May/June 1999, p.7

Bike Shorts

GWB Bike Patrol On the Way
Beginning in June the Port Authority (P.A.) will introduce a two officer bicycle patrol on the George Washington Bridge pathway. The patrol is a response to security concerns raised after two women were robbed of their bikes on Sunday, March 14. Chief Cafaro of the PA Surface Transportation Section, who heads the initiative, stated that "they have bike patrols at La Guardia and Kennedy Airports. It is about time we had them here." Additionally, Cafaro intends to add PA police bike patrols at the Port Authority bus terminal and the World Trade Center.

Whitestone 'Bike on Bus' Bounces Back
In our last issue, T.A. reported on damaged bike racks on QBx1 buses, the only NYC buses with such racks. Queens Surface Corporation, which owns and operates the bike-friendly buses, was quick to respond, explaining that while the bus parking lot was under construction some displaced buses' racks were damaged. Queens Surface has since repaired or replaced all of the racks and is ready to carry you and your bike over the Whitestone Bridge this season (April to September).

Read the latest news on this subject.

Greyhound Goes Pro-Bike
Peter Pan Bus Lines announced a service-pooling agreement wherein Peter Pan's long-standing practice of allowing passengers to stow bikes in the luggage compartment at no cost is now the policy on Greyhound buses as well. Prior to this agreement, cyclists traveling on Greyhound buses were required to disassemble their bikes, box them (or pay $10) and then pay an additional fee of $15. The new "stow it for free" bikes-on-board policy affects all Peter Pan and Greyhound buses operating in the Boston-Philadelphia-Washington D.C. corridor.

Read more about bikes-on-transit restrictions.

Bad Policing Prevails
Part of the problem with meting out proper punishment to motorists who injure cyclists and pedestrians is persuading the police to pay attention. Getting doored rarely elicits police action - and even being involved a crash doesn't guarantee proper police procedure. An example of this abominable pattern (well documented by Right of Way's "Killed by Automobile," see pg 16), came to light in a recent City lawsuit settlement. The federal civil rights suit charged NYPD sergeant Thomas Kennedy with dropping a handcuffed suspect on his face. (The City settled for $275,000). Court records show Kennedy had received more than 23 misconduct complaints since 1984. One was from 1991, when Kennedy told a van driver who had struck a cyclist to leave the accident scene - so the sergeant could avoid writing an accident report. The Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated this claim, but not surprisingly, no action was taken. Kennedy is still on the NYPD payroll at the 28th Precinct in Harlem.

Downed Cyclist Remembered
On April 8, T.A. held a vigil in memory of Gustavo Undreiner, a 38-year-old cyclist struck and killed by a truck on April 5 around 10:30 am. While riding south on 2nd Ave., Mr. Undreiner was hit by a 33-foot-long truck when the van he was riding behind made a right turn on 63rd St. A small group of fellow cyclists gathered at the scene of the tragedy to remember Mr. Undreiner, who lived in the West Village with his wife. Several participants expressed dismay at the peril of city streets, but urged each other to keep riding and fighting for safer streets. As a result of the vigil and pressure from Right of Way and T.A., City Councilman Andrew Eristoff, in whose district Mr. Undreiner was killed, wrote a letter to Police Commissioner Safir calling for a "thorough investigation of the tragic accident to determine its cause, with a view toward preventing similar tragedies in the future."