Friday’s Headlines: Two Would-Be Bike Mayors Head-to-Head Edition

This is Dyckman Street east of Broadway. Yes, still. Photo: Eve Kessler
This is Dyckman Street east of Broadway. Yes, still. Photo: Eve Kessler

Gordon. Kuntzman. Mano-a-mano. Two guys who kid around about someday being the city’s first bike mayor (our money’s on Gordon, sorry boss) represented the all-powerful bike lobby on BRIC TV’s 112BK, hosted by MacKenzie Fegan. Well, it wasn’t exactly Ali-Frazier, but the pair championed cycling, criticized Mayor de Blasio’s flagging interest in Vision Zero and blamed drivers for virtually all our ills.

It’s must-watch TV. (Also embedded below)

Here’s the rest of the day’s news:

  • A cab driver could have easily killed a dozen people after losing control of his 2,500-pound cab in Midtown around lunchtime. But, sure, Mr. Mayor, let’s only listen to old ladies complain about 30-pound bikes. (Gothamist, NY Post, amNY)
  • We’re so frustrated with Sleepy Bill de Blasio that we’ve stopped even asking for updates on the long-stalled final phased of the Queens Boulevard bike lane, so we appreciate that the Queens Chronicle asked — though the paper got the same ridiculous non-answer from the Department of Transportation that everyone else has gotten: “We’re doing it, but we can’t say when.”
  • The city’s expanded — and still expanding — speed cameras have gone live. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • The subway really is getting better (NY Post, amNY), but the MTA is way behind on planning for the next, inevitable crisis, Jose Martinez reports in The City.
  • It’s time for another installment in the ongoing tabloid HOV lane dummy story. (NY Post)
  • Meanwhile, City Hall won’t tell us when the protected bike lane will be restored on Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan. We’re nearing the one-year anniversary of the city’s Zero Vision move to actually downsize its protected bike network.
  • NY1 followed our story about the Transformation Department’s toilet plunger-protected bike lane.
  • Oh, and New York City has no regard for cyclists’ lives. (Bicycling)

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. And this BRIC TV episode of 112BK with Doug Gordon and Gersh Kuntzman:

  • BronxEE2000

    I know you thought of that as a benefit to cyclists. The fact that it would put the streets back to the way they were is the big point for me.

    I’m born and raised here. I’ve travelled around the city using public transit plenty in my life. I work in Westchester County so I drive to work. Can I get there using public transit? Yes, but it’s not as easy. I recognize this city needs good public transit, but cars are also important here as the MTA doesn’t get everywhere. My family had a car growing up, so did many members of my extended family. I have had a car for 18+ years here. I just want people to get around however they can. Cars absolutely have a place here

  • Joe R.

    That’s a good analogy with the bees. I leave the bees alone when I see them in the yard. They haven’t stung me yet. I also don’t use pesticides as I don’t want to kill the good insects along with the pests like mosquitoes. The fireflies make a nice show this time of year. I would hate to see them gone. Good insects generally help keep the pests in check.

    We can apply this thinking to cyclists. Most are bees or fireflies, but a few are mosquitoes or roaches. When we don’t have good infrastructure, and we have the NYPD mercilessly ticketing, the good cyclists disappear first, leaving only the pests. The real answer is to get more good cyclists. Like some types of insects, they can help control the pests. More good cyclists will help remove the fear of cyclists in general. Look at videos in the Netherlands. I see people walking who are unfazed when a cyclist passes them a foot away. They know they’re not in any danger. Maybe we should show some of those videos to those with irrational fear of cyclists. We might also mention the entire bee analogy as well.

    The only way to get more good cyclists is to give them a safe place to ride, as well as a contiguous network.


Vision Zero and the Challenge of Culture Change

This is the first post in a two-part piece about how Vision Zero will have to change attitudes toward streets and driving in order to succeed. City Council Member Mark Weprin’s Vision Zero moment came after watching video footage of the collision that killed 3-year-old Allison Liao in Flushing, Queens, last October. The driver of […]