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“Food Delivery People” Are People

March 7, 2016

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but repetition is the sincerest form of bikelash.

The latest entry into this niche Mad Libs genre is by Steve Cuozzo, a master of the form. The Cuozz is so good at this, he doesn’t even need to invent new material.

Here’s Steve Cuozzo on  March 6th, 2016:

In nearly every case, just about the only riders most times of day are food delivery people. While a boon to Upper East Siders who might have a shorter wait for General Tso’s chicken, it spells slower progress for the zillion cars, trucks and buses trying to inch their way uptown.

Here’s Steve Cuozzo on December 13, 2012:

I’ve clocked as few as a half-dozen cyclists in 20 minutes — nearly all of them delivering food. Many ride the wrong way, endangering any pedestrian naïve enough to expect them to obey the law: Yesterday, it took me all of one minute observing the corner of West 85th Street to catch a deliveryman illegally speeding north.

And here’s Steve Cuozzo again on April 18, 2011:

You don’t need a degree in statistics to grasp what’s obvious to any New Yorker out for a stroll: The DOT’s bike lanes are usually devoid of bikes except for food-delivery personnel. The lanes are the superhighway for General Tso’s chicken, but lonesome highways for everyone else.

Emphasis mine.

I’ve written before about Cuozzo’s dehumanization of “food delivery people” who, it must be pointed out, are real people.

In Cuozzo’s world, rather than being part of what Jane Jacobs called the “sidewalk ballet,” the “New Yorker out for a stoll” and the food-delivery person exist in separate universes.  Even his sentence construction suggests that there’s a difference between “food-delivery personnel” and “everyone else.” It’s as if the people who live and work here providing food to the people who live and work here aren’t people.

They do not exist separate from New Yorkers; they are New Yorkers. And they are just as deserving as safe streets and working conditions as anyone.

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12 Comments
  1. March 7, 2016 12:36 pm

    Whereas delivery people in trucks are Teh Whole Porpoise for roads — if not for cars-N-trucks on roads, how would you hippies ever get your stuff, huh?

    • Tyson White permalink
      March 7, 2016 1:01 pm

      Upvote

  2. Clark in Vancouver permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:53 pm

    Yep, typical trashy media. Up is down, left is right, black is white, full is empty…
    This guy probably has some sort of software algorithm that produces the article without much effort.
    It’s hilarious that he characterizes those opposed to a nicer city as “the good guys”. Then the other funny thing is “finally winning”. Hilarious, those people won 80 years ago.
    I wonder if he gets any kickbacks from anyone to write this stuff.

    It tends to happen all over though, somebody takes a glance down a bike lane between light phases and ignoring the data that proves high usage, declares that they’re empty. Hey, maybe I should do that to stroads. Take a glance, even video between light phases, declare that it’s all a waste of money and they should be torn out.

    If some people are going down them the wrong way, that shows that there’s a need for them to be two-way. Or make another on the other side with some crossing points.

  3. Lauri permalink
    March 7, 2016 2:09 pm

    EXACTLY.

  4. Cap'n Sensible permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:53 am

    No, they are NOT New Yorkers. They are overwhelmingly undocumented aliens who are working here illegally, for cash off the books, paying no taxes, and sending money to their families back home. They could care less if they create dangerous conditions, speeding along against traffic on their illegal motorized vehicles, their children and elderly parents don’t live here!

    • March 8, 2016 3:09 pm

      They are human beings. And I’d imagine their families, wherever they live, love them and want them to be as safe just as much as your family wants you to be.

    • guest permalink
      March 8, 2016 3:22 pm

      Trump?

  5. matthiashess permalink
    March 8, 2016 10:05 am

    Hear, hear.

  6. Elizabeth permalink
    March 8, 2016 10:15 am

    Typical racist drivel. You could say the same thing about delivery trucks: look at the auto lanes any time of day, and you’ll see a large fraction of the vehicles are delivery trucks. So what?

    The reality is, bicycle delivery people are scratching out a living at the very bottom of the New York economic ladder, working for tips. It’s a tough job, rain or shine. At the very least, the bike lanes make their difficult job a little safer.

    That said, I also believe that improved training on American traffic laws is in order. Many delivery people come from places with chaotic traffic. Has anyone taken the time to sit down with them and explain the importance of going the right way in the bike lane? That would be a constructive thing that would make all our lives better. Kvetching against bike lanes, to the benefit of the privileged few with drivers and limos, will not.

  7. rao permalink
    March 8, 2016 2:22 pm

    If they come from places with chaotic traffic, they must feel right at home in New York. I have no hope that education would solve the problem because our police are some of the worst, most irresponsible drivers in the city and barely understand, much less follow, the traffic laws they are supposed to enforce.

  8. guest permalink
    March 8, 2016 3:28 pm

    Agreed.

    And also remember, the ebike ban disproportionately affects these people as well. Asian and Latino immigrants, usually working very long and physical shifts in all weather conditions, are harassed by police because of the perceived danger of ebikes. I can’t think of any pedestrian killed by an ebike rider every in NYC, yet they are the dangerous road users?

    The city should be encouraging ebike use, which would open up bicycling to many more people citywide.

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