Ninth Precinct holds bicycle safety meeting
Looks like our friends at the NYPD hosted a meeting with the people to better community relations. Here is one person's experience at that meeting:
I hope they were listening...
I went to the NINTH Precinct Safety Meeting & the officers there seem very sincere in their efforts to find "solutions to save lives & prevent injury" & to "reach out". I have to give these individuals A for effort.
They had prepared a Power Point Presentation complete with video of dangerous cycling practices. ie. "Don't assume the driver will see you." & "Watch out for other cyclists." Personally, I was BORED & INSULTED.
It would be GREAT/PERFECT for showing to beginner cyclists, maybe in the NYC Public Schools. I can safely say that as a group, we were WAY over-qualified & several times knew more about the law than the police did !
Attempts to talk about the Parking Lanes while we waited to begin were shuttled aside. "We'll get to that later, after the presentation."
When we asked about the illegal parking, we were told that "incidents have to be reported" before they know [& can do anything] about them. One guy said, "Do you mean we're supposed to report every time there's a car or truck in the "Bike Lane ?" [What do YOU think?]
So…the meeting hadn't started yet…I went outside to find a police truck parked in the "Bike Lane". When I re-entered, I told them I'd like to report a vehicle parked in the "BL" [as is usual in front of the 9th]. They gave me dirty looks & moved it but if you go over there RIGHT NOW, it's a good bet you'll find official cars using their new parking area.
They gave us some nifty reflectors [the kids will love 'em], cookies, & a lot of flyers. The one I found most interesting was from NYState. It is fairly extensive, lots of info but…in the section on car driver safety, it DOESN'T ONCE SAY "STAY OUT OF BIKE LANES". They're not mentioned to drivers AT ALL. Before I left I told them "If the issue is safety & what you can do, the number ONE thing is to keep the lanes, such as they are, clear."
Also , a rep from the City said that NYC Corporation Council is telling the City to start "discouraging" people from locking bikes to street signs. She shrugged when I suggested that the City is trying to cover its patootie after cutting bikes from said poles during Critical Mass. If you look at the NYPD website, you'll find a flyer that recommends locking to same poles.
The subject of bike parking came up. NYC says to use the installed bike racks. Someone asked, "And how many blocks do I walk before I find one?"
I'M LOSING PATIENCE WITH THESE PEOPLE.