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“Hamill’s cranky nonsense”

January 31, 2013

The Village Voice joins the Denis Hamill ridicule party with its own entry into what has become, in just a few short days, almost its own literary genre:

Perhaps tellingly, several years after the bike-lane battles reached their peak, the Daily News‘s own readers were almost universally disgusted by Hamill’s bullshit, expressing, pity, disappointment, disbelief, and the conviction that “Hamill, you are a disgrace to the New York Irish.”

At the end of his piece, Hamill tried to make a pivot toward city politics, calling for a mayoral candidate ready to “hit the brakes on bike lanes.”

If the popular response to his column is any indication, mayoral candidates will recognize that as a sucker’s move.

And speaking of those Daily News readers:


  1. Brendan Gray permalink
    January 31, 2013 10:51 pm

    Here’s the letter I sent to the NYDN:

    To whom it may concern-

    Denis’s Hamill’s hyperbolic, vitriol-filled rant against bike lanes and the New Yorkers who ride them (Opinion section, 1/30/2013) displays a shocking ignorance of how New York City has evolved to better serve and protect the majority of it’s residents. Mr Hamill fantastically reminisces about the past and vilifies change while ignoring what has driven those developments.

    The focus of Mr. Hamill’s “argument” is the bike lane on Prospect Park West, He laments the loss of the ability to drive at near-highway speeds down this busy urban street that connects a park to the persons young and old who use it. Mr. Hamill conveniently ignores the fact that the bike lane is merely a byproduct of a traffic calming lane reduction that was implemented by the DOT to make this street safer for all New Yorkers.

    In the processes of vilifying those residents who choose to ride bicycles Mr West paints a self-portrait of an entitled driver, who desires to be able to speed all over town and find free and easy street parking. This type of individual is the most at odds with the compromises that need to be made for all of us to coexist in a dense urban area where any one of us may use several modes of transit (walking, driving, subway, bicycle) depending on where we need to go that day and what we can afford.

    The Mayor is a successful global businessman and he realizes one of the things that makes a city world-class is a comprehensive plan for safer streets for all users, one that dovetails with the need for environmental balance. The Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation has implemented many measures, from bike lanes to pedestrian plazas, that are a part of how we must reshape our city to fit the needs of it’s residents and visitors, and meet the challenges and mandates of the 21st century.

    As a resident and business owner I am proud to live in a city that is taking these steps forward. I can only hope that progress drowns out the noise coming from people like Denis Hamill, who use the guise of anti-elitism to attempt to impede the improvements that are making New York a safer city for everyone. I can’t think of anything more democratic than that.


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