The Revolt of the Masses
This sentence stood out for me in the recent New York magazine profile of Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC’s transpo commissioner, which waved that around that favorite cudgel “elite” to describe the commissioner’s “anti-car” plans — I’m not sure how the wealthier minority who commute daily in NYC’s streets suddenly became the “masses,” and the far greater number of people who walk, take the subway, etc., became the elite.
But perhaps most important, there’s her obsession with the bicycle. Even though cycling is up in the city—levels have doubled since 2000, according to the DOT—most New Yorkers see a bike as a luxury, or don’t have the space to store it, or live and work in places that do not make for a practical commute.
Hmmm. The bike as a luxury? A quick sift of Craigslist would net you a decent ride for $150 — a far cry from the $50,000-plus Escalades the oppressed masses are tooling up Eighth Avenue in, and probably a month’s worth of subway fares (which just went up).
On the “don’t have the space to store it” issue — I don’t get it. Since the issue here is taking away space from cars to give to pedestrians and cyclists, one has the space to store a car (using up some of the world’s most expensive real estate), but not a bike? One car parking space holds how many bikes?
And yes, most New Yorkers do in fact live in a place that has not made for a practical bike commute — New York. Isn’t that the whole impetus behind the commissioner’s vision?
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 9:52 am and is filed under Cars, Cities, Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.