road crowded with cyclists

“Bike Supremacy” is Ruining Everything

I have been writing about the organized cycling movement for years.  When I started, few were aware of the organized cycling lobby and their ever increasing influence on policy.  With their success has come the realization by the public of what they wanted actually means.  It has led to a bikelash throughout the country and on the local level.  At the head of the bikelash have been the fearless writers at the New York Post who years ago coined the term “Privileged Class” to described cyclists.

They have been hitting a lot of nails on their heads the last couple of weeks.

If you listened to last week’s Red Maryland Radio, I shared this piece from the New York Post discussing the inanity of cycling as transportation policy and the futility of the notion that cycling on roads with cars and trucks can be made safe. Here are some great quotes from the article:

“When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike ­enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.”

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“Nobody elected the advocacy outfit Transportation Alternatives to speak for New Yorkers. It isn’t a safety organization, a cadre of seasoned city planners or even some impartial arbiter seeking what’s best for everyone; it’s a bunch of mainly upscale cyclists trying to make the city more navigable for themselves.” [Note: We have made the same point about groups like BikeMore and BikeAAA]

“Bike lanes haven’t made anyone any safer, but they have inarguably taken traffic congestion from bad to intolerable. The narrowing of our city’s critical arteries to accommodate a tiny ­minority whose vehicles are rendered impractical all winter and on rainy days seems to have been irrationally prioritized with regard to triage.” [Note: many Baltimoreans would agree]

“The carnage we have seen this year is a direct result of the free ride and false sense of security given to cyclists by the mayor and his predecessor. New York City is not safe for bikes, and it never will be.”

And it cannot be made safe in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Annapolis, on busy suburban byways or rural highways. It is simply probability and physics.

This week the New York Post nails it again with its indictment of “Bike Supremacy” and how it is ruining New York City. Here are some great quotes:

Of course, de Blasio’s focus — his Vision Zero safety goals — often targets the same victims, as in his vows last week that the NYPD will “be watching drivers more closely” and that the city will “change the behavior of motorists.”

“Just in the first three weeks of this month . . . the NYPD issued more than 8,600 tickets for blocking bike lanes — double the same period from last year,” he crowed before emphasizing, “And we have juuuuuussst begun.”

Those tickets have mostly gone to drivers of delivery trucks — guys trying to do their jobs, which bike lanes make tougher.

This is a response to an uptick in bike deaths that has advocates up in arms. Yet it isn’t a true safety trend: Over the long term, the number tracks with bicycle use.

The drive to make New York more bike-friendly has more people riding more bikes more miles — which leads to more bicycle accidents, fatal and otherwise. [Note: this trend is proven nationally in peer reviewed medical literature.]

[NYC Speaker Corey Johnson] also reiterated his standard line: “We need to break the car culture” that’s “choking our streets” and “literally killing people.” In late May, he dropped his plan to add even more bike lanes, and to double the city’s pedestrian-plaza acreage, over the next five years. And this is one of the leading candidates to succeed de Blasio.

Ever since Bloomberg, the line’s been that this all about good government: attracting tech companies (who love the cyclist lifestyle), fighting climate change, etc.

Not so: It’s an ideology, pure and simple — a faith in the moral inferiority of car and truck drivers, and in the moral virtue of cyclists.

That’s certainly how the bike-riders themselves view it: You can’t cross town without suffering cyclists’ contempt not just for motorists and pedestrians, but for anything and anyone who gets in their way.

That ideology has conned too many of the city’s leaders into handing over vast swathes of the city’s precious public space to a tiny minority of citizens — albeit an organized, and economically privileged, minority.

What the city really needs are leaders with the guts to stand up to the zealots and support the common good.

That is the exact ideology behind the cycling movement here in Maryland which has also conned too many of state and local leaders to expend too much of our tax dollars in favor of a economically privileged tiny minority of citizens.

We also need leaders with the guts to stand up to the cycling zealots and support the common good including policies that will actually reduce injuries to cyclists even if that means (gasp!) discouraging people from engaging in the inherently dangerous activity of riding bikes on roads with cars and trucks.

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