The Daily News is
getting 311 involved in the Bike Lane Wars. According to them (and one angry Chinatown resident), 311 doesn't distinguish between complaints about bikes, skateboarders or rollerbladers. Probably because all the rollerbladers in the city are just dancing to disco around those orange cones in Central Park.
As the Daily News puts it, "The city can tell you how many bicyclists rode down one block of a Brooklyn bike lane from noon to 12:15 p.m. one day last summer. It can't tell you how many people complained about rogue bicyclists on the streets all around it." Chinatown resident Nancy Linday can back that up with anecdotal evidence. She says she called 311 in October to complain that a biker almost hit her on 58th Street and 5th Avenue, but she was transferred to 911 and then back to 311. She then got one poor 311 operator on the phone for over an hour and dictated every single instance of a lawbreaking cyclist she saw near her office the day before. That got her a direct line to a sergeant at the Midtown North Precinct, but she said, "I'm calling for total reform of the 311 system. I could have logged thousands of 311 complaints about cycling all along."
311 reportedly logged 426 calls last year about problems with bikes, skateboards, Rollerblades and motorized scooters, and an additional 198 calls were transferred to 911. The Departments of Information Technology and Telecommunications and of Transportation say they are willing to change 311 categories to better track the bike issues. While they're at it, maybe they can also start tracking complaints about cop cars and ambulances found parked in bike lanes.