The Bike Wars Rage On

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin takes time away from his busy schedule of pretending to be a Democrat so that his constant excoriation of the president will seem like it’s coming from a place of disappointment rather than sheer partisanship to harp on one of the paper’s other obsessions: bike lanes.

Here’s the predictable path of the tyranny of the minority. With the city spending millions to make bike lanes for a relative handful of New Yorkers, collisions between bikes and vehicles are on a record pace. Duh.
Now that The Post has reported the carnage, you can bet the city’s response will be as illogical as the lanes themselves. City Hall zealots will further restrict auto traffic, adding more congestion and emissions, and look to ticket drivers. They also will litter the airwaves with an expensive “education campaign” telling bikers to behave.
Let’s save time and get next year’s news now: still more accidents, higher taxpayer costs and more tickets for drivers.

Coincidentally, Awl pal Felix Salmon has penned a helpful corrective.

Did these people really think that New York would become Copenhagen overnight? The fact is that changing the fast-paced culture of New York is going to take time. As more people start making use of bike lanes, the average speed of cyclists is going to slow down, cycling is going to become safer, and both drivers and pedestrians are going to be more aware of the cyclists with whom they are increasingly sharing precious macadam. We just need to have a bit of patience.

Patience, of course, is not something the New York Post (or, frankly, some other New Yorkers we know) values highly on its list of virtues, so expect plenty more of its pro-car agenda. But Felix makes a pretty good point.

Photo by Spencer Thomas, from Flickr.