We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

My Daily Scourge

By Keith Kloor
Mar 14, 2011 5:13 PMNov 20, 2019 5:26 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This NYT story of green nimbyism in some of the most liberal locales doesn't surprise me. Self interest often transcends noble principles. But the issue of bike lanes, which is one of the examples in the piece, is a complicated one for me. Let me first say that I'm a fan of bike lanes and I support them. But I've also come to loathe the behavior of many bicyclists. Here's why. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood not far from the one featured in the NYT story, and we've had a popular bike lane for years. It runs along a side road that also shares space with a bus route. This particular bike lane is quite busy with bikers during the morning rush hour because it links up with another bike lane on a main avenue that then provides pretty much a straight shot to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, which is the destination of the daily biker horde. Everyday when I walk my two small children to school I cross the exact street where these two bike lanes intersect. And everyday I have to be on high alert for bicyclists that don't stop at the red light when I'm crossing with my two little ones. Some stop at the red, but many others weave around pedestrians, barely braking. It makes me nuts. I have to admit that I've stifled the occasional urge to stick out my arm like a clothesline when some of these speedsters ignore the red light and zip past me and my kids. Some bike lane proponents have counseled patience:

The fact is that changing the fast-paced culture of New York is going to take time. As more people start making use of bike lanes, the average speed of cyclists is going to slow down, cycling is going to become safer, and both drivers and pedestrians are going to be more aware of the cyclists with whom they are increasingly sharing precious macadam. We just need to have a bit of patience.

I have not seen evidence of that in my neighborhood and my patience has worn thin. I still support bike lanes but I reserve the right to curse out those bicyclists that endanger the lives of my two boys during their daily walk to school.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.