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Reminder to CBS 2 Reporters: TV is a Visual Medium

October 22, 2013

“…in places there’s only one clear lane of traffic.”

Brad Aaron at Streetsblog has a very thorough takedown of Lou Young’s segment on CBS 2 about a potential bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue.  I have very little to add to Brad’s astute analysis, but since I work in TV and spend my time matching words to pictures, one moment from Young’s report caught my attention.
Young uses the present reality of Columbus Avenue to illustrate what could happen if a protected bicycle lane is installed on Amsterdam Avenue in the future.  If you watch the segment, you’ll notice a point when Young steps onto Columbus Avenue and talks directly to camera, saying that when trucks double park on the busy thoroughfare, “in places there’s only one clear lane of traffic.”
But there’s a problem.  The reporter is standing along a stretch of Columbus Avenue with two clear lanes of automobile traffic.  There’s a giant truck parked by the bike lane on the east side of the street and a row of double parked trucks on the east side, yet there’s still enough space for a big USPS truck and an SUV to speed by in one lane and an MTA bus to move downtown in the other.  Young even stands in the middle of the bike lane when a cyclist goes right by him without incident.
In other words, to illustrate a point about how dysfunctional Amsterdam Avenue may become with a bike lane, Lou Young stands in front of a perfectly functioning Columbus Avenue.
You may remember when CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer stood in front of an empty First Avenue and declared, “There’s no place for the cars to go!”  You may also recall when she feared that the “traffic congestion caused by bike lanes…will impede emergency response” as she stood along a car-free Prospect Park West.  Lou Young’s report, like Kramer’s many segments before it, is just another reminder that when you step away from the television, turn off the computer, and put down the newspaper, the real story of our streets is that they’re working better all the time.
  1. Ed Throckmorton permalink
    October 22, 2013 3:09 pm

    The underlying point here is that CBS studios are located on 57th Street near Amsterdam Avenue and these personalities and their executives there are afraid of their limos getting stuck in traffic coming from their homes in New Jersey. There is no news here, or real reporters for that matter.

  2. Asdf permalink
    October 23, 2013 9:12 am

    Even if illegally parked vehicles reduced the number of usable lanes to one, how would that be the bike lane’s fault? They should be asking for loading zones for commercial vehicles and for enforcement against double parking instead.

  3. ADN permalink
    November 4, 2013 9:02 am

    So, what is CBS2 exactly? Is it a kind of YouTube for elderly suburban motorists? I don’t understand.

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