Worried About Cars Killing People? Eric Ulrich Says “Get a Life”

Re-posted from Brooklyn Spoke.

On June 2, New York City Council Member Eric Ulrich, the same guy who had the bright idea to introduce a new licensing system for bicyclists, tweeted his own “random observ” about bike lanes:

Interestingly, this tweet no longer shows up in his history.  He may have felt the need to delete it after this tragic incident happened in his district on June 3:

WOMAN STRUCK BY OUT OF CONTROL VAN IN QUEENS

OZONE PARK (WABC) — A grandmother is fighting for her life after two vans collided in Queens. The force of the impact sent one of the vans careening through the intersection and onto the sidewalk.

The victim, a 53-year-old woman, was left sprawled across the pavement, gasping for breath and covered in blood.

Family members say she was waiting on the corner to cross the street, on her way to pick up her grandchildren from school.

The accident happened at 103rd Avenue and 93rd Street in Ozone Park.

Ulrich’s office is at 101st Avenue and 93rd Street.

The next day, a Queens resident and former Community Board 9 member tweeted this reply to Council Member Ulrich, expressing her concern about his priorities:

I can think of about a million possible responses to this if you’re as inclined to dislike bikes, bike racks, and traffic calming as Ulrich appears to be.

One possibility is to ignore the tweet, which I’m sure is a tactic favored by most politicians. Another would be to respond with something disarming: “Thanks for your concern.  My condolences to the woman’s family.” Perhaps the council member could have told told @hangingbyastrap that he respectfully disagrees and that no one knows how this tragedy could have been prevented.

Instead, Ulrich sent this tweet:

Classy.

  • Ben K from Harlem

    When did it become politically acceptable to have no regard for human life and safety?
    Or, is it just that if you are on a bike or on foot, your life is worth less than that of a motorist? Tell us, Mr. Ulrich!

  • Asdf

    This site’s journalism quality is declining substantially. It’s turning into polarized, negative, us against them garbage articles only interested in muckraking.

    Let’s get back to the old streetsblog that was about positive change. I enjoyed the hopeful and optimistic articles from years prior that actually got me excited to help this country realize it’s potential. 

  • Melissa Rosales

    That’s me! I’m a former CB9 member!

  • Disgust

    It was only a matter of time before Ulrich did something like this.

  • Regular Reader

    Ummm… No. The public conversation about transportation policy, biking, pedestrians and public space in NYC has become negative and polarized, particularly as conveyed by brain-dead, attention-seeking pols like Ulrich and mainstream media outlets like the New York Post and CBS2. Streetsblog has always done media and political criticism. Unfortuantely, at the moment, there are a lot of press outlets and politicians to criticize in New York City if you care about making streets safer and more sustainable.

    I am still very much enjoying Streetsblog’s positive and optimistic pieces — stuff like the “Why I Ride” photo series and the recent Streetfilm on the public bike-share system in China. I’d always like to see more of this stuff. But why would we want to let Eric Ulrich off the hook for these horrible tweets?

  • Joe R.

    I hope the media harps on this.  What a despicable excuse for a human being.  “Traffic is Queens is bad enough”.  Yeah-that’s the problem, but he seems unwilling to do anything about it.

  • Philip Papas

    This speaks volumes about why things are as bad as they are. Shame on him, and on those who voted for him.

  • Asdf

    This is my point:

    The article “Plan For Crosstown Bike Paths in Central Park Draws Ire From Community Board “Streetsblog rewords:”Upper East Side Community Board Does Not Want Bikes to Cross Central Park Safely”

    This is just as bad as fox news. Look, I am a huge advocate and supporter of the complete streets movement, but this kind of journalism is trashy and isolating.

  • Regular Reader

    Asdf,

    The point of Today’s Headlines isn’t just to regurgitate headlines. The Headlines are also an opportunity for Streetsblog editors to make comment on the day’s news. There is nothing inaccurate about Streetsblog’s re-write of that particular headline. In fact, I find it far more informative, honest and elucidating than the “Draws Ire From Community Board” headline. Streetsblog has always provided this service. This is not a new thing.

    The big difference between Streetsblog and Fox (or the New York Times, for that matter) is that Streetsblog is open and honest about it’s view of the world and its advocacy slant. You come and read Today’s Headlines knowing that the morning’s news is going to be framed up and presented by someone with a livable streets eye and voice. Fox and the New York Times are not honest about their own slant. They both pretend to be objective, fair and balanced. They are not.

    The NYT’s hit-job on bike-share this weekend is a great example of that. The Times is clearly doing advocacy against NYC DOT’s bike-share effort. They are seeking out sources who will trash DOT and bike-share. They are clearly going out of their way to create a narrative that bike-share is “plagued by questions.” Yet, they pretend and maybe even believe that they are doing straight reporting.

  • Anger is an appropriate – and useful – reaction to being attacked. And this is what this jerkoff Ulrich is doing. He’s basically saying that people like the woman covered in blood are nothing. Righteous anger, when someone is trying to turn you or another being into nothing, is what gives you the energy to fight injustice.
     
    Saying we should only focus on the positive, in light of Ulrich’s demeaning and downright homicidal comments, is the equivalent of telling black people to shut up about all that slavery and jim crow crap and start being positive. It’s offensive, negates all the suffering these people were forced to experience and hamstrings any real effort to effect positive change.
     
    I hope you will learn to own your entirely positive feelings of anger in the face of cruelty and injustice.

  • Anger is an appropriate – and useful – reaction to being attacked. And this is what this jerkoff Ulrich is doing. He’s basically saying that people like the woman covered in blood are nothing. Righteous anger, when someone is trying to turn you or another being into nothing, is what gives you the energy to fight injustice.
     
    Saying we should only focus on the positive, in light of Ulrich’s demeaning and downright homicidal comments, is the equivalent of telling black people to shut up about all that slavery and jim crow crap and start being positive. It’s offensive, negates all the suffering these people were forced to experience and hamstrings any real effort to effect positive change.
     
    I hope you will learn to own your entirely positive feelings of anger in the face of cruelty and injustice.

  • Mark

    Eric Ulrich needs to understand that bad traffic in Queens is a result of the overuse of the automobile which is spatially incompatible with the density of Queens.   Queens will be mired in dangerous, nasty traffic as long as it promotes auto oriented policies.  The solutions which will make safer, more livable and improve its transportation network are exactly what he derides as “kool aid”. 

     

  • Eric McClure

    Ulrich ought to do the honorable thing and resign. His flippant disregard for the safety of his constituents is frankly unbefitting the office.

  • Seriously?

    #getalife? Did he seriously use that?  If so, he really ought to be ashamed.  Showing his age with a tweet like that.

  • J G

    It’s a shame that Aileen Chen won’t be able to get a life – a driver touting a deadly weapon took hers.

    I hope the grandmother who was brutally assaulted by an unlicensed driver touting a deadly weapon won’t be needing to “get a life.”

  • Mike

    What does the number sign mean at the end of the post?

  • Andrew

    The latter.

  • Reland

    I agree with Asdf. Asdf cited a specific example of the kind of manipulation of language that, among other things (printing rebuttals to tabloid articles) makes me think StreetsBlog lacks credibility and integrity. I’d like to hear if anyone can justify this sort of deliberately polarizing word choice.

  • ReoNeo

    what eric ulrich meantioned “kool aid” – he was already being racist. as it is common for white people to make fun of black people by saying they love KFC, grape juice, watermelons, bacardis, and kool aid. shame on you eric. step down now.

  • ReoNeo

    typo, that’s mentioned.

  • I fail to see how two vans colliding and then hitting a pedestrian has anything at all to do with bike lines whatsoever. I’m with Ulrich on the Apples+Oranges comment.

  • Not at all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid

  • Anonymous

    The woman mentioned bike lanes and “traffic calming.” Ulrich is against any change to the street that does not benefit drivers.

    Either way, would you tell your constituent to get a life?

  • AlexB

    Completely agree, but not really about this post in question.  I expect an opinion from this site, and have no expectations of neutrality.  However, I do expect to be given the whole story, and I expect a certain level of due diligence in fact gathering and analysis that seems to be slipping.  Leaving out crucial information isn’t a slant, it’s a sneaky way of lying.

  • middleagedbiker

    While I don’t expect everyone to agree with me 100% on my pro-bike views, Ulrich really does seem an idiot pure and simple.  People like him shouldn’t be on the City Council, and those of us who care about progressive transportation issues, and good government generally, should make it our business to see that he isn’t. 

  • It’s very likely they wouldn’t have collided at high enough speeds to go flying off if there’d been traffic calming in place. And even if they did, a parking protected bike lane itself acts as a buffer when things like that happen.

    People generally don’t have accidents when they’re driving slowly, and when they do, the consequences aren’t invariably deadly. If you’re hit by a car going at 20 mph, you’re probably going to survive. At 40, you’re dog meat.

  • gwmccull

     That is called a hash tag.  It allows anyone to tag a tweet to make it easier to find, or at least that is how I understand it.  You can probably search #getalife on Twitter and find every tweet by anyone who has ever used that tag.

  • gwmccull

     That is called a hash tag.  It allows anyone to tag a tweet to make it easier to find, or at least that is how I understand it.  You can probably search #getalife on Twitter and find every tweet by anyone who has ever used that tag.

  • gwmccull

     That is called a hash tag.  It allows anyone to tag a tweet to make it easier to find, or at least that is how I understand it.  You can probably search #getalife on Twitter and find every tweet by anyone who has ever used that tag.

  • carma

    bike lanes are wonderful, if they dont cause traffic which causes idling which causes more pollution.

    some of the bike lanes recently installed are great.  but some are horrible.  streets that are designed so that you can cruise at 20mph, but not hit every traffic light are the best you can possibly hope for.

  • JH

    Middleagedbiker:  You call Eric Ulrich an ‘idiot plain and simple’  who ‘shouldn’t be on the City Council’ .  It’s apparent to me that the reason you don’t like Councilman Ulrich is because he doesn’t agree with you about bike lanes.  The problem here is a driver who was blowing past stop signs and didn’t have a licence.  I wonder why you don’t comment on that?

  • I don’t particularly hate bikes (find actually riding them terrifying, but to each their own) but ‘traffic calming’ makes me irrationally angry. I want to get where I’m going, and intentionally slowing people down is maddening! Traffic is slow enough already, I can literally feel myself aging during your average stop light, and once you hit a red you KEEP hitting them until you arrive at your place ten lifetimes later!

  • Ivanlaura

    Queens politicians cant always be ‘on’ and perfect, at least he’s not an underwear model.

  • Arockland

    This guy Erich Ulrich is a slimey liar and a worthless worm. About 3 or 4 years ago he was an Allstate Insurance agent who was taking a call from me regarding an auto accident i nwhich another driver hit me. Very open and shut situation. 100 % her fault. Instead he starts twisting the facts on the phone and laughs that he will present the facts any way he wants to in total disregard for the truth. I could not believe it. Ofcourse the police report agreed whith my version but this is the same creep that I spoke to.

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