Since it first crawled out of the primordial ooze by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the bike lane on Flushing Avenue has proven irresistible to truck drivers looking for a spot to chill. "Truck Blocks Bike Lane" isn't exactly news (except when it is) but today the number of trucks blocking the Flushing Avenue bike lane reached such a ridiculous quantity (six) that I decided to document the situation while biking past. Check it out:
Now, if you're an Internet Commenter, you'll know that the takeaway here is not that truck drivers are creating a very hazardous situation for cyclists, it's that someone on a bike was using his cell phone while cycling. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that this stretch of Flushing has become so popular with idling truck drivers that the DOT really ought to just paint over the bike lane and put in parking meters.
To be sure, the NYPD doesn't ignore all traffic violations in this area—they've been ticketing cyclists who pedal through red lights at T intersections along Flushing for years now. But despite multiple complaints to 311 (including one I made today), the NYPD seems uninterested or unwilling to ticket idling motorists who force cyclists to merge into a narrow lane of treacherous automobile traffic.
Attorney Steve Vaccaro, who frequently represents cyclists and pedestrians, says, "Chief Chan of the Transportation Bureau said at a press conference yesterday that out of approximately 7,000 bicycle-related tickets recently written as part of the Department's Vision Zero enforcement program, about 60% went to cyclists and about 40% went to motorists blocking bike lanes. But in my experience, police do not ticket trucks, because they assume they are making deliveries and that it is OK for them to block bikes lanes (something that is not true)."
But hey, these trucks are obviously engaging in important construction work, and it's impossible to predict whether inconveniencing them would actually prevent a deadly crash, so maybe the cyclist who shot this video should just quit whining and give these guys a break.
The NYPD and the DOT did not respond to a request for comment.