Friday, March 18, 2011

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

In recent months, the "media" has paid much attention to the so-called "backlash" against bicycle lanes in New York City, as well as the concomitant "crackdown" on scofflaw cyclists--which seems to now be largely focussed on Central Park, where police continue to ticket cyclists who run red lights during car-free hours, which in turn prompts investment bankers-slash-lower-category club racers to decry how "the system" is keeping them down by not letting them engage in "interval training

Besides Central Park, the other venue that has been a locus of controversy has been the Prospect Park West bike lane in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Recently, a nefarious cadre of nebbishes has gone so far as to file suit against the city for installing the bike lane, despite the fact that it is popular, has made the street demonstrably safer, and causes no additional congestion.

I've long marveled at the fact that some Park Slope residents are complaining about the bike lane--not because I ride a bicycle and like to use the lane, but because their audacity in bemoaning something that is actually designed to keep more people alive is a good part of the reason that Park Slope has become synonymous with "douchery" throughout New York City. (Arguably, Park Slope and Williamsburg are the Twin Cities of Douche in Brooklyn, though each has its own uniquely douchey character.)

Astonishingly, the Park Slope bike lane opponents feel that the bike lane is unsafe, which leads me to wonder if they have any idea what it's actually like to cross a street on the other side of the park. Here's what it's like to cross Coney Island Avenue on Cortelyou Road (a popular neighborhood shopping street), and because few things are more boring than watching traffic I will itemize the "highlights" below:



0:09: Light for Coney Island Avenue Traffic turns green;

0:45: Pedestrian with apparent death wish begins jaywalking across Coney Island Avenue;

1:08: I finally get the "walk" signal;

1:15: "Walk" signal flashes red after a mere seven seconds (I am not even halfway across the street);

1:30: "Walk" signal goes to solid red after giving me just enough time to cross the street, by which time you have fallen sound asleep after watching the most boring "edit" of all time.

Nevertheless, despite the highly soporific nature of this film, I think there are a few interesting conclusions to be drawn:

Firstly, out of that entire minute and a half, there were only seven seconds during which I, as a pedestrian, had (theoretically, anyway) the right of way, in which time I only got as far as the middle of the street--and that's without a child in tow, or packages, or the creakiness and arthritis that comes with old age.

Secondly, in that seven second "safety window," three cars ran the light. First came these two:

And then came a third in sort of a "SAG wagon of death" capacity, almost hitting the admittedly stupid pedestrian:

In other words, whether you're a kid on the way to school, or an old person on the way to the pharmacy, or an intolerably smug bike blogger, you've got seven seconds to cross the street, during which time you've still got a pretty good chance of getting nailed by a car.

You almost can't blame the pedestrian for trying to get a head start.

Now, here's my return trip, and the video is mercifully shorter, beginning just as the light for Coney Island Avenue traffic goes from yellow to red:



0:00: Light goes from yellow to red;

0:02: First car runs the light, I get the "walk" signal;

0:04: Second car runs the light;

0:10: "Walk" signal starts flashing;

0:33: You are asleep again.

This time I guess things were a little better, since only two cars ran the light--though one, the BMW, ran it a full four seconds after it turned red:

Still, that's not very good odds if you're trying to cross, and it's not like I sat there waiting for cars to run the light. I just crossed once and crossed again, and as someone who crosses this intersection regularly I can assure you that this amount of light-running is typical.

However, if you ask the people in Park Slope or read the newspaper, you'd think that bicycles are the problem--though I can assure you that, as a pedestrain, the one I did encounter was the least of my concerns:


So I'll tell you what, Park Slopers: I'll trade you the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Cortelyou Road for your Prospect Park West bike lane and sundry amenities. I'll take the added safety and convenience, and you can hustle your old bones across the street in seven fucking seconds:

Good luck, Grandma.

In any case, having gotten the smugness out of my system, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer in seven fucking seconds. If you're right then maybe you won't get hit by a car, and if you're wrong you'll see touring gone awry.

As always, thanks for reading, ride safe, and ride smugly in the Prospect Park West bike lane.


--BSNYC/RTMS




(Fredgasm! A bargain at roughly $8,000 for the frame "module" alone.)

1) Specialized recently held a "top-secret" launch for a new bicycle it calls the:





2) This person is:




3) Shoddy rowboat conversions are the new shoddy fixie conversion.





4) Why is this Langster special?




***Special Coney Island-Themed Euphemism Bonus Question***


(So does the whitefish go over the driftwood?)

Having "Coney Island Driftwood" is a euphemism for swimming with an erection.

--True
--False


83 comments:

rudy jenkins said...

woot!

dcdouglas said...

podium?

samh said...

Nothing like the special feeling I get form Friday morning quiz time with BSNYC.

Anonymous said...

i'm in

le Correcteur said...

Just missed podium! Did not read, but hey . . .

Hans said...

top ten! Come to Gothenburg Snob!

Kenny Banya said...

CONY WOOD

theEel said...

topteneel!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour!

Anonymous said...

You wanna see some light-running, hang out in downtown San Francisco near any of the many highways. A couple months ago I was standing at 3rd and Harrison for fifteen minutes and watched fifteen cars blow through a red. One a minute in the middle of the afternoon!

Anonymous said...

EPIC REDS

Anonymous said...

BSNYC/RTMS gives me driftwood.

Balls.

Terre Haute Karl said...

My problem with crosswalks, as both a pedestrian and driver, is that at the same time the "walk" light turns, so does the green light for cars that are going to make a right turn across the crosswalk. It puts the pedestrians in danger because the cars turning right may not see them stepping off the curb. And the drivers trying to turn right never really get a safe/legal opportunity to turn because they spend the whole green light waiting for pedestrians to cross the street.

xyxax said...

We take our 3-year old daughter across that intersection a couple of times a week for school. It takes her 7 seconds to celebrate having stuck the landing following her leap off the curb.
Also this intersection is where a turning driver yelled at my 9-months pregnant wife for being so fat and slow.
Urge to kill has not much diminished.

Anonymous said...

Limping now...took 8 seconds...

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it. Doing yoga, downward doggie-style, of course.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

Terrestrial gait clorl;
Here in the land of epic weed, epic reds etc. We also have a thing that gives the walk green before the vehicle green. It is epic.

hillbilly said...

yo

Etherhuffer said...

You missed all the fun in Seattle! We ticket for jaywalking, which usually leads to a cop-pedestrian scuffle, followed by a lawsuit. Smug law-suit person usually jaywalks again, gets hit by a car, then sues the driver. Oh but to be a lawyer in this town. Laws? Shit, who needs laws when cars are light as feathers and can't hurt me.

crosspalms said...

Speaking of crosswalks, we have quite a few in Chicago now that do a "don't walk" countdown, which is way better than a flashing red hand. You actually know how much time you have left before the light changes, and since you can see the things for at least half a block, it's great when riding, too. Yet I've seen pedestrians act as though it's some kind of scoring device -- "hmm, judges gave me a 2 today" -- and walk into traffic.

Is there some Romulan Warbird DNA in that Venge?

Righteously Indignent said...

Right on Snobbie. Up yours, you Park Slope Douches!

Lionel said...

Hello is it me you're looking for?

Dave said...

Hey Snob I guess we have to trust you on the George Foreman answer. The auction ended.

I would pay big money for a bike with George Foreman's autograph. He makes a damn fine grill. And someone told me he used to be a boxer. Imagine that!

Marcel Da Chump said...

With the price of gas going up,up,up...expect more red light-running drivers. Be extra careful out there. And try not
to succumb to violent impulses when provoked by those malevolent motorist. Take a deep breath and count to ten if
you have to, and scream later.

Anonymous said...

great video and excellent arguement, would have been even better to show this in comparison to the Prospect Park West in another video. CI Ave makes PPW look like a country lane. The backlash against bike lanes, something that is objectively good, is mind boggling. And the argument that some bikers don't follow road rules and therefore make it dangerous if fucking stupid. As your video points out, many drivers "bend" the rules as well. Your chance of being maimed or killed by a speeding car are far greater than being bumped by some waify doofus hipster doing under 10mph. Goodluck grandma indeed.

burrito said...

Holy crap. I'm going to take a moment to be grateful that drivers where I live generally do stop at red lights. I had no idea red lights were just a suggestion elsewhere.

Anonymous Coward said...

@crosspalms - romulan warbird? nice, way to play that nerd card.

Anonymous said...

Shedsnob NYC,
I need more space in my garage to work on my bicycles and I'm tired of tripping over the lawnmower and other various lawn and garden implements. This spring I plan to become a shed owner/user but I am rather bewildered by the array of constrution materials available in todays shed market. What are your thoughts on modular metal or composite materials vs the traditional stick built, wood sided and asphalt shingled sheds.

signed, shedless and cramped

I am a riding naked engine said...

I have always wondered why so many professional riders find it necessary to be naked in promotional photos.

I finally figured it out. They are all political activists.

"Among Koch Industries’ subsidiaries across various industries[15] are:
Georgia-Pacific paper and pulp company, maker of “Brawny” paper towels, ”Angel Soft” toilet paper, “Mardi Gras” napkins and towels, “Quilted Northern” toilet paper and paper towels, “Dixie” paper plates, bowls, napkins and cups, “Sparkle” paper towels., and "Vanity Fair" paper napkins, bowls, plates and tablecloths. The Atlanta-based company has operations in 27 states.[16]
Invista, a polymer and fibers company that makes “Stainmaster” carpet, and “Lycra” fiber, among other products."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_Industries

Remember everytime you put on your biking "kit" a teacher gets fucked,
and a Tea bagger gets elected.

Polk and Folsom said...

Anonymous 12:30 - why would you want to stand at 3rd and Harrison anyway - let alone for fifteen minutes?

grog said...

"Howdy"
Ya, pretty sleepy videos. You couldn't maybe arrange for Recumbabe to ride by?
FUNK WIZZ

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Those anti bike laners are idiots. Even Grandma. I have a feeling this particular bike lane issue will eventually be resolved in favor of the cyclist.

I guess the lessons to be gleaned from this are 1) use it or loose it. And 2) support those advocacy groups.

Thanks for the coverage of these issues.

Charlie Horse said...

Perfect score on the quiz! Yeah, not the toughest ever, but I'll take it. WOOOOO!!!!

What, no dissertations today in the comments on cantilever vs centerpull brakes, and their various mountways on old foreign bikes?

I found that entertaining considering I understood solittle of it......Just like Fox News!

Thank you, ladies and germs, I'll be here all week.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Calipers said...

calipers, baby

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

mmmmmmmm...palermo pizza

Anonymous said...

First the Lombardi trophy comes home and now Wisconsin has the highest rate of binge drinking?! Fuck Yeah! Wisconsin truly is a paradise...

frilly said...

Snob, catching up on my reading for the week. You just totally cured me of my Cipo crush.

Heartbroken.

crosspalms said...

Frilly, sometimes the best cure for a broken heart is a good laugh. I don't have that, but I have this: When Mario's sittin' on the dock of the bay, is he a Fishin' Cipollini?

Marcel Da Chump said...

For the 1st question I clicked McPherson Vulva, just to see if
you put supermodel Elle McPherson's vulva on display(I believe this comment adheres to my strict moral standards diktat ( then again, diktat and vulva )or I might be pushing it).

Anonymous said...

I see that, in line with overall world dumbydownyness, the old walk/don't walk signs appear to have been replaced with coloured pictograms?

I think we may have started that, sorry about that chaps.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Nice to see snob dabbling in some urban planning issues. I created a video very similar to this once.

bikesgonewild said...

...that 'tierra del fuego' thingy was just an opportunity to show those three cyclists huddled together seeking shelter in a snob-shed...

...btw, is 'tierra del fuego' in brooklyn ???...

bikesgonewild said...

..."...in which time I only got as far as the middle of the street--and that's without a child in tow, or packages, or the creakiness and arthritis that comes with old age..."...

...god, i hate it when bsnyc/rtms takes personal shots at guys like me n' leroy...

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I hit it, and it only took seven fucking seconds.

George Soros said...

I fund these organizations, and if you don't like them you can suck my balls:

-"death to little kitties" corporation.

-"run-over grandma, the old fucker" bank

-"then turn the bitch into Soylent Green" enterprises.

and finally,

-"fuck you, taxpayer, I want you to fund my pension plan for the next 50 fucking years" association.

Love and kisses.

Wasted on Koch said...

George,
Go for a ride. You'll feel better.

Anonymous said...

rowboat, row me to the shore
she don't wanna be my friend no more

bikesgonewild said...

...last night i actually talked to a 'non-hipster' part time-y cyclist who lives in park slope in brooklyn & his take on the scene was that san francisco, despite her flaws, was the golden opportunity for cyclists in comparison...

Polk and Folsom said...

San Francsico, flaws? What could you possibly be referring to?

Catherine said...

Freds, Freds get Peds on YOUR side
Or All will die..
GODZILLA

Buffalo Bill said...

Just had a nice nap on my compost heap.

botch casually said...

¿Tierra de Gilipollas, no?

Anonymous said...

Compost Pile

mmmm

Warm

Bleevo said...

Yikes! I thought you complained about NYC traffic for fun. Your video shows there are actual serious problems there.

PS the wind video was hillarious

crosspalms said...

anon 6:39
Gilipollas is the best Google Translate page I've ever seen. Many thanks!

crosspalms said...

oops, you weren't anon, you were Botch Casually. Apologies!

Anonymous said...

Coney Island driftwood made me think of the Baby Ruth pool scene from Caddyshack. Of course, I am already familiar with the C. I. Whitefish hence the easy relation.

ken e. said...

have a good weekend all, ride and cross safe! (land of ass is my new innernet handle)

w4w said...

&knotty
too!

leroy said...

Now I get it.

The problem is that the bike lane is painted green, triggering propietary instincts among seniors who are compelled to admonish kids to get off what the seniors mispercieve as their lawns.

It's like a Coney Island Avenue of the mind.

(BGW -- can I get an amen?)

Ride safe all!

Katy said...

In San Diego, the cops ride bikes, not ticket them. http://j.mp/hF5Uij

g-roc said...

Oh Lob, the humanity! To start the weekend with the Turtleneck of Flaccidity! The horror. The horror.

On the plus side, I take a certain personal pride in getting the Buycycling magazine question wrong.

g-roc said...

Can't say I miss yesterday's retrogrouchery. That's half the reason I don't read Yehuda comments. It's like they infected this blog. Ah, good ol' penicillin.

lizzie said...

http://thirddrawerdown.com/shop/product/R-WSPORTAGE/

Anonymous said...

OH COME ON! The coney island driftwood question is a set-up because now it is an expression.

Twistyface said...

I think that David Byrne's dentist rides a Serrotta. But sadly, I'm guessing his tailor doesnt.

bikesgonewild said...

...that's a 'hallelujah, brother leroy...hallelujah & amen'...

...& i think that ol' original hipster signore ferlinghetti would appreciate your take...

Anonymous said...

dave burns sux and snob knows it

Stephen said...

Hey Bike Snob! I wanted to let you know that the crackdown has leaked into the Dirty South. Indeed, Atlanta's finest decided to take some time off from investigating gang violence, traffic violence, and general dirtiness, to hassle a couple of the dropped Freds on this morning's group ride. Apparently it doesn't matter if the vehicle at the 4 way stop waves you through. You can't just be rolling through suburban side streets on a Saturday morning without getting dropped with even more authority. Lame, Atlanta. I'm glad I'm moving to Seattle next month.

George Foreskin said...

LOVE the CHINA video!!!

Anonymous said...

i spotted tee shirt Fred in the CBS quiz a continuation of bsnyc search. Of course we bicyclist are guest on the road that's why here in HI people are biting the dust and i might just about to do the same. we got those things called problems, no they're more like issues, nope wait major voids in bicycle rights in HI!!

Doug said...

Okay, I want to know, which half of the Saxo Bank (pronounced Sackso Bahnk) team gets to ride the Vernor Vinge, sorry, McLaren Venge bike???

Josh said...

I'm glad to see my langster is famous these days.

Anonymous said...

OK, if you have (stupid) jaywalking laws then what the other guy did was technically illegal. But don't you think that the whole attitude towards pedestrians needs to change. Including comments like "apparent death wish", "the admittedly stupid pedestrian". If things are so blatantly against pedestrians then what he did is not stupid or a death wish but are simply born out of frustration or an act of reclaiming the streets.

Pedestrians have (or should have) the right to use the road too.

Baloo said...

Just a heads up: The flashing red for a pedestrian signal means "Don't start crossing if you're not already in the crosswalk" not "you should have already finished crossing."

Anonymous said...

Thats true, which is why the countdown timers is the new standard and in the newest MUTCD. The flashing hand is misunderstood by most people, not just bike snob.

Anonymous said...

By law, pedestrians who started crossing during the WALK interval have the same right of way when the flashing hand is on as they do when the WALK light is on. In addition, there is typically another five seconds (the yellow clearance interval) before cross traffic is released. Thus, by your timings in the first video you actually have 27 seconds to cross the street before cross traffic gets a green light. Your mistake is common which is why, as somebody already noted, new requirements call for countdown timers to help alleviate confusion.

The seven second WALK interval is intended to just get pedestrians started. During that time you should check for people running the red as well as for turning traffic that doesn't see you. It helps to make eye contact. . . Once you're sure it is clear you should start crossing. Needless to say, most of the actual crossing occurs during the flashing hand. But, if you take these precautions crossing the street like this is relatively easy and safe.

Your anti-motorist bias is readily apparent to this first time reader. I'm not defending bad behavior by motorists (or pedestrians) but everyone needs to remember that both motorists AND pedestrians need to take responsibility to ensure safe crossings.

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Fixie Bikes said...

That person is definitely doing something terribly dirty.