Are you at least marginally interested in cycling and have been online in the last seven days? Chances are you’ve already seen this video. Chances are you’ve seen it even if you aren’t even marginally interested in cycling. Frustrated after receiving a $50 fine for riding his bicycle outside of the designated bicycle lane, Casey Neistat decided to turn over a new leaf and follow the rules of the road, crashing into all manner of obstacles in the process. In New York City, cycling in bicycle lanes exclusively is not practical, so does Casey deserve his fine?
The New York Police Department’s ability to be pedantic does not stop there. On May 3rd, Dutch tourist Jasmijn Rijcken was pulled over for wearing a skirt that was too short. The risk in this instance was that Jasmijn’s pins could distract New York’s drivers. A real concern and a worthy use of police time, I’m sure we all can agree.
It’s not just the police who seem to be overreacting to cyclists. Back in March we saw reports that residents of a Brooklyn street had filed a lawsuit against the city’s Transportation Department demanding the removal of a two-lane bicycle path. Concerns cited include frustration at the loss of a lane for automobiles, and the danger of opening doors of parked cars as cyclists pass by.
Casey Neistat is not happy. Jasmijn Rijcken, who as a resident of the Netherlands was probably on a bicycle before she could walk, is perplexed. So New York City, what gives? Is this reaction to urban bicycle use really justifiable?