I wasn’t planning on dwelling on the Main Street bike lane issue, but as chance would have it I was checking out a Google map just now looking for a building that BRO writer Mike Puma had identified, when all of a sudden some wording jumped out at me. Right there on Main Street I saw hiding in plain sight “NYS Bicycle Route 517”. As I sat there staring at the absurd text, I decided to do a Google search for “NYS Bicycle Route 517”. Interestingly enough I came across a blog called www.nysbicycleroute517.blogspot.com. Apparently a blogger by the name of Harry had decided that it was due time to write about his death-defying attempts while trying to cycle down Main Street – a NYS designated bike route. While I won’t go into detail, as you can read about it at your leisure, I was particularly saddened (and maddened) to see on the Google map, and posted along Main Street on little green designated route signs, that Main Street is a designated NYS bike route. How is that possible?
That’s why the lack of a Complete Street along Main Street is completely laughable and scary (even if it was designed before the Complete Streets initiative took effect). When The City was coming up with the plan for the medians, did they know that Main Street was a NYS designated bike route? Obviously they were aware that biking on sidewalks in NYS is illegal, so where did they expect cyclists to go? Make sure that you take a close look at the images on www.nysbicycleroute517.blogspot.com in order to see that it is virtually impossible to bike sections of Main Street. At the same time, the sections that might be considered bike-able are extremely dangerous. Now presumably knowing that this was a designated NYS bike route, and blatantly disregarding the distinction would be all of the ammunition that an injured cyclist would need to sue The City for any damages incurred to both bike and body.
Not to mention the recent repaving of another section of Main Street where there are up to six car lanes and no bike lanes – along a college campus… on a NYS designated bike route. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t there be oversight by NYS if this is actually designated a NYS bike Route? Where is the communication? Where is the oversight?
Here’s a BRO commenter by the name of Shaun who concurs (from yesterday’s post on The City’s response to lack of bike lanes on Main Street)
Considering that Main Street is part of “New York State Bicycle Route 517,” I feel that it is absolutely pathetic that the city can’t even put shared bicycle lane markers in the right lane. Maybe it would help cut down on the amount of drivers that honk at me daily because I’m on the shoulder of the right lane instead of the sidewalk.
I tried to bike on the sidewalk last week. I came inches from getting run over by someone making a right turn. It’s only a matter of time before my bike and I will need an emergency ride up the rest of Main to Sisters.
The City should be doing everything in its ability to make sure that the safety of its citizens is a priority.