Urban Fold

A Plea for PR: Bicycling in the City

A longtime urban cyclist compares cycling today with cycling twenty years ago, and considers how best to move forward.

"Just the other day, when I was enjoying the bike lane down Clinton Street in my neighborhood, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, I stopped at a red light. And after the crossing guard smiled and chatted with me, after the cars pulled up alongside me and did not honk, I experienced a flashback from 1987: my regular trip from West 113th Street to Central Park, navigating honks and taunts, the mayhem that was then on Cathedral Parkway."

"Stimulus bills with federal money for transportation come and go, but we bikers appear to be staying. For once in our biking lives, New York is really listening to us, helping our numbers grow, with new bike racks, bike shelters, biking incentives (a proposal for an indoor parking requirement for new buildings, for instance) and, of course, bike lanes."

"As someone who has been honked and screamed at by drivers when I am proceeding carefully along a wide, bike-friendly street, I acknowledge that my blood boils, just from a public relations standpoint, when I see a guy do that. Because...they hate us.

The nature of the hate has changed. Once, they hated us because we were a rarity, like a rat in the kitchen, a pest. Now, they hate us because we are ubiquitous."

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

Full Story: The Wild Bunch

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