Are Cyclists Their Own Worst Enemy?
New York is an exceptionally flat and dense city with a fair climate and good subway access - a potential Utopia for urban cycling. But the question remains: when will cycling become a widely-accepted and highly-promoted form of transport in this traffic-clogged metropolis? When will cyclists get credit for choosing a low-impact method, whose very presence should make this city more livable?
The answer is never. At least
not until we cyclists start respecting other street users
With the agility afforded to
us by our self-powered wheels, too often we let loose a surge of adrenaline
and zip around obstacles - people or cars - that dampen our stride. Dismissing
the soundness of mind to stop or slow down or obey traffic laws, we are often
tempted by the quicker route, which may involve riding on sidewalks or going
the wrong way on a one-way street. These brazen habits may shave off some
I was recently taken down by
a fellow cyclist while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The
guy came out of nowhere, sideswiped me, and left me with three fractures in my
All cyclists, knowingly or not, are participants in a movement toward environmentally-sound transportation that can make our air more breathable, our neighborhoods quieter, and streets much safer. As we ride in the city, we empower the movement. But the movement cannot gain momentum unless we, that means you and me, ride responsibly with high regard for the safety of others. That means always, always yielding to pedestrians - even when they are wrong - staying off side-walks, and keeping the other guy in mind.
Every one of us -recreational
riders, commuters, those who ride for a living- rep-
Susan Boyle -T.A. Program Staff