HASID LUST CAUSE CULTURE CLASH
OVER SEXY CYCLISTS
By RICH CALDER
Posted: 3:47 am
September 12, 2008
It's the Hasids vs. the hotties in a Brooklyn bike war.
Leaders of South Wil liamsburg's Hasidic community said yesterday that bike lanes that bring scantily clad cyclists - especially sexy women - peddling through their neighborhood are definitely not kosher.
The red-faced religious sect is calling on city officials to eliminate the car-free lanes on Wythe and Bedford avenues, and to delay construction of a new one planned for Kent Avenue.
The existing, one-way lanes are popular with North Williamsburg hipsters - many who ride in shorts or skirts.
The temporary lane planned for Kent Avenue would be a precursor to a 14-mile greenway stretching from Newtown Creek in Greenpoint to Sunset Park.
Hasids are forbidden from looking at members of the opposite sex who aren't fully dressed, said local activist Isaac Abraham.
Weisser and other Hasids said during a Sept. 8 community-board meeting that the lanes on Bedford and Wythe avenues should be eliminated if the neighborhood has to accept being part of the greenway.
The issue of dress - or lack of it - wasn't brought up at the meeting. Weisser and the other Hasids instead complained publicly about bike lanes allegedly causing parking problems and traffic congestion.
Taxi drivers and other critics said that it would never work, but three weeks after Paris was sprinkled with 10,000 self-service bicycles, the scheme is proving a triumph and a new pedalling army appears to be taming the city’s famously fierce traffic.
Bertrand Delano�, the city’s mayor, and his green-minded administration are jubilant at the gusto with which Parisians and visitors have taken to the heavy grey cycles that have been available at 750 ranks since July 15.
Nowhere is the project being watched with greater interest than in London as the city prepares for London Freewheel day next month, when miles of roads will be car-free for the day. After witnessing first-hand the ease with which Parisians have taken to pedalling, Ken Livingstone, the Mayor, has asked Transport for London to develop a similar plan for London and bring together several smaller schemes across the city.
In Paris there have been few teething troubles with the high-tech system that supplies the bikes for up to €1 per half-hour — but one is a result of residents using them to glide downhill to work and then taking public transport home, resulting in gluts of bikes at some low-level stands and shortages at higher altitude stations, such as Montmartre.
Day to Day, February 6, 2007 · It's the latest, coolest thing in pedal-powered transportation: Bikes with no gears and no brakes. You'll find them on city streets from New York to San Francisco, mostly in the company of young, rugged-looking bicyclists.
Take a close look at Vincent Betette's bicycle, for instance. Betette is a bike messenger in Washington, D.C. He rides a sleek machine that is stripped down to the bare essentials: Two wheels on a light steel frame with curving handlebars of bare metal. There are no cables, and no gears — and there's no coasting, either. This is a "fixed-gear" bike; if the wheels are turning, the pedals have to turn too, the way bicycles worked 100 years ago.
By DAVID POMERANTZ
Special to the Sun
July 24, 2007
For years, community leaders in the Upper East and West sides have been complaining about deliverymen who ride bicycles on sidewalks, run red lights, and generally menace pedestrians.
"The cyclists hit people left and right and just keep on going," the president of the 20th Police Precinct community council on the Upper West Side, Sam Katz, said. Ms. Katz and other leaders are counting on a new law that takes effect Thursday to help address the problem. The law, passed in March, requires restaurant managers to provide their deliverymen with safety equipment such as helmets, bells, and headlights. It also obliges restaurant managers to hang up posters — written in both English and the language spoken by the deliverymen — outlining the rules of the road for cyclists.
Deliverymen on bicycles irk residents on the Upper West Side so much that they are the no. 1 complaint heard by the 20th Precinct there, Lieutenant Biagio Carbone said.
In the first week of a rental program, officials report 45,000 rides and counting.
By Marjorie Miller, Times Staff Writer
July 22, 2007
PARIS - The Tour de France hasn't arrived yet, but the bicycles have. Paris is awash in two-wheelers, thousands of taupe bicycles that are part of a plan by City Hall to get people out of their cars and onto more eco-friendly transportation.
The bicycle rental service still has some kinks to work out, but the first week of the Velib program was a big hit with Parisians. City Hall reported 45,000 rentals a day and counting.
"It's superb," said IT engineer Olivier Lemaitre, 35, who rode a bike from Les Invalides on the left bank of the Seine to La Madeleine on the right. "I used to come by Metro, but it's better to be outside."
"It's healthier and the weather is beautiful," science writer Sophie Antoine, 29, said, taking her purse out of the metal basket on the front of the bike.
A New French Revolution's Creed: Let Them Ride Bikes
By KATRIN BENNHOLD
PARIS, July 15 - About a dozen sweaty people pedaled bicycles up the Champs-Élysées on Sunday toward the Arc de Triomphe, as onlookers cheered.
These were not the leading riders of the Tour de France racing toward the finish line, but American tourists testing this city's new communal bike program.
"I'm never taking the subway again," said a beaming Justin Hill, 47, a real estate broker from Santa Barbara, Calif.
More than 10,600 of the hefty gray bicycles became available for modest rental prices on Sunday at 750 self-service docking stations that provide access in eight languages. The number is to grow to 20,600 by the end of the year.
The program, Vélib (for "vélo," bicycle, and "liberté," freedom), is the latest in a string of European efforts to reduce the number of cars in city centers and give people incentives to choose more eco-friendly modes of transport.
"This is about revolutionizing urban culture," said Pierre Aidenbaum, mayor of Paris's trendy third district, which opened 15 docking stations on Sunday. "For a long time cars were associated with freedom of movement and flexibility. What we want to show people is that in many ways bicycles fulfill this role much more today."
Users can rent a bike online or at any of the stations, using a credit or debit card and leave them at any other station.
Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogata, Columbia, addresses the issue of rapid transit. Penalosa describes his experience implementing TransMilenio, the world's model bus rapid transit system that moves over one million people a day. Over 20 percent of the system's riders have switched from driving cars to making the same trips via TransMilenio. Event presented by the Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and Breakthrough Technologies Institute.
-The Department of Transportation's recently announced streetscape renovation at the Bedford Avenue L subway station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is unprecedented. The project marks the first time ever in New York City that car parking spaces have been removed to make way for bicycle parking, according to Transportation Alternatives' Noah Budnick....
September 24, 2006
By STEVEN KURUTZ
PAUL FORD, a soft-spoken, sturdily built 32-year-old who works as an editor at Harper’s Magazine, sometimes describes his commute between his apartment in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and his office on Broadway near Bond Street as feeling “like a video game, except you can get killed.”
And in fact, watching Mr. Ford weave through the city’s traffic-clogged streets one recent morning, pedaling steadily atop his black and gray Fuji Sanibel cruiser, called to mind a two-wheeled, life-and-death version of the 80’s arcade game Frogger.