Open Thread: Bikes on the Promenade

flickr photo by gak

According to 311, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is not one of the parks in Brooklyn where bicycling is allowed.  However we see bikes zooming by all the time.  Is the rule against bikes warranted and should it be enforced?

Flickr photo by gak

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  • clarknt67

    “Observe how dangerous the Brooklyn Bridge walkway is – most bicycle riders don’t seem to care about pedestrians and will ride as fast as they can whenever they can get away with it.”

    As a biker, I find that statement SOOOOOOOOOO ridiculous. I bike over the bridge daily in my commute and am constantly fighting pedestrians who cannot stay on their HALF of the walkway. They wander over, since they want to walk 4 or 5 or more abreast, or they very frequently cross over to take a photo without even glancing to see if a bike it coming at them. The never look, in my experience. The are completely oblivious and blame all near accidents on the biker.

    TWICE I’ve had women holding infants step right in front of me on the Hudson River Park Bike Path without even glancing before trying to cross the path. If I had not slammed on the brakes, the result could likely been tragic.

    That said, I am happy to dismount my bike on the Promenade.

  • Jen

    “Walking is better excercise anyway!”

    Since when?

  • clarknt67

    Walking is better excercise: it’s ridiculous as is the sense of entitlement that poster betrays in the sentiment. “I don’t like bikers and think they should walk to spare me the inconvenience of being aware of my surroundings.” Even though half the path is designated for pedestrian. (And I’d gladly make the split 30/70 % if they’d erect a barrier to keep pedestrians on their side.)

  • lee

    james, get your self out there on a bike and see how it is. so, boo hooooooo to you, seems like you have no idea what it is like. have you ever endangered a cyclist by j-walking, opening a car door without looking? i was talking about safety and the promenade. not all cyclists are idiots. as i said everyone gets group together. what about the cyclists that stop when the lights are red and obey all the laws?

  • clarknt67

    Plus I would absolutely guarantee you, 95% of pedestrian/bike accidents/near misses on the Brooklyn Bridge occur on the bike half side of the walkway. Why? Because pedestrians can’t/won’t/don’t stay on their side of the white line and can’t/won’t/don’t even bother to glance to see if a bike is coming when they wander into the bike path.

    That is at the heart of the vast majority of bike/pedestrian problems on Bridge.

  • James

    Strange that the bikers never seem to mention the times that they stray on to the pedestrian side when they simply have to pass a slower biker because they are in a rush. I have seen that happen every time I walk over the bridge. But surely I must be wrong because the bikers seem to think they are perfect. Mark my words – there will be a terrible accident one day that will change the current situation. It is not a question of if, but when. You bikers really are a a bunch of spoiled brats who HAVE to have their own way! Shame on you all!

  • clarknt67

    No, I didn’t mention it because I can’t recall seeing that happen. I rarely, if ever stray onto the pedestrian side (few rare times I have it’s to swerve out of the way of a pedestrian photographer in the bike lane). There’s ample room to pass another biker and stay in the bike lane.

  • lee

    james, seems like you really hate cyclists and again you group us all together. have ever witnessed a cyclist doing the right thing? have you ever walked into the bike lane because you weren’t paying attention? did you ever noticed that a cyclist will go into the walkers lane when there aren’t people there so a cyclist going in the other direction can pass safely and not endanger the walkers? do you drive a car or take a cab that contribute to the pollution of our city? or are you just thinking that you are of better class?

  • HDEB

    Claiming that “bikers really are a a bunch of spoiled brats who HAVE to have their own way! Shame on you all!” is ridiculous and laughable.

    I agree that a terrible accident on the bridge between a cyclist and pedestrian is likely. Everyone on the bridge (and anywhere else) has to be aware of their surroundings.

    I tend to think cyclists would support a separate bike lane that would be physically impossible for both cyclists and pedestrians for cross. Since that’s not going to happen we should try to share, be aware of each others presence and accept that the other group of users has every bit as much of a right to be there as they do.

  • Runner

    There are more annoying pedestrians than dangerous bikers. But the degree of danger posed by a dangerous biker is much greater. It’s the difference between gnats and a hornet.

    One other issue is that it seems cyclists are using the bridge for transport, while, on weekends at least, pedestrians and tourtists use it as a park. “Everybody stays in their lane, no problems” doesn’t really take into account the use to which a lot of people (on foot) want to put the footpath.