Vacca: Cyclists Are Always Wrong

115057943 Vacca: Cyclists Are Always Wrong

Going nowhere fast. (Getty)

It was a long year for bike riders in New York City. The bikelash got underway last fall, but it really picked up in 2011 as the Prospect Park West lane suit dragged out all summer t. The city won the suit, as well as a super majority of support for the new bike lanes, but that has not stopped cycling critics from continuing to harry two-wheeled New Yorkers. Now, it is looking like 2012 may be no better.

In an interview with the Post, Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, said he is looking at a number of new pieces of legislation that would further regulate bikes. Most are to do with commercial bikes, those used for deliveries—and a scourge not only of pedestrians but bikers, too—that would require them to wear vests with the company name and reflective materials. This would presumably make them more visible and responsible, since they could be reported and the company they work for would be held accountable.

One proposal is particularly irksome to regular riders, however, and that would be requiring master plans for new bike lanes. Not only do sidewalks and roads not require such oversight, but this would also slow down the creation of new lanes, which New Yorkers support, as polls have shown, and which also save lives.

Why so much animosity toward two-wheelers, then? We’ll let Councilman Vacca explain: “My priority is protection of the pedestrians, and my mantra is that the pedestrian is always right, even when the pedestrian is wrong. Everything I do is governed by that basic foundation.”

So even when a texting pedestrian is standing in a bike lane, say, he is doing right.

At least Journal sports columnist Jason Gay (still) gets it. He says that today should be Buy a Bike Light Day, and he makes the case yet again for bikes in the city:

This city is adapting to the bicycle. It’s an overdue and necessary transformation. The evolution hasn’t been without conflict—cyclists are learning to co-exist with vehicles and pedestrians, and there’s too much recklessness on every street—but years from now we’ll look back and wonder why anyone thought this wasn’t progress.

And so the war of words and wheels continues.

mchaban@observer.com

Comments

  1. I ride a bike for exercise and to go to the store . This means I am one less car on the street , less traffic , more parking and less pollution . If I ride in the street it is common for cars to be illegally  double parked forcing me out into the traffic lane which is dangerous because many drivers consider bikers to be an annoyance and will not give you the right of way . Sorry , but I don’t see any big problem as far as bikes compared to double parking and cars that regularly run red lights . In the mean time the city gives out parking tickets galore because it brings in the revenue . 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like NYC is really effed up.  I drove in the city a year ago — what a mess.  Not because of the bikes, but the cars.  

  3. Weary of NIMBY Moronism says:

    …except for when pedestrians are run over and killed by automobiles. In that case, Jimmy Vacca has nothing to say about it. “No criminality is suspected” is the mantra he recites along with NYPD’s motor vehicle “accident” investigators.