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Wednesday’s Headlines: Here’s Why We’re Riding Our ‘Little Bikes’ Tonight

We'd rather be riding a little bike than be a little mayor. Plus other news.

Streetsblog Photoshop Desk|

A little man on a normal-sized bicycle.

What a "little" man.

Mayor Adams made a bizarre, condescending and frankly unhelpful comment during Off-Topic Tuesday yesterday — a comment that is especially hurtful given that street safety advocates will hold a major ride and rally tonight at 6 p.m. to protest the stunning increasing in cyclist deaths this year. (Twenty-six and counting — the most ever.)

It all started when Daily News reporter Chris Sommerfeldt asked Hizzoner a fairly routine question about possible primary challengers in 2025. Rather than answer, Adams decided to go off in a self-aggrandizing direction. You have to read it to believe it:

From the official City Hall transcript.

Did he say, "Ride your little bicycle safely"?

The mayor was practically spitting out his contempt — for the media, for cyclists, for anyone who challenges him. But this is the Eric Adams we've become accustomed to over the last year and a half. Whether he's chewing out a Holocaust survivor who questioned his housing policy, or repeatedly demeaning a Council member or mocking a legitimate question from a City Hall reporter, Mayor Adams is increasingly showing off just how petty he is when it comes to issues or people for whom he has no patience.

But his mocking of the safety of riding one's "little bicycle" was ill-timed, given that, as Sommerfeldt quickly pointed out, bicycle fatalities are actually on a dramatic rise right now, which is why Transportation Alternatives, Open Plans and other groups are rallying tonight. (For more info, click here.)

Adams's condescension to Sommerfeldt (whose bike is normal size, by the way) was also galling given how the mayor has not been a champion of safe cycling. In fact, his administration is far short of the required 50 miles of protected bike lanes it must build this year, and has curtailed or outright killed several street safety initiatives that were in the works, most recently by announcing that his Department of Transportation had chosen to keep the southernmost block of Ashland Place in Brooklyn unsafe at the behest of a local developer.

To test how "safely" New Yorkers can ride their "little bikes" through the city, I headed to Ashland yesterday afternoon and filed this alarming video report (it's only two minutes, so please watch to the harrowing conclusion):

So, no, I can't ride my "little bike" safely through the city. Nor could the 26 cyclists who have been killed so far this year on Mayor Adams's streets, the highest ever.

Still, I'd rather be riding a little bike than be a little mayor.

Also, the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program sunsets in just 15 days — and there's no plan to replace it. (See our cool Photoshop job, right.)

In other news from Tuesday:

  • We pooh-poohed a report from Mastercard showing that people spend more money on pedestrianized streets because it was so obvious, but Gothamist went with it.
  • The mob tow-truck series in The City got really good yesterday, with implications for how the NYPD doles out permits with basically no oversight.
  • The Daily News got around to following our story last week about the proposed vending ban on the Brooklyn and other bridges.
  • The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is undergoing extensive repairs this weekend, so amNY gives drivers (and residents of surrounding neighborhoods) a preview.
  • Two drag racers who killed a motorcyclist on the Henry Hudson Parkway were indicted, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced. (amNY)
  • A woman was struck and killed trying to cross the Belt Parkway on foot. (Gothamist)
  • Council Member Marjorie Velazquez put emotions before her considerable intellect when it comes to congestion pricing in her amNY op-ed. The number of her constituents who will pay the toll is far smaller than the number of her constituents who will benefit from billions in funding for the MTA. But the pull of car culture is always strong for young politicians. Worse, her op-ed sounded like Uber talking points.
  • Some building owners want more money from the MTA before the agency can condemn the land for the Second Avenue subway. (Crain's)
  • OMNY farecard machines are starting to show up. (amNY)

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