Back in January, a bike lane brouhaha broke out between cyclists and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â At that time, the Hasids simply blocked bicycle lanes with the school buses and put up illegal detour signs.
This time, they’ve managed to get the city to sandblast the bike lanes on Bedford Avenue into oblivion.Ã‚Â Why?Ã‚Â Seems their religious laws prohibit them viewing members of the opposite sex in various states of undress, and you know how we cyclists like to wear tight clothes (whether it’s hipster skinny jeans or spandex) and *gasp* shorts and tanks/t-shirts in the summer!
Coincidentally *laugh* the bike lane removal came just before elections, apparently an effort to appease the community.
Shortly after the DOT removed the lanes, cyclists rolled in and started repainting them, and in our opinion they should.Ã‚Â While I’m all for religion, it shouldn’t be allowed to alter the landscape or govern political action simply because its members can’t avert their gaze from a public street.Ã‚Â And the NYPD should be enforcing the parking laws, which would prevent the opposers from routinely and completely blocking the bike lanes by parking diagonally across them.
The Bedford Ave. bike lanes and streets provide a direct route to the Williamsburg Bridge, and the 14 blocks of now-missing bike lanes between Flushing and Division avenues are something cyclists want back.
So, like the antics carried out over the Kent lanes late last year, local cyclists are performing a mock funeral procession this Sunday, December 13.Ã‚Â The event is put together by Times Up! and starts at 2pm at the Brooklyn side entrance of the Williamsburg Bridge.Ã‚Â And oh yes, there will be clowns.
Catch some video of the covert guerilla repainting of the bike lanes after the break…
The Hasids have been quoted as saying the bike lanes also pose a safety threat to neighborhood children as they cross streets and exit school buses.Ã‚Â Maybe, but here’s a thought:Ã‚Â Teach the kids to look both ways before crossing the street (Heck, my son knew that by age 3!), and let them ride a bike to school.Ã‚Â Problem solved.
Presumably, you’ll also enjoy some of the thoughts about this presented on FreeThinker.