Friday, May 31, 2013

Bikes vs. _________________________

When I was a youth, and that was a very long time ago, I grew up in a fabulous suburb outside of San Francisco.  We played outside, played in the streets, and biked everywhere. A much simpler time.  Eventually, being the very progressive township, they painted neon green lines on the streets and made bike lanes.  I can't remember the reaction to the bike lanes, but they were heavily used. We were the suburbs. Bikes, cars, and pedestrians co-existed in harmony and courtesy.  

Flash forward to New York City.  Bikers fly through red lights, crosswalks, and are a basic menace to all.  If they minded the laws and lights, it wouldn't be so bad, but I have seen on more than one occasion a bike hitting a pedestrian.  Plus, the cars and taxi doors open abruptly without looking and hit the bikers.  It's been a treacherous mess.  In comes Mayor Bloomberg with a "fantastic" idea to create bike lanes in New York City.  I would've loved to be in the room when they discussed this.  On paper it sounded like a good idea, but in reality...a disaster.  First of all, it removed and shifted street parking which is already scarce in this town.  Unlike when I was growing up, they decided to take the curb side for the bike lanes and moved the street parking to a traffic lane!  It's the dumbest thing I've ever seen. They have taken some of the most heavily trafficked streets and decimated them.  Now, to the bike riders, they may love them, but statistically speaking there aren't many bikers to have spent the money,  relocate the lanes and the parking, and inconvenience the majority. (If you don't believe me, stand on the corner of Columbus and 81st Street and count how many bikes that are using the bike lanes).  

Okay, so they are here now.  So what did the Mayor do next?  There are rows of "Citibikes" now taking more space from drivers, cars, and people that you can borrow/rent as you please.  There's a fee and I think it's a disaster. I am willing to be proven wrong, no problem with that, but these bike rows are again taking up parking, traffic lanes, and are a hinderance to the garbage collectors.  As Star Jones said, "we aren't Amsterdam."  We are an extremely heavily trafficked city by motor vehicles and by foot. The bikers have now been elevated to a higher position than all of us.  If that's the case, I want the bikers that don't follow the laws to receive heavy fines for disobeying traffic signs and speeding through pedestrians.  Bikers have an air of entitlement that is far from deserved.  Oh, by the way, did I mention that all the people that come to the city and rent the "Citibikes" aren't required to wear helmets!!!!????? So, how many injuries will there be?  Time will tell.

So, before I hear from you that I am a curmudgeon, I'm not.  I don't think that this system is practical for an island like Manhattan. This city isn't big enough for all the pedestrians, vehicles, and now thousands of more bikes. 

Sidebars:  The Voice was an absolute shocker with its eliminations.  If you watched it, you know who got tossed and it was abrupt and rushed at the end.  Coach Adam Levine said under his breath and with a live mic, "I hate America." It was an off the cuff comment and the hate tweets he received are laughable.  Does anyone really believe he meant it?  He was being a petulant child, a humorous sore loser.  What's wrong with people?  Taking him seriously is so extreme.  Without meeting or knowing Adam Levine, I can comfortably and with certitude say, he doesn't hate America, he hated the way America took down his team.  Okay, silly over sensitive people??  New York City was 40 degrees six days ago and today...92 degrees.  Global climate change anyone?  Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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