Bloomberg on the Radio: Bike Share Is the “Wave of the Future”

Mayor Bloomberg brushed off an anti-bike crank while bragging on bike-share, set to launch this spring, during his radio show this morning.

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“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.

  • Funny that Bloomy got punchy about “enforcement”, that’s a bit of an abrupt change from being irrationally protective of the NYPD and its management priorities. Maybe now that he doesn’t need Ray Kelly for a legislative mandate anymore, he’s free to call it as he sees it?

  • Anonymous

    I have many complaints about Bloomberg but one thing that I’m grateful for is that he understands that bikes are part of the big picture. 

    Yes, it sucked when he gave up Bedford Ave for Hasid votes and he never really sticks his neck out.  But, on the big picture, he gets it. 

    Whereas now, I fear, some old machine type will be the next mayor, cater to the Nimby’s and forces of status-quo, and proceed to rip-out bike infrastructure on BS pretexts of costs and safety and the local lemming media just nods in accordance. 

    For me, the deal-breaker for next mayor, is someone even entertains rolling back our livable streets infrastructure. 

    That’s why I have trouble supporting Christine Quinn.  Hasn’t she pushed BS legislation like allowing double-parking, extra time at meters, accomodations for limos and just generally avoided anything about livable streets?   

  • Miles Bader

    @JarekAF:disqus Ah, you mean Christine “SUV” Quinn?

  • Miles Bader

    @JarekAF:disqus Ah, you mean Christine “SUV” Quinn?

  • Brownstone

    Quinn also voted for and supported the police version of the parade permit law that limits freedom of travel and freedom of speech to everyone, gay, straight, cyclists and marcher alike.  The LBGT movement started around the Stonewall protest and the NYPD’s restrictions on publicly marching or even publicly walking on the street together.
    Quinn gets told the parade permit law is “only” targeted at bicyclists.  Really. 
    She has forgotten where she came from, and that there is still a long way to go.

    AABQ:  Almost anybody but Quinn.

  • Anonymous

    The Post’s take on this story is fascinating. I especially like their picture of “bedlam” in Beijing. Imagine if each cyclist in the picture were driving a car. Instead of having some 40 people in the picture, you might have 4 or 6. Now that would be bedlam, because no one would be able to get anywhere!

    I also wonder how the “editors” let the same two paragraphs be repeated twice in the same article, and that it somehow takes three reporters to report on what Bloomberg said on the radio yesterday.


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