Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Safety

Sen. Jeff Klein to No Impact Man: “Hands Off My Car, You F–king A–hole”

10:47 AM EDT on September 18, 2008

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 mettoday under rather unpleasant circumstances on New York City'sBroadway, just north of City Hall. You were driving your blackMercedes. I was riding a small folding bicycle and wearing a purplehelmet.

To refresh your memory:

Traffic was moving rather slowly and you were heading in thedowntown direction, as was I. You were in the far left lane and I wasriding on the curbside of that lane, near your rear passenger door.Suddenly, you began to veer your Mercedes to the left, potentiallycrushing me between your car and the cars parked on the side of theroad.

With nowhere to go to get out of your way, and to avoid seriousinjury or death, in desperation, I chose to knock on your window to letyou know that I was there and that you should avoid veering further inmy direction.

At this point, you brought your vehicle to an abrupt halt, not toavoid hitting me, but because you apparently needed to communicatesomething to me. You rolled down your window and said, "Get your handsoff 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 findthat 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.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Astoria Organizers Lead the Way on Street Safety with a Reddit Strategy

The western Queens neighborhood has become a hub for a new kind of safe street advocacy.

October 3, 2023

Connecticut’s Regional Rail Investment is Not About New York City

Gov. Ned Lamont will spend $315 million investment on new rail cars — but they're not going anywhere near Grand Central. Here's why.

October 3, 2023

Tuesday’s Headlines: Taxi Driver Edition

It was a pretty slow Monday, but we have news from the Traffic Mobility Review Board meeting!

October 3, 2023

State DMV’s New Rules Could Kinda Sorta Make Roadways Safer

Of course, it all depends on enforcement and diligence of our motor vehicle officials and cops.

October 3, 2023

Popular Fort Greene Open Street Fizzles After City Pulls Support

DOT reassigned its contractor, and this open street — which once hosted rollicking dance parties — is history.

October 2, 2023
See all posts