Get Outta the Bike Lane

"Disorderly" pedestrians cross the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday.

Flickr BHB Photo Club pic by dietrich.

Share this Story:
  • yo

    bike lane looks pretty damn clear to me

  • James

    The overwhelming majority of people using the Brooklyn Bridge walking path are pedestrians. This can be proven on any day, at any time. Look at the picture – not a single maniac bicycle rider in sight yet they allocated half the path and often stray into the pedestrian path to pass other riders. These arrogant, dangerous, impolite and selfish, whistle-blowing bicycle riders are a threat and should be forced to “walk” their bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge as a matter of safety. It should be forbidden to ride and mark my words, there will be a bad accident some day. Those who insist on riding their bikes should take the dedicated bicycle path on the Manhattan Bridge and leave the Brooklyn Bridge path to the walkers!

  • LTindaBH

    Oh, please… the tourists are a pain, even for other pedestrians!

  • James


    Your point being?

  • LTindaBH

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. Piggish bikers who think they are in the Tour de France, even though they have a kid in the back, are idiots. But I walk nearly every weekend (and many week days) over the BB, and what I most encounter are herds of clueless pedestrians forming 5-abreast human chains, or standing in the bike lane to take photos.

  • Beavis

    Amen, my brothers and sistas. Bikers should be relagated to the Manhattan bridge. Almost no tourists there and a dedicated bike lane. The Brooklyn Bridge should be only for pedestrians.

  • pam

    It does seem ridiculous to squeeze the pedestrians to one side so the bikers can whiz by now and then. It is not even safe. But such is the clout of the cycling lobby that they can get pretty much whatever they want.
    Go figure.

  • pbdotc

    i like watching the bikers scream at the tourists

    you can argue all day about what the rules should be …. they are what they are: and it’s astonishing how few people are capable of following such simple instructions

  • Brooklyn Enthusiast

    Maybe I am biased because i haven’t ridden a bike since I was 7 (long story), but some of the bike riders on the bridge are just out of control with whistles and yelling at people. But I guess it’s the whole conundrum: when I am driving, I have the right of way and can yell at crazy pedestrians. But when I am walking I have the right of way, of course!

  • Sean

    I feel for the bikers, but there is just not enough room for all. Yesterday, because of the flooded subways, the bridge was swarmed with commuters, not tourists. We were all sweatily making our way across and numerous bikers came whizzing by me swearing and yelling. The mass of people was so much larger than the normal traffic, that it had no choice but to spill out into the bike lane. I felt that it was inappropriate for cyclists to complain during a crisis like the flood.

  • Vishnu Jones

    There should be a Critical Mass for pedestrians. TAKE BACK THE BIKE LANES!!

  • bayson22

    Sucks that so many bikers are rude. As a daily commuting biker, I always try to be safe and courteous to peds – no dangerous zipping by, no foul language, no yelling, etc. But I do think that the attitude shown on this blog the last two days is disappointing – discounting complete morons like Vishnu. I thought people in general would embrace the idea of bicycle commuting, sharing the paths and looking for solutions. Instead all I see is a bunch of self-righteous bitching (not condoning bad behavior for by cyclists here). Too bad for you all… looks like biking will continue to grow in NYC.

  • James

    bayson22 “Sucks that so many bikers are rude.” Yeah, doesn’t it? They are not just rude, but dangerous. There will always be more walkers than bikers. It is simply the nature of things. Walking is more healthy than any other exercise and needs no special equipment. Seems like you are the one acting a bit self-righteous when you say. “Too bad for you all… looks like biking will continue to grow in NYC.” We just don’t want to be hurt by speeding bikers. Take the dedicated bike lane on the Manhattan Bridge or take a walk!.

  • bayson22

    James, look down next time you are on the Brooklyn Bridge. If you see a cyclist logo… kindly move over to the pedestrian lane. Until there is a change, I (not you) will decide what bridge to bike on. My comment “sucks that bikers are rude” was honest – I would rather see coexistence. As far as me being self righteous, incorrect. I (unlike you) am not bad mouthing walkers, nor saying bikers are better or more plentiful. What I am saying that we should share the resources available in a reasonable safe manner. In any case, I will continue biking, and I will be on the look out for peds in the bike lane. Won’t yell, won’t be foul, won’t be dangerous, but will continue to commute on my bike. Enjoy your “healthier” walking.

  • Tim N.

    Wow… looks like I got here just in time… what’s with all the hate on the cyclists? God, you people are awful!!!!

    All we want is the lane that’s been blocked out for us, as in the picture. You have your side, we have ours… the problem comes when people wander cluelessly into the bike lane to take a damn picture… or maybe to just be a pain?

    Sounds like some of you here might just fall into that category.

    Look at it this way, you wouldn’t walk on the roadbed, would you? When bikers ring their bells or whistle or yell, it’s to keep from hitting you because you are in a place where you shouldn’t be to begin with.

    There are always going to be jerk bikers, but let me tell you, as there are more pedestrians, there are more jerk pedestrians, and since most of them are so adverse to a little exercise, they take up a lot of room in our lane.

  • Tim N.

    You know, Homer, the more I think about this, the more I think you should be friggin’ ashamed of yourself and post an apology to your many loyal readers who are bikers for even posting this misleading picture. I bike on the bridge all the time and I can count on one hand how many times the lane has looked this clear… you are misrepresenting the issue and youself.

    And now that I think about it again… if you look at it again, you can see a clot of people in the lane in the distance of the picture.

    Bad job all over. Beneath you and the blog.

  • BHRez

    It is good to see a conversation on this subject if nothing else but to have awareness of peoples feelings. But I think some users aren’t seeing the big picture. We are all New Yorkers. This is our bridge and we share the enjoyment of the bridge with each other and visitors. Yes it is dangerous to have bikers and pedestrians on the bridge but so is a lot of what it means to be a New yorker. And Tim N. I don’t think that pedestrians should worry about straying into a bike lane if there isn’t a biker around. Do you follow every rule just because they are rules. Im sure you cut corners if it doesn’t hurt anybody. Sure a biker could be hurt trying to avoid a pedestrian but the opposite can happen if a pedestrian is struck by a speeding biker. Stop being so petty. We are all taking a risk by crossing a bridge (this has become evident recently). Bikers slow down you’ll beat the pedestrians across anyway. And pedestrians take a quick glance back before stepping into the passing lane. Grow up guys/gals. Don’t be so self absorbed. Take risks and precautions. And if I completely missed everyones point who cares. I like the bridge and everyone on it.

  • Beavis

    Problem solved: Pedestrians use the Brooklyn Bridge, cyclists use the Manhattan Bridge–you can then go as fast as you want and toot your whistles at each other, you little Lance Armstrongs.

  • Qfwfq

    Tim, I don’t think you are considering the pedestrian perspective. You are right, there’s always people infringing on the bicycle path. As it is now, the walkway side of the Brooklyn Bridge path can accommodate two, maybe three, people across. That’s just not enough room during high-traffic hours, especially when considering it’s coming in both directions. Not to mention the mess that occurs at the bridge towers. That path should be completely pedestrian. If a dedicated bike path can’t be created on the roadway level, or a separate path built a la the Manhattan Bridge, then bicyclists should walk their bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    If people in this city were serious about bicycle transportation — and hey, I’m all for it — we would set up more dedicated bike paths, with obvious barriers between them and pedestrian/auto paths (I haven’t been in the area recently, but the Hudson River side of Manhattan had this set up nicely for large stretches). This idea of plopping bicycle lanes on top of pedestrian walkways is crazy. You wouldn’t ride a bike on the sidewalk.

  • Marie

    Usually the Infringers are tourists, who learn the rules after one close encounter. The problem for cyclists, and the anger we feel when someone does not move, is that it’s simply dangerous. People get hurt in collisions, it’s basic. And as cyclists we can’t tell which way a human on foot is going to move if they are generally clueless and unaware of you… One step in the wrong direction is instantaneous and can be instantly painful. But I agree that bikes have to slow down, especially on the downhill – I do, because I’m, well, a wuss? NO!Nobody who cycles in this city is a wuss. Because I’m not bloody stupid and have nothing to prove. Speeding down either end is just aggro and asking trouble. But why ban us? That’s just reactionary and just as clueless. Lots of people cycle. You don’t perceive us in the same numbers because we’re off the bridge faster than pedestrians.

  • Tim N.

    Those of you who read the blog yesterday saw that I said that on a day when there’s no trains that cyclists should walk their bikes across the bridge. And frankly, most people who ride for fun and exercise (like me) avoid the bridge at high-traffic times. It’s just not worth it.

    However, the bike lane is there for bikes! Now obviously, if you look around and there aren’t any bikes around, and you’ve got a bunch of slowpokes in front of you, then no harm no foul. My issue is with a) people who ignore the lane out of some sense of two-legged entitlement, b) tourists who don’t know or don’t care about the rules, and c) morons like Vishnu and the appropriately named Beavis who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. I love the banning bikes in Prospect Park idea… obviously this is not about the bridge but about the friggin’ city not being big enough for some people.

    BTW, Beavis, there are pedestrians in the bikes only lane on the Manhattan Bridge as well. And if you’re so all up in your good idea, how about petitioning the city for bike lanes on the Manhattan-side streets so that your idea is actually, um, practical?

    Sigh. I guess trying to keep idiots off the intenet is like trying to keep people out of the bike lane I guess.

    And for the record, I actually did yell at a biker on the way home… a guy and a girl who were riding on the sidewalk and nearly clipped my daughter. So it’s not like I don’t know these jerks exist.

    But bear in mind something else… it’s not just bikers who may make the bridge dangerous… I got a concussion after colliding with another biker on the bridge… because I was trying to avoid a straying pedestrian. So before you put all the blame on the other guy for saying they’re creating a danger, make sure your own house (or lane) is clean first.

  • fishermb

    i dont have time to read all the comments here before posting, but to those cyclists who say “we have a bike lane for bikers,” i would assume that you have NEVER rode your bike on a sideWALK, correct?

    i am respectful of bike lanes because i used to bike when i lived down in florida (i personally think its dangerous to bike anywhere in manhattan/brooklyn except parks, so i dont do it any more), but nothing pisses me off more than bikers weaving through people on side walks.

    so i just want to clear up that any biker here who is getting mad at pedestrians who may walk in the bike lane, have themselves never rode on a sidewalk? thats all

  • lifer

    “you biked into my chocolate”, “you walked into my peanut butter”…not all bikers are inconsiderate, not all pedestrians clueless, claiming either group is all bad is stupid…

  • Marie

    fishermb: Sidewalks. Yes, I admit it. My name is Marie and I ride on sidewalks. Sometimes! Like when I’m about to be killed by a car or truck. I’m not the crazy weaving in and out type, but if there’s a quiet sidealk and it’s a choice of that or a street between two rows of parked cars, whose doors tend to open at random just as you’re cycling by, plus aggr cars behind you who can’t pass you, then I’m choosing the quiet sidewalk. It’s not done to annoy, but to preserve. It’s a question of awareness, just as this comment-exercise and the back-and-forth is an excersise in awreness (and intolerance). Put youself in someone else’s position. Until you’ve ridden a bike in this city you really do not know that moving on two wheels, while fun and convenient, is dangerous. More minty-green bikelanes would mean fewer bikes on sidewalks, fewer cyclists being doored, ferew pedestrians being clipped, and less smog.

  • Marie

    Must learn to check for typos. Fine. so cyclists can’t type, either.

    And cyclists invaded Iraq.

    And caused the flood.

    But we like pedestrians. Sometimes we even are pedestrians.

  • Beavis

    Hey Timmy: Resorting to name calling proves you have a weak argument, and kind of lessens you as a human being. Didn’t your mama teach you matters Timmy?

    Your bellyaching is tiring.

  • fishermb

    i’m all for more bike lanes as well, because i believe thats where bikers should be, just like cars shouldnt be on sidewalks or in bike lanes. the only thing thats bothering me is how upset all the bikers are getting over the wednesday subway fiasco and how 10,000 people were walking over the bridge and bikers actually were yelling at people to get out of the bike lane, thats just absurd.

  • Jen

    I agree with all of Tim N.’s comments, especially about this isleading photo. As long as there is a bike lane, I will continue to ride in it cautiously, as I do every place else. The idea of banning bikers on the bridge and in Prospect Park is absurd. Cities like Paris are promoting biking as a healthy and environmentally conscious way to commute and all people here can do is bitch about bikers’ outfits? I thought we were supposed to be progressive here.

  • Bklyn Native

    This is an interesting thread. No matter which side one comes down on–that cyclists deserve to have half of the Brooklyn Bridge footpath all the time, or that the vast number of pedestrians that greatly outnumber cyclists on the bridge suggests a re-evaluation of the current arrangement–one thing is clear. There’s a lot of hostility out there towards the cycling “community.” I’m wondering how NYC cyclists are dealing with this negative image and what they are doing to help counter it.

  • James

    Frankly, people have negative feelings about bikers because rude and careless people on bikes have the potential to cause pedestrians great physical harm. This does not happen with walkers. That is a reason that the city does not allow bikes on sidewalks – because of the danger. The walking path on the bridge is no different than a sidewalk. What is so difficult here that the bikers don’t understand?