Cyclists Give Respect
On Tuesday, October 28th, and Sunday, December 7th, T.A. volunteers and staff took to the streets of the Silk Stocking District to launch the Give Respect/Get Respect Campaign, targeted at sidewalk and wrong-way cyclists and outlaw motorists. At the October kick-off, twenty campaigners walked and pedaled up First Avenue, distributing mock summonses to drivers who blocked, drove or parked in the bicycle lane, violating NYC Traffic Law.
Errant cyclists received leaflets in English, Chinese and Spanish encouraging them to "Give Respect" by keeping off sidewalks, yielding to pedestrians and riding with(not against) traffic. Representatives of council members Andrew Eristoff and Gifford Miller, as well as local police officers, also joined the group.
T.A. designed the Give
Respect/Get Respect campaign to change the behavior of both motorists and
cyclists. The November death of pedestrian Arthur Kaye, struck and killed by a
fast-food delivery cycle on an Upper West Side sidewalk, touched a sensitive
nerve among city residents, as witnessed by the ensuing media blitz. The NY
Post ran a double-page spread titled, "Break the Cycle of Violence,"
and sensationalist columnist Andrea Peyser called bicyclists "stray
bullets." Mayor Giuliani declared scofflaw bicyclists one of the city's
"biggest quality of life problems."
Motorists' reactions to the group's efforts were generally favorable. Most double-parkers left the bicycle lane cooperatively when asked, though Fox 5 News filmed one grump rolling up his window on Give/Get volunteers. Several taxi passengers were apologetic when asked not to hail or exit from a cab in the bicycle lane.