Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Get a load of Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal talking about the grave dangers to our way of life posed by bicycles. For example, how they symbolize government tyranny. (Never mind that the New York City bicycle sharing program is sponsored by a private company.)
Then there is the unsightliness of these brightly-painted new bicycles "begriming" the city streets. Obviously these blue monsters are destroying the aesthetics of every neighborhood, unlike the pleasant noise and fragrant exhaust of thousands of taxicabs and buses. We're used to that, I suppose.
This self-appointed representative of the majority of the citizens of New York City (she actually claims that title, in contrast to the "autocratic" mayor who was only three times elected to office by a majority of voters), goes on to inform us that the real menace residents face is not posed by cabs, but by bicyclists. This is a puzzling assertion, given that more than four thousand pedestrians nationally are killed by motorists every year, while only a tiny number are injured by bicyclists. But Ms. Rabinowitz does not seem concerned about that carnage. She is more outraged by the idea that when she opens the door to exit a taxicab, she might have to look out for bicyclists. The horror!
We hear similar complaints in LA whenever they close city streets for a few hours for a parade or a construction project or a marathon or the semi-annual Ciclavia event. As if cars and trucks have a God-given right to monopolize city streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter how much noise and pollution and other forms of havoc they cause. As if our car-choked streets represent some kind of serene and natural state, which we must protect from the unwelcome intrusion of hordes of people riding bicycles.