Some people like cars, some people like bikes, some people like both. Since there is a limited amount of space on city streets, trade-offs have to be made. In making such trade-offs, a democratic polity should take into account the preferences of motorists, who happen to be far more numerous, as well as cyclists. That is all I am saying.
I see the Bloomberg administration’s aggressive pursuit of bike lanes and related alternatives as an almost radically pro-car position. If driving is to remain half as pleasant as Cassidy wants it to, it will only be because most New Yorkers decide against purchasing cars. And they’re only going to do that if the other options seem attractive.
Early in Cassidy’s piece, he recalls his bike trips of yore, where “part of the thrill was avoiding cabs and other vehicles” and the danger left him “shaking.” That’s fine for a hobbyist, but not for a commuter. If the walk is too long, biking is too dangerous and the subways and buses are inconvenient, then cars are the final answer. That means a world in which the roads are more clogged and Cassidy spends more time in traffic. I’ve seen that future and it’s called Los Angeles. New Yorkers should want no part of it.
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