Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Op/Ed

Op-Ed: We Just Have to Do Something About These Cyclists!

12:01 AM EDT on October 9, 2021

Sometimes here at Streetsblog, we receive a letter to the editor of such moral clarity that we decide to print it in full. That's why we are presenting a letter from Carla Sanderson, who lives near the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhood where a 3-month-old baby was killed by a reckless driver on Sept. 11 — a story that revealed the shocking inadequacy of city officials to protect vulnerable road users. To our correspondent, the death also revealed the false narrative that is pushed by the car culture to distract us from the real danger on the streets. Here is Sanderson's letter:

Carla Sanderson
Carla Sanderson
Carla Sanderson

Where I live, DeKalb Avenue is a one-lane thoroughfare where the B38 carries hundreds of people from Queens at one end to downtown Brooklyn at the other. Honking, screaming and revving of engines is the soundtrack to my every day. Exhaust wafts silently in the windows and into my family’s lungs. The speed camera outside flashes regularly (when traffic isn’t so bad to slow the drivers) until it turns off at night. That’s when the cars really fly.

There is parking on both sides of Dekalb for cars with mostly out-of-state license plates: New Jersey, Texas, Virginia — some of them paper and months past their “expiration date.” It is very nice of the city to provide free parking to so many out of state visitors!

Also, if there aren’t enough parking spots, it’s not a problem because the unprotected bike lane is a perfect place for double parking. No need to worry about a ticket, because the NYPD also finds bike lanes convenient for parking, and apparently stopped enforcing traffic laws during the pandemic (despite continuing to arrest people for other crimes).

When there are no parked cars, drivers can use the bike lane as a passing lane to speed by slower traffic and then cut back in, that is until they get stuck behind a pesky biker. Then they honk and scream. Bikers in the "bike lane" regularly get doored or hit by cars pulling out.

This summer in a fit of road rage, a man driving an SUV (with Florida plates) got out and slashed another SUV driver in front of my apartment. Drivers have killed 200 people this year on city streets, but we really have to do something about those bikers!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

MTA Ditches License Plate-Based Congestion Pricing Disability Exemption

Transit official won't grant congestion pricing disability exemptions any car with a disability license plate after all — opting for a case-by-case registration process instead.

February 26, 2024

Activists Renew Push For Redesign of Fourth Ave. in Bay Ridge

But where is Council Member Justin Brannan when cyclists and pedestrians need him? He's been AWOL on this issue.

February 26, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Flaco, We Hardly Knew Ye Edition

The only story that anyone wanted to talk about was the death of Flaco the owl, but there was plenty of other news.

February 26, 2024

DOT Spins Bus- and Bike-Lane Failure as ‘Streets Plan’ Success

The agency quietly released its required status report on the Streets Plan, which shows massive shortcomings that DOT downplayed.

February 26, 2024

Greenpoint Woman Dies from Injuries Sustained in Crash

The driver's RAM truck had been nabbed by city speed cameras 26 times since 2018, including nine times last year.

February 25, 2024
See all posts