What do Roosevelt Islanders want? Promenade bike ban voting results

What do Roosevelt Islanders want? Promenade bike ban voting results

The bike ban voting results are now in, voting’s closed, and we’re ready to report. Hundreds voted, although some chose to “vote early, vote often” and lost their voices.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

About the promenade bike ban voting results…

In the end, to be fair, we eliminated the digital version of ballot box stuffing. Some, we found, voted dozens of times, and we trashed their input.

Interestingly, and take this as you like, the digital ballot box stuffers were heavily opposed to a ban or even increased control. Anyway, we ditched votes from any computer registering 5 or more.

Building on bike ban voting results depends on PSD's cooperation.
Positive results from voting on the promenade bike ban relies vitally on PSD’s cooperation.

That’s cheating, and we don’t cheat. Neither should you.

The results…

Even with the digital ballot box stuffers banished, however, those opposing a bike ban, period, full stop, edged the second highest choice, but only slightly. If you round the percentages off, both poll at 39%.

But in raw numbers those supporting “A bike ban is not needed” beat “We don’t need a total bike ban but more control, like bike lanes.” The totals were 127 to 125. In a poll this small, the difference is insignificant.

A third choice, calling for a full ban, supported by The Daily, polled at just under 15%.

About 5% thought education and enforcement were better choices, and a few volunteered their own ideas. “Ban all off island bike traffic!” for one, echoed opinions seen on Twitter and Facebook.

A couple got creative. “Ban cars on the island,” they volunteered.

Bottom line: A clear majority wants something different than the free-for-all we see today.

Bike ban voting results by the numbers…

Here’s a graphic of the voting results.

Some follow up thoughts…

The bike ban voting results, which we will share with RIOC, its board and our elected officials, create problems of their own.

Note: RIOC’s currently in full bunker mode and is not responding to residents at any level; so, it’s a toss up whether they will pay any attention.

Unrestricted bicycling on the promenades is not favored by voters, but with reasonable guidelines and enforcement of rules for safety, the vast majority are all in on bicycling.

But here’s the problem making it a zero sum situation: If we all agree on reasonable controls, bike lanes, for example, who will enforce them?

It goes without saying that riders will not comply voluntarily. Not just the stubborn and entitled, but every cyclist on the promenades, ignores signs posted last summer.

It was casual and, admittedly, included some wine, but an informal count conducted from the Octagon courtyard showed me that more than 90% of riders flouted the “Walk Your Bike” placed last summer.

It was indiscriminate. Riders in both direction and of all ages and genders challenged pedestrians in the walking only space alongside Octagon Park. Worse yet, when confronted, many were less than courteous in their reactions.

And there’s also a second factor. Because we already know that PSD can’t or won’t enforce anything, who will?

It all comes down to RIOC, and if they don’t reform, it won’t ever matter what residents want.

And there’s a whole other ball of wax.

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