fight over bike lanes in NYC

A New York Times article about the bike lane feud being waged by cyclists gives some insight into the trend of retaking the streets.   There are several ways that cyclists are combating cars that infringe in the bike lanes.  Pubic shame, tagging bike lanes with ant-car graffiti, and even fake parking tickets.

…some cyclists have handed out fake but realistic-looking summonses to drivers in bike lanes, leading at times to arguments. Others said they have slapped stickers on cars that look like those pasted on vehicles that fail to make way for the Sanitation Department street sweepers.

These are all great gorilla tactics, and will probably only stimulate the fringes of the bike movements (and polarize the fringes of the car culture).  My opinion is that the best way to defend bike lanes is to have them full of bikers.  It sounds obvious, but actually if there were so many bikers traveling in the bike lanes there would be no room for cars.  In addition to gorilla anti-car tactics I’d like to see NYC fixed gear head and commuters try to grow in numbers to run cars off the streets.

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8 responses to “fight over bike lanes in NYC

  1. infogluttony

    My opinion is that the best way to defend bike lanes is to have them full of bikers.

    a brilliantly simple suggestion.

    dude, it’s “guerilla.”

    you know, philly’s astonishingly close to implementing the nation’s first citywide bikeshare program. i just don’t think the current infrastructure can support it. i mean, i think we have far fewer bike lanes than manhattan, even factoring in population and size. i may be wrong, though. i mean, i would NEVER bike in the city. and i’m no chicken.

  2. Sure, but what if there were more bikes than cars, would you still be concerned? Lets see what happens when oil is $15/gallon.

  3. there will never be more bikes than cars unless there’s sufficient infrastructure to support them. the egg has to come before the chicken. even at $15/gallon, people will drive. there’s always money in the couch cushions. little billy and jimmy and shoulda-worn-a-jimmy-cap tommy can go hungry because goddamit i have to drive 2 hours from my mcmansion to the city, because i don’t want to live near black people.

    the only people, sadly, who will suffer from the gas are people who are truly poor and have been kicked out to the suburbs by gentrification. there’s always money to be found for the biggest bellyachers.

  4. well, in that case we should set auto efficiency standards at 75 mpg minimum and force companies to produce better products. maybe Toyota will have to switch to a hybrid car-bike!

    “Comparing energy used per passenger-mile (calories), they found that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended a whopping 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between, and walking still took 3 times as many calories as riding a bike the same distance”
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/07/world_most_ener.php

  5. here here!!!

    i agree with you. enough of the cars.

    put down the mcdonald’s bag in your SUV’s and buy a bike and maybe you will live long enough to see some real change in the world.

  6. thanks! what kink of bike do you ride?

  7. Yea, I agree, too. And there might still be people driving, but they’ll become less and less, considering, that it’s gonna be unaffordable to drive for “normal” people.

    The scary fact about the idea of more bikes than cars is, that a lot of jobs would disappaer… all the people making and fixing the cars (fixing a bike is a lot simpler), all the people working at gas stations and so on.
    Hahaha, I thought about that scenario before on my blog (just started blogging, though)… if you’re interested, let me know, I’ll translate it.

  8. sure, I’d like to see your article!

    I agree that jobs would disappear, but take the case of car mechanics– many already know how to work on bikes because they have a mechanical mind and probably started out tinkering with bikes. At least that is what I have heard from two or three mechanics.

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