Post Reader Defends “Dangerous” Bike Lane

Dear Steve Cuozzo —

CK___DK_tandem_Bklyn___24_Dec_2005.jpgAuthor and son in 2005

I was ready to ignore your rant yesterday,
IDIOTIC DOT TAKES A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE,
as another in The Post’s reflexive (if well-written) screeds against any incursion into
NYC car-dominance, when I came across this
line:

"The madness just came to Grand Street as well, where
a dangerous bike lane is shunned by any sane cyclist."

I take that personally, seeing as how just
last Sunday, my teenage son and I used the
Grand Street bike lane to ride from Hudson
Square to the East Village.

The lane was great. The green paint, the arrows
that mark the lane at intersections, and the strategic
placement of the lane between the curb and the
line of parked cars, evidently made it clear to
our fellow New Yorkers that this was indeed a
bicycle lane. For the entire distance, a good 3/4
of a mile, we only had to maneuver around one
parked car and a handful of pedestrians.

Otherwise, it was smooth sailing, and a lot
safer and more relaxing than the usual Sunday
traffic mix. For me, it’s no big deal, I’m an
adult and have been cycling daily here for 35
years. But for my 14-year-old, who’s still learning
what it takes to maintain his legal right to
the road in the face of swarms of cars and
trucks, many of them operated heedlessly,
the lane made a big difference.

I know the Post pays you to ridicule anything
that deviates an inch from the USA-SUV norm;
but how you can call the Grand Street bike lane
dangerous is beyond me.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention where we were
biking that day: to a movie house on East
Houston Street to see "Man on Wire," the
documentary film about Philippe Petit’s 1974
wire-walk between the Twin Towers. The film is
a testament to the human spirit and imagination —
the same spirit, I would say, that animates me
as a cyclist, and the same imagination that is,
finally, guiding the new DOT to create a bit of
safe space for non-motorized vehicular travel in
New York City.

Best,

Charles Komanoff
(father of two, a New Yorker since 1968)

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Steve Cuozzo must NOT get out all that often. I remember he said, “New York is already the world’s best walking town.”

    Yeah! Right!

    I guess Stevo has never been out of the continent because I could name at least 3 dozen or so cities in Europe alone that beat NYC hands down.

    At least NYC is trying real hard to catch up.

    Hopefully the “idiots” will be ignored.

  • As usual, sanity from Charlie. And if you haven’t seen “Man on Wire” Streetfilms gives it three thumbs up!

  • andrew

    very well put. a nice sane response to a not so sane editorial.

  • The Grand Street lane has the anti-bicycle contingent’s teeth a-chatter, as well they should be. It costs almost nothing to install and it works like a brick wall. Yes: they will soon be everywhere. And as long as there is a vehicular cyclist drawing breath in Montana, NYP columnists will be able to say that some expert superhuman traffic athlete thinks this kind of protection is dangerous and Bad for American Cycling. But those voices are increasingly muted here in the face of dividends coming in shockingly fast from New Yorks nascent bicycle infrastructure. I’m lucky to have ridden Grand’s new lane every weekday since it was completed. You do have to be careful of right-turning cars every other intersection, obviously, and people on foot who aren’t yet accustomed to the lane, but that is a tiny subset of the regular deadly threats you have to worry about in a all-traffic lane or a painted bicycle lane. In terms of reduced stress, it’s like getting a free massage while riding. Thank you, thank you, thank you NYC DOT!

  • Jeffrey Hymen

    “Amphetamine-propelled deliverymen?” There is almost no end to the purple prose in Cuozzo’s editorial. They don’t teach this kind of writing in j-school; you gotta learn it on your own.

  • Is Steve Cuozzo really Andrea Peyser in drag? Have they ever been seen together?

  • I’ve actually had people from the bicycle federation of WI tell me that cycle tracks have “serious safety issues”. So it’s good to see streetsblog setting the record straight!

  • JK

    Nice letter Charlie. Plus, as an unrelated bonus, the “Related Articles” side bar has one of the best ever Sblog headlines:

    Inebriated Columnist Issues Fatwa Against Kamikaze Jerks
    July 27, 2006

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