(The faint lines just past the crosswalk are what passes for the "bike lane." The hole comes in two flavors: without cone...)
City Department of Transportation
Dear Ms. Sadik-Khan,
I am a cyclist who was born in New York and who, due to various misfortunes and cruel twists of fate, continues to live here. The reason I'm writing is to tell you about the giant, gaping, incredibly dangerous hole right in the middle of the goddamn bike lane at the intersection of Dean and Nevins Streets in Brookly, which has been there for months. (Photos attached.)
Why is this thing still here? I know the city's aware of it, because awhile back some city-employed genius spray-painted a red line around its perimeter. I'm not sure what this was meant to accomplish. I can only assume the DOT is implementing some kind of "Pothole Beautification" project. And while I admit the hole is much more attractive now that it sports day-glo eyeliner, it remains as dangerous as ever.
Look, I realize that bike lanes are meaningless. They're just convenient places for unlicensed drivers in customized Honda Civics to idle and roll blunts while they wait for their friends to come downstairs, or for giant UPS trucks festooned with orange parking tickets to sit while they make deliveries, or for Fresh Direct trucks to belch exhaust fumes while they disgorge organic groceries into million-dollar brownstones for lazy Park Slopers who can't be bothered to drive their Priuses to Fairway.
Yet despite all this, I like to ride in them. Call it a naive fantasy, but I actually like to imagine as a cyclist that there's a tiny sliver of road somewhere that belongs to me. And it's tough to maintain this fantasy when I suddenly come upon a hole large enough to swallow a 10-month old baby.
I'm also reporting this hole via email through the DOT website. I would have done so sooner, but I mistakenly took the eyeliner and the orange construction cones that are sometimes (but usually not) stuck in it as signs that repairs were imminent. And while I'm sure filling out a form on the internet will result in blindingly swift action, I wanted to take the time to write you personally as well.
Please also know that in the meantime, as long as the city and the drivers who use her streets continue to toy with my life, I intend to continue making and adhering to my own rules. I shall continue to treat traffic signals as optional; I shall continue to follow and verbally harass drivers who irritate me; and I shall use no hand signals except the one that needs to be blurred out on TV. And please be assured I will do all of this only out of necessity, as it is the only way to remain intact as a cyclist in this town.
I look forward to the filling of this and all giant holes, and I would appreciate being the Guest of Honor at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
(...or with cone. Note crappy old Honda Accord and FedEx truck, both in the bike lane.)