Bloomberg Opposes Bikes on Subway

March 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

On his weekly radio program on Friday morning, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he opposed allowing commuters to bring bicycles onto subway cars, even if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority permits it.

“I know bicyclists will now ring the phones off the hook, but they are just too big, particularly at rush hour,” he said of the bikes.

“I just don’t think they should allow it,” he added.

It was an unexpected cycle screed from a mayor known as a vigorous champion of mass transportation and bicycle rights.

Indeed, the Bloomberg administration has created bike lanes across the city, many equipped with special traffic lights that flash green, yellow and red bike icons. In the process, the mayor has become a hero to “new urbanists” who wish to marginalize cars.

Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks came in the final minutes of his radio show on WOR-AM (710), which is hosted by John Gambling.

An excerpt from the mayor’s exchange with a caller named Joan is below:

Q: Yeah, hi, thanks for taking my call, Mr. Mayor. I was just wondering if anyone has ever looked at the possibility, or copied the example of Walt Disney World, to take the underground system that we already have and take it during non peak hours and try to create an income by turning that into a small package of some type of freight delivery system that could alleviate cars and trucks from Manhattan while creating an income?

A: There are messengers who do it. Some of them take their bikes, which drives me crazy, cause I’ve just never agreed with the M.T.A. I know bicyclists will now ring the phones off the hook, but they are just too big, particularly at rush hours — I just don’t think they should allow it. But I’m not running the M.T.A. …

The mayor, a regular subway rider, remains a devoted mass transportation advocate. In fact, during the radio show, he tweaked Mr. Gambling for driving to and from work every day.

“What about mass transportation?” he asked.

 

By Michael Barbaro
New York Times

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