Eagle: Hey Kid No Bikes on the Promenade

The Brooklyn Eagle has published a photo by its  nonagenarian photographer, Don Evans of a youngster riding his bike on the Promenade.  This following copy accompanied the picture:

CUTE BUT PROHIBITED: A youngster wheels along the Heights Promenade, which is officially reserved for strolling.

Ouch.  See the photo here.

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  • CJP

    Could have been my kid. And I’ve always had mixed feelings about allowing him to ride along the promenade. On the one hand a great, car-free place to ride.

    On the other hand pedestrians and tourists go there to admire the view because it’s a great, car-free place.

    I’ve tried to let him ride only in non-peak hours and stress that people have the right of way. But when you’re five and feel the need for speed…

    I agree that grownups and teens shouldn’t be riding their bikes along the promenade. But a little kid on a bike, is there room for some accomodation here?

  • DrewB

    The problem is small children often have very little control over their bikes as they are just learning to ride. I have more than once had to jump out of the way of a toddler-powered bike careening in my direction on the Promenade. And I have seen others get hit, including an elderly woman that was knocked to the ground. The rules are pretty clear, no bikes on the promenade.

    Same is true of the sidewalks by the way. City Ordinance prohibits bikes on the sidewalks on NYC. I can’t count how many times I’ve nearly been hit by child on bike as their mother screamed “Be careful” from a block back.

    I understand that safe bike-riding opportunities are limited in NYC, but that is one of the trade-offs you make when you choose to live here. Just like the noise, pollution, crime and all the other things many people complain about. Those of us that reside here have (presumably) decided that there are other features of the city that outweigh the downside.

  • Love the Heights

    Go to Cadman – best place to ride bikes. I have had mixed feelings as well, but it is important to teach our kids to follow the rules just like everyone else.

  • Anonymous

    Etymology: French, from promener to take for a walk

    1: a place for strolling
    2: a leisurely walk or ride especially in a public place for pleasure or display
    3 a: a ceremonious opening of a formal ball consisting of a grand march of all the guests b: a figure in a square dance in which couples move counterclockwise in a circle

    So you can square dance there, but no bikes, sorry.

  • jay

    why are there no clear signs explaining on the bike prohibition at either the remsen street or montague street entrances? i thought there used to be, but i don’t see them any more.

  • Josh

    Not sure about the promenade but per DrewB and other comments just for the record KIDS ARE ALLOWED TO RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK

    See NYC traffic Rules and Regulations Section 4-07, c3 (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/trafrule.pdf) it states

    “No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk area unless permitted by sign. This prohibition shall not apply to the operation of bicycles with wheels of less than 26 inches in diameter upon the sidewalk by children of 12 years or less in age.”

  • DrewB

    I stand corrected on the sidewalk issue, thanks for the info.

    Still, some parents need to be a bit more diligent about how their tykes are careening around on the sidewalks. Regardless of their age it can be dangerous to those walking, particularly the numerous elderly neighbors living in the nabe.

  • The Where

    We’d be all better off if children were taken away to military school at 5 years of age and returned to their soft Kings County parents at age 21.

  • Bart

    Personally I don’t care if anyone rides or rollerblades on the sidewalk or the promenade because I’m a large and powerful male who is in prime physical condition. If they run into me they’re slamming into 220 pounds of pure muscle.

    However, if I were frail, old, or injured, or recovering from an operation, I think I would be more concerned. There are very few places in New York where one can walk in peace and safely. When you’re walking on the promenade, you want to relax, not react to near misses by bicycles.

    One time I was walking my elderly aunt along the promenade during a lovely Sunday afternoon and she was clipped by a little kid on a bike. But it was at that moment that I began to notice how dangerous bike riding can be and how disturbing it is for the elderly.

  • ABC

    never done it, never knew it was against the rules. complaining about it does strike me as a “get off my lawn” crabby old man thing to do tho.

  • DAB

    The sidewalks are often cracked and no very goodplaces to ride. If kids can ride on sidewalks, they can and should be able to ride on the promenade. Adults in silly Giro d’Italia spandex, however . . .

  • promenade

    ABC, in total agreement!

  • Love the Heights

    There are signs on the promenade that say bike riding and music is prohibited. Isn’t it easier if we all follow the rules that are posted? Personally, I wouldn’t mind letting my kids ride there, but I would be very unhappy if someone were playing loud music. How can we make exceptions to one rule and not another?

  • No One Of Consequence

    I think you go to work for TT and dole out cash.

  • ABC

    Well, there are the rules and there are the rules. I think most thinking people might have a problem with adults whizzing down the lane on a bike and not, say, a 2-year-old on a Kettler (trike with pushbart). So it’s more about what makes common sense, not what a sign says. Like you can listen to music — an ipod — but not a boombox. See? I just used my brain! Easy!

  • Curmudgeon

    Sure, break any rules you want – it’s for the children. That means there is ALWAYS an exception. What if I broke the rule about entering a children’s only park without a child? Oh, I see – that’s different!
    These damn bikes are taking over the entire city and pedestrians be dammned. Better teach them while they’re young that rules only apply to grumpy old men!

  • Love the Heights

    An adult-controlled trike is like a stroller. The child is not in control, the adult is. I don’t think that is in the spirit of the rule. Common sense.

    Yes, I-pods are fine – I was referring to a boom box. Obviously it is not referring to music no one else can hear. I believe the sign says loud music.

    I feel like I am communicating with an overly literal child here. C’mon people. Grow up!

  • ABC

    I believe in the spirit of the law too. Sorry you think that is overly literal or childish. The kid in this picture seems like a pretty careful rider and I have no problem with it. If people do, I think they should go up to him and his caretaker and tell him to his face. Ditto every kid they see. Taking a picture of him and writing it up in a newspaper (or blog) seems like a douche move to me.

    Is it posted that you can’t use scooters? Because I have an urge to gather up all the 5 year olds I know and hit the promenade this weekend. Because we’re all about the rules here in Brooklyn Heights!

  • The Where

    @abc – how many 5 year olds do you “know”?

  • Daddy Dearest

    I’d be curious to know just where the adults that are complaining rode their bikes when they were kids?

  • DrewB

    Well I’m 40. I grew up in a time when children never wore helmets, encountered peanuts without fear of death, and rode bikes on quiet suburban streets and neighborhood parks. And if I go back to my childhood neighborhood now I see kids riding in the streets still. I understand that times have changed, but you also have to consider that by raising your kids in NYC they are making some sacrifices to grow up in one of the greatest cities in the world. One of those sacrifices is not having an abundance of places to ride their bikes. Not that bad of a trade off in my opinion.

  • Heights

    Common sense, people. Of course a toddler is not a danger to most but the elderly. The elderly should be allowed to use the Promenade without fear of being run into. Let’s face it, even little kids can get pretty far pretty fast and the adult isn’t always right on the scene to stop an accident. If the rule is no bikes, then it should be no bikes. The rules apply to everyone, even children. What age would the cutoff be anyway? I believe there are parks and playgrounds they can ride. Most of us who grew up in Brooklyn Heights somehow managed without riding on the Promenade.

  • josh

    1st — make the signs more prominent
    2nd – ticket adults riding
    3rd – ticket parents of out-of-control kids

  • nobody

    Regulate the soccer players in Cadman Plaza so that your precious kids are not being run over or hit by a ball, now your kids should be allowed to ride their bikes on the promenade where they can hit people? You can’t have it all. If you want to, pack up your kids, move to suburbia and commute to work.

    Well said, curmudgon.

  • nabeguy

    Including you The Where, I personally can say that I know at least a dozen five-year-olds. It’s incredible how much vituperation this thread has generated against children, bikers, parents etc. Yes, the rules are the rules and yes, when it comes to children, there are always going to be parents willing to flout them on behalf of their offspring’s enjoyment of life. Big deal. The fact is that the signage relating to the bike prohibition is as spotty as the enforcement of the prohibition itself. Similar to the Cadman Park issue, this boils down to the governance of a public space under the auspices of the Parks Department. If you want to reach for the tar buckets and feathers, that’s where you should aim your vitriol.

  • http://brooklyneagle.com Eddie The Eagle

    I think everyone here is missing the real point of this post, and that is that Don Evans is a cranky old fart.

    …and I should know!

  • ABC

    Nobody, I’d phrase it another way: the kids and their parents are getting kicked off Cadman so people can play soccer, and the kids on bikes and their parents are getting kicked off the promenade too. Should make you happy!

    After the death of Zander Toulouse last year, I think I’d risk getting a ticket on the promenade if my kids were riding bikes.

    I know a lot of 5-year-olds. I don’t even understand the question there.

  • hoppy

    Personally, I’ve never felt in danger of injury from a 5 year old cyclist on the promenade. However, I’m surprised that no one has brought up the fact that there are several sparsely trafficked streets in the area which kids can train on (e.g. College Pl., Grace Ct. Alley,

  • davoyager

    If we are going to make the park walkways off limits to kids on bikes then we need to get car and truck traffic under control on our residential streets so kids will be safer riding there. When I was a kid growing up in this neighborhood I used to be able to play ball on Henry St. This would be suicide today what with all the cars and trucks using our streets as their highway home. We need to find a way to get the commuter traffic off our streets to make them safer, quieter and cleaner for all of us.

  • nabeguy

    Da, I agree that there are way more cars on the BH streets than when we were kids. Of course, our generation was a bit more reckless, but I definitely would not recommend a game of stoop ball on Hicks Streets like my pals and I used to play. And a round of kick-the-can today would be equivalent to kick the bucket.