Cracking down on bikers: A vicious cycle

By Post Editorial Board August 15, 2014 | 4:31am Source: NYPost

Fat Bicyclist The new NYC bike sharing program suggest maxim wight of 260lb for rider. pictured bicyclist making their way through Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

Fat Bicyclist
The new NYC bike sharing program suggest maxim wight of 260lb for rider. pictured bicyclist making their way through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. © Photo: Paul Martinka

Put this in the category called “It’s About Time”: The NYPD announced Wednesday that it will crack down on bicyclists who fail to obey the rules of the road.

Over two weeks, Operation Safe Cycle will target cyclists who ride on sidewalks, travel against the flow of traffic,  ignore traffic signs or fail to give pedestrians the right of way.

It’s good news. As the city debates whether cops should curb enforcement of low-level crimes, this is one quality-of-life issue that needs more, not less, attention.

Fact is, too many cyclists — deliverymen, hipster commuters, others — show little regard for anyone else. They freely terrorize pedestrians and endanger life and limb.

In the Bloomberg era, The Post argued that if the city was going to insist, as it did, on expanding cycling and making Gotham bike-friendly, the risk of accidents — bike-vs.-bike, bike-vs.-car, bike-vs.-pedestrian — was bound to rise, unless traffic laws were better enforced.

The city’s crackdown also comes as Mayor de Blasio pushes his Vision Zero plan to improve traffic safety and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton emphasizes the need to police quality-of-life infractions.

Our only problem with Operation Safe Cycle is that it’s a two-week pilot program. So at the end of the month, cyclists will feel free to go back to breaking the law — riding recklessly and endangering themselves and others.

Would Bratton do the same with other quality-of-life initiatives? We doubt it.

Lawless bikers require permanent reminders. Otherwise, the problem will just keep going round and round.


TakeAways

I know that cyclists say they simply hate the notion of being licensed and registered and having to take training that they consider beneath them. I have heard all of these complaints and arguments. But ‘here is the thing‘, when you manage to piss off enough people across the country with your antics you make the case for licensing all the more inevitable.

Urban Cyclist "Idaho Stop" Two-Step Variation

Urban Cyclist “Idaho Stop” Two-Step Variation

I know that lots of guys my age who should have learned long ago to get their hair cut and to not wear pony tails past the age of 30 feel differently. They egg on their 20-something cohorts at the local Critical Mass Rides and sometimes act out more than folks half their ages. These are the guys who love to volunteer to serve as Ride Marshals at various functions and then act like the proverbial ‘assholes‘ they are by demonstrating that they know how to break every single law on the books regarding either cyclists or automobiles. They take great pride in showing off their version of the Idaho Stop ‘Two Step’ and afterwards regale the younger folks with stories about how they managed to compete in a crosstown AlleyCat race and in the process of winning the thing, scare the crap out of a couple dozen pedestrians and cabbies in the process. Eventually however the folks who listen to the tired, lame and completely dishonest whine from their cycling advocacy groups are going to ‘get wise‘. They are going to be sitting in their vehicles ‘stuck in traffic‘ and watch cyclist pass between cars (on the left) to get through the traffic jam and wonder aloud why these guys are allowed to behave this way. And then it will suddenly hit them smack in the face when a group of these same jerks comes ‘riding against traffic‘ one Friday evening slapping car roofs and hoots and shouting ‘Happy Friday‘ that something is terribly wrong when police can be seen accompanying this crowd. Their urge will not be to join them on bicycle of their own, but rather to complain to the police department about their officers. This will in turn mean that somebody with the police department will have to get in touch with the complainants. And when it becomes clear that the Chief of Police is sitting on his hands, the Alderman will be contacted. But let’s fast forward to the eventual outcome of all this. Someone in City Hall is going to have had enough of this crap. He will notify his friend at the local newspaper in town and get a buzz going about starting another crackdown. The local bicycle advocacy group will get their ‘leader‘ off his ass long enough to write another sorry rejoinder to the local newspaper and to have it posted on their lame website. But here’s the thing, by now there will have been a meeting of sorts where folks have decided ‘enough is enough‘. They want licensing. And someone will see this thread and decide that they too can play the photobomb game:

Caught some parts thieves. w/pictures Posted by Alex Kim on August 24, 2014 at 7:34pm

photo2

Stripped Bike

I was riding past these two guys at Milwaukee and Paulina–noticed them working at a bike that was locked up. Rode past a little to think about it. Then saw them ride off with some parts. Okay, time to follow them. They ripped at least a fork off of this Scott road bike, not sure what else. When I confronted the guy doing all the work, I asked him if it was his, he responds “I found it”. I treated him like a little kid, saying that it’s clearly not his–he defends himself saying it’s an already abandoned bike (perhaps, the chain is in poor condition). It’s clearly not his stuff, and it’s nice stuff. He specifically told me to post the pictures I took of him–so here they are. “post the pictures, I don’t care” Is it weird territory? Taking parts from abandoned bikes. At what point is it abandoned? Is it ever okay? Are these kids taking full bikes? Whole wheels and components? Not sure how much can be done–just look out for these kids.

Reply by Tom A.K. 10 hours ago Vultures, feasting on the dead & abandoned. Thieves so determined they even gave you the “go ahead @hole , post our pictures.” h’ 1.0 is correct , you never know what type of reaction you will get when you challenge someone like this. The thief perhaps thought you have no right to question him on ‘his’ found abandoned treasure. Alex, thank you. I would greatly appreciate someone to question or report someone tampering with my locked up bike. Your next step would be to let the police have the pictures and info. This is the best you can make of this situation.

Reply by Jacky Chau 2 hours ago post them on facebook / instagram / twitter…make them go viral

Then A Strategy Will Present Itself

Cyclists are clearly stickler for ‘others‘ behaving correctly. They can in fact get vicious about the whole thing. Why not give the gander what he favors for the goose? If every cyclist has to have a license and a plate prominently displayed the playing field is leveled. The guys wandering about scavenging for parts will be easily identified and so will the scofflaw cyclists when they ride between cars (on the left) and cross on red lights.

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

People will be able to take ‘videos‘ of them and make those go viral as well. It will be a delicious hoisting of cyclists on their own petards. They cannot complain about scavengers being identifiable since that was their idea (posting pictures of the offenders) but they will also have to expect the same thing of themselves. This will come to pass sooner than we think. As the number of cyclists climbs their presence becomes all the more obvious as does their flagrant behavior. Pedestrians are more than tired of the ‘brush back‘ by cyclists who are ‘amber gambling‘ across intersections to save a few seconds. And with the nearly universal tendency of people to take cell phone pictures and post them on social media the press will have a field day. Then of course the grey hairs that run the cycling advocacy scam are going to have to walk that tightrope between being outraged by some small segment of riders (they will probably choose anybody riding with a fixed gear drivetrain) who will bear the brunt of their condemnation, while trying to make the case that most of the folks riding in the traffic lanes are merely commuters trying to get to work just like everybody else. But this will fall on deaf ears. Somebody in the media is going to remind these blowhards of their promise that all that money spent on ‘bike lanes‘ was going to result in ‘safety‘ because cyclists would ‘no longer find it necessary to act as scofflaws‘. But that lie will have been exposed for what it was and people will be looking for any excuse to make certain that everyone using the roadways has the same degree of exposure as lawbreakers. That will mean plates and licensing and fines. Woohoo! So Urban Cyclists keep on keeping on! You are your own worst enemies and time is on the side of the pedestrians and motorists. And while you are at it consider changing that Leftist Manifesto a bit to include you having your head served to the rest of the transportation landscape on a platter.