Friday, June 10, 2011

Riding in the bike lanes.

New York is currently embroiled in a bike lane war. The city wants to encourage cycling as a healthy (for body and environment) alternative to driving. To help with the goals, they have installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes throughout the boroughs. Oftentimes, the city removes a traffic lane in order to give it to bicycles. Where else would a bike lane go?

Drivers are pissed, especially cabbies. They see it as less road space for them, which means more traffic. Which is true. Fewer lanes for cars does slow traffic, but we can get used to it.

I fully support the city's efforts, even though I am a cabbie. I am also a cyclist, and besides, I figure that fair is fair. Bicycles have just as much right to the streets as cars. Studies show that novices are more likely to take up biking if there are dedicated lanes for them. They feel, and are safer.

But many cyclists are not safe riders. Some go the wrong way down one-way streets, ride on the sidewalk, blow red lights, split the lanes and ride between cars, then get pissed at us when they go flying over the hood of a cab.

So, the NYPD is stepping up their efforts to police cyclists by engaging in a ticket blitz. They are giving out tickets for every infraction concievable, real and imagined.

Casey got a ticket for not riding in a bike lane. The cop told him to always ride in the bike lanes. So Casey did so, with comic results.

The radio clip seen in the video is from The Brian Lehrer Show.

via @rebeccawatson