Traffic Safety needs Bike Crackdown

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:04


Dinner hour brings out reckless delivery bikers in droves

By Pat Masters, Midtown

Little has been done to protect the safety of pedestrians while it seems that more has been done to protect bicycle riders, e.g., giving them designated traffic lanes. The biggest offenders are messenger and food delivery bikers -- especially when it's dark and at peak food delivery time between 7:00 and 9:00 PM. Some, but not all, delivery bikers wear a reflective vest and have a tiny light, but these devices protect them against motorists and do not protect pedestrians against those bikers who frequently do not observe traffic rules: go through red lights, speed "out of nowhere" from the opposite direction, ride on the sidewalk.

Since the dinner delivery riders come out in droves at night and the timing and locations are fairly predictable in the midtown Manhattan office area, I cannot understand why a minimal plainclothes police presence has not been staged in the high-traffic office delivery zones during those times. Maybe enforcing bike rules and issuing tickets imposing significant fines would bring some civility and safety to this issue.

I agree about adding a sound to the bikes. However, it has to be sufficiently audible, which may be possible in a quiet area, but not effective in midtown Manhattan with the loud vehicle traffic such as trucks, motorcycles, buses, horn honkers, and construction equipment would simply overwhelm it.