Monday, July 18, 2016

This Just In: Motor Vehicles May Be Dangerous

Not to get too heavy on a Monday morning, but the following tweets appeared side-by-side in my Twitter timeline over the weekend and it's been on my mind ever since:
The aforementioned Times article calls trucks a "frightening new landscape of terrorism."  As a New Yorker, I'm dismayed to hear this threat described as "new," given how successfully we've been terrorizing ourselves with cars and trucks and things that go for the past 100 years without even trying.  Consider also:


The truck, he said, displayed no unusual menace but upset him all the same as heavy vehicles are supposed to be banned from the sedate residential area at that hour. Moreover, it was moving in the wrong direction down the one-way street outside his apartment.

Meanwhile, truckers operating illegally on residential streets is a typical day in New York City, but the NYPD only tickets them after they've already killed someone--and even then they only do so after they've exhausted all other victim-blaming possibilities:

Gregg was killed on April 20 by a tractor-trailer driver on Sixth Avenue near Sterling Place. That’s not a truck route, and based on photos of the scene, there is a strong possibility the truck that hit Gregg was too long to be operated legally on NYC surface streets. But an officer at the scene suggested Gregg had acted recklessly by trying to hitch a ride, which also describes what a cyclist desperately trying to fend off an oversized truck might look like. NYPD later said Gregg “for unknown reasons fell to the ground,” and eventually ticketed the trucker for equipment violations driving off-route, but he was not charged by police or District Attorney Ken Thompson for taking Gregg’s life.

And all of this is to say nothing of the fact that terrorists used a truck for the first World Trade Center attack way back in 1993, and attempted to blow up Times Square with a car in 2010.  So again: How is the threat posed by trucks in any way new?  Meanwhile, we remain so resistant in New York City to the idea that motor vehicles make great weapons that we refuse to accept anything we perceive as a threat to our "right" to unfettered motordom (congestion pricing, speed cameras, and of course those hated bike lanes)--though you can't really blame us, since of course cyclists are the real terrorists.

In short, if we do so little to protect ourselves from the drivers who kill by "accident" then what chance do we have against a driver who decides to kill on purpose?  Because even when someone attacks you with their car and you report them to the police here's what happens:


So there you go.

And as for that off-duty cop, he has been charged, though it's horrifying to consider what you have to do with your car to actually get in trouble in this town:



Witnesses say that Batka, who was scheduled to be on-duty at 7 a.m., flashed his NYPD badge and apparently asked cops, "Did I kill anybody?" when they arrived.

Angie Zielenski described the chaos to WABC 7, "I see this girl lying on the floor, so I lift her head up because she was bleeding from her head and her leg. I ran across the street, and I called 911, and the driver jumped from the driver's side to the passenger side, and there was a man who was holding the door of the SUV shut to not let him out."

Had he not succeeded in hitting anybody no doubt it would have been another case of "there's nothing we can do."

Meanwhile, in lighter news, the Times also takes a sartorial look at the Tour de France, and it should come as a surprise to nobody that Mario Cipollini gets a mention:


Cycling’s most extreme fashion rebel was Mario Cipollini, an Italian sprinter who was at his peak during the 1990s. He generated as much attention for his sponsors with what he wore as he did with what he won. He once turned up for a Tour stage in a chariot wearing vaguely Roman-styled cycling clothes underneath a toga. Perhaps his most extreme sartorial selection was an aerodynamic skin suit that was patterned with a life-size, anatomical drawing of muscles.

It's true, Cipo made Peter Sagan look like a total dweeb:


I was also amused to note that Tinkoff is the most anal-retentive team in the peloton when it comes to clothing:

Some teams, like Tinkoff, impose a dress code that even the Marine Corps might admire.

Yates said that Tinkoff riders must be dressed identically at all times in every race. The edict is carried to some extreme limits. The team has two styles of shorts that, at a casual glance, appear identical. But one is made from a heavier fabric, which some riders find warmer and more comfortable in the rain.

Despite their similar appearance, Yates said, the team forbids mixing the two styles within a race. So the riders take a vote to make a selection.

Indeed, when it comes to voting and shorts, you can always count on one man to abstain:


35 comments:

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

winner?

Steve B said...

Podium?

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix

Tom Morley said...

Top 10.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...it's becoming increasingly more likely that one would die of a car crash or gun shot in the US of A than from cancer.

dop said...

who is cipo, that thou art mindful of him?

N/A said...

Nooner!

dcee604 said...

Woohoo!

Old timer said...

I'm tryin' to get out of the way of the sprint...

Anonymous said...

Vehicles can be used to terrorize? Not news to anyone who rides a bike.

Kraig said...

Cars don't kill people, drivers do

commie said...

You can get my car when you pry it from my cold, dead ass.

Time to do the laundry said...

I held a vote to see which shorts I would wear today. Sadly the ones with the ripped chamois won by acclamation since the others were all in the wash.

Anonymous said...

The auto industry should revert to making cars that are dangerous to their drivers: ala the Ford Pinto.

Edit: Can't make this up: my reCAPTCHA task was to identify all the cars....

Richrd Stinks said...

Cars that kill people vs. cycling terrorists? I wish I still had more "This Bike is a Pipe Bomb" stickers. http://bit.ly/29Q85mV

CommieCanuck said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The auto industry should revert to making cars that are dangerous to their drivers: ala the Ford Pinto.


I was thinking the Jeeps with the cloth doors, a fav of frat boys and rufie dealers everywhere, brah.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

I beat Ted K.

vsk

bad boy of the north said...

I wonder if the honda minivans driver been found by now...

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

I fucked Cipo, then he followed me around like a sick puppy for three days whining for another taste of my matronly magik. Yeah...he was okay in the sack and hung like a Cotechino Modena, but what a greasy mess. Still got that shit under my fingernails.

Anonymous said...

More on the NYT truck article at http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/mainstay_of_commercin/

NYCHighwheeler said...

Is the NYTimes run by a bunch of interns these days?

Conspiracy theories aside, the Oklahoma City bombing of '95 did a lot more damage then the fFrance attack. Given that the guy researched and planned his attack, I'm amazed it didn't end with his truck loaded with fertilizer exploding in downtown Nice. Also when they used to bomb cities in WWII, they would throw in a few time delayed bombs in order to surprise the firefighters and medics who were coming to help the bombing victims. As bad as most "terrorist" attacks are, they could be a whole lot worse.

PS RAGBRAI countdown 5 days, 14 ours, 9 minutes...

1904 Cadardi said...

You left Oklahoma City off the truck as terrorist weapon list.

That and the Camaro that made an illegal pass over a double yellow and caused me the veer off the road as it swerved into my oncoming lane Saturday. But thankfully that was more reckless endangerment and less mass destruction.

Anonymous said...

Abstain isn't a part of cipollini's repetoire.

nahmean said...

WRM, you've been mocking gravel bikes for a while, but now I see there's gravel shorts?

https://www.pedaled.com/#!/products/kyoto-gravel-short/black

Frickus Rungus said...

nahmean,
I stopped eating grape nuts for breakfast and that solved my "gravel sharts" problem.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Don't forget the NYC Transit Bus Drivers Union that was lobbying for a pass to not yield to pedestrians in crosswalks because of the pressure to stay on schedule! Sort of like James Bond, licensed to kill!

Up in America's toupee I saw this road signout in the country. It looked like everyone shares the road!

JLRB said...

Today my snot rocket turned from yellow to white ...

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile here in Oz, our favorite roads minister and anti-cycling fuckwit Duncan Gay wants more and bigger trucks closer to city centres. Yep. http://www.ownerdriver.com.au/industry-news/1603/lbca-2016-higher-productivity-trucks-a-priority-for-duncan-gay/

bad boy of the north said...

wow!look at all law enforcement on bicycles in Cleveland.they must be checking for bells.yeah,that's it.(sorry,i don't know how to link)

bad boy of the north said...

maybe one day............

Anonymous said...

Summer

Carlos Danger said...

Dottie Rabo at 340: Say it's not true, I held onto this burning fantasy that you were a virgin and someday we'd fly on Virgin Atlantic to Wreck Beach where I'd photograph you sprawled naked on the sand before deflowering you. No, wait, you work Rupert Murdoch, what on earth was I thinking, how delusional I was.

John Palkovic said...

The first ever terrorist car bomb style attack occurred in NYC in September, 1920. The bomber was an Italian anarchist named Mario Buda. He drove a horse-drawn wagon packed with dynamite and iron slugs. The wagon was parked near Wall and Broad streets. The intended target was one J.P. Morgan. Morgan was not injured. He was in Scotland, hunting.

http://www.alternet.org/story/34862/the_poor_man%27s_air_force/

Subarna said...


web design round rock
round rock web design

Your Local web design company in Round Rock. www.atxwebdesigns.com We focus on Web Design & Development to help grow your business online by effective online marketing strategies. Building Websites That Build Business. Round Rock Web Design & Development and Online Marketing. Call me >>Phone: 512-994-0191

mana76445 said...

Nice answers in replace of the question with real point of view and explaining about that. great coffee