City Journal Winter 2014

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Winter 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
Bike Share’s Promise and Peril « Back to Story

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Well said but from my 35 years of cycling experience with one collision with a driver turning left, more focus should be on motorists who are either not attentive, not educated, law-breakers or anti-bikes.
TheTruthoftheMatter June 04, 2013 at 8:40 AM
I hope the programme is successful and that bicyclists and pedestrians are as safe as possible. One thing the DOT can do to make it safer is to ask the police to enforce the rules respecting truck size. Trucks, including the cab, may not be longer than 55 feet, unless their load is longer than can fit in their cab. This is deliberately neither posted on signage at entrances to the City nor enforced by the police. It should be.
I misnamed the things in a previous post. Bloomberg Bomber, of course, should be the term of art for the City's least contribution to urban culture.
I am deeply relieved that the author has not heard of the tragedy in Baltimore, an unimportant Atlantic seaboard city somewhere in the vicinity of our nation's capital.

A bikerider, Mel Pachino, a member of my synagogue, was critically injured when the driver of a Honda pulled out and hit him. His injuries are life-threatening. He was hit by someone with a name that does not suggest long residence in this country; it does occur that the driver may be in this country illegally and may not have a driver's license.

These questions were not mentioned by the Baltimore Sun, an obscure paper that nonetheless still enjoys a decent readership and respect in that obscure city, Baltimore.

How wonderful that we are so obscure as not to be newsworthy in City Journal. How terrible that the victim is being prayed for every Saturday at services for the past month, though he seems to be slowly improving.

Bike riding not dangerous? Don't report from Baltimore; we treasure our anonymity!
I've always liked cycling because it is "low-impact" exercise. Until you fall off. Or get hit by a beer truck. Does Nanny Bloomberg approve of this? Is there a helmet requirement? Is there any chance someone injured while using a Bike Share Bomber (Fifty Pounds?!) might sue the City? I love the idea of touring the Town on two wheels, but fear I'd be taking my life in my hands.
If memory serves right, at least one in five cars cruising in Manhattan sport dents and scratches as signs of close encounters, so good luck to those heavy bikes! Just recently my better half recalled that tackling the Manhattan and Queens traffic (in an SUV, to boot) remained her scariest driving experience; that, despite cringing in the passenger seat in some white-knuckled places like Romania.

An avid historian might also care to look into the predictive value of cycling crazes: Could it be so that each such wave precedes a world war by some 15 - 20 years? The current one seems to be culminating.
Why is there bo mention of Mexico City's Ecobici progra
? I think that is more comparable to New York than Paris, both in size, density and overall traffic craziness.
Our RWNJ gun lovers have forgotten Joseph Stalin.

"Syria's main problem is a disarmed citizenry, allowing government to tread harshly upon them for decades."

Having rifles by the tens of millions did nothing whatsoever to rein in Stalin's terror. Or the Purges. Or creation of the prison camp system that Solzhenitsyn wrote of as the Gulag Archipelago.

Stalin armed his citizenry to an extent far beyond what Americans were doing in the 1930s. He set up gun clubs. He had training programs to teach military skills associated with gun use. High powered rifles were provided free by the tens of millions.

Gun ownership has nothing to do with tyranny. The notion that America's private gun owners are protecting us from American democracy (called "gubbermint") is a hoax. "The Constitution hangs by a thread" is a hoax. Same level of irrationality as the "Birther" hoax and little green people living under Area 51.
First off, thanks for a rational consideration of the new Citibike project. I see this as the start of a broader use of bikes:

-- The blue bikes weigh 50 pounds, so they are hardly competitive with either a 20# racer or the usual 30# "urban mountain bikes" and folding bikes.
-- Blues are going to be gateway bikes leading thousands to go forward with better designed equipment.

Secondly, this text displays a sorry misunderstanding of the nature of mental illness. No one can predict his own future mental status any more than he can predict the day of the week on which he will die. And it is the disorders of paranoia, sociopathy, and the schizoid range that correlate with criminal actions:

"There is already far too much"gun control" for the law abiding. What is lacking is enforcement of laws prohibiting dangerous PERSONS from possession. NONE of muy guns have ever hurt anyone, thus I exercise complete control over them. And I ALWAYS carry at least one with me wherever I go, so there have been plenty of opportunities."

Compare/contrast with what happens when a paranoid rage takes hold. This guy's dreaming and he is already angry at strangers who are not in his presence.
"tragedy" says: what is the lack of gun control in the US ? if you think "lack of gun control" in the US is a tragedy, your definition is faulty. There is already far too much"gun control" for the law abiding. What is lacking is enforcement of laws prohibiting dangerous PERSONS from possession. NONE of muy guns have ever hurt anyone, thus I exercise complete control over them. And I ALWAYS carry at least one with me wherever I go, so there have been plenty of opportunities. Funy thing, I've never known ANY gun owned by me or any of my friends to jump up and start hurting folks. I have known a number of friends' guns that have been used to stop someone ELSE harming an innocent.. but that gun never had to hurt the would be assailant who invariably made an "informed decision" to take his threats elsewhere.

And Syria's main problem is a disarmed citizenry, allowing government to tread harshly upon them for decades.

Three people a year dying in Paris whilst on their cycles is no tragedy, either. Carelessness, perhaps, and unnecessary.
Why hasn't anyone mentioned Amsterdam? Now there's the city of bikes.
I guess someone may say "New Yorkers are not Amsterdamers. Parisians are not New Yorkers." The Dutch do seem to feel a national calm that contributes to bike safety. About six people die a year in Amsterdam from bike-related accidents. That's less than American or Parisian rates.
http://www.thecriticalmom.com
Interesting that private enterprise is funding this programme. Out here in Washignton State, a few small town bike shops have fielded small fleets of "yellow bikes', but there is no rental, no revenue, and its mainly an advertising/public relations gig. It works, sort of. One major difference here is that the cities are farther apart than back there, and so a local system like yours would not work well. Many people have to commute 20,30 miles, mostly on open county roads with little traffic. Big cities are always dicey for riding. Seattle is one of the worst I've ever been in... abysmal road surfaces, and, in spite of high bike traffic, inattentive motorists. COmmercial vehicles generally watch out, except for the busses, who watch out and get even. Many bus drivers have rotten attitudes toward cyclists, and threaten them. Most times, an altercation between a bike and a vehicle is the result of inattention on someone's part. A skilled rider will know what traffic will do, and guard against it, making himself visible and not doing anything unexpected. Most motorists are aware and careful, but there are some... I've had my share of close calls, but in 150K plus road miles I've never been hit by a car. I've taken some radical evasive action a few times, though. You are spot on when you cite the danger of inexperienced riders being naif.... and dangerous. I wish cops here would clamp down on some of the more egregious safety violations.. riding the wrong way is my most hated action by others, but it is common. And cops never do a thing about it, even though it forces ME out into the traffic lane. It will be interesting to see whether your predictions for the new system will be borne out in reality. I won't come to NYC to visit anymore, but if I did, I'd see about trying one of those pigbikes. Heavy three speed.... ugh.
Some good data in this article but some ridiculous risk aversion. Velib in Paris is a "tragedy" ? what is the lack of gun control in the US ? and Syria civil war ? Please, if you cannot take risk, stay home under the cover. Paris is not for you.
I can recall with great trepidation early childhood chastisement for wandering near traffic. It remains with me and is aggravated considerably when interacting with bicycles on the same road as I am driving my truck. Why any cognizant government would EVER suggest its citizens play in traffic denies the obvious dangers and speaks volumes of the utter folly of liberal empowerment of the rights of idiots who can't see the 6000 lb. Car-illa in the room. Health benefits??? Please.