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Hit the brakes! Mayoral candidates talk bike lanes

The Brooklyn Paper
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Forget soda bans, term limits, and high-rising development — Mayor Bloomberg’s biggest contribution to the city is the proliferation of bike lanes. But what will happen when Hizzoner’s time in office comes to an end?

We chatted with seven mayoral hopefuls, and in one way or another they all said the path to installing bike lanes should be bumpier than it has been under Bloomberg and Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan:

Christine Quinn: “I’m a supporter of bike lanes — but the way the Department of Transportation had been implementing them, without any meaningful outreach or dialogue with local communities and community boards, was not the right approach. As speaker, we changed the policy to make it mandatory that Department of Transportation consult with local community boards.”

Joe Lhota: “We need to have more community involvement where they’re located. And we need to have more enforcement of bike riders — if it’s one way for cars, it’s one way for bikes. We should avoid bike lanes that impede economic and commercial activity and keep them to residential streets … Bikes and buses should not share the same streets.”

Bill DeBlasio: “The motivation [for bike lanes] has been noble but the approach has often been without the kind of communication with the community that I’d like. What I’d say is that let’s look at actual evidence, not biased evidence, about what has happened with each of them. Where they’ve worked, great, let’s keep them. Where they haven’t worked, let’s revise them or change them.”

John Liu: “There are too many of them. It would be one thing if the lanes were cluttered with bike traffic, but they aren’t. There’s a lot of competition for street space. There are a lot of people looking for parking spaces and trying to get around in their cars. We need parking spaces and traffic lanes. We need equilibrium.”

Sal Albanese: “They are a positive thing overall, but I do believe that you need more community input before you install them. I’ve had people tell me that the city rammed the bike lanes down their throats and no one consulted with them. Getting people on bikes is a good thing. You want to get people out of their cars as much as possible. I do think there is room for growth.”

John Catsimatidis: “I hate them. I don’t think they serve a lot of purpose. They cause more problems than they solve. You have thousands of cars stuck in traffic and four bicycles going by. It makes no sense. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I would reduce them or get rid of them completely.”

Tom Allon: “Bike lanes are a great idea that need methodical and careful execution, which has not happened thus far. We need a coordinated strategy to place them mostly on residential streets in a contiguous loop and with crosstown transverses … so as not to impede pedestrian and vehicular traffic. We must be a pedestrian, car, and bike friendly metropolis.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
What a disappointing crop of candidates.
Feb. 18, 2013, 7:16 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
The network of bike lanes Bloomberg implemented will endure as one of the best aspects of his legacy. Commuting by bike and cycling in general have been climbing double digits since it's now safe to do so. If the pack of losers that are the current candidates for mayor mean to reverse all that progress, then none of them need apply for the job. Once again we see what the torpid, incestuous Democratic party structure in NYC produces: mental midgets.
Feb. 18, 2013, 8:17 am
steve from crown heights says:
Forget quinn, no one but her buddy is voting for her. Vote Weiner.
Feb. 18, 2013, 9:10 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Not a single one of these candidates realizes that in NYC only a minority get around by car, and that minority greatly decreases the quality of life for everyone else. I would like to see a candidate who will implement policies which actively discourage private auto use, such as reduced off-street parking, total elimination of curbside parking, and congestion pricing. Even a total ban on personal cars in Manhattan wouldn't be a bad idea. Bike lanes may not be the sole answer to the city's transportation woes, but we know from over 50 years of experience that cars just don't in an urban environment. We can't build our way out of congestion. Yes, the candidates who said street space is limited are quite correct. So why should we give that street space over to free parking and traffic lanes which benefit well under 10% of the city's population? A fair, democratic allocation of street space in Manhattan based on numbers would have at least 50% of the total area given to pedestrians,
Feb. 18, 2013, 9:42 am
diehipster from stealing Schwinns says:
Looks like the general concensus of candidates agrees with me on this issue. Eff the bike lanes - they simply aren't used enough for them to exist. You can stand in most of them for minutes upon minutes, even 1/2 an hour and not see one bike. That's the absolute truth - so why have them? Why? Why?

The lanes were created to cater to transient granola crowd who ride around at all hours of the working day in their effortlessly cool uniforms - but even with the massive influx of these hipsters over the years, they still can't fill these unnecessary bike lanes.
Feb. 18, 2013, 9:43 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Here is my last comment in its entirety (last sentence was chopped off for some reason):

Not a single one of these candidates realizes that in NYC only a minority get around by car, and that minority greatly decreases the quality of life for everyone else. I would like to see a candidate who will implement policies which actively discourage private auto use, such as reduced off-street parking, total elimination of curbside parking, and congestion pricing. Even a total ban on personal cars in Manhattan wouldn't be a bad idea. Bike lanes may not be the sole answer to the city's transportation woes, but we know from over 50 years of experience that cars just don't fit in an urban environment. We can't build our way out of congestion. Yes, the candidates who said street space is limited are quite correct. So why should we give that street space over to free parking and traffic lanes which benefit well under 10% of the city's population? A fair, democratic allocation of street space in Manhattan based on numbers would have at least 50% of the total area given to pedestrians,
Feb. 18, 2013, 9:45 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@diehipster,

You and some of the candidates show a fundamental misunderstanding of the bike lanes here. Even if bike use was very heavy, they would never be crowded like car lanes are for the simple reason bikes are a lot smaller. In fact, a dramatic demonstration of how many people a bike lane can move is to have one side by side with a packed car lane. Put the exact same number of bikes in the bike lane, and bike traffic will still be spread out and free flowing. Also, the bike lane will be less than half the width of the car lane. Another thing you fail to realize is we don't yet have a comprehensive bike network. What we have is equivalent to building small portions of an expressway. Do you think if the LIE was a bunch of 1 mile segments instead of a continuous run it would see all that much traffic? The same people who complain the bike lanes are hardly used should support more bike lanes to make a complete network. Then and only then will you see each segment used to its full potential.
Feb. 18, 2013, 9:54 am
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Joe R. Clever twisting of words. yes, cars are a minority. Subways are the majority. cars are next. Bikes? not even on the radar. If you have some factual statistics that more people commute by bike than car why don't you post those here? Pretty cold out this morning. Saw plenty of cars. 2, count 'em 2, bicycles I was in downtown Brooklyn this morning. Lets see those stats joe
Feb. 18, 2013, 10:40 am
diehipster from yup crusher says:
Joe let me give you an example of how I see it... You ever take a long interstate drive and drive through hundreds of miles of farms and forest? Imagine building massive 5,000 car parking lots every so many miles; that would be ridiculous since they WOULD NEVER BE USED. Right? So why keep the bike lanes in place here or build more if they are barely used in respect to the population. It's so clear isn't it? This is just catering to the influx of monied hipsters and yups. It's more about treating the guests nicely than being practical.

Growing up as a kid in Brooklyn, we didn't need lanes and signs to help us ride bikes. Why start now - for adults no less!!!
Feb. 18, 2013, 10:52 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
SwampYankee-Pedestrians are the majority of street users by far, especially in Manhattan, and therefore should have the most space, not cars, not bikes. And why are only the numbers who commute by bike relevant? What about delivery cyclists, recreational riders, or cyclists running errands like shopping? Do we just count auto commuters when we count car traffic? All trips are important, not just those to and from work.

The fact is bike use is up quite a bit, and it would go up even more if we had better infrastructure (not just bike lanes but more bike parking). Will bike use ever be a majority here? No, it won't. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can to let cycling reach its potential.

Oh, and you picked probably one of the worst days to count bikes. Of course, if we had elevated bike highways shielded from the wind, they would be heavily used even on days like today. Infrastructure makes all the difference. Without expressways, how many people would own or use cars, for example?
Feb. 18, 2013, 10:54 am
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Joe R.
It's estimated that up to 4 million people a day commute to NYC. Are you suggesting that most of them walked in? They walk AFTER they get close to their destination. You are suggesting banning cars? Why? Far,far more people use them that bicycles. Why not ban bikes? More people walk, or use the subway, or use the bus, or a commute train or take a cab that cycle? Why single out cars when they are more popular to that bikes? Guess what, you take cars or subways out of the picture and the city takes a big economic hit. Take bicycles out? I guess I will have to wait longer for my cup of coffee. big deal. BTW, limited cars with congestion pricing failed. It was tried, it failed. As for bike lanes? pretty much vastly underutilized unless it's nice out so I can pick plenty of bad days Oh, say the last months or so. But work goes on and people have to get their. Also, it's a big city. Practically no one commutes by bike in the 3 of the 5 boroughs.
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:10 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@diehipster,

And many experienced cyclists like myself couldn't care less if there are bike lanes. I ride on any major arterial just fine, regardless of whether or not there are bike lanes. I'm also probably in the top 1% as far as ability goes. We don't need bike lanes for people like me. We need them to attract the large numbers of people who otherwise wouldn't ride. It's all about numbers. People like me will ride anyway, but without bike lanes you'll never see bikes increase in mode share beyond a few percent. The VC (vehicular cyclist) guys gave the same line as you. After 40 years their philosophy never managed to get more than the most hard core people using bikes. Places which built bike infrastructure to separate bikes and cars ended up with bike mode share numbers well into the double digits. You're starting with the false premise that bike lanes will never be used because the incomplete network we have isn't used as much as you think it should be. Your analogy of parking garages in the middle of nowhere is wrong. What we have now is more like an incomplete highway where most segments start and end nowhere.

There are also a bunch of things the city could do better with regard to bike lanes, including getting rid of as many traffic lights as possible, but the biggest issue is the network is incomplete. If and when we ever have something resembling a complete network and it still isn't used much, I'll be the first one to say get rid of it. We won't know until we build it.
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:12 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklny says:
Oh and Joe? The only reason I know how many bikes are on the street is because I have to watch out for them when there is a walk sign. Few cycles stop for red lights and are not shy about blowing a red light and ignoring pedestrians in the cross walk. If cyclist want to be treated as real commuters start obeying the law. And don't even try saying that just as many cars run lights as cyclists blow lights. Simply not true
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:15 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Joe, do you know 98% of drivers rate themselves above average? Everybody thinks they are the best. Seems it's no different for cyclist.
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:17 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
SwampYankee,

I'm suggesting banning cars because they cause a disproportionate number of problems relative to the number of people they move. This is a crowded, dense city. That means we should use modes of transportation which use the least space-namely subways, buses, walking, and yes, bicycles. The city's economy won't suffer if we banned private cars and taxis. The less than 10% who use these modes will have plenty of other ways to get around. The only motor vehicles the city needs to function are delivery trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles. The issue here is cars cause problems which cost far more than any economic activity they generate, starting with pollution, asthma, deaths, and injuries. Now add in the cost of land use which otherwise could be put to more profitable use. If you say bike lanes are a waste of space, well parking and car lanes are an even bigger waste when you count that they cause more problems than benefits.

Congestion pricing was tried and failed? That's news to me. Last I checked it never even came to a vote in Albany.
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:26 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
SwampYankee,

I'm done here. You're back to usual cyclist stereotypes. The conversation's over. You can't reason with an unreasonable person who has their views set in stone.
Feb. 18, 2013, 11:29 am
Brian Van from Gramercy says:
Just want to say something about the community outreach issues that have come up about the bike lanes:

For the past 4 years, the DOT has been very diligent about conversing with Community Boards about street redesigns. In fact, no major infrastructure changes (including bike lanes, even the unprotected types) were constructed without resolution approvals from the relevant local community boards.

Opponents of bike lanes have found this to be insufficient outreach. They don't attend community board meetings regularly - 99% of the city doesn't - and they figure going through the community boards on ANYTHING is a way to hide a public notice in plain sight.

Maybe some changes need more "outreach" than proposed community board resolutions, because they'll affect many people who clearly don't participate in government, and we shouldn't disenfranchise those people for not taking the time out of their busy lives to attend a 3 hour CB meeting one night a month.

But then there's still the problem of whether car users are actually disenfranchised or not. Virtually 75% of the population are licensed car users, another 75% of the population (a slice including more youngsters and fewer seniors / disabled people) is a potential bike user, and most of the road network can easily accommodate both kinds of users with small, simple changes. Completely eliminating bicycle infrastructure would do nothing to make streets more accessible to cars. (It would hardly do anything to make it more convenient either; the "losses" by car drivers are mostly perceived, not measured)

Balanced streets are better for any city. Talking about any effort to make sure that roads are 100% vehicle-dedicated space is pandering to a clear minority (measured through independent scientifically-based polling) of frequent car users in the dense urban core (already a stupid, selfish move among the rest of us rare car users) who won't benefit from any bike-lane reduction effort in the practical sense, and who clearly don't give enough of a crap about the city to participate in the democratic process anyway.

The candidates - the ones used to holding local elected office, anyway - should know better, and it's sad that they don't. They want the newspaper editors on their sides. The editors all drive in from Westchester. They count more than residents of the boroughs, apparently.
Feb. 18, 2013, 12:21 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal. I'll save you some effort and cut & paste for you.

"Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If I knew when and where they are holding it, I wouldn't mind going, but there could be days I couldn't go because of errands that will prevent me from doing such. It would be nice to knock some sense into those who only think that their idea is only right idea. BTW, the opposition to this is already homegrown especially when only a member of that fanatical group known as Transportation Alternatives seems to support while everyone else, including a community board member, is opposed. Knowing Bloomberg and JSK, they can always find ways to get around it even if things don't go their. It's not as if you go to anything yourself, ty. Who is being the armchair activist now? For the record, I have been to numerous hearings on events that have brought interest to me such as WTC site, AY, congestion pricing, and so many others in the past, so I do attend such meetings unlike you."
Feb. 18, 2013, 12:29 pm
ty says:
Oh, and Tal... I was meaning to ask you. How was the February Community Board 1 meeting in Williamsburg? I am assuming you went because you are such a concerned citizen.

"Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can probably make that date since I am usually free on Tuesday nights anyway. When it comes to these pedestrian plazas, it's not just one area, it's the whole city. Also, where does the city have money for this when they couldn't help with public schools, hospitals, firehouses, senior centers, parks, or even affordable housing when they have so much money for this?"
Feb. 18, 2013, 12:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Not Brooklyn or even NYC says:
Tal Barzilai says:
January 1, 2013 at 4:36

I never saw the need for the yellow light. Do we really need a light that tells us that it will be changing from green to red when it can just go to red right away? I tend to find that light useless.
Feb. 18, 2013, 1:03 pm
Bronxite from Citywide says:
Some undisputed facts:

•Bike lanes not only provide a safer corridor to ride, they encourage people to use bicycles which in turn takes away a potential straphanger or driver. The more bike riders, the less road and/or mass transit congestion. They also reduce street crossing distances and slow down automobiles.

•Most New Yorkers don't own a car, the vast majority do not drive to work, and even less drive on a regular basis or require a car.

•Most New Yorkers support bike lanes.

How about instead of pandering to an unsustainable minority, lets discuss plans for a complete citywide protected bike lane network, more aggressive traffic calming, and more transit oriented development.

These candidates are pathetic.
Feb. 18, 2013, 2:27 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
How about instead of pandering to an unsustainable minority, lets discuss plans for a complete citywide protected bike lane network, more aggressive traffic calming, and more transit oriented development

A good one. Cars are not going anywhere and should not. The biker nazi's will not be happy until drivers have to wear a yellow car patch on their coats. Carpet tacks for the bikelanes. :)

Mazel tov
Feb. 18, 2013, 2:50 pm
Bronxite from Citywide says:
Well when I refer to an unsustainable minority, I am referencing automobiles.

NYC is far too dense for cars. If everyone drove, no one would get anywhere. We need options. For far too long the city has concentrated it's efforts on cars. In more recent years, alternative forms of transportation have been brought in front and center. From major reinvestment in our subways to the construction of bike lanes.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with bicycle lanes. To continue global competitiveness, NYC must seek to fill the gap left between walking and subways. Cars are unsustainable, the traffic, pollution, underutilized space dedicated to parking. Bicycles fill the 5 mile commuting gap. They are a vital addition to our transportation network. Bicycle lanes offer a number of benefits for all New Yorkers. Again, they can reduce road and mass transit congestion, reduce crossing distances on streets, and slow speeding automobiles thanks to lane narrowing.

It's no wonder most New Yorkers support bicycle lanes. Unfortunately these candidates find this issue controversial.
Feb. 18, 2013, 3:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That was real nice of you to say that about me ty....NOT! All the candidate do have a point about saying that not a lot of input was placed in when it came to bike lanes, and some of them are from those who actually do support them. However, I don't see anything from Thompson, which makes me think if he dropped out or just had nothing to say about this, though he did say something about bike lanes on the NY Times and WNYC. If anyone read what said on the NY Times, there was a lot of controversy in the comments with those that were both for and against the bike lanes. Also, those that were opposed including myself over there did raise good issues of how the bike lanes aren't used that much, why cyclists tend to flout the laws constantly, the reason why major thoroughfares shouldn't have them, and even why cyclists must agree to having their bicycles licensed, insured, and registered. Of course, I got more recommendations than the person who only responded to me with a personal attack there. Nevertheless, making critical remarks about the bike lanes doesn't make anyone against bicycles as a whole, it just makes them feel that there needs to be order to prevent such chaos, and this comes from the many complaints of pedestrians that were hit bicycles in the past and present. I could go on, but I will stop here, and leave with a letter to the editor from the Daily News that shows the truth about bike lanes and the nature of cyclists.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/feb-18-israel-bike-lanes-pope-article-1.1265709?pgno=1
Feb. 18, 2013, 4:58 pm
JAY from NYC says:
TAL, where are you going to answer how the people at Brooklyn College are Neo nazis as you stated. I am still waiting for you to answer or to admit you are a fraud.
As for this article, Brooklyn Paper, why are you only looking at this issue? The MTA keeps raising fares , high school graduation rates in the city are a horrid 48%, we still have Sandy problems, Taxis are refusing to take people where they want to go in violation of the law, the airports are always a head ache to get in and out of, we are getting over run with rats, bus drivers on strike, enforcing the no smoking ban in parks and boardwalks, including the one on coney island, and to call NYCHA a mess would be an insult to the word mess. What about an economic and revitalization plan for the outer boroughs? Housing?
I am not saying the bike lane is not an issue, but I don't know much about any of these candidates and there are a ton of issues that you could have also asked questions about Brooklyn paper, why did you not?
Feb. 18, 2013, 5:40 pm
ty from pps says:
So, Tal... I assume this means you didn't go to the CB1 meeting earlier this month? I'm sure they missed you.
Feb. 18, 2013, 5:46 pm
ty from pps says:
Also, Tal... I didn't "say" anything about you. I just cut and pasted your words. Have you figured out why the yellow light is useful in a stop light yet?
Feb. 18, 2013, 5:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
JAY, just because I don't answer to everything, doesn't mean that I don't care about them. As a matter of fact, I have asked why so much is spent on bike lanes, while so little is spent on where the money is needed the most such as public schools, hospitals, firehouses, senior centers, affordable housing, etc. Just saying that alone is showing how much I care about them. On a side note, I don't want to get into the BDS at Brooklyn College too much here, because it's not relevant, but I will leave the links here, which I did post there as well, but you never looked at them to show where they have support of the neo-Nazis.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/bds-a-neo-nazi-certified-project/
http://www.pacbi.com/news/index.php?pid=11&id=31
http://unitedwithisrael.org/bds-movement-calls-for-boycotting-israeli-fruit/
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:03 pm
Bronxite from Citywide says:
Tal,

•The DOT has urban planners (experts on transportation/development) decide upon bike lane routes.

•Bicycle license/registration/insurance is not recommended at this time because the city wants to encourage more bicycling. Let's get to a 25% commute share before we even begin to discuss that issue.

•People get hit by runners on occasion too. However like runners, bicyclists/pedestrian accidents rarely result in serious injury. Meanwhile almost every pedestrian/automobile collision does, and many result in fatalities.

The point is, the city should encourage more cycling. This can greatly alleviate road and transit congestion. Everyone benefits.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:03 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Tal it still is relevant you called them names with no evidence. Your stupid links are not anything but crap you called specific people names with NO evidence to back it up, and not even anything reasonable to make such a claim.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Bronxite, I have never said that I am against having bicycles being taken off the road or having them limited in numbers. What I am really saying is that they should follow the same rules as all other vehicles especially if that's what their goal is to be. Also, they should be licensed, registered, and insured just as all other vehicles are when using the roads. I don't see how this will discourage people from riding bicycles unless they are afraid that they can now be tracked thanks to license plate numbers and registration when they flee the scene when they used to get away with this in the past. Just because the accidents they cause aren't big, doesn't make them any less of a threat. As a matter of fact, there are pedestrians who are more feared of cyclists because they can come to them without warning, and that is because they flout the laws constantly. You can try to deny this all you want, but this is the truth about a good number of cyclists whether you agree or not. As for your claim on who is the minority here, according to a recent study in the US Census Bureau, it was found that those who commute in NYC by bicycle are hardly one percent, while a good amount was by car. Speaking of cars, there are parts in the city that are underutilized by mass transit and the buses are hardly there, so they find the car to be more efficient for them than anything else, which also explains why they opposed congestion pricing, because they would be hurt by it the most in being forced to pay just to get into the major parts of the city when they have no other way of doing so.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:13 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Which of these candidates for Mayor of NYC do you plan on voting for
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:14 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
JAY, please click the links and read them before passing such judgement, and please prove to me where the BDS is for peace.

Other Michael, if I could vote, I would probably either go for Thompson or Liu, because I like where they stand with the people.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:18 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Do you actually know any New Yonkers?
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:21 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
so if tal does not resdie in brooklyn so he has no 1st amd right to comment - biker nazis - you were all had a hard on for the slope co-op boycotttng israeli goods which would land your candy asses in the fed system and the coop having no banking relationships as a bank will run like a rat once the occ looks at them

mazel tov
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:27 pm
Matt from Park Slope says:
I like John Catsimatidis stance on this issue better than the rest.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:40 pm
Bronxite from Citywide says:
Tal,

There is a chance that licencing/registration/insurance would deter growth. Insurance would make what was once a one time payment (buying a bike), recurring. The same can be said for annual registrations and licencing exams.

I have yet to meet anyone in NYC afraid of cyclists. Where do you find these people? The vast majority of New Yorkers are much more afraid of getting ran over by a car while crossing a busy street. Anyone with common sense realizes: you get hit with a bike, you get a little banged up at worse. You get hit with a car, you get seriously injured or die.

Commuters via personal auto are a minority compared to everyone else (Subways, buses, cabs, bikes, walking). Less then 25% and expected to decline considering inner city growth (LIC, Harlem, Downtown BK, Williamsburg, ect), reduction of parking minimums, upzonings, and more aggressive traffic calming. It's also skewed towards the outer sections of the city and SI.

Congestion pricing is another issue completely. Who the hell drives into Midtown for work? Very few New Yorkers. Congestion Pricing benefits those who need to drive into the CBD too by reducing traffic. It also leads to revenue, reduces pollution, and collisions.
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:42 pm
ty from pps says:
"Just because the accidents they cause aren't big, doesn't make them any less of a threat."

Tal -- That is EXACTLY what it means... less = less.

Wait... What was that? You can't vote?! Why can't you vote for the Mayor of New York City?
Feb. 18, 2013, 6:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Bronxite, I find your claim that having bicycles pay the same way and follow the same rules that all other vehicles must follow as more of an excuse rather than a reason. Then again, that's what most people on faceless message have given me whenever I ask them hardball questions. Let me ask you this question then. Are bicycles actual vehicles or are they not? I have found it an irony that many cyclists ask for the same use of the road as all other vehicles do, but they don't want the same responsibilities that all others have. For the record, I don't condone reckless drivers being a motorist myself, but I hardly ever hear any cyclists that are responsible every calling out those on their own kind in flouting the laws. Seriously, if you can afford to live in a prestigious location in NYC, you can afford all of this. As for those who commute by car, try looking at the causes to why they do that rather than the effects. Sometimes it could be because they live in an area that isn't served much by transit, while at other times it could be that their schedule doesn't work with the commuter buses and trains, which don't come as frequent as the subways and city buses do. For them, going to and from their work is a hassle especially when what they have to use isn't always there for them. If you still don't believe me on pedestrians being more afraid by bicycles, then I suggest you go read about it on the NY Times article that asks these candidate similar questions as this one did a week ago, though if you can't find it there, I am sure a website such as Streetsblog has the link for that.
Feb. 18, 2013, 7:31 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Are bikes really that big of a problem in Pleasantville? Man o' man. Someone should talk to the Mayor of Pleasantville or the Westchester County Executive about licensing and insuring those death bikes! Do you think you could do that?
Feb. 18, 2013, 7:43 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Tal it is NOT my job to prove the statements you made, you called the people who came to Brooklyn College Neo-nazis, show me something that says those specific people are neo-nazis. You can't, and your links that you keep posting have nothing to do with the people who came to Brooklyn College and that it repugnant and beneath consideration.
Feb. 18, 2013, 7:57 pm
tom from sunset park says:
I just can't get over it. We are getting into what could be a nasty mayoral campaign that will focus on the Bloomberg legacy including the built biking infrastructure(with a plan for more).
Meanwhile bike lane advocates here are tearing into the candidates and, no doubt, the likely next mayor over less than avid support for their singe-issue issue.
Advocates for any issue must realize their place on the agenda come next January 1st will be established by voters. Beating up on the winner now, later an enemy, can not advance your cause.
Feb. 18, 2013, 7:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
JAY, this topic is about bike lanes and where the mayoral candidates stand on it. If you want to talk about Brooklyn College and the BDS being there, go to that article for that. If you have nothing here that's relevant to this article, then just stop commenting. Seriously, I cannot stand those that use their time to attack me rather than finding reasons why bike lanes should be used more when they are hardly used to begin with. I think that this is used just dodge the entire conversation in showing how some of you just can't take criticism when they are used to dishing it so much. Also, making attacks be at me or others who is disagree is nothing but a distraction to what the real issue here is in knowing that some just can't find anything to debate with.
Feb. 18, 2013, 8:20 pm
Primary voter from Brooklyn says:
Wow. Quinn is flat out lying!
Feb. 18, 2013, 8:27 pm
ssss from bklyn says:
Tom Murphy, everyone! Loves driving, hates bikes!

What we should be getting into is our lack of a plan for the built car infrastructure (with no plan for how to keep paying for it).
Feb. 18, 2013, 8:29 pm
Mustache Pete from Windsor Terrace says:
Give it up, Ty. You just enjoy feeding the troll, which makes you one. If Tal is an actual person, I suspect the public officials in Pleasantville or the Westchester County Exec's office have listed him as a "must avoid" nutcase.
Feb. 18, 2013, 8:32 pm
JAY from NYC says:
too bad Tal its you who made the repugnant and vile statement without any evidence to back it up and I am sure you would like nothing more to shut me up, like you want to shut up the people who came to Brooklyn college but as you are learning this is the U.S. and you don't get to shut anyone up. So again show me proof that the people who came to brooklyn college are neo nazis or admit you made it up.
Feb. 18, 2013, 10:58 pm
King Bloomberg II from City Hall says:
Down with the bike lanes
Feb. 19, 2013, 2:11 am
Christine Quinn from City Hall says:
Please refer all inquiries to my slush fund manager and don't forget that I worked with Mike Bloomberg to overturn the voters term limits referendum. I plan on using my "lesbian" status to paint all of my critics and opponents as homophobic. Now, you'll have to excuse me. I have some pandering events to get to.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:34 am
manposeur from brokelyn says:
having bikes lanes the use of bikes is important. Its good for your health and less pollution. Everyone should be encouraged to ride bikes.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:39 am
boof from brooklyn says:
Since cyclists pay income and property taxes, but don't wear the roads down, they are probably the only mode of transportation that actually does pay their own way.

Much more than their own way if they never drive: driving infrastructure loses billions of dollars of taxpayer money a year in this country.
Feb. 19, 2013, 10:57 am
Tom from Ft. Greene says:
Why can't those posers shooting back and forth at each other (Ty/Tal, the-incredibly-stupid-diehipster-also-known-as-SwampYankee/Joe R.) just get a room somewhere? Clearly jonesing on each other! And all clearly unemployed, except maybe Joe R.
Feb. 19, 2013, 12:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Tom from Ft Greene, I do have a job and even a life. Do you have one since you posted in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon? I can't just wait to hear an answer for that. Getting back to bike lanes, if anyone actually took the time to read what the candidates said, they aren't against bike lanes as a whole, they just want them placed in with better input hence populism over elitism. Seriously, I don't see why cyclists need a special infrastructure when they get around just by following the rules. Saying that they pay income and property taxes is just another excuse to not have them like all other vehicles, because motorists pay those as well, but they still have to pay for their vehicles to use the road despite that. Nobody is saying that bicycles are bad, just the way some tend to act with them. As long as there are cyclists who believe they above all and immune to the rules, they will be creating enemies in the long run. Just because bicycles don't contribute to the carbon footprint, doesn't give them the right to constantly flout laws either. In reality, most NYC cyclists aren't former motorists, they are actually former transit riders, and that is really hurting the MTA in having a declining ridership, who is worth much more than the bicycle network. Another thing is that I'm tired of hearing that riding a bicycle is the only thing that is for going green or good for your health when there are many others that do exactly the same for either of the two. Then again, forget it Jake, it's those bike zealots from Streetsblog.
Feb. 19, 2013, 4:49 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Tal how are the people from Brooklyn College Neo-Nazis?
Feb. 19, 2013, 5:59 pm
ty from pps says:
So, Tal... You consider that most recent 282 words of thought vomit an organized and compelling comment?
Feb. 19, 2013, 6:52 pm
JAY from NYC says:
yeah and never mind the fact that MTA ridership is UP, despite Tals assertion to the contrary, once again demonstrating that Tal and facts are allergic to each other
Feb. 19, 2013, 7:25 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Most of the time I am a cyclists I am a former motorists.

Thanks Tal, I never thought of that before.
Feb. 19, 2013, 7:28 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Perhaps there is a parallel between bike zealots and the BDS, which in the case they will be known as the Bicycle Domination Society. Just like the BDS, bike zealots just don't want to coexist with motorists and want them to be plagued to death by rules, while their kind gets to do whatever they want whenever they want it. What's interesting is that nobody who drives is calling for bicycles off the road, but there have been numerous times when cyclists have been calling for cars to be off the road. Why share with others, when the others don't want to share back? As for the MTA, I can never understand that despite how ridership, they still act as if they are broke, and I doubt that was because of what TWU Local 100 demands for. Seeing how you guys resort to personal attacks instead of a real debate really does make you act like how the BDS did at those four college students in calling for them to be thrown out just for asking them hardball questions about them. It's about time you all stopped drinking that Haterade and start taking some chill pills instead.
Feb. 19, 2013, 7:44 pm
ty from pps says:
197 words of unorganized thought vomit.
Feb. 19, 2013, 8:01 pm
ty from pps says:
What I am really saying is that they should follow the same rules as all other vehicles especially if that's what their goal is to be. Just saying that alone is showing how much I care about them. Perhaps there is a parallel between bike zealots and the BDS, which in the case they will be known as the Bicycle Domination Society. I can't just wait to hear an answer for that. Getting back to bike lanes, if anyone actually took the time to read what the candidates said, they aren't against bike lanes as a whole, they just want them placed in with better input hence populism over elitism. Seriously, I don't see why cyclists need a special infrastructure when they get around just by following the rules. Saying that they pay income and property taxes is just another excuse to not have them like all other vehicles, because motorists pay those as well, but they still have to pay for their vehicles to use the road despite that. Nobody is saying that bicycles are bad, just the way some tend to act with them. Just because bicycles don't contribute to the carbon footprint, doesn't give them the right to constantly flout laws either. I think that this is used just dodge the entire conversation in showing how some of you just can't take criticism when they are used to dishing it so much. Tom from Ft Greene, I do have a job and even a life. Do you have one since you posted in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon? In reality, most NYC cyclists aren't former motorists, they are actually former transit riders, and that is really hurting the MTA in having a declining ridership, who is worth much more than the bicycle network. Another thing is that I'm tired of hearing that riding a bicycle is the only thing that is for going green or good for your health when there are many others that do exactly the same for either of the two. Then again, forget it Jake, it's those bike zealots from Streetsblog. Just like the BDS, bike zealots just don't want to coexist with motorists and want them to be plagued to death by rules, while their kind gets to do whatever they want whenever they want it. What's interesting is that nobody who drives is calling for bicycles off the road, but there have been numerous times when cyclists have been calling for cars to be off the road. Of course, I got more recommendations than the person who only responded to me with a personal attack there. I could go on, but I will stop here, and leave with a letter to the editor from the Daily News that shows the truth about bike lanes and the nature of cyclists. It's about time you all stopped drinking that Haterade and start taking some chill pills instead. JAY, this topic is about bike lanes and where the mayoral candidates stand on it. If you want to talk about Brooklyn College and the BDS being there, go to that article for that. If you have nothing here that's relevant to this article, then just stop commenting. Seriously, I cannot stand those that use their time to attack me rather than finding reasons why bike lanes should be used more when they are hardly used to begin with. there was a lot of controversy in the comments with those that were both for and against the bike lanes. Why share with others, when the others don't want to share back? As for the MTA, I can never understand that despite how ridership, they still act as if they are broke, and I doubt that was because of what TWU Local 100 demands for. Bronxite, I find your claim that having bicycles pay the same way and follow the same rules that all other vehicles must follow as more of an excuse rather than a reason. Then again, that's what most people on faceless message have given me whenever I ask them hardball questions. Let me ask you this question then. Seeing how you guys resort to personal attacks instead of a real debate really does make you act like how the BDS did at those four college students in calling for them to be thrown out just for asking them hardball questions about them. Are bicycles actual vehicles or are they not? I have found it an irony that many cyclists ask for the same use of the road as all other vehicles do, but they don't want the same responsibilities that all others have. For the record, I don't condone reckless drivers being a motorist myself, but I hardly ever hear any cyclists that are responsible every calling out those on their own kind in flouting the laws. Seriously, if you can afford to live in a prestigious location in NYC, you can afford all of this. As for those who commute by car, try looking at the causes to why they do that rather than the effects. Sometimes it could be because they live in an area that isn't served much by transit, while at other times it could be that their schedule doesn't work with the commuter buses and trains, which don't come as frequent as the subways and city buses do. As long as there are cyclists who believe they above all and immune to the rules, they will be creating enemies in the long run. For them, going to and from their work is a hassle especially when what they have to use isn't always there for them. If you still don't believe me on pedestrians being more afraid by bicycles, then I suggest you go read about it on the NY Times article that asks these candidate similar questions as this one did a week ago, though if you can't find it there, I am sure a website such as Streetsblog has the link for that. Bronxite, I have never said that I am against having bicycles being taken off the road or having them limited in numbers. Also, they should be licensed, registered, and insured just as all other vehicles are when using the roads. However, I don't see anything from Thompson, which makes me think if he dropped out or just had nothing to say about this, though he did say something about bike lanes on the NY Times and WNYC. Just because the accidents they cause aren't big, doesn't make them any less of a threat. As a matter of fact, there are pedestrians who are more feared of cyclists because they can come to them without warning, and that is because they flout the laws constantly. You can try to deny this all you want, but this is the truth about a good number of cyclists whether you agree or not. Speaking of cars, there are parts in the city that are underutilized by mass transit and the buses are hardly there, so they find the car to be more efficient for them than anything else, which also explains why they opposed congestion pricing, because they would be hurt by it the most in being forced to pay just to get into the major parts of the city when they have no other way of doing so. I don't see how this will discourage people from riding bicycles unless they are afraid that they can now be tracked thanks to license plate numbers and registration when they flee the scene when they used to get away with this in the past. If anyone read what said on the NY Times, Also, those that were opposed including myself over there did raise good issues of how the bike lanes aren't used that much, why cyclists tend to flout the laws constantly, the reason why major thoroughfares shouldn't have them, and even why cyclists must agree to having their bicycles licensed, insured, and registered. JAY, just because I don't answer to everything, doesn't mean that I don't care about them. Nevertheless, making critical remarks about the bike lanes doesn't make anyone against bicycles as a whole, it just makes them feel that there needs to be order to prevent such chaos, and this comes from the many complaints of pedestrians that were hit bicycles in the past and present. As for your claim on who is the minority here, according to a recent study in the US Census Bureau, it was found that those who commute in NYC by bicycle are hardly one percent, while a good amount was by car. On a side note, I don't want to get into the BDS at Brooklyn College too much here, because it's not relevant, but I will leave the links here, which I did post there as well, but you never looked at them to show where they. As a matter of fact, I have asked why so much is spent on bike lanes, while so little is spent on where the money is needed the most such as public schools, hospitals, firehouses, senior centers, affordable housing, etc. Also, making attacks be at me or others who is disagree is nothing but a distraction to what the real issue here is in knowing that some just can't find anything to debate with. That was real nice of you to say that about me ty....NOT! All the candidate do have a point about saying that not a lot of input was placed in when it came to bike lanes, and some of them are from those who actually do support them. I have support of the neo-Nazis.
Feb. 19, 2013, 8:37 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, mocking me isn't going to help you win a debate at all. What you have really shown is that you just can't take criticism, but don't mind dishing it. Overall, I am glad that the candidates had sanity on the bike lanes including the ones who initially support them. Under both Bloomberg and JSK, they were shoved down many peoples' throats and even made some streets that never had traffic before now have them. Even more insulting is how Streetsblog calls all of these candidates moronic for what they had to say, which shows just once more why the mainstream will never take them seriously. Still, I don't know why Thompson's statement wasn't placed here as it was on other places. On a side note, it's too bad that Alec Baldwin isn't running, because he might just to do better than all the others, so we will never know where he stands on bike lanes, though I really think that his run for mayor was really more of a stunt just like when Donald Trump said he was running for president just to boost ratings for The Apprentice, which is his reality show. Then again, maybe Anthony Weiner should have still ran despite what he did on Twitter, because he would probably do better than everyone else, though the bike zealots will most likely want him burned to the stake because he is known for being against bike lanes.
Feb. 19, 2013, 8:56 pm
jay from nyc says:
As far as anyone calling anyone names, the only one calling anyone names around here these days is you Tal. Even TY has not called you a name. Yet.....
Tal its not that the bds and the the bike people are the same, its just that you "analyze" everything the same way as a bigot thinks, and in my opinion, based on your posts, you are a bigot, just my opinion. Since you are into calling people names, I am going to start calling you bigot tal.
I will keep doing so until you show me something that factually demonstrates that the people who came to Brooklyn College are neo-nazi,s as you claimed, or until you admit you made it up and take it back.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:04 pm
ty from pps says:
**Tal – Here. I’ll try to help you.**

Ty, mocking me isn't going to help you win a debate at all. What you have really shown is that you just can't take criticism, but don't mind dishing it.

Overall, I am glad that the candidates have shown sanity on the issue of bike lanes, including those who initially support them. Under both Bloomberg and JSK, the bike lanes were shoved down many residents’ throats. They even caused issues on some streets that had never before had a problem with traffic.

Still, I don't know why Thompson's statement wasn't placed here as it was on other places.

On a side note, it's too bad that Alec Baldwin isn't running. He might just to do better than all the others, but we will never know where he stands on bike lanes. That said, I really think that his run for mayor was really more of a stunt like when Donald Trump said he was running for president just to boost ratings for his reality show, The Apprentice. Then again, maybe Anthony Weiner should have still run despite what he did on Twitter. He would probably do better than everyone else would. However, the bike zealots will most likely want him burned at the stake because he is known for being against bike lanes.

** I’m going to remove this statement altogether – “Even more insulting is how Streetsblog calls all of these candidates moronic for what they had to say, which shows just once more why the mainstream will never take this blog seriously.” [I do have to call you out here… I don’t see where any article on Streetsblog made a statement of this sort. Please clarify.]
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:13 pm
ty from pps says:
Notice, Tal, I included paragraph breaks to help the reader. I also shortened your run-on sentences along with many other simple edits. Do you see the difference?

Maybe if you can try to organize your writing, your may begin to have organized thoughts? A boy can dream.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Even TY has not called you a name."

He has called me an idiot numerous times and goes on record for such, which I tend to find very insulting especially when it comes to debates.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here is proof where Streetsblog called the candidates moronic.

From the Mealy-Mouthed to the Moronic, Mayoral Hopefuls Give Bike Lane Quotes to the Bklyn Paper

http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/02/18/todays-headlines-1574/
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:36 pm
ty from pps says:
Wow Tal! Look at you making comments that are under 200 words and showing clarity. Will this be a new trend?

Oh, and Jay, Tal is correct. I regularly call him an idiot, willfully ignorant and belligerently dumb. If he could consistently organize his thought and stick to actual facts (that he doesn't make up), I would probably stop.
Feb. 19, 2013, 9:53 pm
JAY from NYC says:
I meant in this thread, Bigot Tal, which was accurate at the time I made that post, but funny, out of all things that I said that is what you focus on, and so you do not deny and admit that you are a bigot? Go figure.
Feb. 19, 2013, 10:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
All I have been asking is why shouldn't cyclists be subject to the laws that all other vehicles must follow on the roads at all times. Another one was why they shouldn't have their bicycles go through the same process at the DMV especially if they say that bicycles should be treated as such, but don't want to pay the same way. Are they really hard, or are some just making it seem hard? Instead, the only response I am getting here from the bike zealots are personal attacks rather than an actual answer. If you have no answer, then just say so, but I guess to some that's just too mature. According to numerous city and state laws, cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road. If you want that changed, then ask those in charge to amend them. Until then, you have to follow them whether you agree or disagree with those laws. Overall, I don't think that the bicycle infrastructure alone will make a dent in the mayoral race, especially when there are issues more important that this. One other thing, the complaint on how cyclists constantly flout the law isn't something, it goes all the way back to when they were first recognized as such under Koch, and he did step on bike lanes after hearing numerous complaints from the city.
Feb. 20, 2013, 4:50 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Hey Tal, we've answered those questions many times over, in the multiple venues where you've posted on this topic. You refuse to accept any of our explanations as valid because they don't mesh with your narrow view of the world. That's not our problem.
Feb. 20, 2013, 5:16 pm
JAY from NYC says:
No Bigot Tal, its you who are making the personal attacks, and calling people names which are vile and repugnant with no evidence to back it up, people are just reacting to your disgusting comments.
Feb. 20, 2013, 6:17 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, I have stated multiple times that I have nothing against those who like to ride bicycles, just the way some tend to act with them. As much as you don't like the fact that your kind has to follow the traffic laws as all other vehicles must, they are the laws and they are there. No new laws especially on bicycles have been passed, the police is just enforcing the ones that already exist. Until they are changed, you have to follow them rather than act as victims to the rule. Seriously, if you want the respect from others, you have to earn it rather than demand for it. As long as you guys, especially those from Streetsblog, continue to act as if you are holier than thou, you will make a lot of enemies and opposition to your cause. Right now, you already made enemies on the NY Times and Daily News with your attitude, though there are other websites that despise Streetsblog than the ones I am already mentioning. Keep in mind that the world doesn't revolve around just bicycles.
Feb. 20, 2013, 6:26 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Bigot TAL how are the people from Brooklyn college neo nazis as you claimed. Come on Tal answer or admit you made it up.
Feb. 20, 2013, 6:55 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Thank you Tal for proving my point. I guess you feel the 1935 Nuremberg Laws had to be followed too because, well, they were the laws and they were there. Frankly, you make me sick.
Feb. 20, 2013, 7:46 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Hey Tal

Bikers are subject to the same laws as everyone else who used the street. THEY ARE. If you would actually come to Brooklyn and look around you would see that NONE OF THEM ARE ENFORCED. People cross the street where every they want. Drivers double park, speed and change lanes like pinball. and yes a biker might run a red light. This is New York, people do what ever they can get away with.

Why are you irrationally opposed to the city planners changing the structure of the roads so that it is safer for everyone?
Feb. 20, 2013, 8:01 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Other Michael,

I'll also add that the city would grind to a standstill if every minor law were enforced. We need to realize at best, the law is a dumb approximation of safe behavior. At worst, it can actually make things less safe, and certainly way less efficient. Also, traffic laws and infrastructure are largely designed just to speed cars along, to the detriment of everyone else. When laws negatively effect large numbers of people, it's the laws themselves which are the problem, not the people who disobey them.
Feb. 20, 2013, 8:27 pm
ty from pps says:
Wow... Mr. Barzilai has such a weirdly skewed version of the world inside his head. It's just bizarre.
Feb. 20, 2013, 8:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just because changing some structures might be good for one group such as the cyclists, that doesn't mean that it's safe for all others. BTW, I do support enforcement of the laws for everyone. However, you guys cry foul whenever it's on you. Also, enough with this that the traffic laws are just for cars when they are meant for all vehicles. Trying to act like you guys are exempt from the laws just creates more enemies rather than allies, which is what many are complaining about right now. Unfortunately, Streetsblog does NOT represent everyone and most certainly not all cyclists know about that place. Blacklisting those that disagree with your thinking on that website doesn't do you guys any good either. For example, I read what you guys said about Sean Sweeny, who is the head of the SoHo Alliance, and he himself came there and said that he was never against placing bike lanes and corrals in his neighborhood, he was against the way the DOT was placing them, but you still attacked him anyway despite after hearing what he was really for. As for claiming who is narrow minded, I think you all described yourselves rather than me as I have learned from Michael Moore that you don't hate the person, you just hate the idea. In other words, I have nothing against you guys personally, just the fact that you guys tend to think about how the world should only revolve around you. On a side note, the burned to the stake statement was really an expression on saying that this is someone you really hate, and I know how much many of you despised Weiner for his stance on bike lanes.
Feb. 21, 2013, 5:03 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Who are "you guys"? Do you think everyone who disagrees with you has met. We have not. I have as much to do with Streetblog as I do with The Brooklyn Paper. Nothing.

There is no conspiracy. But maybe so many people here disagree with you because we actually use the roads that you claim to know so much about.

Go away Tal. Go tell them how to paint the lines in the mall parking lot.
Feb. 21, 2013, 5:47 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If you were to say this on a place like the NY Times, Daily News, or even Queens Crap, you would be called out by a lot for such claims. There are some streets that I know that shouldn't have bike lanes and those are the major thoroughfares. The reason for that is because they are constantly used by commercial vehicles, and losing lanes there will actually make it worse for them as they would be forced to almost double park and cause them to be backed up. Did anyone on Streetsblog ever think about that? Also, flouting the laws doesn't just place the cyclists themselves into harm's way, but also those around them as well. Overall, I know you are all going to vote for Quinn despite what she said, because you will have to vote for someone, and she is most likely the closest you have to Bloomberg hence a shot gun wedding. On a side note, quit demanding for me to be censored, because I am not demanding that on you, which shows here who really does have an open mind.
Feb. 21, 2013, 6:12 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Bigot Tal, totally ironic that you sit there and post "Blacklisting those that disagree with your thinking" since that is EXACTLY what you wanted the government to do the people who came to Brooklyn College to talk about Israel.
Feb. 21, 2013, 6:22 pm
ty from pps says:
So, Tal... Still not convinced that organizing your thoughts and perhaps using a paragraph break once in a while is a useful way to improve the impact of your comments? You've decided to stick with the massive block of random text approach?
Feb. 21, 2013, 6:22 pm
ty from pps says:
And by the way, Tal. Michael Moore aside... I actually do have a major problem with YOU. Not just your ideas, but you, personally.

You're willfully ignorant and continually spew your ignorant 'ideas' on all of us. These aren't rational ideas that I can disagree with vehemently, but still like you. No, you are a broken, silly little man. You don't have ideas. You are just an irrational thought spewing machine.

If you actually had ideas, you wouldn't continually keep stating the same things over and over and over and over and over with absolutely no self-reflection or modification. I don't need to agree with you, but being a belligerent fool as you are makes me despise you.
Feb. 21, 2013, 6:29 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

You should actually come visit one of those streets tat lost a lane. Prospect Park West. I live a block away. I dive my car on it all the time, traffic moves fine.

It was 3 lanes wide for .9 mile. Then it lead to a 2 lane traffic circle where everything got back up. People used to dive like maniacs to get to the front of a traffic jam.

Now it moved steadily.

Come visit, or shut up.
Feb. 21, 2013, 6:36 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

Here's the thing. As far as I know you've never ridden a bike anywhere in NYC. In fact, for all I know you may have never ridden a bike, period. So what then makes you the consummate expert on what is and isn't safe as far as cycling goes? I'll bet good money if you rode around the city for a few years, you'll be doing the EXACT same things as most other city cyclists do, like slow rolling through red lights when it's clear, riding on whatever part of the street you felt was safest, and perhaps even riding on the sidewalks if you felt the road was too dangerous. Like the crop of mayoral candidates, you haven't a clue of all the crap you deal with when you ride in this city. When I ride, I'm going to do what I feel is safest first, regardless of whether or not it's legal. If the law tells me to do something I know is dangerous, I'm not doing it. The big problem is you feel these laws, some of which sometimes actively make things a lot more dangerous for someone on a bike, should actively be enforced. Actually, some of the already ARE disproportionately enforced on cyclists relative to their numbers, such as red light tickets. What good has come out of it? None that I can see. Now in addition to looking for the usual things a cyclist needs to look for when riding, cyclists are diverting some of that attention looking for police. If anything that's making things less safe for everyone.

An intelligent person might say why are all these people breaking the laws? That also includes pedestrians who jaywalk and ignore red lights. Perhaps the reason is because those who ignore the laws get little or no benefit by obeying them, but have a lot to lose (in terms of safety and/or time). The logical conclusion which follows if that is the case is not to enforce these bad laws, but to change them. What is safe and efficient shouldn't be illegal.

Until you have a good number of miles of urban cycling under your belt, your opinion on this topic carries no weight or legitimacy. All I've heard in several years of reading your comments are the same bad, pointless things repeated ad nauseum in nearly every article pertaining to bikes by the media. The only reason I post is to serve as a counterpoint, lest anyone actually take your seriously.
Feb. 21, 2013, 7:19 pm
D from Slope says:
If people here ignored Tal, maybe he'd go away. He, or whoever writes the parody, certainly enjoys the attention.
Feb. 21, 2013, 7:55 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
One more thing. You always claim to not be against bikes but then you'll also at the same time be for a harsh set of conditions and fees which would make riding so costly, inefficient, and hostile that nobody would be doing it. This is why I feel your real agenda is to get rid of bikes altogether. We've had politicians occasionally propose bike licensing or registration while claiming to be "pro-bike". When one examines these people more closely, it usually turns out that they've consistently been against bikes. Because they can't directly forbid bicycles from using the same roads as cars, they'll instead try to impose a set of conditions which will be so burdensome that people will just not bother using their bikes any more. Fees, regulations, zealous enforcement of traffic laws are all great back-door ways to get rid of cyclists while just claiming to be for law and order plus having everyone pay. You know quite well if your inane ideas of bike registration, insurance, licensing, mandatory helmet use, and strict enforcement of every traffic law came to reality there would be no bikes on the road any more. And this seems to be exactly what you want.
Feb. 21, 2013, 7:55 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@D,

You may correct, but if all people ever read in response to articles like this were Tal's comments, they may start to think this is how the majority feel. I think it's better to have four, five, sometimes a dozen different, contrary opinions to Tal's so people can see he's pretty much a minority of one.
Feb. 21, 2013, 7:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
You would be surprised how many on the NY Times agreed with me for saying exactly what I am saying here. Many of them over there do agree with me on saying that cyclists should be following the laws and have them to pay to use the roads especially if they want bicycles to be treated as vehicles themselves. Once again, Joe, you present excuses rather than reasons and continue to act like victims to the rules. By such words, you are against riding responsibly. Ironically, I keep hearing over on Streetsblog the call to have a ticket blitz on all motor vehicles for every law broken, but at the same time crying foul whenever it's on the cyclists. BTW, the ticket blitzes on bicycles was in response to so many flouting the laws especially when many complained to community boards or other places about it. As usual, you place words in my mouth and include things I didn't say. How about finding proof that asking for cyclists to follow the traffic laws and agree to paying for the roads is a back door way, otherwise I will take what you said as slander? For the record, I have never heard any politician calling for either of the two saying that. If it gets rid of the rogue cyclists, then it's a good thing, because I know that they just oppose it because it will mean that they will get caught and be held for their actions when they used to be able to get away with it. Meanwhile, the responsible cyclists won't have a problem with it at all. As for saying to have a bunch here gang up on me to prove that I am a minority, I can say two reasons that won't help. The first is that this website doesn't represent everyone, so even you guys aren't the majority just because you outnumber me. The second is that I am not scared and threats don't work on the Israelis, especially when my kind won The Israeli War of Independence despite being outnumbered while fighting, so your method will most likely fail.
Feb. 21, 2013, 8:17 pm
ty from pps says:
But Tal... You're an Israeli that made sure he was living in the United States the entire time he was eligible for National Service in Israel.

It's interesting that your last comment (repetative word vomit) exemplifies so very clearly why I think you are broken, silly little man.
Feb. 21, 2013, 8:23 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

I expect laws to be followed only when they're reasonable and don't put you in more danger. Why should a pedestrian cross at a corner, for example, and deal with turning cars, when it's often safer to jaywalk in the middle of the block, even if jaywalking is illegal? And why should a cyclist have to wait until the light changes, even if there's no traffic, and then be caught in a dangerous platoon of motor vehicles jockeying for position. See, you don't understand a thing about pedestrian or cyclist safety. To you it's all excuses to not obey laws. To me it's about not getting killed.

No, I don't want bicycles to be treated as "vehicles". Those are your words, not mine. Bicycles are somewhere in between motor vehicle and pedestrians. The law should treat them as such. Neither pedestrians nor cyclists should be required to wait at red lights if nothing is coming. If the city wants to use dumb, timed lights which go red even with nothing there, then they shouldn't force people to waste their time staring at empty space. And you as a driver should complain about this too. Why don't you? You're wasting your time too sitting at red lights when nothing is there. If lights only went red when something was actually crossing, I think everyone would obey them nearly all the time.

Yes, making any group obey laws or pay fees which are excessively burdensome is a back door way to legislate against that group. You may say you're not against cyclists, but the fact is if your ideas were imposed, you would make it unduly burdensome to ride a bike, to the point nobody would want to. This isn't theoretical, either. There was a small town down South where people rode bikes for nearly all of their transportation needs. When a few people in town started using cars, they needed to put up stop signs here and there after a few bad collisions. A few drivers complained that the bikes weren't coming to complete stops at the stop signs. Eventually the police started enforcing this law rigorously (it was a small town so they had nothing better to do). Soon nobody rode bikes any more. All it took was a ticket or two to get people to never ride in town again. True story. I wish I could find a link somewhere. Just enforcing one law rigorously got all the bikes off the road.
Feb. 21, 2013, 9:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, I take it that you are some kind of anarchist. Saying that you hate rules tends to make you one. Unfortunately, you live in a civilized society, so rules do exist otherwise there would be chaos. I can see why Streetsblogs condones such actions and even calls cyclists that do so as martyrs when the rest would see them as a menace. I can still remember on the Gothamist when many bike zealots were crying foul when a cyclist got ticketed for rolling through a red light even though she did something illegal to begin with. Nevertheless, it's illegal to run a red light or stop sign even if the intersection is clear. If all other motorists have to stop for that, so should the cyclists. As for helmets, please tell me which would you rather have. Would you rather have messy hair or a cracked skull? You can always carry a comb with you for the former, but there is nothing for the latter. Seriously, if obeying the laws is costing you time to where you are going, then leave earlier so it won't be much of a factor, which is what I am trying to do. Overall, trying to say that you deserve special treatment is the reason for the ticket blitz. On a side note, there reason why there was at one time a ban on bicycles in the busy parts of midtown Manhattan at one point was mainly because they were flouting the laws, and they weren't just creating a danger for themselves, but also everyone around them as well.
Feb. 22, 2013, 4:28 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

Look up what anarchist means. An anarchist wants no rules. I want rules which make sense. There's a difference. I feel the rules requiring bikes to ride with traffic and to have lights at night are good rules which I wouldn't change. I feel a lot of the other rules seriously need to be modified to account for the slower speeds, greater visibility, and limited power of human-powered transportation.

Opposing rules which serve no purpose doesn't make one an anarchist. In fact, that's how bad laws get taken off the books. If you rode a bike, you would realize many of the traffic laws as they exist are a serious impediment to safe and efficient cycling. You're basically saying then you're fine with cyclists (and pedestrians) dying just so they can follow a set of rules designed sole with cars in mind. I'll remember that should I ever find you lying on the street in need of medical help.

Regarding helmets, try reading the links on this page:

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1146.html

The fact is, when you look at studies which aren't fundamentally flawed, helmets are at best marginally effective in limited circumstances. Some studies show they're not statistically effective at all. So tell me, why should you need to use a device which has serious downsides and no benefits? It's not about messed up hair, either. Helmets are hot, uncomfortable, and can block hearing or vision. Those are some of the downsides. Some studies also show drivers pass closer to cyclists with helmets, increasing the likelihood of a crash.

Show me your evidence that it's good public policy to worry about "bikes flouting the law". I want to see the statistics of all those killed and maimed by bikes. Oh, you can't find them? Perhaps that's because nobody has been killed by a bike in the city since 2009, and the numbers injured by bikes pale next to the numbers injured in other ways. Sorry, but we can't justify this criminal misuse of expensive police resources going after a problem which exists only in the minds of a few cranky UES Manhattan residents with no real problems in life. I plan to do whatever is in my power to hold those who misused the police for their own agenda accountable. And please don't start with the crap that they're just enforcing laws. The police selectively choose to not enforce lots of laws, including laws requiring turning cars to yield to pedestrians. Someone on top told them to waste resources going after a group which statistically didn't represent a public safety issue. You're less likely to get killed by a bicycle in NYC than you are to get killed by lightening. For the record, I would be crying foul just as much if the police had gone after jaywalkers instead of cyclists. I hate abuse of power. It's the duty of the police to focus on things which statistically are the most dangerous. That's not cyclists or jaywalkers.

By the way, exactly what is your goal here? I know what mine is-to implement rational transportation policies which make things safer and saner for all street users, not just those in automobiles. Do you seriously think any of your rants will be read by someone in power and influence policy? Here's the deal. Bikes aren't going anywhere. In fact, as other cities around the world continue to build more bike infrastructure New York will follow suit, if for no other reason than to make itself more attractive as both a tourist destination and a place to live. I also predict eventually, perhaps even in less than a decade, cities in the US will start to seriously restrict where and when cars may travel. It's already being done in other cities overseas. Also, more space in these cities is being given over to pedestrians. The fact is the world is changing. The automobile is an archaic, inefficient way to travel in urban environments which causes a myriad number of problems for the majority who don't travel by automobile. Once the general public catches on to how good things would be with far fewer autos, those in charge will be singing a different tune.
Feb. 22, 2013, 5:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, I can quote an anarchist and find many similar things that are similar to what you said. You may claim you aren't one, but your sure sound like one. However, until you can get the rules changed, you have to follow them whether you agree with them or not. This is not a choice. Right now, I want you to loosen that tin foil hat, and understand that nobody is trying to get you off of your bicycle at all, just act responsibly. Is that really too much to ask for? You can't get a change in the laws by continuing to act like a victim to them or there will be those who believe that your kind acts in such a fashion. As for your claim about banning cars, that won't happen in NYC for numerous reasons, and one of them is that it's a very densely populated city unlike much of those in Europe, and the demands are high especially when there aren't that many places to grow food right there in which it has to be delivered. Another thing to understand is that not everyone who is driving into the city is living there, some might be coming from places where transportation isn't an alternative for them, so driving is the only efficient way for them to get around places. Overall, NYC is just NOT Amsterdam, and it will never be especially because of the density and population, but that doesn't mean that bicycles aren't welcomed. Seriously, it is dangerous to do a rolling stop in such an area, because that is going into a harm's way, but I guess according to Streetsblog, doing so makes one a martyr for that. On a side note, I know what you placed on the NY Times version of what the candidates had said, and you were called out by a lot of those who felt otherwise, which shows that not everyone agrees with you and thinks that you are living in a fantasy world. Overall, what you find an abuse of power going after rogue cyclists and jaywalkers, I find it them just doing their job of enforcing the law that are already in place. Like the WNBA, the car isn't going away either, and there will still be a demand for them whether you are pleased about them or not. Again, it's your kind that created the bike bedlam, not the other way around.
Feb. 22, 2013, 7:08 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

The only article the NY Times had about the mayoral candidates and bike lanes was on February 12. I only know because I just did a search. I didn't even see the article until now, and I certainly didn't post any comments as you claimed (I post there under JTR). Nice try at revisionist history, but then again that seems to be your style. You're caught in one of your lies, that's the bottom line. Anyone reading this can go verify these facts for themselves. Here's the link to the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/nyregion/new-york-bike-lane-advocates-fear-new-mayor-will-roll-back-gains.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1361585193-GCfia6JOGzhRDtEF3maBgA&gwh=220CC7255789E7E45975D9257F2E8C93#commentsContainer

Since it seems nothing anybody says will change your narrow worldview I'll stop trying. So go f yourself, the discussion's over.

And by the way, your little sentence "On a side note, I know what you placed on the NY Times version of what the candidates had said, and you were called out by a lot of those who felt otherwise, which shows that not everyone agrees with you and thinks that you are living in a fantasy world." IS slander. You accused me of doing something I most definitely did not do AND I HAVE PROOF. For someone who is big on rules, it seems you just violated a bunch of them.
Feb. 22, 2013, 9:46 pm
Why is Anyone from Talking to Tal? says:
You really are just feeding the delusions of importance, and may actually be hurting him.
Feb. 23, 2013, 9:24 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, I take it that you never learned about philosophy that much. In reality, there are no such things between right and wrong or even good and bad in that matter when they can change definition based upon who is viewing them. For example, the civilized world sees terrorists as those who are bad, while lesser developed areas will see them as heroes, which is the examples. To relate that here, you will see that having a bicycle flouting the law is trying to find your distinction over on places where a bunch of bike zealots dwell such as Streetsblog, but to the general public, they will see your actions is nothing but a nuisance or even a menace to society. As for enforcement of the laws, just saying that only motorists should be targeted only while not touching jaywalkers and rogue cyclists is selective enforcement IMHO. Keep in mind that while there was a ticket blitz on such cyclists, they were still ticketing motorists for both moving and parking violations, which were actually more statistically, which shows that they weren't being selective at all despite how much you like to spin it over there. Since you brought up slander, I have been slandered far more than you have, and I can remember reading on Streetsblog the claim that I ride an SUV into the city when that is completely false when I drive a 2012 Honda Civic, which happens to be an energy efficient compact car. The reason why cars still get a priority nationwide is because the majority of commuters in this country still commute by car more than anything else, which is why Obama is favoring funds for highway expansion. Then again, trying to get you to understand why the car culture will never go away is like trying to explain to the Muslim Brotherhood why Israel should exist as a nation for the Jews. On a side note, unless someone photoshopped an image of you and placed it on the lower Manhattan skyline saying "Grand Cyclops of Ground Zero", I don't hear that you are the victim of cyberbullying, which is what I am the victim of.
Feb. 23, 2013, 5:09 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
1) I never personally slandered you anywhere. I remember the comment about the SUV but I didn't say it.

2) This isn't about cars in the United States, it's about cars in NYC. I don't give a damn about how they get around in Iowa or Montana or even Babylon. Just like you're so fond of saying NYC isn't Amsterdam, it also isn't a flyover state or even a suburb. Cars are incompatible with dense urban environments, period. They take up too much space, and they kill too many people. Even when cars aren't breaking any laws they're killing people with their exhaust. Just as a subway wouldn't make sense in a Kansas cornfield, cars mostly don't make sense in NYC. We need buses, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles to function, but not cars (except for cripples who can't walk or use public transit).

3) My point about the police is they should enforce laws based on what is causing the most deaths and injuries. That's the rational, scientific way to do things. If guns are killing the most people, then they need to take guns off the street as their first priority. Cyclists and pedestrians haven't killed anyone since at least 2009, and injure far fewer people than many other things. The laws against them don't merit enforcement because no lives will be saved. In fact, more will be killed because most traffic laws place cyclists and pedestrians in more danger, a fact you just don't seem to grasp because you don't bike in the city, and I doubt you walk much, either.

4) I never said only motorists should be targeted for enforcement. I feel actions which are genuinely dangerous, like not yielding to pedestrians when turning, should be enforced (for bikes, too). Speeding 10 or 15 over the limit on a nearly empty road doesn't merit enforcement. To me it's just as harmless as a cyclist rolling through an empty intersection after looking. Both are technically illegal, but like I said go after what's hurting people first.

5) You need to be consistent in your positions. Either we have have lots of cyclists in the bike lanes "flouting the laws" as you claim OR the bike lanes are hardly used. You can't have it both ways. That's why I laughed at a lot of those inane comments in the NY Times article. First they say they're nearly run over constantly by cyclists riding the wrong way in the bike lanes, then they say take out the bike lanes because they're hardly used. Both can't be true. Pick one or the other and stick with it.
Feb. 23, 2013, 5:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, you can try to deny the claim that cyclists hit people, but those on the NY Times are talking from experience. The only difference here is that unlike cars, bicycles can come from any direction even when it's the wrong way or when the pedestrian has the walk signal. At least most cars don't have the tendency to do such acts. There have been laws saying that if the pedestrian who got jaywalked, then the motorist who hit them are not solely responsible for their actions. Keep in mind that not being held solely responsible for one's actions is not the same as being not held responsible for one's actions. Again, no new laws on bicycles were created before the latest ticket blitz, the cops were just enforcing the laws that already exist, plus the blitz was in response to the many cyclists flouting the laws, not to intimidate them. In the end, it will take more than bike lanes to determine who should be the next mayor as there are issues that have more importance than this.
Feb. 24, 2013, 11:57 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Just some corrections:

1) Most of the people on the NY Times site are flat-out lying about how often they've been hit by bikes. Remember a cyclist has a vested interest in not hitting a pedestrian because they can get hurt even worse. Also, many people walk with their head buried in their iPhone, and then expect cars and bikes to not hit them. And then you have people who will say a bike "almost hit them" when in reality it passed five feet away. These people are largely full of it. I've been in Manhattan many times. I've never been hit by a bike, I've never seen anyone hit or almost hit by a bike.

2) The "crackdown" was in response to a bunch of sensationalist articles by the local media who created a problem which didn't exist. I've yet to see any statistics showing huge numbers of people killed and injured by bikes so as to justify this disproportionate police action. Also, you do know the majority of those ticketed were commuter cyclists slow rolling through red lights simply because they were easy targets. The cyclists who caused the most problems, namely the delivery guys who run through crowded crosswalks at high speeds, largely weren't ticketed because the police were told by the restaurants not to. Also, they would have been a lot harder to catch. In fact, that's the problem in a nutshell. The cyclists who are most dangerous are those running lights at speed, but how exactly do you catch them on crowded Manhattan streets which are often impassable even to squad cars? Chasing them would put even more people in danger.
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe if you are going to use this by who kills more than I guess by your logic, the Mossad is much more of a terrorist group than Hamas is just because they killed more. However, some didn't look at the causes, you would see why the numbers were that way, but that's besides the point. Even just almost getting hit is a reason to talk about the issue. I can still remember when I nearly got hit by a bicycle, but stepped back a few feet just to dodge a bullet. Saying that targeting cyclists who run red lights are easy targets is just the same as any motorist that does the same. Perhaps, police cars aren't need to go after cyclists, but a special force like what is used in other cities to go after rogue cyclists would be better, and it would be better in densely crowded areas. Either way, emergency vehicles are supposed to be given the right of way when the sirens are flashing according to numerous city and state laws. As for restaurants telling the police not to go after their delivery cyclists, I smell some sort of a scandal or secret pact.
Feb. 24, 2013, 1:58 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Simple Question... Please answer it.

Have you EVER ridden a bicycle on the streets of New York City?

That question had three elements: (a) ridden a bicycle, (b) on the street, and (c) in New York City. It did not include any other elements.

A simple reply would be appreciated.
Feb. 25, 2013, 3:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, I haven't ridden a bicycle in NYC at all. Then again, I don't find it safe when the streets are constantly used by vehicular traffic. Higher density does lead to higher traffic, so this is going into harm's way here just as flouting the laws are.
Feb. 25, 2013, 5:32 pm
ty from pps says:
"Then again, I don't find it safe when the streets are constantly used by vehicular traffic."

But don't you always say cyclists don't need bike lanes and they would be perfectly fine if they just stopped "flouting" the law? Hmm... But it's the vehicular traffic that makes it dangerous? So...

(Tal, you can save your fingers. I already know what your response to this will be. It's one or a combination of the 3 or 4 usual things you repeat over and over. I just enjoy the novelty of this most recent comment. It's almost as close to sincere as you get.)
Feb. 25, 2013, 5:41 pm
Mike says:
I think ty finally caught Tal in a contradiction that even Tal couldn't wrap his head around.
Feb. 28, 2013, 10:52 am
Rob from Clinton Hill says:
So far, Tom Allon sounds like the winner to me. Cars cause pollution and traffic, and cause deadly accidents. The subways and buses are packed like sardines. Let's get MORE people on bikes by making safe biking lanes that make every neighborhood accessible by bike.
Feb. 28, 2013, 2:38 pm

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