect Alvin Doyle and Susan Steinberg as directors for another four-year term. Doyle served as president of the TA for 23 years and Steinberg, the TA’s current president, has been a member of the board since 1996.”

    Disgraceful. No one has done more damage to PCVST than these two!

  3. Walking around the property is very hazardous because of all the bikes. Add to that the scooters and you have more than a good chance of being ran into and seriously hurt. I think bicycles and scooters should be banned from the property. It used to be against the rules to ride a bike on the property and it was a much safer and pleasanter place to walk around then.

    • 1) Are there any stats to back this up? Are hazards being realized from the bicycles and are the injuries being counted? Or is this just an assessment because it feels dangerous to be close to bicycles on pathways, the way it would feel dangerous to be walking in a roadway with cars?

      2) Considering most of the bicycle traffic is delivery-oriented and indirectly summoned by PCVST residents, isn’t there a solution (such as widening the paths or making dedicated bicycle lanes) that would keep residents safe while letting the residents receive the services that they want?

      I mean, I assure you that nobody is riding to Stuy Town from outside just to get a workout. You can ban bikes but what you are really going to be banning are your neighbors’ food deliveries. And if your neighbors are ordering from restaurants that hit baby carriages with their bikes, there’s a lot of negligence to address with that. Maybe all the neighbors should be made aware when a courier pulls a stunt or injures a bystander in the complex. I’m not even in the complex and I would stop ordering from a restaurant who sent out couriers with a bad safety history.

      • There were no stats to justify creating a segregated bike lane on E20th. One injury in 8 years?

        So much for your “data driven” DOT (or is it DoTA?) agenda…

  4. Brian Van if all you cyclist are such safe riders, then you do not need any bike lanes at all. Get rid of all bike lanes and bring back parking spaces.
    Additionally bikes are to follow motor vehicles laws, so there fore YOU cyclist should register your bikes with license plates like car. This would generate more money for the city, by charging you $50 for the bike plates. And as with any vehicle, you would need to have the bike insured as well.

    • You are so right, Tom. These reckless jerks injure, maim and even kill people and there is no recourse for the victim. They gave replaced the mugger as the City’s biggest menace.

  5. Thank you Sophie Maerowitz for attending the meeting and speaking up for the common sense safety improvements on 20th Street. I too use the bike lane and it’s been a major improvement over the unprotected lanes on that street before. It serves as an important artery for travel between Stuyvesant Cove and the 1st Avenue bike lane. It permits kids to rise, or scoot or whatever, in a way they couldn’t on unprotected streets. It also keeps riders from cutting through ST/PCV, so really residents ought to welcome it.
    If you care to open your eyes and look, everyone in NYC is breaking the rules, including bikers, drivers and pedestrians. It’ll be impossible to impose complete order on local streets, but everyone ought to try harder to obey rules, especially when safety is at stake. A little consideration goes a long way.

  6. LOL. Again, it’s Brian with the same “evidence.” I’m the one who challenged Brian to sit with me at Gracefully and count how many bikes break the law by running a red light. Brian did not accept the challenge (at least twice given), but still argues about the “evidence.” Again, Brian, I challenge you to sit with me. I will even pay for your coffee. Of course, I will almost immediately get my money back based on my bet. And start making more money. Do you accept this challenge???

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  8. I don’t know whether the 2-way is any safer then the two 1-ways were, but I do ride through there all the time and I can testify that you’d have to be crazy to bike through there against the light. Avenue C there is just one step below a highway; it’s basically the service road for the FDR. Cars, buses, trucks all go through there. It is a major turning lane because it is only a 3-way intersection, not counting the parking lot, which contributes to traffic a little too. But when the light favors Avenue C traffic, it is fast, mixed, multi-lane, and wide due to an island that ends at 20th but which has widened the road already at that point.
    This is also a major bus turn, with buses lined up from the 23rd Street route to begin on 20th again.
    I always wait for the light there, to get onto the new (or previously, old) bike lanes.
    However, what I used to see, though not since the new buffered lanes went in, was double-parked cars in the lanes, pedestrians using the lanes as “leaders” to crossing 20th Street, and trucks unloading. This is thankfully over now that it’s physically difficult for 4-wheeled vehicles to get in there.
    Sounds like a solution to me.

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