The following is an open letter to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (from the Daily News).
Dear Ms. Commissioner:
We invite you to take a walk across the Manhattan Bridge today so you might understand why so many New Yorkers - even reasonable New Yorkers - are so dead-set against your bike lanes.
As you know, two lanes of the bridge are dedicated to people rather than to vehicles: one on the north side, one on the south side. In July, you rerouted all bike traffic to the south, reserving the north for pedestrians. This was done to accommodate repairs. And it was done with clarity. Bright orange signs tell bikers to go one way and pedestrians another.
But you will see that bikers are illiterate, blind or merely - this is our guess - oblivious to all man-made law. They zoom along the pedestrian side of the bridge as if it were the last leg of the Tour de France. And pity the pedestrian who slows them down.
They ring their bells. They shake their heads in disgust. They curse out the family from Japan trying to take in the East River view. They flip the bird at the working stiff from Brooklyn who's trying to burn off a few calories on the way home from the daily grind.
What use have bikers for signs, regulations or restrictions? Walk across the mighty Manhattan, Ms. Commissioner, and you will see that you have loosed upon New York a two-wheeled army run entirely amok. We're so terrified of these Cannondale-mounted maniacs that we fear getting out of our cars.
All the best.