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But Think of the Cyclists!

March 31, 2013

We’re mere weeks away from the debut of Citi Bike — I hope! — and the New York Post is ON IT with a piece which turns the fears and concerns of a small handful of anti-bicycle New Yorkers into a city-wide problem.  The headline “New Yorkers trying to prevent bike-share racks from going on their block” should actually be preceded by the phrase, “Small number of…”

Here’s the supposed problem some SoHo residents have with a bike share station that was already moved once to accommodate their concerns:

Now they’re fighting the rack’s new spot in a no-parking area of the street on Cleveland Place near Kenmare Street, saying the busy intersection is too dangerous for a rental kiosk.

Georgette Fleischer, the founder of Friends of Petrosino Square, had this to say about DOT.

“The very agency you’d think would be most concerned about public safety on our streets seems to be absolutely unmoved,” she added.

And here’s what one Tribeca resident and community decision-maker had to say about a proposed bike share station at Duane and Greenwich:

“This area has a lot of congestion,” said Adam Malitz, a community-board member and plaza resident. “It’s not a good corner to put a lot of bikes.

“But [the city] has made all the decisions at this point and is saying, ‘We’ll look at it in the future if there are problems.’ I just hope someone doesn’t get hit by a car.

Emphasis mine.  Fleischer and Malitz demonstrate the perfect NIMBY tactic: set up an impossible standard but couch it in a simple and reasonable concern for the safety of cyclists.  Because we’re all concerned about safety, right?

Then there’s the other impossible standard, that of DOT engagement with the community and the idea that the DOT remains “unmoved” by the concerns of longtime residents.  Except for the fact that the Post story cites four examples of locations the DOT reconsidered after community pushback, including one each in SoHo and Tribeca, it’s totally true!

  1. April 1, 2013 11:53 am

    We have the same problem here in Northeast LA. People will throw out any reason to oppose bike lanes, and that ends up including “I love to ride my bike…but it’s too dangerous [so don’t install bike lanes!]”

    See the 5th video in this link, a dude says the DOT is “playing with people’s lives” by proposing bike lanes.

    ( And if you want to see some people speak passionately about a need for bike lanes to improve safety check out the videos in this link )


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