There's a great article in the forthcoming issue of The New Yorker. It takes a broad view of the city's bike wars with a sympathetic nod to the diverse bike communities there. So don't expect either the cagers or the Mayor (or the police for that matter) to come off very well. I'm posting the following excerpts. I've a sneaking suspicion that the author, Ben McGrath, read my Wikipedia contributions on Critical Mass, specifically The Situationists and Critical Mass, Parts I & II.
New York is by no means a bicycle haven, like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, or even San Francisco or Madison, Wisconsin, where cycling, despite hilly terrain, is three times as common as it is here. But a smaller proportion of New York residents own automobiles compared with any large city in the Western world, and the local bicycling movement now includes more than twenty groups, with names like Right of Way, FreeWheels, and Revolution Rickshaws, drawing inspiration from sources as varied as the French Situationist philosopher Guy Debord, the civil-rights leaders John Lewis and Hosea Williams, and the urban sociologist Jane Jacobs.
Their aims are at once specific (mandating bike storage at office buildings) and all-encompassing: Revolution Rickshaws, for instance, seeks in effect to create an entire pedal-based economy, offering “eco-responsible execution in people-moving services,” “rapid urban cargo transport,” and “outdoor marketing promotions,” through the use of pedicabs, tricycle rigs capable of carrying a thousand pounds of freight, and towable billboards.
You can check out the rest of the article here or with the URL embedded in the subtitle above.
The views and opinions expressed herein are not attributable to girlfriends and wives (old or new) to family, friends and colleagues (current or estranged), and to employers (pains-in-the-ass or otherwise).