Wow, sometimes my ranting gets noticed…
The Biking Boom Breeds Discontent
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF, August 30th, 2009
New York Times Green Blog
Biking is booming in New York City, with the number of daily cyclists rising to an average of 236,000 in 2009, up 26 percent from 2008, according to statistics compiled by Transportation Alternatives, a pro-biking nonprofit group.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city leaders have praised the increase in cycling for reducing congestion and pollution and making the city streets safer overall. To accommodate the surge in bike commuters, the city has installed hundreds of bike racks and roughly 200 miles of new bike lanes in the past three years, with plans for future expansion.
Yet according to a recent weeklong investigative series by Tony Aiello, a reporter with New York Cityâ€™s WCBS-TV (Channel 2), the cycling boom is breeding discontent. Titled â€œBike Bedlam,â€ the segments turned a critical eye on reckless riders who flouted traffic laws, and profiled a young father who was killed by a cyclist riding the wrong way on a one-way street in Midtown Manhattan. A former bike shop owner declared that cyclists were â€œway out of control.â€
The reaction of the New York City biking community was mixed, with some cycling bloggers decrying the series for perceived sensationalism, while others admitting that too many cyclists were, in fact, ignoring traffic laws, often flagrantly.
â€œCyclists, clean up your freaking act,â€ wrote Jen Benepe, a cycling blogger.
The Web site BikeBlogNYC urged â€œfellow cyclistsâ€ to heed the laws of the road. â€œTake those flip-flops off, put down that cellphone, put on a helmet, ride in the correct direction and pay attention,â€ read a recent post that, at the same time, mocked the WCBS series as sensationalist.
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