Transit Sam


and Kyle Peterson recently made road peace in the Prince St. Bike Lane.

Transit Sam

Dear Readers,

My appearance on the Colbert Report has sparked some outrage from unicyclists. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve made peace with Kyle Petersen, the unicyclist from the show. See the two of us riding the Prince Street bike lane side-by-side! But, the letters keep coming.

Dear Transit Sam,

I’m a science teacher and unicyclist. I’m pretty sure you’ve spoken out-of-turn about the dangers of unicycles on the Colbert Report. I’ve been unicycling for over 20 years. The same rules apply to me on the unicycle as if I were walking or running. I ride on the left shoulder like a walking pedestrian, I’m going the same speed as a jogger, and I want to be able to see oncoming traffic. I’ve never had an issue with meeting pedestrians on a sidewalk. I think a campaign to outlaw unicycles on sidewalks is ill-advised.

Ted Lawrence via email

Dear Ted,

As a science teacher, you should know better. If you ride your unicycle opposite the direction of traffic at 10 mph and traffic is moving at 30 miles an hour, you’re approaching each other at 40 mph. The probability of you surviving a crash with a car at that speed is just 30 percent. If you ride with traffic as bicycles are required by law, your approach speed would be just 20 mph. The probability of surviving such a crash jumps to 80 percent. And keep off the sidewalks!

Transit Sam

Dear Transit Sam,

I’m curious to know if people are allowed to sit on the stairs of the Staten Island Ferry. Every time I ride the ferry, people are sitting on the stairs obstructing people who need to use them. No one tells anyone to move. Are the stairs considered extra seating?

Johnny, Lower Manhattan

Dear Johnny,

That’s a negative. I reached out to the good old folks at the Staten Island Ferry and they tell me public address announcements advise passengers to keep off the stairs. They cite the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY) Title 34 Section 1-02 (g), which states, “no person shall be seated… on the ferries except upon seating facilities provided for that purpose.” I also believe this rule is very low on the totem pole of enforcement, but I’ve asked them to be extra vigilant.

Transit Sam

Have any questions about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, street cleaning rules or more? Want to know how to get a copy of my 2011 Parking Calendar? If so, send me an email at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, NY 10012.