NYC video goes viral, highlights common bike lane problem

Famed filmmaker Casey Neistat’s latest video creatively tackles the issue of riding in bike lanes in NYC (and getting ticketed for it). It’s so well done that the video has exploded on the web. Watch it below…

After getting a ticket for not riding in the bike lane Neistat goes on a hilarious, stunt-filled video rant to point out that the bike lane is often obstructed by any number of hazards that make riding in it impossible and dangerous. “Ticket the bike lane blockers, not the bikers” is the mantra.

The video has spread like Lance Armstrong doping allegations over the past day or so and is headed for 1 million views on YouTube (and nearly that many emails from people wondering if I’d seen it).

The infamous “hotel zone”
bike lane on SW Broadway.

While things aren’t as bad here in Portland as they are portrayed to be in NYC, the problem is real. Not only do we have a state law that says if a bike lane is present you must ride in it, but there are several places around Portland where cars routinely block the bike lane (SW Broadway comes to mind).

If you’d like to brush up on Oregon bike lane laws, see our Bike Law 101 column from last month. For more discussion and background on this issue, see “Are bike lanes a haven or a hazard?” a story we published back in 2006.

In the meantime, watch out for obstacles — and if a cop tries to ticket you for avoiding them, nicely explain to him/her that it’s perfectly legal to leave the bike lane to avoid hazards. Or, just pull out your phone and show them this video.

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