Get Off My New York City #Bikelane aims to show that New York City cyclists aren’t the most reckless, lawless people on wheels in this town.

Founder Marc Jayson Climaco began documenting items (mostly SUVs) blocking bike lanes last week.

He’s already amassed quite a collection.

After a horrible bike accident when he was 17, Climaco hadn’t been on a bike until New York City rolled out its bike-share program in May.

"Last week I was having a moody day, I got angry, and I decided to start taking pictures of cars," he says. "Ultimately, what I would like to have is a better integration of New York City bike culture on the streets."

2013-08-02

Co.Exist

Capturing The Inconsiderate Drivers Who Make It Dangerous To Bike In The City

A new blog--Get Off My New York City #Bikelane!--collects pictures of cars and other impediments blocking the city’s impressive collection of bike lanes.

"How sweet was my ride home today," Marc Jayson Climaco, 28, wrote on his Tumblr on July 30. "Didn’t yell, scream, or curse at someone for blocking my fucking bike lane."

Get Off My New York City #Bikelane! is Climaco’s answer to the Dorothy Rabinowitzes (the well-mocked anti bike lane advocate and Wall Street Journal editorial board member) of the world. Aiming to show that New York City cyclists aren’t the most reckless, lawless people on wheels in this town, Climaco began documenting items (mostly SUVs) blocking bike lanes last week. He’s already amassed quite a collection.

When Climaco was 17 years old and cycling in the Pyrenees, a speeding car knocked him off his bike on a curvy mountain turn. When he came back to the United States, he had trouble crossing the street, let alone going for a ride. And it was only when New York City rolled out its bike-share program in May, Climaco says, that he felt comfortable enough to hop back on.

Still, Climaco noticed some issues on his daily route from his apartment in the Lower East Side to his job in Chelsea. "Last week I was having a moody day, I got angry, and I decided to start taking pictures of cars," he says. "Ultimately, what I would like to have is a better integration of New York City bike culture on the streets. Clearly that’s a lot of work and that’s going to take some time, but I think for now just documenting cars or trucks blocking the bike lanes is just a good start."

In 2011, videographer Casey Neistat showcased the issue by taking a police officer’s advice to stay inside the city’s bike lanes (at all costs). The subsequent YouTube compilation of Neistat crashing into signs, construction, taxis, and even cop cars parked in bike lanes went viral. Still, biking on the sidewalk remains the third most common summons issued by the city, ahead of reckless driving and carrying pot, even.

"[Citibike has] made the bike culture a lot more visible, which I think means cars are a lot more respecting of the bike lanes before," Climaco says. Still, he’s eager for fellow cyclists to help him document the city’s blocked lanes. "Come be a collaborator, so we can cover as much geography as possible," he says.

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5 Comments

  • Bikelanesareforcars

    Roads are for cars.  Bikes may have the "right of way" but in the end when it is bike vs car the car will trample the bike.  Darwin has a white paper for people who continually try to run over cars with bikes...   I am all for bikes and bike lanes, and frankly I would even be glad to contribute to programs that put bike lanes far away from cars, with separation barriers, proper signage, full width bike lanes (not the little 2 foot suckers alongside most roads with bike lanes), etc.  But those who choose to ride along one of the tiny little bike lanes (those who like the awesome, wide, well designed lanes in city's such as in some parts of Chicago- I salute you!) that buts right up against car lanes, and essentially acts as space for large rear view truck mirrors, enjoy the brunt end of evolution.  Just because there is extra space there, doesn't mean its a good idea to use it...  At the end of the day as Mike Rowe would say, "safety third," because the only person who will truly care about your own safety, is you!

  • lxndr

    The reality is the bike lanes, as configured, are designed for conflict. Trucks need to be close to delivery sites, and bikes want their dedicated lanes.

    This is poor planning. Obviously, both truck/car/even police drivers and cyclists, would like to cooperate with one another. But the rules of the lane do not allow it.

    Perhaps, if cyclists and truckers sat together with maps, magic markers, and working lunches - at the expense of their employers and the city of NY - we would find a better way. As it is - it's setup conflict all the way!

    Good planning for people never happens from the overhead view of a pigeon.

  • Patrick Armitage

    As a daily commuting cyclist I completely agree with this article 
    BUT someone needs to stand up for the pedestrians that cyclists are always getting in the way of. When the lights are red and pedestrians have right of way don't think you have priority over them. You simply don't and you give other cyclists a bad name...this kind of behavior is what stops further investment in bike lanes etc. 

    If I start a blog tomorrow shaming these cyclists what would people think of that?

  • Patrick Armitage

    As a daily commuting cyclist I completely agree with this article BUT I also think someone needs to stand up for the pedestrians that cyclists are always getting in the way of. When the lights are red and pedestrians have right of way don't think you have priority over them. You simply don't and you give a bad name to cycling...this kind of behavior is what stops further investment in bike lanes etc