Mayor Bloomberg brushed off an anti-bike crank while bragging on bike-share, set to launch this spring, during his radio show this morning.
“It is just gonna be unbelievable,” the mayor said, showing off a Citi Bike key he keeps on his keychain to co-host John Gambling. “And the people that don’t like it are gonna become converts, just like [the smoking ban].”
Dana Rubinstein at Capital New York reports:
“George from Manhattan” called in toward the end of the program.
“I want to talk about the lack of enforcement against the bicycle violators that is going on in the city,” he said. “They’re very dangerous, and you want to increase the number of bikes in the city by perhaps several thousand. Right now they’re a menace to pedestrians …”
The mayor cut George off.
“Oh, it’s going to be increased by tens of thousands,” he said. “Every city that’s done this, George, it is phenomenally popular.”
And then the mayor said, “We don’t enforce the bicycle laws as much as we should, you’re right there. But we don’t enforce the automobile traffic laws or the pedestrian laws as well as we should. The police have a lot of things to do. They focus on the most serious things and when have time, do these others. … But it’s the wave of the future, George.”
Bloomberg’s dismissal of traffic enforcement is a little cringe-worthy — the mayor could have pointed out that bike lanes have improved safety for all users on the streets that have them, and that motorists are responsible for hundreds of deaths a year, while fatalities caused by cyclists are extremely rare.
All in all, though, well done.