This time last year, The Observer looked at the bicycle mania seizing the city, which seemed to be the last great culture war of a transformed, civilized, infantilized New York. Even Woody Allen hates them.
Perhaps we gave the cyclists too much credit, as none other than Bicycling magazine is pointing the finger squarely at the two-wheeled set for many of the on-street whoas engulfing the city.
When cyclists are few and the roads obviously hostile and dangerous to us, it seems to me that people are more tolerant of our rule-bending and breaking. We are, depending on the region, either so rare as to not register as anything more than an insignficant annoyance, or else just one small part of a generally disobliging experience—like bad weather, or construction, fumes, and noise. But in places such as New York City, where we now have facilities paid for by taxpayer dollars and there are more of us about, our transgressions become more visible—and less forgivable.
Why should it be so unusual for a cyclist to stop at a red signal that he is thanked for it?
How strange indeed? To join the conversation, head over to the New Amsterdam Bike Festival, taking place this weekend. At 3 p.m. tomorrow, Matt Seaton, the author of the Bicycling article will be hosting a panel to discuss the issues surrounding bike lanes in the city and how we all—on two feet, two wheels, or four—might get along a little better.