It’s Spring! Feel the Bike Hate Beaming From the New York Post

BEDLAM! A lunatic cyclist is brought under control by a slacking city employee.

Given the Post’s unequivocal hatred of people who ride bicycles, you’d think Col Allan’s tabloid would applaud DOT for assigning a small number of employees to encourage cyclists to ride in the direction of traffic and stop for pedestrians. Instead, the Post today attacked the “Street Safety Manager” program as a waste of taxpayer money, even as the same story insisted that cyclists are out-of-control maniacs.

It’s like the reporters (it took two) just packed in as many tropes as they could. You’ve got the rogue cyclists, lollygagging city employees, and a sideways jab at bike-share, punctuated by ready-made quotes from random bystanders — this piece has it all. Never mind that it also has more disconnected story lines than a J.J. Abrams teleplay.

We could point out how ridiculous it is to single out a handful of bike lane monitors when the city employs a small army of Traffic Enforcement Agents whose job is basically to wave traffic into pedestrians who have the legal right of way. Or that there hasn’t been a fatal collision between a cyclist and pedestrian in years, while motorists injure and kill scores every day. Or that it makes no sense to attack the city for loosing thousands of “reckless bikers” and also attack the city for taking steps to improve bike safety.

But to make those arguments would be to presume that the Post is actually interested in safer streets.

  • Anonymous

    Your comments in terms of watts and horsepower are far too technical for me; I have absolutely no idea how to respond to any of that.

    I can tell you that I average 10 miles per hour — my 10-mile commute to work takes about an hour; a 50-mile ride takes about five hours; my first 100-mile ride took 11 1/2 hours; and my longest ride of 117 miles took 13 hours. This is partly because of the fact that I ride a mountain bike for purposes of comfort; and partly because of all the stops I make due to lights.

    If you can average a rate of over 20 miles per hour, then congratulations to you. Unfortunately, there are few places in the City where it will be possible to consistently keep that pace, perhaps only on the Shore Pkwy (Belt Pkwy) bike path and maybe on the upper reaches of Riverside Drive. (There is a one-mile stretch of 43rd Ave. in Sunnyside, from about 51st St. west to where it merges with Skillman Ave., on which I can keep a 20-mph pace, and which works out perfectly with the timing of the green lights.) It’s great that you have the capacity to go so fast; but, within the City, you’ll just have to go slower.

    I’m sorry, but you do have the responsibilty to be a bike ambassador — as do I, as does every other adult who rides in our City. While it’s true that the other side (the newspapers and the lobbyists) isn’t rational, our side had the advantage during this administration which took our concerns seriously, and which consistently delivered for us.

    It’s true that eastern Queens doesn’t have the bike infrastructure yet. But, if we bicyclists had behaved better as a group, we’d have stood a great chance that the next mayor would have kept Bloomberg’s bike-friendly policies in place, and would have continued the yearly increase in bike lanes until they reached eastern Queens and everywhere else in the City.

    But, because of the climate that scofflaw bicyclists have created by their refusal to acknowledge what’s at stake, the next mayor will instead find it in his/her political interests to get rid of our infrastructure as quickly as possible.

  • Joe R.

    Ferdinand, talk to somebody who’s into fitness training about what I wrote, or maybe if you have any cycling professionals among your friends talk to them. I’m neither, but I’ve learned a lot on the technical side. I also find it hard believing you’ve ridden 117 miles and stopped for every light unless most of the ride was outside of city limits. 117 miles in NYC stopping for every light easily means 1000 stops. No human being can do that, not even Bradley Wiggens. Point of fact, my longest ride ever was 60 miles. The most in one day was 70 miles, but that was broken into an afternoon and evening ride. Now I can barely manage 35 or 40 miles (that’s without stopping unless something is physically in my way). Stopping for every light, I’d be lucky to go 5 miles.

    There’s lots of places in my area where I can go 20 mph and more. In fact, I’ve even hit 55 mph on some downgrades when conditions were perfect (and 65 mph once in NJ). I just make sure to ride at times and in places where traffic is at a minimum. I wouldn’t be caught dead riding in or near Manhattan unless traffic levels declined to about 10% of what they are, so it affects me not at all if that infrastructure is removed. In fact, I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, but as far as I’m concerned the golden age for cycling in NYC was probably from the late 1970s when adult riding started becoming mainstream until maybe the late 1990s. Things got worse once Guiliani’s quality of life initiatives went from arresting squeegee men to giving out tickets for public drinking, sidewalk riding (I got one of those in 1999), and other laws which hadn’t been enforced ever. He even briefly tried jaywalking tickets, but that fortunately didn’t last. Bloomberg more or less continued this policy. To add to that, traffic levels got MUCH worse, to the point I could no longer ride in my neighborhood except after about 9 PM.

    It used to be you could do anything on a bike, even right in front police, and they just didn’t care. Now you’ll get a ticket for not having a bell. Once I had to start watching for police, the stress level of riding went way up. In fact, I barely rode at all for a long time after getting that ticket. I’ve only gotten back into riding in the last few years. If I ever get another ticket, I’m done for good with riding.

    Sorry, if this is the price to pay for having infrastructure, 95% of which is substandard death traps like those protected lanes in Manhattan, you can keep the infrastructure. I can ride faster and safer in the street. If we’re really concerned about cyclists running red lights, we’ll do as I’ve said many times and make a network of bicycle highways, grade-separated if need be, which is comprehensive enough so one can do most of their journey off regular streets. If we had that, I’m more than willing and able to stop at the 2 or 3 red lights I might encounter getting to/from these bike highways. Right now most of what JSK and Bloomberg have built does nothing to make cycling safer or any faster. The biggest plus is there are a lot more connections than before. I doubt those will go away in the next administration simply because they’re concrete, not thermoplast. As far as Eastern Queens goes, the only thing useful here would be things similar to what exist along the Belt Parkway, or just getting rid of as many traffic lights as possible on regular streets.

    As for scofflaw cyclists, you do realize the majority of ones people in neighborhoods like yours complain about are delivery people who have an economic incentive to ride the way they do. You think these guys care about some sort of social contract to obey laws in order to keep the bike lanes? Not a chance when it’ll cost them in tips. Until we fix that somehow, preferably by making these delivery people hourly employees, nothing you or I can do will make a dent in the way the public perceives cyclists. Your position of reciprocating infrastructure with better behavior is very noble without a doubt. I just somehow don’t think the city is going to suddenly lose infrastructure they spent many millions on in the next administration just because a minority of mostly wealthy city residents with no real problems in life complain about bikes. I feel now that bike share is coming, the lanes will stay. NYC makes a lot of money on tourism. If the word gets out tourists don’t have safe bike lanes, or they’re getting ticketed en masse, they’ll spend their tourism dollars elsewhere. Certainly other cities will compete if NYC drops the ball. NYC isn’t in a vaccum. This revival of cycling is a national thing. You really think a few wannabee tinpot dictators here are going to stop it? In fact, I plan to do my part in this election and send some letters making it clear to Quinn et al that if their stance on bicycles, especially e-bikes, continues they’re not getting my vote.

  • Anonymous

    It might not be possible to sprint from 0 to 20+ mph in six seconds at every red light (I can’t tell since I don’t reach that kind of acceleration even once!) What is certainly possible is to stop at every light if you keep your acceleration to what one might call a “more reasonable” level for urban riding. I’m sorry, Joe, that you find cycling without that kind of acceleration to be a worthless activity. But I suspect you are part of a very small minority in that respect. I think most people who ride bikes for transportation in the city are perfectly happy with speeds of 10-15 mph and what you would consider crawling starts. If cycling here ever reached Amsterdam levels, I’m afraid you’d find you’d find yourself unhappy at all the “slow” cyclists who would inevitably get in your way.

  • Joe R.

    “What is certainly possible is to stop at every light if you keep your acceleration to what one might call a “more reasonable” level for urban riding.”

    And then instead of hitting a light every 3 or 4 blocks you hit a light every 2 blocks. Yes, less effort per acceleration but twice as many accelerations. It still doesn’t work. And no, if cycling levels here reached “Amsterdam” levels, I would just do what I already do to avoid traffic-ride light nights. Cycling in traffic sucks regardless of whether you’re dealing with car traffic or bike traffic. Besides that, I would hope if the city had properly designed cycling infrastructure there would be room for faster cyclists to pass slower ones. If not, everyone moves at the speed of the slowest cyclist.

    You need to realize there’s worlds of difference from the cyclists who might be going few miles within Manhattan to those who are riding much longer distances, either just for exercise, or because they’re commuting from the outer boroughs. 10 or 15 mph doesn’t work when you’re covering 10+ miles. Neither does stopping for every red light. The city needs to get on the ball and make more off-street bike paths if this cycling thing is ever to really take off. I might even consider riding into Manhattan during busier times if we had bike highways of a sort to get me there. Now such a trip would take well over an hour easily instead of the 30 minutes or less it might take me with proper infrastructure.

  • Really Unimpressed

    Bikers (speeding demons, wrong-way delivery guys, clueless tourists) are already a threat to pedestrians. Now it will get only worse due to the CitiBike program (AKA Biblical plague about to descend on NYC)

  • Ian Turner

    That’s funny, I thought the threat to pedestrians was the speeding motor vehicles that kill and maim them…

  • Really Unimpressed

    Wrong – countless people are struck everyday by bicyclists, who often do not obey traffic regulations. They come from all directions and do not stop at red lights.

  • Really Unimpressed

    So right! I only became a bike-hater after years of “widespread law-breaking on the part of bicyclists.” I have had so many near misses it’s outrageous. I have also witnessed the most reckless behavior from bike riders and have seen the serious injuries sustained by pedestrians when bikes zoom into them.

  • Really Unimpressed

    No, the anti-bike ‘hysteria’ is not generated by the media but rather from New Yorkers’ every day experiences trying to cross the street without being hit by a bicyclist . You’re in some kind of denial if you think this is all the Press’ fault. Just ask any pedestrian what they think. You will hear a mouthful!!

  • Ian Turner

    Where is the evidence that “countless people are struck everyday by bicyclists”? Given that motor vehicles kill hundreds and injure over 10,000 every year in NYC, I think you have made quite a claim when you say that bicycles are the problem. Now is the time to back up your statements with proof.

  • Joe R.

    As Ian Turner mentioned above, show me the statistics. I want to see the huge numbers of pedestrians killed and injured at the hands of cyclists. I don’t give a flying you know what about meaningless anecdotal evidence or hyperbole. I’ve seen people call a bike passing 5 feet away a “near miss”. And I’ve seen more than my share of people cross the street or wander into bike lanes with their heads buried in their gadgets. Just ask any pedestrian what they think? I’m often a pedestrian. I’ve never been hit by a bike (or a car). Then again, I got into a good habit years ago of looking both ways before crossing the street, regardless of where I’m crossing, and regardless of the color of the light. I suggest you try it. I look when I bike, also, and as a result I’ve never hit anybody doing that, either. Sorry, color me really UNIMPRESSED by your idiotic claims.

    Sorry, but I don’t buy the sensationalist crap I read in the papers because it doesn’t mesh with my experience. Wow, so some small minority of rich people in well-heeled neighborhoods who have no real problems in life were “almost hit by bicycles”, whatever that means, and then run to complain about it to the local papers, or at community board meetings. You don’t hear this kind of garbage coming from working class neighborhoods. Also, most of the neighborhoods where the complaining comes from are full of delivery cyclists. Perhaps if they really cause the mayhem people say, I might suggest people start picking up their own food.

  • Joe R.

    As Ian Turner mentioned above, show me the statistics. I want to see the huge numbers of pedestrians killed and injured at the hands of cyclists. I don’t give a flying you know what about meaningless anecdotal evidence or hyperbole. I’ve seen people call a bike passing 5 feet away a “near miss”. And I’ve seen more than my share of people cross the street or wander into bike lanes with their heads buried in their gadgets. Just ask any pedestrian what they think? I’m often a pedestrian. I’ve never been hit by a bike (or a car). Then again, I got into a good habit years ago of looking both ways before crossing the street, regardless of where I’m crossing, and regardless of the color of the light. I suggest you try it. I look when I bike, also, and as a result I’ve never hit anybody doing that, either. Sorry, color me really UNIMPRESSED by your idiotic claims.

    Sorry, but I don’t buy the sensationalist crap I read in the papers because it doesn’t mesh with my experience. Wow, so some small minority of rich people in well-heeled neighborhoods who have no real problems in life were “almost hit by bicycles”, whatever that means, and then run to complain about it to the local papers, or at community board meetings. You don’t hear this kind of garbage coming from working class neighborhoods. Also, most of the neighborhoods where the complaining comes from are full of delivery cyclists. Perhaps if they really cause the mayhem people say, I might suggest people start picking up their own food.

  • I believe in acting at red lights the same way a pedestrian (who is also subject to the same laws!) would ? I stop, look, and cross if safe. Some lights are only safe to cross when green. Some lights are simply ludicrous, like red lights along the Greenway that pass a car gate but that are in effect even when the gates are closed, or the really silly red light 50 feet before the red light at 12th Avenue at 34th Street ? for that light, I will routinely ride through it to make the 12th Avenue light, or otherwise ride over to the opposite corner for a safer cross. Then there’s a patch like the entrance to the Greenway south of 158th Street ? if you ride in the street, you’ll likely get a flat or a slashed tire from the debris, and that’s if you don’t get sideswiped, all of which happened to me ? so I now routinely bike on the little-used sidewalk above the train tracks for this one-block menace.

    What drives me crazy are both the rude cyclists who do not respect other cyclists and pedestrians, and pedestrians who are clueless, walking slowly in the bike lanes (especially the ones on the Greenway at night, wearing all black, and invisible until you’re right on top of them), or those stepping into the bike lanes without looking. One rude cyclist who didn’t bother to announce himself was forced into the bushes when he tried to go around me while I was going around a hole.

  • I have been riding a bike since I was 6, early on I discovered many things about NYC that other kids never discovered. That is the joy of cycling, its a freedom I grew up with, before bike lanes or smooth roads for that matter. So I learned many things about NYC, one is how to ride defensively (I assume no one sees me), Cycling is new to New York again but it always been there and always will be here. Bike lane or no Bike lane.

    So if you want a civilized Cyclist on the road you must educated them when they are young, and build them bike lanes to explore.

  • I’m walking here

    Myself and my children were nearly struck TWICE today by self absorbed bike riders who do not feel the law applies to them. I hate bikes because of them not because of the “media.” The “media” has never run into me from behind on the sidewalk but a bike has.

    Today I was crossing the street when a man on a bike almost hit me and my son – he actually brushed against me rocking me back into the street. He was riding the wrong way AND running a red light. Guess what happened next? I said “watch it” and he said I should look where I am F-ing going. Me the person walking with the right of way.

    The other guy earlier today blew through a red light passing a foot from my four year old son with his baby strapped to the front of his bike.

    Last summer a guy was riding through a red light and my son yelled STOP and he tuned around a yelled at him (he was 6) “There is No God!” – Very odd.

    Another time a woman with a kid riding on the sidewalk knocked my oldest into a building and when I yelled at her to get off the sidewalk she told me there was no way she would ride in the street with her kid because it was dangerous. I was livid so it is perfectly okay for HER to hurt my kid because biking is dangerous to HER kid – I have an idea – WALK.

    I live downtown and I see bike riders breaking the law constantly. FOr eery bike I see following the law there are at least 3 who do not. AND when you ask them to get off the sidewalk the yell at you.

    THAT is why I hate bikes. It has nothing to do with the “media”

    Also Thank you to the few people who obey traffic laws. I appreciate it.

  • Joe R.

    Show me pictures or it didn’t happen. And while we’re at it show me the statistics for pedestrians hurt or killed by cyclists. I’ve been walking in the city for decades and never once got hit by a bike, or even almost hit. Then again, I look where I’m going.

    And please get over this fucking fixation with bicycles not obeying traffic laws. Nobody in this city obeys traffic laws, and frankly obeying the laws has zip to do with safety. Everyone needs to look out for everyone else, period.

  • Ian Turner

    You’re right, bikes are a scourge on our streets and the main reason why we have to face stuff like this every month:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/05/28/nypd-1192-pedestrians-and-cyclists-injured-11-killed-in-traffic-in-april/

  • Anonymous

    A taxi nearly ran me off the road yesterday but you don’t hear me bitching about it.

    Also, you seem like an asshole so I’d probably tell you to fuck off too.

  • Andrew

    Virtually every time I walk a few blocks, I am nearly struck by multiple cars and trucks whose drivers do not feel the law applies to them.

    One big difference between them and the bikes: they actually kill people, hundreds per year in New York City alone, while no cyclist has killed anyone in New York City in over four years.

  • I’m walking here

    I have lived in New York my entire life and I can count on one hand the number of times I have been almost hit by a car. The difference is I do not worry about cars going the wrong way on streets or driving on sidewalks like bikes do.

    Are some drivers jerks? Absolutely. I do not see how one group being wrong allows another group to also break the law.

    I have no problem with bikes in general – In fact I ride a bike and so do my kids. But I follow the traffic laws and I have taught them to do the same.

    My son actually yelled “Stop in the name of law” – not because I am in the habit of screaming at bikes but because he was 6 and was into being a policeman at the time. He also held up his hand to stop cars constantly and tried to arrest some pigeons.

    Think of it this way: How mad do you get when a car drives or parks in the bike lane? Annoyed at least I would guess because bike lanes are for bikes, right? The sidewalk is the pedestrian version of a bike lane – it is for walking. It is the same thing. And it makes me angry when bikes ride on it and put myself and my family at risk.

    Why is that unreasonable?

    Do cars kill more people than bikes? Sure. But why is that the standard? Why does that even matter? French fries kill more people than than guns, should we stop trying to reduce gun related deaths because it isn’t as many as caused by fried food?

    That is just stupid.

    Please just follow the law that is all I ask.

  • Joe R.

    I agree about bikes on sidewalks and riding against traffic. The latter is generally dangerous and usually serves no useful purpose (except maybe for deliverymen trying to make their rounds faster). If a cyclist must ride on the sidewalk, perhaps because they’re riding with their children, or the street is unusable, then they should defer to pedestrians, not expect pedestrians to get out of their way. All that’s reasonable and I have no problem if you get angry at cyclists who ride like jerks on the sidewalk.

    Stopping at every red light and stop sign I do take issue with because it’s not necessary for safety, and it’s often safer for a cyclist to pass a red light and get a head start on traffic. It’s also burdensome to stop every 2 blocks. If your complaints are solely about cyclists who go through red lights without yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk, then I agree, that’s wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated. If you’re complaining about cyclists who go through red lights when nothing is coming, then I’m not seeing anything wrong with it. Yes, it’s technically illegal, but pedestrians also jaywalk. It’s safer and more efficient to do this in a city where virtually every corner has traffic lights or stop signs. Those traffic controls are mainly needed to deal with the volume of automobile traffic. They shouldn’t apply to either pedestrians or cyclists (except that both should yield to any cross traffic if going against the light).

    Bottom line-following the spirit of the law but not necessarily the letter I can agree with. Some cyclists are jerks. So are some drivers and so are some pedestrians. Those are the people you should be complaining about.

    As for you son, you should have mentioned that he was just playing cop. I probably would figured that out anyway if I saw a little kid say “stop in the name of the law”.

  • Driver

    I guess you don’t consider turning cars coming within inches of you in a crosswalk being almost hit then. Either that or you never cross the street, because it’s an everyday occurance in Manhattan.

  • I’m walking here

    I think do lump the running a red light people with the sidewalk/wrong way/dodging pedestrian bike riders because both are so common that it presents a general impression that the majority of bike riders do not feel like the rules apply to them.

    If the truly “dangerous” bike riders were rarer I would not mind the “red light running when no one is around” bike riders less. Do you know what I mean?

    It would seem that some bike riders have the same issue with painting disgruntled pedestrians with the same brush because the assumption was made that my son yelling stop was some sort of aggression toward bicyclists (which is not the first thing I would think). Do bike riders assume that all rationally annoyed pedestrians are all crazy anti-bike lunatics?

  • I’m walking here

    It is usually within feet of me not inches and it is not a daily occurrence and I walk everywhere in Manhattan, miles a day. I am careful and look for turning cars. I also try to walk against traffic with my kids so that cars turn from in front of me not behind.

    But again I do not understand this argument. I do want cars to be safer – not speed, give right of way etc. But I also want bikes to behave more responsibly too. Just because they do not cause the most injuries (and they do hit a lot of pedestrians look at the Hunter College study) it does not mean they should operate with impunity. I have never been hit by a car but I was hit by a bike and knocked down ( He hit me from behind as I walked down the sidewalk so looking where I was going would not have helped btw).

  • Joe R.

    “Do bike riders assume that all rationally annoyed pedestrians are all crazy anti-bike lunatics?”

    The jerks might but in general no. If someone screamed at me because I almost ran them down in a crosswalk, I wouldn’t say a word because I know I was in the wrong. On the other hand, I have had people (rarely) yell at me for going through red lights when nobody is around, and I’ve told them to mind their own business. I don’t yell at either pedestrians or motorists unless they’re doing something which puts me in danger. And I have zero problems if someone yells at me because I’m doing something dangerous to them. I really don’t care if any group obeys laws, but I do expect everyone to watch where they’re going and to be considerate.

  • Miles Bader

    His excuse was that he was only going a short distance, as if whether he was going 10 feet or 10 miles made any difference

    What does make a difference is speed and attitude—somebody cycling at a bit more than walking pace and keeping a sharp eye out won’t ram into you, no matter how oblivious you are—and “only a short distance” makes the cost of doing so much less onerous.

    Even a hard-core balls-to-the-wall speed-demon like Joe R. can go slowly for short distances, I think… :]

    So I think distance does make a difference, at least if the cyclist is sane, which may not always be the case…

  • Andrew

    Drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians while turning. If you find yourself having to wait to let them go ahead of you, they’re breaking the law, every bit as much as a wrong-way bicyclist is breaking the law.

    There’s one big difference between the two, though. Drivers who fail to yield kill many, many New Yorkers every year, as do drivers who violate other traffic laws.

    So, while I agree that cyclists should obey the law, I think we first and foremost need to tackle the driver problem.

  • Joe R.

    “Even a hard-core balls-to-the-wall speed-demon like Joe R. can go slowly for short distances, I think… :]”

    And I regularly do, whenever the situation calls for it. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    As someone who–in a car, on foot, on my bike–is extremely attentive to every aspect of the law, can I just please ask you to wake up?

    It’s not that cars kill “more” people than bikes, it’s that basically no on ever gets killed by a bike. Go back over the last twenty years. You’ll find a handful of cases–fewer in those twenty years than are killed by cars in twenty days in this city. In the last four years no one in this city has been killed by a bike. Meanwhile, cars have killed hundreds–and injured thousands.

    To pretend that there’s even the tiniest degree of equivalence here is a moral monstrosity.

  • Ian Turner

    I occasionally encounter some irrationally (or at least undeservedly) annoyed pedestrians and I don’t assume that they are crazy anti-bike lunatics, just regular uncontentious lunatics.

    I think my favorite one was the guy who stepped out into the bike lane without looking, who I then passed with about 18 inches to spare. He started yelling at me to “come back here”.

  • I’m walking here

    NYC does have a lot of the regular run of the mill lunatics that is for sure.

  • I’m walking here

    A moral monstrosity? Absolutely!

    Here is my top five moral monstrosities:

    1) Genocide
    2) State sanctioned rape of women and children
    3) Allowing people to starve to death despite having plenty of food
    4) Complaining about bikes

    5) Medical testing on prisoners

    Dude you seriously can not be this thick.

    I never said bikes were as bad as cars in terms of death and injury. I never made that comparison.

    All I said was I want to be able to walk without being hit or menaced by people riding bikes on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way down streets and blowing red lights while weaving between passengers.

    Is that really too much to ask?

    I really don’t get it.

    If someone hits me or my son with a bike am I supposed to thank them for being an asshole on a bike instead of an asshole in a car? Seriously?

    It is attitudes like yours that make people hate bikes.

  • I’m walking here

    Drivers are a problem but the city is not adding 10,000 cars to the streets. They are however adding bikes and encouraging more people to ride. And they are not addressing the problem. So the city is getting more dangerous for pedestrians – the ones most likely to die and get injured.

  • Daphna

    To I’m walking here:
    Bicyclists are hyper aware and hyper vigilant when they are riding. They have to be in order to avoid injuring themselves. Bicyclists pay attention 100% to pedestrians, motorists and street conditions. However, they need pedestrians like yourself to do your part. Bicyclists pay attention fully but need pedestrians to at least pay a little attention and to be predictable. If you are having a high degree of conflicts with bicyclists, then look at your own behavior.
    Bicyclists are not self absorbed because they can not afford to be. They are extremely vulnerable and consequently they pay attention to everything in their path and seek to avoid collisions out of self-preservation. Perhaps you and your son could do more to share the road properly and to enable bicyclists to better avoid you.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t get it.

    You finally said something that’s true!

    I’ll try this one more time, though: tens of thousands of people are killed nationwide by vehicles every year. If you can find me ten incidents in the US in the last year of someone on a bike killing someone else, I’d be amazed. And that’s only the direct slaughter by cars–that doesn’t include even the massive environmental degradation, etc.

    Ergo: equating something that does essentially no harm with something that massive, catastrophic harm is, indeed, a moral monstrosity.

  • Anonymous

    So the city is getting more dangerous for pedestrians – the ones most likely to die and get injured.

    Proof of the transparent dishonesty here: as has been pointed out to you over and over, pedestrians are essentially never killed by bikes. And there are no statistics on pedestrian injuries by bikes–though the police department is supposed to report them. So those statistics can’t even be argued over.

    And then there’s the irony of claiming the city isn’t doing anything in an article that’s headed by a media attack on the city for . . . *doing something* about bikes (and pedestrians!) who break the law.

  • Andrew

    Get your facts straight. If the city manages to divert merely 1% of driving trips to bicycles – not a terribly high bar! – the city will have reduced pedestrian fatalities.

    Again: Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians kill people. Drivers who speed kill people. Drivers who run red lights kill people. Drivers who break the law kill hundreds each year in New York City. A bicyclist who broke the law killed somebody in New York City in 2009.

  • Andrew

    Hundreds of innocent people die in this city every year at the hands of scofflaw drivers, and the NYPD and the DA’s can’t be bothered to do anything about it, and we as a society are too apathetic to persuade them to take it seriously.

    But now we’re supposed to be seriously worried about unsafe bicycles?

    Yes, I would describe that attitude as a moral monstrosity.

  • Joe R.

    10,000 more bikes, which incidentally are slow, heavy bikes, will most definitely not make things any more dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, in places where bike share exists, it has calmed motor traffic, making the streets safer for everyone in the process. Why not just wait and see what happens instead of predicting doom?

  • Anonymous

    The problem is bicyclists, and it isn’t motorists. It is this stupid attitude that we seem to be born with in the US that leads us to believe that whatever “I WANT AT THE MOMENT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW”. I just moved back to the States after living in Germany for a few years and that attitude seemed to not be a part of their culture at all. Also, in France and in the Netherlands. There cars actually stop at cross walks with no signs to let pedestrians (and sometimes cyclists) through. Cyclists all have bells (required by law) and signal to alert pedestrians that they are coming. Pedestrians typically do not jaywalk. Here, in America, we are all in a hurry and act like we and our desires are the center of the universe. I think we have issues as a culture.

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“Bike Bedlam” Fact Check: NYC Bike-Ped Injuries Drop From Low to Lower

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Editor’s note: Streetsblog has retracted this post. The information on bike-on-ped crashes is not accurate. Read the full correction for an explanation of how we acquired the erroneous data and how we determined it was incorrect. Pedestrian injuries sustained citywide in collisions with bicyclists pale beside the more than 10,000 pedestrian injuries and deaths sustained […]

New York Post Bike Bile: Deliberate Lies or Pure Ineptitude?

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It’s getting to the point — probably well past the point, actually — where the non-stop cyclist hate spewing from the New York Post has attained a level of self-parody. So free of fact and full of bald-faced vitriol is the paper’s latest editorial, praising Ray Kelly’s NYPD for a marked increase in cyclist summonses, […]

Cyclists and Pedestrians: Fighting Over the Scraps

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Cyclists and pedestrians somehow managing to get along with each other in Copenhagen. "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz’s op/ed piece in the Times City section yesterday is generating lots of discussion in the cycling community. Weirdly headlined, "Rolling Thunder," the editorial briefly examines the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on New York City streets, acknowledges the antipathy that many walkers feel […]

Good News: New York City Cyclists Have All But Achieved Vision Zero

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Yesterday the 104th Precinct, in Queens, tweeted a photo of officers giving a ticket to a cyclist. The precinct deleted the tweet when it triggered blowback from street safety advocates, but you can see it at the end of this post. “Bicyclists are no exception to Vision Zero,” it read. “Ride safe!” If NYPD’s goal is encouraging cyclists […]