Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Gothamist plug

Yesterday, after posting my entry with the video of the traffic lights in Central Park, I went off and enjoyed the rest of my day... only to come back and discover that my post had been picked up by the Gothamist and my blog entry had been read by a large group of people who don't usually read "bike blogs". It was a pleasant surprise and kind of awesome that someone at the Gothamist thought to post about my page.

With the additional traffic, I received a couple of notes/emails from some readers and I wanted to clarify a couple of things:
  • I am not advocating that cyclists should break the law. Even though I think the application of the law in Central Park right now is a little ridiculous.
  • I hate dangerous cyclists as much as the next person and would welcome ticketing those who place pedestrians at risk. This includes racers in the park going 23mph in the middle of the day and delivery men riding on sidewalks. There is a reason why our races are held at 6 in the morning... if you want to go fast, come out then. Not only do you get to go fast... you also get to watch me get dropped.
  • The point of the video was primarily to suggest that there are certain times of the day when the lights could be made blinking yellows so that cyclists could still work out while minimizing the danger to pedestrians. Cyclists who ride recklessly could still be ticketed at a yellow light, at the discretion of the police.
  • Yes, I do think that cyclists should be allowed to ride without stopping in the park as long as they do it safely. Ask a runner how irritated they would be if they had to stop 46 times while running a lap.
  • I don't have anything against runners. Except maybe a little jealousy since my knees are bad.
  • There are some areas in the park where a cyclist should always be careful because of foot traffic. The southwest corner entrance at 59th Street and the entrance near the Metropolitan Museum come to mind immediately. But like anywhere else we ride, we should always be prepared to stop. It is, after all, only the largest park in one of the most crowded cities in the world.
  • One person sent me a note saying that cyclists should be ticketed more aggressively because cycling accidents often involve another party. A cyclist's behavior potentially endangers another person. I'd agree with that... but by that same argument, shouldn't a parent who jaywalks with a stroller also be ticketed? They're breaking the law while risking the safety of a child. (I get quite upset whenever I see this.)
  • There are some people out there who really hate cyclists. All cyclists. To the point where they label them "spandex Nazis" and "douchebags" and accuse them of wanting to willfully run over the elderly (see the comments on the Gothamist page). It's unfortunate because most of us are actually pretty nice people.
  • Yes, I think I'm a nice guy. At least I hope I am.
Okay, I need to write a happier blog entry sometime this week. This kind of drama tires me out and makes me want to take a nap. Or get some hot chocolate. Because it's cold outside.

It's a beautiful park that we should all be able to enjoy together. This picture of a ride in Central Park was taken at 6am in the morning. No pedestrians were harmed in the production of this picture.

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