And the “Weiner Award” for Courting the Bikelash Vote Goes to… Bo Dietl
Ripping up bike lanes wasn't a winning message in 2009 or 2013. Will this be the year it scores at the polls?
The Republican contest to go up against Mayor Bill de Blasio is barely underway and candidates are already competing to stake out the most retrograde positions on streets and transportation policy.
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis recently attacked speed enforcement cameras as “a gimmick to raise revenue,” despite evidence that speeding, the leading cause of fatal crashes in NYC, drops dramatically where cameras are deployed.
And ex-cop/Fox News personality Bo Dietl got the “biggest applause by far” at a Wednesday evening Republican forum when he declared he would “rip out bike lanes” and suggested “doing [the] same with Times Square plazas,” according to Times reporter J. David Goodman.
The Observer’s Madina Toure reported last night that Dietl said “he’s learning how to drive a bulldozer and would take out the bike lanes if elected.”
Apparently, Dietl’s hatred of car-free spaces and bike-riding New Yorkers was even more popular with forum attendees than his story about being treated harshly by a judge who “looked like Chirlane de Blasio” (referring to the mayor’s wife, Chirlane McCray), which reportedly got laughs from the room. Dietl has spent the day trying to contain the fallout from his Trumpian remarks about McCray.
But a room full of Republican primary voters isn’t representative of the NYC electorate. If Dietl’s going to go full bikelash, he’s out of touch with most New Yorkers there, too. Things tend to not work out well for would-be mayors who pick fights with the all-powerful bike lobby.