Thursday, October 23, 2014
Cycling Under Attack! Things Are Tough All Over
So how much would you pay to run a cyclist down with your SUV in the Most Bike-Friendly City In America? $1,500? $1,000? $500? Well, if you act now, you can run down the annoying cyclist of your choice in New York City for the low, low price of $250. That's only 5,306,250 Vietnamese Dong!
Of course, the cyclist did give the flat-brimmed fucktard the finger, so obviously he deserved to die:
According to Vaccaro and a witness affidavit [PDF], at around 5:00 p.m. on July 13, 2013, Michael (not his actual name) was riding his bike on Avenue B on the Lower East Side. Avenue B is a narrow two-way street with no bike lanes and parking on both sides. To avoid being doored, Michael was riding in the center of his lane. When a motorist approached Michael from behind, tailgating and honking, he responded by flipping the driver off.
Approaching the intersection of Avenue B and E. 13th Street, Michael slowed for a red light. According to the affidavit, the driver, still behind him, accelerated, striking the back of Michael’s bike and flipping him over the handlebars, causing him to hit his head on the ground. With Michael in the street bleeding from his face and head, the motorist swerved around him and attempted to drive off. A second motorist on the opposite side of the intersection tried to block the way, but the SUV driver went around the vehicle and left the scene.
Witnesses noted the SUV’s plate number, and the driver was identified by NYPD as 33-year-old Jose Henriquez, of Queens.
I'm not sure why the SUV driver attempted to escape, given the fact it's perfectly legal to mow down cyclists here in New York City. Indeed, this turned out to be his fatal mistake, for the New York County District Attorney meted out justice in typical fashion and now he'll have to dip into his gold chain and body spray fund:
But on Monday afternoon, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case notified Vaccaro and Michael that, after consulting with her supervisor, Vance’s office offered to allow Henriquez to plead to leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Henriquez accepted and was sentenced to a fine of $250.
Yep, $250 for what basically amounts to attempted murder. That's not even a slap on the wrist--basically they just tickled his balls. Then again, prosecutors are in a bind, since they have to make sure there's enough room in the prisons for all those low-level drug offenders.
This city should not be receiving accolades from cycling magazines. We should be receiving sanctions from the United Nations. Unfortunately that will never happen, since nobody benefits more from our motor-vehicular free-for-all than diplomats:
If you're ever riding in New York City and encounter a motor vehicle with diplomatic plates, my advice to you is to immediately take cover under the nearest parked car or subway grate until it passes, because a diplomat driver makes even the most maniacal cabbie look like a senior citizen on a Hoveround.
Meanwhile, down in the Land Frumunda, a reader informs me the guy running for Lord Mayor of Adelaide hates bikes with almost Rob Fordian passion, and to that end he proposed a 13 point "Car Friendly City Action Plan:"
First, he's going to get rid of the bike lanes:
CYCLING LANE POLICY
“It’s insane giving a staggeringly small 0.8% of people
20% of the road space.”
The proliferation of cycling lanes is out of control.
Everyday 130,000 workers commute into the city, predominantly by car (91%), by public
transport (8%), and by bicycle, (a staggeringly small 0.8%).
Cycling lanes take up around 20% of effective roadway and numerous on-street car parks have
been removed to make them. How did we end up with so many cycling lanes in Adelaide where
there is clearly not the demand. The current Lord Mayor is driving this agenda at the expense of
easy car access to the city.
Wow, 20% of the roadway in Adelaide is set aside for bikes? That has to be an exaggeration. I don't think even Amsterdam has that many bike lanes. Either way, for good measure he's also going to make sure you have to wear your helment at all times, because he knows this is the absolute best way to prevent the growth of cycling while simultaneously pretending to care about cyclists:
Finally, Mark Hamilton supports the helmet law and won’t allow it to be rolled back in the
future if he’s Lord Mayor.
Then, just in case you you decide "Fuck it, I'll just take the bus," he wants to get rid of bus lanes too:
“Just 8% of people use public transport.
This will not change for generations.
The rest must suffer inconvenience.”
He'll make a great Lord Vader. I mean Lord Mayor. If he fails to get elected, he should definitely move to Staten Island where residents would gladly make him their king.
Even in Portland, sub-Canada's erstwhile cycling nirvana, the situation continues to devolve, and recently some kind of AED (Artisanal Explosive Device) was discovered near Forest Park:
The Portland Police called in the bomb squad Saturday night to disarm an explosive device connected to a tripwire strung across a trail that leads into Forest Park.
According to a statement released this morning by the PPB, the tripwire was strung across Firelane 3, a wooded and overgrown old fire access road located east of NW Thompson Rd and accessible via Skyline Road from Thunder Crest Drive. Firelane 3 is open to bicycling and walking.
Here's the original report from The Oregonian, which tells the story of how the device was discovered:
But last Thursday the carefree walk from their Forest Heights home took a bizarre turn.
As they headed down toward the main trail, two men passed them. One was on a cellphone. Both men were sketchy and "were definitely not hikers,'' Colbach said. "It set off the hair on the back of my neck. They stuck out like a sore thumb."
Just before the couple entered the park with their Plott hound, Rhoda, Jennifer Colbach noticed a length of parachute cord stretched across the trail. They were headed toward Firelane No. 3 from the 4000 block of Northwest Thunder Crest Road off Northwest Skyline Boulevard.
"My wife said, 'Be careful here,' and she stepped over the cord," Mike Colbach said. "The dog stepped on it."
The line went slack and Jennifer Colbach noticed something move in the woods off to their right.
They continued on their walk and then went home. But the more Mike Colbach pondered the incident, the more it bugged him. So he went back Saturday.
What he found was chilling: The parachute cord was rigged to a three-quarter-inch-diameter pipe — open at one end, closed at the other — attached to a tree. There appeared to be a firing pin at the closed end. The cord was attached to a beer bottle that was supposed to swing down and strike the firing pin at the back of the device when the cord was tripped.
So they discovered the device on Thursday and didn't do anything about it Saturday?
The police might wanna take a look at these two is all I'm saying.
Lastly, Lance Armstrong may not be able to ride in George Hincapie's Gran Fondo after all:
Lance Armstrong may not, as previously reported, participate at the Gran Fondo Hincapie this weekend in South Carolina, due to the event’s sanctioning through USA Cycling.
Because of his lifetime ban, Armstrong is prohibited from participating in any event sanctioned by any signatory to the World Anti-Doping [WADA] Code.
What is at question is the status of the gran fondo, and how that lifetime ban applies.
Seems like time and money well spent on the part of USA Cycling.