BSNYC Friday Heated Discussion About Lawn Bowling!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the City Council has asked the NYPD to explain why drivers who run down cyclists and pedestrians seldom face criminal charges.  I also mentioned the fact that New York City cyclists received something like three times as many Criminal Court summonses as truck drivers.  Subsequently, a reader left the following comment:

Anonymous said...

Great use of statistics there. A higher number of citations surely indicates discrimination, not surprising since we all know that NY cops are a bunch of bicycle hating, uneducated cretins from uncool parts of the city like Queens and the Bronx. We're just a bunch of victims (the model du jour: what better way to build cohesiveness in a group?).

Why not look at something more meaningful like rates of infractions and then see how we stack up? Compare the total number of citations issued to the actual number of violations per day or per vehicle mile. Are we still victims of an unfair city? I doubt it. I don't see a whole lot of trucks going the wrong way on a street or running lights. Bikes on the other hand.

February 17, 2012 3:59 AM

Clearly this reader doesn't live in my uncool part of New York City, where trucks, cars, motorcycles and buses run lights regularly and motor vehicles of all kinds salmon with impunity.  (Yes, I consider driving 30mph in reverse for an entire block to be "salmoning.")  As far as comparing "rates of infractions," this is ultimately meaningless, since the absurdity of subjecting a lawbreaking cyclist and a lawbreaking truck driver to exactly the same penalty is precisely the point.  When you get hit by a cyclist running a light you break a nail, but when you get hit by a truck running a light you wind up as part of the crosswalk.

Still, it's essential that we treat cyclists and drivers exactly the same way.  Why?  Because maintaining the illusion that drivers and cyclists are equal is the key to making sure that they stay unequal, and it ensures that anything that happens to you when you're on a bike remains your fault--or at least not the driver's fault.  As long as they keep telling you to act like a car, then that means it's OK when you get hit by a car, despite the enormous disparity between the machines and your utter lack of sheet metal.  What's the difference between a door ding and a dead cyclist in most of America?  Technically nothing--in fact, you're probably worse off if you give someone a door ding.  Sometimes, equality is the greatest iniquity.

Meanwhile, from England, I've received numerous emails concerning the Bristol bus driver who attacked a cyclist with his bus:

After watching the video, I'd ask the commenter above which vehicle he'd rather get hit by: a bus, or a Brompton?

Then again, I do hear Bromptons can be tricky to unfold:

Yes, I've posted that video before, but I enjoy few things more than watching people struggling with folding bikes.

And now, I present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you're right, and if you're wrong you'll see the fabled recumbent trike episode of "The Price is Right."

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and happy folding.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) Early season pro cycling action!!!  Who's winning the Tour of Oman?


2) What is this rider doing?

--Making the "tiny pee-pee" sign
--Playing the world's smallest violin
--Checking his wrist mirror
--Crushing your head

3) In a pilot program slated to begin this spring, Bank of America will introduce 15 mobile ATM trikes to the streets of Portland, OR.


4) Now you can text while walking or cycling, thanks to the new:

--"Voice Navigation" app
--"Transparent Screen" app
--"Seeing Eye Dog" app
--Wrist mirror

5) "These fools be _______."

--Rushing in where angels fear to tread

6) What is this person doing?

--Crawling out of a bathtub
--Being a shill
--Showing the world his giant chicken ass
--All of the above

7) These bikes are violent torpedoes of death.


***Special Stupidity-Themed Bonus Question***

(America: Where stupidity is Supersize.)

There's regular stupid, and then there's American stupid.*

*[Please note right answer contains foul language in addition to stupid language.]


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