Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

July 15th, 2019: Bikes In The News

We'll have a warm and sunny start to the week:

Monday Weather

 

Monday Sunny, with a high near 87. Northwest wind 6 to 8 mph.

Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 72.

Sunrise 5:38am

Sunset 8:26pm

And hopefully the lights will stay on:

Yes, when the you-know-what hits the fan, there's no more dependable form of transportation than the bicycle:

Clearly we shouldn't be allowing cars in a city with such a fragile electrical grid:

Though maybe if we eliminated automated and transitioned to an all-volunteer model for directing traffic drivers would be more invested in street safety.

Wanna drive in New York City?  Not unless you're putting in your 40 hours a month with a pair of white gloves and a whistle.  

Hey, it works for the Park Slope Food Co-Op.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of cyclist deaths in New York City has resulted in a bumper crop of bike stories in the local media, including this excellent story from Ginia Bellefante:

Over the past two decades, urban planning has demonstrated little will to stem the forces of suburbanization resulting from the choice made by many families to remain in New York with the belief that they should forfeit none of the conveniences of living in Greenwich. Just this week The Daily News reported on one neighborhood’s rage over a financier who manage to carve a driveway for himself in front of his enormous townhouse out of a patch of public sidewalk.

About 45 percent of all households in New York City have cars according to recent census data, with close to 93,000 of them owning three or more. This reality has unfolded alongside the rise of Uber and Lyft and our growing reliance on getting everything — pet food, tennis balls, cocktail shakers, bulk ancient grains — delivered to us within 24 hours via the use of panel trucks. These developments not only threaten the cyclist’s sense of autonomy but also undermine the use of small alternative vehicles that reduce our carbon footprint.

NY1's "Off Topic/On Policits" podcast also featured some good discussion, Juan Manuel Benítez's somewhat retrograde attitude towards bicycles notwithstanding:

And how's that crackdown going?  Are the drivers out of the bike lanes yet?

By the way, check out the tickets:

Time to make those reckless drivers accountable.

Of course, no bikes-in-the-news wave would be complete without a offensive and moronic editorial blaming cyclists for their own deaths:

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike ­enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.

Then came Citi Bike, offering up cumbersome, unwieldy and ­garishly colored bikes to inexperienced riders. Suddenly, without any training or education, thousands of New Yorkers were riding alongside hulking trucks and buses, whose blind spots are exacerbated by the speed and narrow silhouettes of bicycles.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the disproportionately influential, ceaselessly kvetching bicycle-advocacy groups capitalized on every heart-rending fatality to further their agenda.

So who is Gary Taustine?

The Ignatius J. Reilly of hating people who ride bikes, he seems to lead a life of solitary delusion, and a significant portion of his literary output consists of either anti-bike screeds or else screeds on anti-bike-adjacent subjects such as how great smoking in cabs is:

After dodging two bicycles going the wrong way in their own lane, I planted my feet in the dangerously narrow pedestrian area between traffic and parked cars, and began looking for a cab. With none in sight I lighted a cigarette, but after just a few puffs I could see a dimly lit taxi top-light about a block away.

At $14.50 a pack, (Thanks, Mayor Bloomberg) I don’t waste, so as the cab approached, I got in a couple more drags and was about to behead the cigarette to save it for later. Just then, the cabdriver held up a pack of smokes on his dashboard — the universal sign for freedom. More rare than unicorns or honest politicians, this was a smoking cab.

Also, he doesn't know how minivan doors work:

Doors that swing open can hurt bicyclists, so now, once again inconveniencing the many to appease the few, we have sliding cab doors. An elderly person has as good a chance of opening one of those doors as she does of wresting Excalibur from its stone.

Yeah, elderly people can open them just fine, but admittedly stupid people could have issues.

Finally, the big news was that NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan admitted ticketing cyclists after a cyclist is killed is a crappy thing to do:

"Moving forward, the enforcement is not going to be on bicyclists," said Chief of Department Terence Monahan during a We The Commuters panel hosted by Gothamist and WNYC on Thursday night. "We may do education for bicyclists—if we see one doing something dangerous, they'll be stopped and educated—but it'd be insensitive to give summonses. The enforcement for 72 hours [after a cyclist is killed] will be strictly on vehicles."

Wow, a 72-hour grace period, how generous.

Then again, Monahan is a man who's not afraid to dream big:

Later in the panel, Monahan was asked how he would change the streetscape of New York City if he had a magic wand. "I'd get rid of all the cars so I could drive around," he said.

Presumably, driving over the Williamsburg Bridge bike path will continue unabated:

And so it goes.