(The High Bridge)
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 92. Northwest wind 6 to 8 mph.
Wednesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 70. Northwest wind around 7 mph becoming north after midnight.
You-know-who is working from home this week, so if you're riding in midtown expect street closures and even more traffic than usual (!):
(58th & 6th)
As well as protest activity and the NYPD using bikes the best way they know how:
NYPD just cleared corner of 57th across from Trump Tower (with bike cop gauntlet) pic.twitter.com/PfUdNfyXiM— Emma Whitford (@emma_a_whitford) August 14, 2017
A spokesperson with the FDNY told Gothamist the tree fell at around 10 a.m., near 61st Street and Central Park South. Four people were seriously hurt, the spokesperson said, and were taken to New York Cornell Hospital. The FDNY says some of the injured were children, but it's not clear how many. The critical patient is an adult, according to an FDNY spokesperson on the scene.
I encountered the aftermath myself during my commute but had no idea of the severity:
Most importantly, make sure you follow the unwritten rules of NYC bike riding, which are now the written rules of NYC bike riding thanks to some bike blogger who really knows what he's talking about:
4. Bikers must surrender the Brooklyn Bridge
Cyclists hate few things more than obstructed bike lanes, and thanks to the hordes of tourists, few bike lanes are more obstructed than the one on the Brooklyn Bridge. As a result, riders crossing it are wont to ring their bells, shout "Bike lane, bike lane!," and even sing the theme from Star Wars at the top of their lungs in an effort to clear the way.
These riders are idiots.
Case in point, this video (made by a rider whose work we've seen before):
I was inspired to sing across the Brooklyn Bridge while cycling after listening to the "Star Wars Singer" but it didn't exactly go as planned. Apologies for my voice, I'm not a singer by nature.
After about 1:34 minutes of futile and self-important bellowing, he runs into a little girl:
This is completely inexcusable. If you ride this inconsiderately and your cockpit is this cluttered with high-decibel noisemakers and distracting electronic devices, it's time to come to terms with the notion that perhaps your bicycle is merely the sublimation of your deep desire to lease a Hyundai.
Speaking of drivers, it occurred to me yesterday that occasionally they do us a favor, however inadvertently. Consider this double-parked driver on a two-lane road with sharrows, one of many I encountered during yesterday's ride:
While blocking an actual bike lane is inexcusable, blocking the sharrows lane keeps all the other drivers out of it, keeping what's left of it for us.
Hey, sometimes riding in this town is like fighting for table scraps, but it's all worth it when you find yourself on a bike path like this one:
This is the bike path in Highbridge Park, and I'd say it's easily one of the top three nicest paths in the city, especially if you include the actual High Bridge.
A little further downtown I came upon this vehicle with NYPD parking placard and illegally obscured license plate:
This gave me an idea:
NYPD placard of course. Wanna get stickers printed up that say "Ask Me About My Illegal License Plate Cover!" and slap 'em on the plastic. pic.twitter.com/2uYidWtzfV— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) August 15, 2017
Though in the spirit of (formerly) unwritten rule #15 I doubt I'd ever go through with it:
15. Keep your mouth shut always
It's tempting to yell at the driver who just tried to kill you, but keep in mind that no exchange in the history of driver-cyclist altercations has ever turned out favorably. The very best you'll ever get is the sort of half-assed apology that makes you even angrier, and the worst-case scenario is that the driver who just tried to kill you decides to finish the job.
The only thing that makes drivers more violent than a verbal challenge is when you dare touch their precious automobiles.
Drivers are on balance a delusional species, but perhaps their biggest delusion is that a large metal box that lives outside in the most densely populated city in the world should lead its entire service life without ever being touched or--heaven forbid!--scuffed.
Police will not charge the driver of a commercial garbage truck who hit and killed a cyclist in Greenpoint on July 22 then left the scene, but still have not closed the case — a move that keeps evidence secret, potentially until the controversy surrounding the death blows over.
Five separate police spokespeople told this newspaper on Friday that no criminal charges are being made against the male motorist who killed 27-year-old Neftaly Ramirez because a three-week investigation found the driver didn’t know he hit the bike rider, but then said the probe is ongoing and refused to say what evidence is necessary to close the case — a tactic that keeps the public from accessing the crash investigation report, which would shed light on what happened, according to experts.
Not only that, but it now turns out that the company whose driver killed him has another $15 million in city contracts on top of the $74 million already reported:
Action Carting, the private trash hauling company whose driver killed cyclist Neftaly Ramirez last month in Greenpoint, holds an additional $51 million in city contracts on top of the $74 million in business previously reported by Streetsblog.
Ramirez’s death marked the fifth time since 2008 that an Action Carting driver killed a pedestrian or cyclist. Last week, Streetsblog asked City Hall how continuing to do business with Action Carting squares with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda. De Blasio spokesperson Natalie Grybauskas avoided the question.
That makes 125 million reasons for them not to give a damn about your safety.