New York City Bike Wars

This new video from EcoMobilityTV follows some of the debate around the recent increase in the numbers of bike commuters in New York City. While many are thrilled by all of the new cycling infrastructure, and the large numbers of new bike commuters, not everybody is happy. This video shows some of the debate on the topic from the perspective of drivers and cyclists, alike. It seems to be representative of how people in many cities feel.


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6 thoughts on “New York City Bike Wars”

  1. Ted Johnson says:

    I had two problems with this video. First, it’s very one sided. Second, it repeats the Fox News “war” framing.

    Here’s my comment on this video from Commute by Bike:

    Here we go again. The framing of new cycling policies and infrastructure in New York as a war. This time it„s cycling advocates regurgitating this unhelpful construct. It„s in the form of a slickly produced video from EcoMobility. The cycling advocates in this video are attractive and well-spoken. In the other corner, representing the anti-cyclist position, is one hostile and inarticulate cab driver filmed from behindœpresumably surreptitiously.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Please stick to the informative and nonjudgmental posts about cycling, e.g. “Search and Rescue Bike Services,” instead of regurgitating random videos from the interwebs.

    1. Ted – I very much agree with your comments, and sorry I missed the link to your post!

      Jonathan – Is it that you don’t like this video in particular or the videos we post in general? We have been regularly posting videos on our site since it was launched over a year and a half ago in the video section.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Melanie, I like the B-share videos and others of that ilk; the advocacy videos have two problems: one, I see them via twitter first, and two, they’re not about utility cycling, but about advocacy issues tangentially related to cycling.

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you for explaining your position. I must respectfully disagree and argue that advocacy is very much a part of utility cycling. Our conception of utility is related to ways in which a bicycle can be used. So in this sense, a bicycle can be used for advocacy just as much as it can be used for say, search and rescue.

      In this conception, utility cycling is a very broad tag, under which we do feel advocacy is a part, although just one part, of course. I do agree that some of the videos we post are certainly better than others. However, what we are trying to do with the videos is to give viewers a sense of the broad scope of what we consider to be utility cycling.

      I urge you to check out our first post on defining utility cycling to get a sense of the scope of how we view the idea. Thanks for bringing this up!

  4. Max says:

    Ted, I have to disagree with you. First, the “war” framing is not simply an unhelpful Fox News construct. I live in New York, and believe me it is a war. Even liberal commentators describe it as a war: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-petro/the-bike-lane-wars_b_538040.html. I don’t think the framing is unhelpful. I think it may just mobilize people who are in support of bike lanes. If the cycling community doesn’t act, the bike lanes can disappear. It’s happening in Toronto.

    Second, the fact that this is one sided is beyond obvious, but that’s not a bad thing. I may just be seeing this differently, but I see an art piece with a position (it has special effects, after all). That’s why, I think, it doesn’t have to claim objectivity. Besides, there is no such thing as objectivity.

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