Today’s Headlines

  • NYC Set to Launch the Gold Standard of Bike-Share as Electeds Count Parking Spots (NYT, NY1)
  • CB 6 Endorses Sackett St. Bike Lane, Union St. Corral; Rejects Columbia St. Parking (BK Paper, DNA)
  • Video: Cyclist Harassed by Motorist and Mob of Bystanders in Williamsburg (Animal)
  • NYPD Allows Civilian Complaint Review Board to Prosecute Officers Accused of Misconduct (News)
  • DOE to Sign Deals With Non-Union School Bus Companies (Post, News)
  • Locals Plead for Help as Streets of Jamaica Plagued by Avid Motorists (NY1)
  • DNA Runs a Nice Piece on Brooklyn’s Bike Boom
  • Chin Says She’s Working With DOT on Possible Relocation of Petrosino Citi Bike Station (DNANews)
  • Mob Scene II: Villager Has More From Last Week’s Mortifying CB 2 Bike-Share Forum
  • Fun: Check Out the Brooklyn Spoke Bike-Share Criticism Challenge
  • Got a Bikelash Thesis? Send It to the Daily News

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Jeff

    From the Daily News’ “bike revolution” piece:

    “Just biking in the city, a place built for driving and walking, is an implicit form of resistance”.

    Yup, that’s right. This city was absolutely built for driving. In fact, when the Dutch landed here in the 1600’s, they actually predicted the invention of the automobile some three centuries later, and built the city from the ground up to cater to its every need.

  • Guest

    Even if true, it defies logic. A city built for two opposite extremes — driving and walking — can’t accommodate something that falls in the middle like cycling? It doesn’t add up.

  • vnm

    Where the author tries to lay out a case that cyclists are now The Establishment, he makes this claim: “Many high-powered lawmakers either commute to work by bike or identify as pro-cyclist.” HUH???

  • moocow

    Why do bike share complainers think that the bike share riders are going to be “new”? I have a membership, and I ride anywhere that is more than 2 blocks from my house.
    And to point out the “Bike lobby” reacting to new rules, can I point out this city council changed rules so that people who park for so little-OR FREE- can have a five minute grace when they overstay the allotted time to free/cheap public storage of their cars?

  • Daphna

    Regarding the DNAinfo article about Brooklyn Community Board 6: They voted down the bike corral on Columbia that would have had parking for 8 bikes and instead wanted to keep the single car parking spot that it would have replaced. From the article “Giving up car parking would set a bad precedent for future projects, CB6 said, recommending that the DOT explore other bike-parking alternatives that would not take over car spots.”

    They are wrong. Replacing car parking with bike parking would be a great precedent for their community!!! Making any change to our streets that helps our public street space serve many instead of few is a good change. They also must accept that there is limited space and it’s unavoidable that existing uses of the street space are going to have to be re-allocated more fairly.

    This idea that car parking somehow has a higher merit and deserves priority is off-base; it is also rather an elitist attitude yet the people who voted for it probably think they are liberal and in favor of the little guy.

    Community Boards are advisory only. I wish this corral would be installed anyway against their misguided objection since it is the right thing to do.

  • Bill from Brooklyn

    Regarding the video of the cyclist in Wiiliamsburg, I saw this last night on Twitter and I find it very disturbing. Basically the driver was using his large motor vehicle as a potential lethal weapon to deliberately threaten the safety and well being of the cyclist. That is assault plain and simple. Although the driver does not understand it, it is no different than threatening with a gun, knife, baseball bat etc.

  • Anonymous

    That video is my biggest nightmare. So scary. People talk about menacing cyclists. I hope that guy presses charges. Incredible sense of entitlement and privilege.

  • Jeff

    “it is no different than threatening with a gun, knife, baseball bat etc.”

    Morally and rationally, you are correct. But legally and culturally?

    Motorist: “I didn’t see him”
    NYPD: “No criminality is suspected”
    Media: “Accident”

  • Anonymous

    There’s the unstated assumption that no one who owns a bike in the city would use bike share. Hence, only newbies or tourists! Of course, it doesn’t make any sense. The people who make this assumption also tend to assume that people will only use bike share for recreational purposes, which explains some of the other complaints.

  • Joe R.

    I had something like that happen to me once back in the 1980s. To this day I have no idea why. I was riding along minding my own business. It wasn’t a case where I was riding recklessly and he almost hit me. As best I can figure it out the driver was an old guy who felt bikes don’t belong on the road, and tried to repeatedly block me to make his point. He got out of his car screaming nonsense and making threats. It finally ended when I pulled out the knife I used to carry and told him to back away. I rode off, but I was looking behind me for a long time just in case he decided to try to ram me. I didn’t see him again, fortunately.

    I give the cyclist credit for his restraint. I’ve little doubt I would have put the minivan driver in the hospital the second he tried to keep me from leaving. The only thing the cyclist did wrong was punching the van. As much as I sometimes feel like punching cars which endanger me, I take the high road to keep from escalating the situation. However, if someone cuts me off and then tries to illegally detain me, I’m doing whatever I feel is necessary for my safety.

  • carma

    yup, “only tourists will use bike share.” i highly doubt that was what the intent of 8000+ folks who signed up without even stepping foot on one of these bikes. cause we only know that stinking tourists on their recreation time ride bikes.

    i bought into bike share and i already own 2 bikes. i guess i must be a damn tourist.

  • Also, think of the people who already own bikes and ride all over Westchester, Long Island, Connecticut or New Jersey for transportation or recreation. Those people can’t realistically bike to work or bring their bicycles on crowded trains. Bike share is a perfect option for these experienced cyclists.

    The media likes to frame things as binary. Either no one will use Citi Bike because everyone who lives here who wants to bike already has one OR bike share will be filled with newbies. The reality is far more nuanced.

  • Daphna

    In the Villager article about the Manhattan Community Board 2 bike-share gripe session, Steve Vaccaro was exactly right when he said “One building cannot dictate the details of a citywide transportation system. If every building said, ‘We love bike-share but not on our block’, you’d have no bike-share.”

    Charlie McCorkell was also right when he was quoted in the article saying “Most people agree the greater good is bike-share, but nobody is willing to give up anything for it.”

    The complainers said bike share is large and needs to be well thought out. Well, bike share is large for good reason and is well thought out. It has also been in the media for over a year and half. Public meetings to decide docking stations started in the fall of 2011. The complainers did not pay attention and did not participate, but now they gripe…

    Lincoln Anderson did a good job reporting in that Villager article.

  • Joe R.

    Actually, in Bloomberg’s New York unless you live in Manhattan, it often feels like you’re just a tourist.

  • Anonymous

    Bike share is large, as a result of being well thought.

    Before DC got its massively successful Capital BikeShare system, they had an equally unsuccessful bikeshare system, which failed precisely because it wasn’t large.

    The largeness is a feature, and completely intentional.

  • Bill from Brooklyn

    I think a clear case can be made that it was deliberate, it was repeated and therefore was assault – not that I think anyone will act upon it. I too commend the rider for his restraint. I know in analogous situations when one has been threatened, either deliberately or negligently, and the adrenalin is pumping, I have not always maintained that much restraint.

  • Brooklyn Bike Commuter

    This is a very common tactic in Chasidic Williamsburg — motorists squeezing cyclists off to the side of the street and/or cutting them off and harassing them verbally, and sometimes physically. The Yeshiva school bus drivers were doing this a lot during the peak of the Bedford Avenue bike lane fight circa 2009. Female cyclists get harassed a lot by these guys too. If the Williamsburg Chasidic community can’t get it together and police itself — the way it tends to prefer to do things — then the NYPD really needs to step up and hammer these guys. The whole situation is just incredibly dangerous. And not only for the cyclists. I’m afraid that if this same incident happened to me on my bike, I’d have flipped out and put my Kryptonite u-lock into the side of this thug’s skull. Merely watching this video sent my blood pressure go through the roof. Honestly, if I were the cyclists I might have just beat the shit out of this guy.

  • KillMoto

    RE: the vehicular assault in Williamsburg.

    The driver pretends to be upset because the bike rider was slowing him down. Then he proceeds to stand around, harassing the cyclist patiently like he has all the time in the world.

    Clearly this is not about “Officer, I’m on a schedule, and the cyclist was preventing me from moving at a safe speed at or below the speed limit, so I swerved and tried to hit him with my car”. It’s about “I will show you who the boss is”.

    And with respect to the cyclists’ hand on the car… With so many claims of “I didn’t see him/her”, an open hand tap on a car is nothing but a signal “I’m here, pay attention!”

  • Jared Rodriguez

    As for the Hasidic Community’s separatism, segregation and rejection of “others” in “their” neighborhoods, this New York Magazine article pretty much nails the issue. I feel for the people of Ramapo, NY: http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/ The way these Hasidim reacted to the Latino cyclist is a good example of their race-driven activities. The community actively conducts ethnic cleansing as per the UN definition of such. Please read about it. It is frightening and anti-constitutional.

  • Daphna

    Regarding the DNAinfo article about the bike docks in Soho at Spring Street (Petrosino Square): residents do not want bike docks in an underused plaza only occasionally filled with art. Nor does Manhattan Community Board 2 want bike-share docks in any parks. Nor (from previous accounts) would CB2 want docking stations on sidewalks or on the street replacing car parking. So they don’t want stations in plazas, in parks, on sidewalks, on the road – what does that leave? Nothing! There is no other space. The complainers do not present any viable alternative options for the stations that they want moved. I guess they want those stations in some new dimension of space that they know of but the rest of us can’t see.

    In contrast to all those crying out against docking stations, I have looked at the map and I think the density of docking stations should be even greater than it is. Many stations are five (or more) blocks apart. I think it would be even better if they were only three blocks apart.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I stopped commuting through that part of Williamsburg, even though it’s a much more direct route for me.

    In a sane society, the behavior of the school bus drivers alone would be a scandal.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I stopped commuting through that part of Williamsburg, even though it’s a much more direct route for me.

    In a sane society, the behavior of the school bus drivers alone would be a scandal.

  • Joe R.

    One of my mother’s friends who did appraisals had to regularly go to Williamsburg. I’d rather not repeat in public his sentiment towards the Hasidim but let’s just say it was less than enthusiastic. Being insular is one thing. If you prefer to associate only with your own kind, that’s fine. However, it ends when you actively harass others passing through your neighborhood.

  • Jared Rodriguez

    Read the article I posted. It is illegal. They violate fair housing constantly. It’s not being insular, it’s segregation and so very illegal.

  • John

    As the saying goes, it’s much easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. They know there will be no witnesses and no punishment. It’s always the “outsiders” causing trouble.

  • carma

    i must hand it to the cyclist. he handled it pretty well. if it was me, i might have keyed that car several times and jet off.

  • There is Ghetto mentality, and there is Shtetl Mentality.
    60 years ago I lived at Nostrand and Flushing and walked along Lee Ave. The Hasidim were as insular and insulting then as they are today. They just didn’t have as many cars then. Not impressed.