NYC Transit Hierarchy
As we wrote in Everyday Terror there is an unfortunate degree of fear involved in riding a bike in New York City. Yes there are blissful moments but there is also often a lingering terror of distracted drivers, giant tractor trailers on narrow city streets and doors that swing open without warning.
With each of these dangers we are reminded that New York City - the densest city in America - chooses to put single occupancy vehicles (and giant tractor trailers) ahead of the safety of pedestrians and riders. Among other causes this transit failure continues because we have a limousine liberal mayor who drives 12 miles across town in a fleet of SUV's every morning to the gym when one of the nicest athletic facilities in the city is a few blocks from his home (despite living on the UES the First Family also likes to get their dry cleaning done in Brooklyn because it's "grounding").
But every once in awhile these dangerous reminders of where cyclists and pedestrians stand in the New York City transit hierarchy is too unbelievable not to capture in the TBD Daily. When a State Senator who ran over and killed a 74-old woman in 2005, who blocked speed cameras that are proven to save lives and whose vehicle has an atrocious record of speeding and red light violations gets caught driving in a bike lane, impersonating a police officer, driving in opposing traffic lanes AND running red lights that is one of those times. As captured on twitter and summarized on Streetsblog:
I was biking to a community mtg. tonight when I saw multiple vehicles driving in the 3rd Ave. bike lane.— Brian Howald (@bdhowald) December 12, 2017
A man stuck his head out the window waving a non-NYPD placard, telling me to pull over, claiming to be a police officer.
When challenged, he hid the placard & his face.
In addition to driving in S/B 3rd Ave. bike lane, driver:— Brian Howald (@bdhowald) December 12, 2017
• Drove S/B in N/B lanes of 3rd Ave. b/w 15th St. & Hamilton Ave.
• Ran light at Hamilton while I was taking pictures
• Ran light at 3rd Ave. & 19th St. while I was taking pictures
• impersonated a police officer
So began a cycle of:— Brian Howald (@bdhowald) December 12, 2017
• me catching up to the car at a red light
• passenger maneuvering to hide face
• driver coasting through crosswalk to deny me a clear photo
• gunning the engine to blow the light at speed as soon as there was a gap in traffic.
Now, I can’t be sure, but heading south from Sunset Park, special plates, and a driver strongly indicates an elected official or department honcho.— Brian Howald (@bdhowald) December 12, 2017