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Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 in Life | 5 comments

Peddies in the Bike Lane

Walking in the bike lane

Saw us coming and never moved.

A fellow tweeter recently opined that once a single pedestrian wanders into the bike lane, it opens up a “new market” and others follow. Hmm … I wonder …

To all pedestrians in and around the city (a.k.a. peddies), why walk in the bike lane when you have the sidewalk, and sometimes, additional walking areas? You don’t walk in the street where the cars are, so … We ring our bells, we blow our whistles to little or no avail.

I am a virgin city cyclist. I’ve relied on my two feet far longer than my new two wheels, so I, too, am a peddie at heart. But as a peddie I am mindful of the bike lane. To those who are not, please pay attention. Please be considerate. Please be safe.

Bikes in the city

Bikes are a growing part of city life here and increasingly being embraced by neighborhoods. In fact, according to a recent poll by The New York Times, sixty-six percent of New Yorkers said they thought bicycle lanes were a good idea, with support highest in Manhattan.

Obviously from a safety perspective, it should be a given that wheels are equally mindful of peddies. Food delivery peeps, speeding wheels and  wheels that don’t adhere to stop signs and traffic lights are another topic for another post. (And also the police. Yes, even our men in blue often do not respect the bike lane.)

Pedestrians in the bike lane

These ladies did step aside at the sound of our bells and whistles.

What’s your take? When walking, do you use the bike lane as your own private Idaho or is it more an accidental wander? When riding in the bike lane, how do you navigate peddies in your path?

What’s the fix? Is the bike lane simply something new we all have to get used to? Chime in and please specify in your comment whether you are peddies or wheels.

This Lane is For My Wheels and Me©
Lyrics by Leisa Jamison. Sung to the tune of “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie

And-a-one, and-a-two …

This lane is my lane
It is not your lane
You have the sidewalk
You have the crosswalk
Respect the green lane
Please don’t be insane
This lane is for my wheels and me

The Brooklyn Bridge is
A scary bike ride
Some of the walkers
Walk on the wrong side
They’re busy talking
And snapping pictures
Oh my! This lane is for my wheels and me

My wheels and your feet
Have separate parts of the street
Consideration keeps things nice and sweet
So please be mindful
Of where you’re walking
This lane is for my wheels and me
Everybody now, this lane is for my wheels and me
Nice and loud, now, this lane is for my wheels and meeeeeeee.

Transportation Alternatives offers a plethora of resources for all kinds of commuters, including various discounts when you become a member!

Police cars blocking a bike lane

Police cars blocking the bike lane. As Liz Lemon would say, “What the what??”


  1. I completely agree, although it has been many decades since I biked in NY; not sure if bike lanes existed then.

    • You’re right, Karla. These bike lanes are relatively new in and around the city. As of February 2009, there are about 170 miles of painted lanes throughout greater NYC-area streets, with Brooklyn having the greatest success in terms of residents respecting the lane. Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Hi Leisa! You seem to have experienced what many of us ‘wheels’ encounter on a regular basis. Me, myself and I have recently decided to avoid *protected* bike lanes such as Broadway, where it looks like most of the photos in your article were taken, in favor of shared lanes (or even just flat out on the streets where we share the same lanes). Sure, I’m trading one hazard (peddies) for another (automobiles), but to be honest, I’ll take my chances on the street (watch out for those opening doors!) where there’s MUCH less frustration AND I get to reach my destination quicker =)

    • Hey johngee! Your comment rings true for many wheels, me included. Hopefully this is a matter of awareness and something that will steadily improve. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Love your song! So you write articles AND lyrics:)

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