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The Ride, Part 2

August 16, 2011

Following up on Monday’s snoozefest of a ride across the Manhattan Bridge with Alex Nazaryan of the Daily News, here are two videos of the second part of our bicycle journey.  After getting off the bridge, we took the Bowery detour up to Rivington Street.  By the time we crossed Canal Street it was already after 9:30, so both bicycle and automobile traffic was a tad lighter than it would have been at 8:45 or so.  The weather also played a factor.

I couldn’t take one continuous video as I did while crossing the bridge because doing so on the Bowery would have been fairly dangerous.

Here’s part one:

And here’s part two:

Alex admitted that the ride up the Bowery was pretty harrowing, and I can only imagine how he must have felt taking his inaugural ride into Manhattan up such a challenging detour.  But the point wasn’t really to scare him stiff.  As I pointed out to Alex, there are plenty of orange signs along the Bowery indicating that it’s a bicycle route during morning hours and that much of it is a no standing zone due to the detour.  I asked Alex if he’d characterize the drivers parking right underneath such signs and directly on top of bike sharrows as “illiterate, blind or merely – this is our guess – oblivious to all man-made law.”  He didn’t respond.

Perhaps the simplest and most charitable explanation is not that one class of street users is more likely to break laws than another, but that all New Yorkers, regardless of how they get around, don’t always respond immediately to new routines and tend to do what’s in their own self-interest.

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