On my way to take care of some business yesterday morning, I spotted this father pedaling his daughter home along Second Avenue. I loved how at ease the young girl looked on the back of her father’s bicycle- despite the fact that they were riding in heavy traffic.
We do have an attempt at bicycle ‘infrastructure’ on Second Avenue, but it’s not really sustainable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. I’m not fan of sharrows on wide avenues like this.
A few people I’ve talked with feel (to a point) that the Second Avenue sharrows are ‘working’ due to the continuous nature of the striping along the avenue. Maybe the ‘enhanced sharrows” work for some, but I don’t think they work well enough. It’s little more than paint and symbols that say “bikes may be here”. In the picture above, it’s not much more than an illusion of safety due to the bollards placed in front of a construction site. The bollards cause the motor vehicle traffic to shift away from the “enhanced shared lane” for a few blocks. But before and after the bollards, the street is not that much different from the other side of the avenue where the father rode with his daughter.
A better solution would be a protected bike lane (with physical separation between motorists and vulnerable street users), where a mother feels safe to let her daughter pedal freely alongside her.
Our infrastructure is growing and so is the number of people on bikes. We will continue to fight for safer streets that prioritize pedestrians and people on bikes. When today’s children become adults, hopefully they’ll inherit a better New York City. One where families riding together to get from A to B is a more normal than rare. In the meantime, it’s nice to see you too. Hope to see more of you.