A couple of days ago we relayed the remarkable story of Colin Beavan’s close call with a careless motorist, which ended with the parties shaking hands. Yesterday, No Impact Man encountered another inattentive driver — one State Senator Jeff Klein — but this time there were no heartwarming epiphanies.
Here is Beavan’s account, via an open letter to Klein:
Though you may not know my name, you may recall that you and I met
today under rather unpleasant circumstances on New York City’s
Broadway, just north of City Hall. You were driving your black
Mercedes. I was riding a small folding bicycle and wearing a purple
To refresh your memory:
Traffic was moving rather slowly and you were heading in the
downtown direction, as was I. You were in the far left lane and I was
riding on the curbside of that lane, near your rear passenger door.
Suddenly, you began to veer your Mercedes to the left, potentially
crushing me between your car and the cars parked on the side of the
With nowhere to go to get out of your way, and to avoid serious
injury or death, in desperation, I chose to knock on your window to let
you know that I was there and that you should avoid veering further in
At this point, you brought your vehicle to an abrupt halt, not to
avoid hitting me, but because you apparently needed to communicate
something to me. You rolled down your window and said, "Get your hands
off my car, you fucking asshole."
I said, "You were veering into me and going to crush me."
You said, "You better not touch other people’s cars. You might find
that touching other people’s cars is more dangerous than traffic."
You may recall that Klein, along with Sen. Eric Adams, called for a suspension of bridge and tunnel tolls on holidays in order to keep as many cars as possible on city thoroughfares. Klein was also a leading opponent of congestion pricing.
At least now the contempt we always suspected the Jeff Kleins, Richard Brodskys and Denny Farrells held for those on the other side of the windshield is, in Klein’s case, out in the open. Beavan, who serves on the board of Transportation Alternatives, is calling on Klein to meet with him "to discuss transportation policy as it relates to bicycle safety, carbon emissions, the cultivation of New York City quality of life, breathable air, and traffic congestion." Beavan is also encouraging his readers to contact Klein (718-822-2049), along with Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith (718-528-4290), in support of his request.
Please show Klein more civility than he would show you.