Monday, December 9, 2013

In defense of bicycles.

Healthy and physically fit people dmget that way and stay that way in large part through physical activities like bicycle riding. Bicycle riding allows people to accomplish tasks and benefit from physical exercise at the same time.

Bicycle riding does not pollute the air. Seldom does even an irresponsible bicyclist cause another person's death while motor vehicles kill almost daily in New York City.

Bicycle riding is much more economical  than motoring. During times of busy traffic a bicycle will outrun a car or a bus.

Mike Bloomberg gave bicycles a bad name in the minds of many New Yorkers with his over enthusiastic embrace of cycling combined with an anti motor campaign that has hit taxi drivers particularly hard, with vanishing parking spaces and the criminalizing of taxi pick ups and drop offs under almost all practical circumstances. People ought not completely identify Bloomberg and bicycles.

Bicycles are not cars and they should not be subject to all the rules and regulations that cars are. For example a cyclist who observes that an intersection is clear of pedestrians and vehicles ought to be allowed to disregard red light. Common sense should rule.

Recently this blog drew angry responses for carrying these pictures that I took at the site of a tragic bicycle fatality. The cyclist was traveling or perhaps trying to cycle across a busy thoroughfare (Meeker Avenue) in the rain before the crack of dawn in the rain and without a helmet. Police say that security camera photos show that the cyclist was not struck by any other vehicle. I tend to think that is the case in spite of my reflexive skepticism towards the NYPD because the bicycle was not apparently damaged. I  do not mind being hated by anyone if I am helping one person not be an accident victim and especially not a fatality. Helmets save lives. Common sense saves live