Top 10 Reasons Sen. Chuck Schumer Opposes Bike Lanes

Tom BowdenTom Bowden is a bike commuter from Richmond VA, a “suit” – a corporate lawyer with an MBA, and a conservative – You betcha! He is also a board member of BikeWalk Virginia, a pro cycling and pedestrian group in Virginia that raises raises money to promote cycling, walking and active lifestyles. Tom’s lawyerly blogging can be found at

Everyone knows that liberals love bike lanes, right? So Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) must be the exception that proves that rule. It has recently come to light, that Sen. Schumer has a particular dislike for these popular, low-cost modifications of existing infrastructure. It seems he and his wife have been pulling strings and meeting behind closed doors, off the record and not for attribution, with the ultimate goal of rolling back some of NYC’s controversial bike lanes, in particular, the one that runs down Prospect Park West, and right past their front door.

Unfortunately, we were not privy to the details of those conversations, but here are the top 10 Reasons why Sen. Schumer might detest bike lanes:

Sen. Charles Schumer
Bikes as art? Yes. Fund the NEA! Bikes as transportation? Not in my back yard.
  1. Limousine can’t pull up the curb, requiring extra walking of at least three steps per day.
  2. That darn Ray LaHood likes them, and he’s a Republican, therefore Schumer must hate them.
  3. No place for limo driver to stand while he holds the door open.
  4. One of those crazy cyclists could crash into the limo door! Do you know how hard it is to get blood stains out of Connolly leather?
  5. They just don’t cost enough to justify holding Senate hearings.
  6. Bikes are just too quiet – can’t fall asleep without the peaceful sounds of taxis and trucks and horns blaring all night long.
  7. Traffic-related injuries are down and overall population health increasing. If this trend continues, it will be that much harder to save Obamacare.
  8. Haven’t yet figured out a way to impose CAFE fuel efficiency standards – there’s really no way to effectively regulate the darn things. (Not that his wife, Iris Weinshall, isn’t trying.)
  9. That bike lane in front of the Schumer residence is precisely where the new moat was going to go.
  10. The most dangerous place in New York is a bike lane… between Sen. Schumer and a microphone.

Ted Johnson contributed to this article (the parts that didn’t make you mad).

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25 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons Sen. Chuck Schumer Opposes Bike Lanes”

  1. FellowRichmonder says:

    Wow, that has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read on this blog. Go back to writing for the Fox News Half-Hour News Hour.

  2. Chrehn says:

    …ohhhh…. Those doggone hippy, liberal, commie, en-vi-ro-mental-ist, bleeding’ heart, illegal-immigrant lovin’, demoncratz! We are the worst kind!

  3. Tom Bowden says:

    Well harrumph to you too! Do you not find it the least bit ironic that this paragon of liberal thought and rectitude is just a little selective in the application of democratic dogma? Are blue-state brahmins off limits?
    Anyway – sorry to disappoint – I’ll keep on trying though, at least until Rupert calls and offers me a slot following O’Reilly.

  4. Brooklyn loves dat bike lane says:

    Thanks for the top-10 list… yes, for our dear Senator, the Prospect Park bike lane is to close to home. I guess it pushes his NIMFY (front yard) button. For the humble bike-riding public, it is a wonderful luxury to be able to ride somewhere in NYC without worrying about getting doored or trucked. Honest-to-dog, I feel like I’m on vacation somewhere when I’m on that bike lane.

  5. Josh King says:

    Good stuff. Chuck Schumer is on the wrong side of a lot of issues these days (internet regulation, financial system reform), and I guess we can add bike lanes to that list. Interesting that his wife is one of those ninnies who think bike licenses are a good idea.

  6. Charles Bartlett says:

    Or maybe the Senator, being a bike commuter and all, has some legitimate reasons for opposing bike lanes. I know I do.
    Wouldn’t it be great if those were published here? I think it would be much more informative than taking lame pot-shots at left-leaning politics.

  7. Ted Johnson says:

    I speculate that, without Bowden’s conservative bio at the top, this post would not be perceived as a partisan swipe, and would instead be taken for what it is: a snarked-up criticism of Sen. Schumer.

  8. Jake Munson says:

    I’m with Ted. This post (especially the top 10 list) was obviously meant to be humor. Would you guys also take a Dave Letterman Top 10 list seriously?

  9. Marty Mathis says:

    My only issue with Mr. Bowden, is that he needs to post more often.

  10. Paul S. says:

    “Traffic-related injuries are down and overall population health increasing. If this trend continues, it will be that much harder to save Obamacare.”

    I can see the t-shirt now:

    “Stop Obamacare; ride a bike!”

    Despite being a fan of Obamacare, I might just have to buy that one.

  11. Tom Bowden says:

    Thanks Marty – I will remind Ted from time to time as necessary. And let’s have no more articles on fenders! (at least until I feel like writing one)

    Meanwhile, have a gander at this article from across the pond. Yes NYC’s bike lane brawl is the subject of international scrutiny, and it appears that sources like the Economist (no right-wing rag by any means) and the Guardian (Unabashedly self described as “left of centre”) have come out on the side of Sadik-Khan and the bike lanes.

    If nothing else I think this proves my overarching point that not all conservatives are anti-bike, and by no means are all liberals and democrats truly pro-bike, or above pushing an anti-bike agenda based on thinly disguised and narrow self interest.

  12. Tom Bowden says:

    I meant to add:

    Meanwhile, the New York Times, self proclaimed “newspaper of record” resorts to “hatchet job” reporting (as described by the Guardian). Is the Times so blindly pro-Schumer/Weinshall that it has departed from its vaunted standards – like the ones that led it to publish the Pentagon Papers? Apparently so.

  13. Tom Bowden says:

    Paul – What scares me is that if Obamacare passes the constitutional challenges, we might all be required to buy T-Shirts that say “Save Obamacare! Drive a Car!” (i.e. an individual mandate)

  14. Jack says:

    Everyone needs a moat.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  15. FellowRichmonder says:

    Ted Johnson:
    Without the partisan bio at the top, it still wouldn’t be funny.

    So this tidbit about Schumer is new to me, and I would like to learn more about it. I would hope someone blogging about the situation would get to the core of the issue (Why do Sen. and Mrs. Schumer oppose this bike lane in Prospect Park? Could it be anything other than NIMBYism?), rather than a hackneyed can’t-make-a-toddler-giggle top ten list. I guess details don’t matter when you have the chance to sneer at someone you regard as the enemy.

  16. Tom Bowden says:

    FellowRichmonder – When it comes to sneerage, no one can top the liberals, e.g. Olberman, Maddow, and dare I say it Wiener. Lighten up. If I am not funny to you, that’s OK too. I make myself laugh enough for both of us. Since you acknowledge that your comments are not based on any actual familiarity with the PPW bike lane history, if you will follow the links in my post and in my comments, you can learn all there is to know about the Weinshall/Schumer/NBBL anti-bike lane cabal, but unfortunately what you will not find is a principled and transparent rationale for why this clearly popular (at the neighborhood level) and extensively studied project is worth the court’s time.

  17. FellowRichmonder says:

    You don’t know my politics. I’m not making an argument from politics. MSNBC has nothing to do with this.

    I’ve read your linked articles, and so I’m a little more informed about the situation now. My position still hasn’t changed, I would enjoy reading a blog post about the reasons behind Sen. and Mrs. Schumer’s opposition to these bike lanes. Your articles have confirmed that yes, they are indeed opposed, but do not state WHY.

    Maybe it’s a deficiency of my own imagination, but I can’t picture real-life people twisting their mustaches and planning how they could look most hypocritical to conservatives who are generally embarrassed by their own party’s position on bicycle issues.

  18. Tom Bowden says:

    Fellow Richmonder – I’d like to know why they are opposed too – I’m not buying the double-talk they have put out so far.

  19. Ted Johnson says:

    I think I can resolve this.

    Explaining this article will not make it any funnier. It will likely suck all of the funny out if and in doing so prove FellowRichmonder right.

    So here I go.

    One point of this article is to show that liberals can also be on the “wrong” side cycling issues from time to time. (Where Tom and I agree, I think, is that it is “wrong” to continue to privilege only one kind of user of streets that all users pay for.)

    Another point is that Schumer has not stated his reasons for opposing the bike lanes (at least not that we’ve seen), leaving himself vulnerable to speculation such as this.

    I’d be happy if someone could show that Schumer somewhere has explained his counter-intuitive rationale where in the end it is better for cycling not to have a bike lane pass in front of his house.

    Some people thought this list was funny. FellowRichmonder was not among them. Debating it in the comments section, in my estimation, has about a zero percent chance of getting FellowRichmonder to finally get the humor, and about a zero percent chance of convincing those who liked this piece to realize how foolish they were to find it funny.

    You see, I’ve been around the Internet for awhile now, and perhaps I’m jaded. But knock yourselves out, boys, and try and prove me wrong.

  20. BluesCat says:

    Boy, have I had a GREAT time just standing over here, lurking, watching all the comments. As always, things have died down a bit, so it’s time for me to stoke the fires a bit.

    Here are MY numbered points:

    10. Tom’s post IS meant to be humorous.
    9. Ted and Jake are right, it IS humorous.
    8. Ted is right, almost EVERYBODY will one day be on the wrong side of an issue (except for the BluesCat … the Ol’ Cat is ALWAYS right, even if he’s on the wrong side).
    7. Ted and Charles are right, Schumer hasn’t clarified whether he is against ALL bike lanes, or just SOME bike lanes; this is typical of ALL politicians … they’ll only clarify their positions when they HAVE to because they’re about to get voted/thrown out of office (except for Ex-U.S. Rep Weiner; him I’m STILL not clear about).
    6. Paul is right, we need that T-shirt.
    5. Chrehn is right. Dude! We need to stick it to The Man!
    4. FellowRichmonder? Hmmm, I dunno, ya need to lighten up and read number 5, above.
    3. Josh and Tom are right, Schumer’s wife is an idiot.
    2. Brooklyn is right, and y’all will remember why this true the first time you head out your front door and shout “HEY! You kids! GET OFFA MY LAWN!”

    And the number one point I have to make is something at which all of Tom’s Top 10 hint, but I’ll bet even HE missed when he posted: The Super Rich Don’t Understand Bicycles. In the U.S., bicycles will always be viewed as transportation for the lower class masses, NOT for the real movers and shakers.

  21. Velotex says:

    It’s a darn shame that a US senetor doesn’t condone cycling in New york City. Im sure that the above mentioned reasons were made up, but I would love to know the real reasons why Sen. Schumer does not cycling. I think bike lanes in NYC will be a brilliant idea. The city is already congested to the point that traffic is a NIGHTMARE! Maybe the inhabitants of NYC should sign a petition against Sen. Schumer’s campaign. This substantiates why I think liberals are totally crazy! Great article though!

  22. BluesCat says:

    Velotex – Liberals may well be totally crazy (The Cat leans liberal, and Mrs. Cat would TOTALLY agree with you on this point), but they are the majority of proponents of bicycling infrastructure.

    Bicycling proponent Tom Bowden, bless his little suit-bound heart, is very much the minority on the side of the aisle which believes you can’t BE ‘merican unless you’re right handed.

    1. Ted Johnson says:

      BluesCat: Velotex, bless his South African heart, probably doesn’t really understand American politics. He’s just wanting that ever-lovin’ link from his name to his Web site.

      I almost marked that comment as spam, but I let it slide because, unlike 99% of the comment spam we get at CbB, he actually made half an effort to read the post and write a relevant comment.

  23. BluesCat says:

    Ted – Ha! I hadn’t even followed Velotex’s name link to his web site before your post.

    But all the time I was reading his post, and crafting my response, I had a big, CHESHIRE BluesCat grin on my face and was thinking “THIS guy is probably one of those Lycra-wearing, shaved-legged pansy racing types who wouldn’t know how to ride a commute any distance at all without a Mercedes M-Class following about ten yards behind him as a SAG!”

    Nice to see I was SPOT ON!

  24. Casey says:

    The Econimist is definitely a right wing mag, but they aren’t as partisan as any of the ones here in the U.S.

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