Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Punks on Bikes kill peds in New York





In today's New York Times (In Central Park, Cyclists Still Compete With Pedestrians):

Police enforcement appeared scant on Tuesday on West Drive, near West 63rd Street, where Jill Tarlov, 58, was struck by a cyclist on Thursday. Most cyclists stopped for the red lights dotting the road, but others, joined by a pedicab or two, zoomed through, even when pedestrians were waiting to cross.

Some pedestrians described an increasingly hostile environment on the six-mile road, which is closed to car traffic in the middle of the day. In recent years, they said, the number of cyclists on racing bikes has grown, and those riders jockey with more leisurely cyclists, joggers, walkers, horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs.

“It’s a free-for-all,” said David Crawford, an opera singer, who was with his wife, Laura Wells, pushing their 2-year-old daughter in a stroller. “They need to have a barrier between the bicyclists and the walkers. It’s scary.”

Ms. Tarlov, of Fairfield, Conn., was walking through the park during a shopping trip to Manhattan. In the late afternoon, she stepped onto the roadway and was hit by a bicyclist, Jason W. Marshall, 31, who told authorities that he had swerved to avoid other pedestrians. Ms. Tarlov died on Monday.

In August, a 75-year-old jogger died on the other side of the park after being struck by a teenager who was riding on the pedestrian path, part of the loop road near East 72nd Street...

Jamie O’Reilly, a dog walker with two Labrador retrievers and a Catahoula in tow, said she was intimidated by the packs of racing cyclists.

“They are horrible,” she said. “They scream obscenities at tourists who have one foot in the road. They are like a gang”...

Some cycling enthusiasts said new electronic tools had increased the competitiveness of bicyclists. Two in particular, Strava and Garmin Connect, allow cyclists to track their average speed over a set distance and then to compare their times to those of other users.

“You can compete with someone without having to physically ride together,” said Ray Delgado, manager of Tread Bike Shop in Upper Manhattan. “It’s like, ‘Oh, this guy went around Central Park in five minutes, and I want to see if I can do it in four minutes and 55 seconds.’ ”

A follow-up story in the Times on Sept. 29.

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4 Comments:

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Anderson "Waving the Bloody Flag"

 
At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Gregski said...

The "competitor wannabee" culture among Lycra cyclists would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous and obnoxious.

On my own Lycra rides in Marin I am regularly tailgated by complete strangers on racing bikes who ride at 20mph 14 inches behind me without making a sound. Creepy. One time I discovered one of these guys behind my wheel and I pulled to the right and slowed down to let him pass. Of course he kept following me and crashed into my rear wheel after which he tried to initiate a fist fight.

So...here are two questions that confound me:

1. If these cyclists are so intent on going places fast with the assist of external power why do they ride pedal bikes in the first place? Why not motorcycles?

2. Why are these people not embarrassed by their participation on Strava, which communicates to the world that they would rather participate in pitiful pretend racing than obtaining a license and participating in sanctioned time trials, with scrutineering and real rules?

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This is what the folks at that Pittsburgh anti-car conference---attended by 10 MTA employees!---call an "active transportation mode."

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am regularly tailgated by complete strangers on racing bikes who ride at 20mph 14 inches behind me without making a sound.

The speed limit on the Mill Valley Bike Path is 15 MPH, which you apparently have no problem violating

 

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