WestView Letter June 2013: Bike Racks

Dear Editor,

A friend of mine recently told me of his immediate reaction to the bike racks: “My first and immediate impression of the new bike racks was their resemblance to the anti-tank barriers of the Siegfried line in Germany in WW II.” That the racks also look menacing is not inappropriate, since everyone I have spoken to in the West Village sees them as a disruption to our community and quality of life. They displace functions and space that are critical to our enjoyment of our City; and are a dangerous threat to pedestrians and drivers, since there are no bike lanes or spaces for them on many of our streets –—– especially cobblestone-paved. To have such an unworkable plan imposed on us without our agreement is reckless, and lacks foresight. Street cleaning, garbage and snow removal will now become more difficult. Why didn’t we have a referendum vote? Are we also trying to eliminate the rights of citizens?

In addition, how did Citi-bike get the monopoly on bike rentals? It seems that when running for office, candidates try to convince us they want to serve the public. Once elected, they serve us as a sacrifice to power groups. Since bikes appear to have such prominence as a mode of transportation, it only seems right that they should be held

to a standard similar to motor vehicles: be a registered bicyclist with the City; license renewal;mandatory accident insurance; and fined for traffic violations, including riding on sidewalks. Did anyone suggest doing this on a small scale as a trial test? Or, was the project’s success viewed as a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps a wandering band of cheerleaders could sell the idea! Any other suggestions? Yes; removing them would bean esthetic improvement. It appears that the motto of our elected officials is as follows: “The more insane the idea, the greater the chance of implementation.”

Dr. D. Karl Davis
12th Street Resident

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