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Bicycle Bedlam…Please.

Well it’s that time of the month again. For the mainstream news to do some investigative news gathering and look into what’s going on with all of these people riding bicycles in NYC. Wow, you’ll never guess what they discovered? That there are a lot of cyclists out there disobeying the law. CBS’s news Tony Aiello did a series on bike riding in NYC and of all the things he could report on, he chose to do a “GOTCHA” piece that got the graphics people all excited and got to package it into a nifty title: “BIKE BEDLAM!” Tony’s hard hitting investigation involved standing in a bike lane for at least 20 minutes and interviewing both cyclists and average citizens to find out what the hell is going on. He saw at least a whooping 17 people riding the wrong way down the new bike lane on 1st Ave and a dozen or more on the sidewalk. My friends, we have a real crisis on our hands!

These kind of stories are nothing new. Neither is bad cyclist behavior, nor is cops giving cyclists tickets or jaywalking. Let’s face it. We all break the law. WE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, WE ALWAYS WILL, we’re New YORKERS dammit and we are busy and important and don’t have time for these pesky things like looking where we are going.

How many people txt while driving? Talk on Cell phones without hand’s free devises? How many pedestrians walk in bike lanes and when you have the right of way and give them the bell, the tell you to fuck off? How many people don’t look both ways when they cross the street? We are all naughty street citizens out there. But somehow this week it’s BICYCLE BEDLAM! (dum dum)

To my fellow cyclists…take those flip-flops off, put down that cell phone, put on a helmet, ride in the correct direction and pay attention.

I welcome the police cracking down on people riding the wrong way down a one way or on the sidewalk…but what does this lead to? Does the cycling behavior improve with more summonses? Hardly. And while the police are at it, why don’t they ticket every car parked in the bike lane. And every car that makes an illegal turn and talks on cell phones. The last time I checked, Motor vehicle deaths against pedestrians and cyclists, far out weighed cyclists killing pedestrians. I say it’s more like “CAR CHAOS!”

Well, I’m a bicycle blogger so I feel compelled to post about these kind of annoying things the news does.

The New York Time’s J. David Goodman does a much better job of it then me. Check out his latest story on the story about the story.

Spokes | Local News Strikes a Sour Note on Cycling

It is a pattern that repeats with predictable frequency each time a new bike lane appears. The simmering resistance to cyclists that exists in a given neighborhood erupts into loud complaints that a new lane will restrict deliveries, snarl traffic and endanger pedestrians as a swarm of rogue riders flood the streets and disrupt what would otherwise be the neat flow of traffic and predictable division between people and automobiles.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that such complaints have greeted new lanes that appeared this summer, from new protected paths along First and Second Avenues to a separated lane along Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.

But the usual sentiments sounded even louder to some cyclists this week, amplified by local news coverage that appeared to stress the worst fears about two-wheeled transit and by an effort by the New York Police Department to crack down on riders who ignore the rules of the road, especially on the Upper East Side.

read the entire story here.

Now can we get back to riding our bike…oh wait, I’m getting a txt.

2 comments to Bicycle Bedlam…Please.

  • THEJAKE

    Even though I have (relatively) recently left NYC this hits home. The nature of the anti-bike rhetoric is offensive and completely out of line. I still ride every single day, even in a different city, and I still believe that the anti-bike sentiment in NYC spreads everywhere. When bikes are the bad guys in the city with arguably the most bicyclists in the U.S., it becomes a problem that hits every cyclist everywhere.

  • mitchel

    As a biker of 15 years I can say I’ve seen a lot of both good and bad bike behavior, but I have never commented on any of it. Maybe because I’ve been guilty of some of it myself. My comment here has to do with Central Park riders and most of you who ride the park will know exactly where and what I’m talking about. There is a blind curve as you approach 97th street on the park drive east. Many of us hurtle around that corner as if chased by the devil. There is a cross walk right around that corner and over the last few years I have seen more accidents, close calls, and nasty words than anywhere in the city–and it’s OUR FAULT. I’ve seen baby carriages barely missed, pedestrians wacked, dogs run over, and even bike-on-bike smashups. Just last weekend a guy riding north down that curve blasted a woman riding south in the slow lane. The cops, emts, and ambulances carried her off, unmoving on stretcher. Folks, Central Park is not the Tour. Use your heads. You can kill yourself and others–and for what?