Good question! As you noted, the first step should be to call 311 and report the issue. The bike lane markings along that industrial stretch of Greenpoint Avenue are faded and conditions would improve with some fresh paint on the ground. Encourage your friends and fellow cyclists to call in too.
A small but dedicated group of T.A. Queens Activist Committee members are currently advocating to kickoff a campaign to bring protected bike lanes to the bridge, with connecting lanes on both the Brooklyn and Queens sides.
You should never incur points on your driver's license for traffic violations received on a bike. That said, past DMV errors have caused cyclists to receive points on their licenses and worse (more on how to handle DMV bike ticket errors).
To reduce the chance of that happening, you should mail payment for the citation rather than pay it online.
Good luck and ride safe!
The officer's probably correct. Violations not listed on the schedule of fines on the back of the ticket are usually $50 for bicyclists. If the DMV determines the fees are greater than $50, they'll mail you a bill for the difference.
Good luck and ride safe!
Ask BikeNYC hasn't heard of any Latino road racing clubs, but TriLatino Triathlon Club might be able to help (or you could give triathlons a try). Let us know if you find a club.
As a number of bike advocates have noted, the "bikelash" phenomenon — the negative attitudes and perceptions that have accompanied the growth in urban bicycling — can actually be seen as a positive sign that cycling is being taken seriously. To quote enlighted thinker Arthur Schopenhauer, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Some have also suggested a third-and-a-half stage where the people who were once opposed make an about face and claim affinity with the idea from the get-go. (Case in point: Anthony Weiner's bike lane flip-flop.)
Lofty ideals aside, safe and complete streets rely on activists willing to take a stand.
So what can you do about the Clinton Chronicle's bike beef? Educate yourself on the issues and write a civil and informed letter to the editor. Some New Yorkers have genuine and justified grievances against law-breaking bicyclists. But those concerns are often inflated and in many cases, cyclists have been scapegoated at the expense of a more holistic look at traffic safety concerns.
Want to make a lasting impact on the state of the streets in your neighborhood? Join a Transportation Alternatives' Manhattan Activist Committee meeting or get involved with your local community board's transportation committee.
Ride on and thanks for taking a stand!
Streets with heavy construction can be pretty scary to ride on, and Second Avenue on the Upper East Side is no exception. It's also understood that a long detour to the next southbound bike lane isn't too practical. That said, it's more dangerous to ride against traffic — or "salmon" — than it is to ride outside of a bike lane; plus it makes road conditions less predictable for other cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. And while you're always within your rights to contest a ticket, it seems unlikely a judge would be sympathetic.
Regarding the fine, there should be a schedule of fees for traffic violations listed on the back of the ticket you received; if the violation you were written up for is not listed, you can assume the fine is $50 (cyclists never have to pay the $88 surcharge assessed to motorists).
If you decide to plead guilty, mail in the fine for $50 to the DMV address given on the ticket before the due date. If after receiving payment the DMV determines you owe additional money, they'll let you know and you should be granted additional time to pay the remainder.
Good luck, ride safe and please don't salmon!
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