Watch CBS News

Restaurant Manager Puts Speed Bumps In Bike Lane, Fed Up With Cyclists Traveling Too Fast Near Flor De Mayo's Outdoor Dining Setup

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - When the pandemic hit, restaurants in New York City put up outdoor dining sheds, many next to bike lanes.

But as the CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reports, some restaurants now say cyclists are traveling far too fast by their setups, putting their customers and staff in danger.

"They came up this way ... going up to, like, 20 miles per hour," said Jose Chu.

He's fed up. The manager at Flor de Mayo on the Upper West Side says, for months, he's watched cyclists on e-bikes accelerate as they drive through the bike lane next to the restaurant's outdoor dining set up.

"They don't slow down for anybody who tries to walk across," Chu said. "It's not just annoying, it's also dangerous."

Last Wednesday, Chu says a child was almost hit by someone on an e-bike. That's when he decided to take matters into his own hands, buying two speed bumps off of Amazon and placing them in the bike lane next to the restaurant.

"Those bicycles can easily weigh 200-300 pounds now ... God forbid they hit a kid! They can kill someone," Chu said.

But the idea didn't last long. Soon after, he says a Department of Transportation inspector came by, saying the bumps had to go.

"The bumps themselves are very sharp, so you could throw somebody's front wheel," said John Orcutt of Bike New York.

Advocacy group Bike New York says it feels for restaurant staff and customers but the bumps are not safe. Instead, it's the city's responsibility remind cyclists to slow down with more signs and more public awareness campaigns are needed.

"You really don't see very much. Like, the DOT commissioner could just come out and address some of these interactions," Orcutt said.

Many cyclists Dhillon spoke to say they're split on the issue. Some say if you're going slow enough, the bump shouldn't be an issue, but others says anything an e-bike can trip up on is extremely dangerous.

"You can see it from far, so I think it's no problem," one person said.

"On this thing, it's very dangerous because it's maybe three times heavier than regular bike," said another.

Back at Flor de Mayo, Chu says he's at a loss of what to do. He says signs asking cyclists to slow down have not worked.

"A sign is not going to stop anyone that is in a hurry," Chu said.

He says if speed bumps aren't the answer, the city needs to increase ticketing for e-bikers who are speeding or not yielding to pedestrians.

In response to our inquires, the DOT says the public is not allowed to just put out a speed bump if it is concerned with an area because they are a hazard to the cyclists, adding speed bumps are not used in bike or bus lanes in the city.

Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.