Racial tensions seem to be reaching a fever pitch in the US, set off by a series of killings of unarmed black males by the police. 22 year old John Crawford was shot dead in a Beavercreak, Ohio Walmart (August 5th, 2014) for apparently failing to put down a toy gun he was purchasing for his son.
(August 9th, 2014) 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Police claim the teenage was banishing a weapon although eye-witnesses on the scene say Mr. Brown was killed with his hands in the air and was complying with the officers that shot him. Only making things worse, were five days of violence that followed by militarized riot gear cops shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who took to the streets to protest a long history of racial motivated harassment.
Both incidents and a similar killing of 25 year old, Ezell Ford in Los Angeles come in the shadow of a fourth homicide right here in NYC.
43 year old Staten Island resident Eric Garner, a father of six children who pleaded with officers that he couldn’t breathe during a choke hold–Not to mention a whole team of EMS workers who stood by and did nothing…all captured on video in broad daylight.
This is the first case of an unarmed black man being killed in NYC within mayor DeBlasio’s watch which definitely has local citizens concerned about how it will be handled, especially with such a long history of similar killings during past administrations all ending in officer acquittals.
Race is definitely a factor in these killings but doesn’t seemed to be addressed by the NYPD or other police forces, who would much rather discuss a few bad apple officers or debate whether the victims were “resisting arrest.” Within this politically charged climate…the police have scrutinized over their priorities and come up with: Operation Safe Cycle? A rather Orwellian term to crack down on bad biking behavior. I’m sure this will ease the family of Eric Garner on Staten Island awaiting a proper investigation.
Could be a sign of a new era for street safety. It looks like instead of spending the winter harassing cyclists and ticketing them for running red lights in Central Park (no sign that tactic is officially over) the NYPD may actually be trying to reach out, or at least one precinct is.
This has been a stellar week for NYC’s very anticipated bike sharing, sponsored by Citibank and due to kick off in May.
Citibike docking stations have already been put up in several Brooklyn locations:
Here is a nice big one I found in the Fulton Mall on Willoughby St, near a couple of Downtown Brooklyn hotels.
In the beginning of April, Streetsblog.org transportation reporter, Ben Fried, got a chance to take the bikes out for a preview ride:
Taking Citi Bike for a Test Ride
By: Ben Fried
April 5th, 2013
With Citi Bike set to launch later this spring, the long wait for bike-share in New York City is almost over. But I couldn’t bring myself to wait an instant longer, so recently I headed over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to try out some Citi Bikes.
A small network of bike-share stations has been operating for the past few months in the Navy Yard, where people who work inside the walls can try out the system, checking out bikes using the same key fobs that annual subscribers will get once Citi Bike launches. I was able to borrow one of the fobs and go for a test spin on a frigid morning in March.
Streetsblog reporter Stephen Miller reported that NYC Deputy Mayor, Howard Wolfson (twitter: @howiewolf) and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn, launched the official sign up to the citibike program where people can go on line and register for annual memberships.
Article from Streetsblog:
Sadik-Khan, Wolfson Invite New Yorkers to Sign Up for Bike-Share
by Stephen Miller
April 15th, 2013
Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan hold a giant Citi Bike key this morning. Photo: Stephen Miller
In 2009, the Department of City Planning released an ambitious blueprint for bike-share in New York, and in 2011, the Department of Transportation began an extensive public process to site actual bike-share stations. Now the planning is giving way to implementation, with North America’s largest year-round bike-share system set to launch in May. Today, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson marked an important milestone: New Yorkers can now sign up for annual bike-share memberships.
Annual membership sign-ups have been open since early this morning, and more than 2,500 people have already subscribed at the rate of about $103 per year (including tax), which entitles users to unlimited rides up to 45 minutes long.
Despite the world financial crisis, banks seem to be doing alright here in NYC. Barclay’s is bringing a basketball stadium to downtown Brooklyn and is already announcing concert series, such as the Sounds of Reggae.
Meanwhile it looks like Citigroup is the $41 million sponsor of the upcoming bike sharing program in NYC […]
Last night in Brooklyn, Community Board 6 unanimously voted to keep the prospect park west bike lane with proposed modifications, in case you were worried about a few cranky neighbors alarmed about the loss of their parking.
Read more from reporter Ben Fried from Streetsblog.org.
Of course this didn’t stop the unproductive, 50’s […]
According to Streetsblog’s Ben Fried, “Earlier this week, friends and family members of traffic violence victims wrote to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, asking him to stop standing in the way of street improvements to make walking and biking safer. They had lost loved ones and seen lives disrupted by crashes that could have […]
Hard to believe but the NYPD did it again. Another shinning example of the police’s blatant disregard for cyclists in NYC. You’ve probably already seen this by now but NYPD officer Louis Ramos, was charged with assault, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident after hitting a 61 year old man in […]