Motor Scooters Redux

Further to Friday’s post, here’s more from Streetsblog on the recent moped motorcycle crash on the Manhattan Bride bike path:

It’s a decent report, and it’s worth reading (if you can stomach it) since it shows where New York City’s bicycle infrastructure is currently headed–though it is Streetsblog, so there’s still the obligatory excuse-making for the delivery workers and gratuitous reminder that cars are worse:

At this point it’s probably both unfair and pointless to focus entirely on delivery riders since all sorts of people are now using high-speed motorized contraptions in the bike lane, not just delivery people. Ultimately if the bike lanes are to remain safe for people on normal bikes it will require enforcement, which is a problem, since any relationship that may ever have existed between advocacy and the NYPD is completely broken. Obviously advocates’ deep frustration with the NYPD is justified in many ways, but at the same time they’re now like the customer who can never return to the local Starbucks because they threw an iced Frappucino in the barista’s face. Ironically, their only hope may be that the law-and-order set also hates illegal motor scooters:

Here’s the context for the “collector car,” by the way.

Of course each group hates illegal motor scooters in its own inimitable self-serving style (“It makes it scary to ride my bicycle!” “Third world-style crime!”), but it’s rare that something bothers the homeowners of Park Slope and Whitestone equally, so it could be that the city will have no choice but to do something–and by that I mean actually do something, not just declare a “climate emergency:”

I know at least some of you will find my pointing the following out to be irksome, but extreme heat in July in New York City is often a direct result of it being July in New York City, when you can historically count on it being what meteorologists call “hot as balls:”

Speaking of advocates and the NYPD, this is about as close as they come to a dialogue:

My guess is they tagged Streetsblog since it’s about not crashing your car into people and things and their beat is cars crashing into people and things, though it could also be because this is another subject advocates rarely address that nonetheless should be addressed. Like the motor scooters, stoned driving has become shockingly pervasive in New York City, and I remain annoyed that few people even want to consider it when discussing why the streets keep getting more dangerous. Instead, the current fashion is to blame big-ass cars:

I think driving big-ass cars in the city is dumb, and they sure ain’t helping anything, but over the past 20 years the biggest change I’ve noticed by far is not the vehicles people drive–it’s the way they drive them and the smells that come out of them. There’s sort of a “new recklessness” out there, and while I don’t discount my increasing age and concomitant fuddy-duddyness I can’t help thinking a lot of it is just phones and weed. If your bank kept making mistakes with your money and it started smelled strongly of weed in there you’d probably at least question their claims that it was due to a new computer system. Yet when it comes to “sharing” the road with drivers we’re not supposed to worry about how it literally reeks of weed while you’re riding through traffic now, instead it’s because the RAV4 has become more popular than the Camry.

Anyway, it’s not fashionable to look at cannabis as anything other than a panacea, so I’m sure we’ll keep blaming the cars. As for the motor scooters, I expect a helmet giveaway any day now. Because helmets fix everything.

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