Today’s Headlines

  • Car-on-Bike Crashes Are Up — The Post Finds a Cop Who Blames Cyclists and Bike Lanes
  • City Council Gives Final Approval to Riverside Center and Its 1,500 Parking Spaces (NYT)
  • Construction Has Started on NY Botanical Garden’s Huge New Subsidized Garage (BoogieDowner)
  • LaHood: High Speed Rail Will Be Our Generation’s Legacy (Streetsblog Cap Hill)
  • Thought Provoking Subway Spots Give Way to MTA Promos (NYT)
  • Andrea Bernstein Remembers 2005 Transit Strike: Frigid Biking, Frosty Bloomberg (Transpo Nation)
  • Heartwarming: Second Ave Businesses Break Bread With MTA’s Subway Builders (NY1)
  • Gridlock Sam Returns From China With a Case of Infrastructure Envy (PBS)
  • The Great Bike Helmet Debate Goes Global (Grist)
  • Cliff Lee, the Southpaw Straphanger, Had to Get Out of Car-Dependent Arlington, TX (Star-Telegram)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Jay

    A police officer and a UPS driver complaining that cyclists think they own the road? Seriously?!

    To be sure, there are problems with cyclist behavior that need to be addressed. But citing complaints from two of the groups that most act like they own the road is simply laughable. Many of them are going to complain anytime somebody go so far as expect them to share!

  • Glenn

    The scapegoating of cyclists in the media really needs to stop. There are far greater threats to life on the street that are far more commonplace (driving while eating, driving while texting, etc) and specific classes of drivers/vehicles that cause outsized damage given their low numbers – think drivers with suspended licences and private garbage trucks. Any media account that draws attention to cyclists as a big threat to pedestrians and fails to mention any of the above are simply missing the point and exposing their windshield perspective.

    Go back to all the original data sources and see how innocent people are dying on the streets and the reason is usually that a driver of a motor vehicle made an error in judgment or purposefully did not follow the law. I can’t wait until the city and state start collecting better statistics on injuries to others caused by cyclists because then biased assumptions can be refuted with hard data.

  • Larry Littlefield

    That Cliff Lee piece is worth quoting in this quarter’s reports on Philadelphia AND Fort Worth, which just cancelled its streetcar. I only hope the institutional collapse won’t leave Kristen Lee worse off from a transportation point of view than if she stayed in Texas.

  • @Glenn (#2): “The scapegoating of cyclists in the media really needs to stop.” OK, if you haven’t already, write the Post’s reporters, editors and publisher, and not just us. And you don’t have to wait for hard data, it’s been around for a decade: The Only Good Cyclist (2000) and Killed by Automobile (1999).

  • The Post sure has a way with facts. 12 fatalities involving bikes? From the tone of the article you’d think that when a bike collides with a taxi or UPS truck, it’s the driver or delivery guy who gets killed.

    From Ben’s post on last week’s Times editorial:

    According to the State Department of Health, an average of 3,446 pedestrians are hospitalized and 312 are killed statewide each year as a result getting struck by motorists. The average number of pedestrians hospitalized as a result of getting struck by cyclists is 81. In New York City, 155 pedestrians and 12 cyclists were killed in traffic in 2009. Historically, bike crashes kill about one pedestrian per year in the city.

    Please, everyone, bookmark this Post story. You’ll want to refer to it next week when they write about how bike lanes aren’t necessary because they’re empty all the time.

  • The lead paragraph of the Post story about cyclists getting hit by cars states “that investigators blame in large part on rogue cyclists who have turned city streets into demolition derbies…”

    Okay, what “investigators”? No investigation is cited, no investigator is quoted, save an anonymous cop and a UPS driver who wanted to let loose some bile. Plus Jimmy Vacca, who does not refer to any “investigation” in his quote.

  • “Rogue” cyclists and “demolition derbies” seem like awful pejorative language to find in official investigative reports. What does the Manhattan DA’s office think about police jumping to conclusions like that?

  • Nate

    A Post article filled with irrational victim-blame? No way. Soon you’re going to be telling me that Time’s running trend stories about social networking sites.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    What’s sad is that it’s not just the New York Post. The New York Times is also participating in this cyclist scapegoating bullshit. Bikes have turned NYC streets into demolition derbies? Please. The only way you can possibly think that is if your only experience on NYC streets is from the interior of an automobile.

  • Nate

    I’d really like to see a coordinated effort to get more pro-bike and pro-street safety stuff in the Times and the Daily News — letters to the editor, CityRoom stuff, etc. (http://www.ridethecity.com/blog/ny-times-bicycles-section for a great suggestion). The Post is a lost cause.

  • Dalai Lama: political agenda sidelined five to ten years [to] shift focus to climate change on Tibetan plateau http://bit.ly/hru9lT

  • csm

    From the NY Post article: “Some 17,500 people commute daily by bike — up from 8,500 in 2006, according to the Department of Transportation.”

    According to a Transportation Alternatives report earlier this year, there are 236,000 daily bike commuters in NYC; from their latest numbers, at least 200,000.

    So which should we believe, TA or DOT?

  • Streetblog folks need to get on the Comment chain of the Cliff Lee story, because that’s where we can make our case to an audience that needs convincing.

  • csm, those are different estimates. TA’s is the number of cyclists on any given day, while the reported DOT estimate is for the number of people who “commute daily” by bicycle, throughout the year presumably. On any given day you’re going to have a great number of people on bicycles who do not report themselves as “cycle commuters”. Maybe they’re fair weather cyclists, tourists, or undocumented immigrants.

    It shouldn’t particularly matter which group people are in when you’re deciding policy that determines how many of them will be violently killed in collisions with automobiles. But the Post, with its “CRASH PEST DUMMY” lead photo leaves little to the imagination. The fight for street space is for them a proxy for unspeakable racial resentments, much like public transportation is in other parts of the country (like Arlington, TX) where white people fret about it shuttling “crime” into their neighborhoods. Those fears are not going to be assuaged by a well reasoned transportation argument any more than segregationists would have been persuaded by an educational or public health argument.

    And incidentally, I recognize the horrid patch of asphalt where the Post found its “2-wheeled heel”. (Again, these guys don’t beat around the bush!) The SUV that the cyclist “cuts in front of” is stopped at the light. The cyclist was deposited in that left lane of traffic when the northbound bicycle lane ended, and he’s trying to get into less lethal lane of traffic before the light changes and autos race up Park like it’s the end of the world. You can actually see the despair on his face, a small sadistic comfort for Post readers who have eschewed sidewalks and train cars to get away from this guy, and now find him all up in their windshields.

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