It’s hard to say what’s most off-putting about the campaign by Peter Vallone Jr. and Michael DenDekker to grant free parking to motorcyclists — including themselves — in New York City. There is of course the brazen and unapologetic conflict of interest in introducing legislation for one’s personal benefit.
Then there’s the fact that no one needs to see an elected in a leather vest.
And the irony. Pop mythology has it that motorcycle riders are tough guys — rugged individualists, if you will. Yet to hear Vallone and DenDekker tell it, they and their boys are helpless against the muni-meter receipt, which they can’t figure out how to attach to their Hogs.
“We get tickets a lot,” Vallone said at a motorcycle rally, of sorts, at Queens Borough Hall on Thursday. “That is unfair.”
From the Times:
The [DOT] noted that it provided parking instructions on its Web site, which recommend that motorcyclists purchase clear plastic cases to hold their meter receipts.
Mr. DenDekker said these instructions were insufficient because they did not detail where to find the holders or how to use them. “Either way, they got my $65,” he said.
So DenDekker can hold elected office, but needs his hand held to secure a piece of plastic to his motorcycle. Failing that, he and Vallone want a free pass.
Plus, they say, free parking for motorcycles would be a boon for green transportation. From the News:
“It would be a great idea to encourage other alternate forms of transportation like we’re doing right now with bicycles,” DenDekker said. “We also need to do that with motorcycles.”
American Brotherhood Motorcycle Club president John Cartier, 44, of Astoria, said bicyclists get help from the city, while motorcyclists don’t.
“The bicyclists get miles of bike lanes,” he said. “We pay $42.50 in registration fees and pay our taxes, too. We make our contribution and we’re not getting anything back. We just want a level of equality.”
Couple things. City cyclists have somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 miles of dedicated lanes, while motorcyclists have over 6,000. And equating a motorcycle with a bicycle is like equating a Sea-Doo with a swimsuit.
Finally, what an outsized sense of entitlement coming from guys with nicknames like Mad Dog and Killer, who you’d think wouldn’t want anything to do with this sort of blatant handout.
Brando and Hopper must be rolling in their graves.