Steering towards a co-existance

The nice weather yesterday gave me the urge to ride my bicycle. Mother Nature was pleasant and I always enjoy riding around the city, absorbing the street scene that the subway doesn't offer. I can't ask a bus driver to hold on a second while I explore a store that arouses curiosity, but my bike will not argue if it is locked up a little too long. This is one reason that the human-powered pedals are my favorite mode of transportation.

There is also the feeling one gets from helping to make for a better planet. Living in NYC, we get bombarded with ways to become green. TV commercials are always touting products that will use less energy. The subway is full of ads parading how public transportation reduces global warming. (Probably the only thing MTA has going for it right now.) The bike gives you that feeling, on top of the endorphins that are released during exercise.

What really stood out in my mind was not the good vibes from exercise or from being a good citizen of the earth. I was a bit frustrated, partly due to my lack of tools to fix a small problem. This was not the limit of my anger, though. The malfunction was very minute compared to a dangerous, possibly even lethal.

Last night, I found myself riding down Bedford Ave heading into Williamsburg. I noticed the many cars parked in or speeding thru the bike lane. Usually, I was the type who loved the adrenaline rush that would result. I would be the young punk who got a thrill from scaring the mess out of the unsuspecting pedestrian or driver. (Yup, I was that crazy!)

This was not the first time I witnessed this, nor did it surprise me. I did, however, recently have a conversation or two during the holidays about drivers frustrated with traffic. Some complained about the bike lanes but most agreed that they help make it safer for all. This makes me wonder, how does removing bike lanes in a neighborhood heavily used by those on a bike help the city? If New York City is to become the green city of the future it claims to be, why would it reduce the road access to cyclist?

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