I found the bike lane sign above on Willoughby. The sign was uprooted and laying on the ground, and it represented how little people care about cyclists in this city.
A reader disturbed by the recent bicycle fatalities in Brooklyn and Manhattan wrote to me bringing up some issues that have been bothering me regarding cycling in Brooklyn. As someone who relies on a bike to get around the neighborhood, I’m shaken each time I hear about a cyclist’s unnecessary death. Cycling is great for your health (or, it is when you’re not mowed down by an SUV or when someone takes the time to look before opening their car door) and it’s good for the environment, so why aren’t Brooklyn neighborhoods (beyond Williamsburg) more bicycle friendly? I’ve come close to getting hit so many times in Bed-Stuy, simply because drivers are not paying attention to driving or they just don’t expect someone to be actually using the bike lane. Sometimes it can be very frustrating.
I’m not asking for a completely protected bike lane like the one on 9th Avenue in Manhattan. I mean, it sounds great and it protects cyclists, but what does it do to change drivers’ perceptions about cyclists’ rights to use the road? Nothing. Besides, they’re not building any of those special bike lanes in Bed-Stuy. So for all of you cyclists out there, what can we do to raise bike consciousness in our area so that riding your bike does not guarantee brush with death or a trip to the morgue?