Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Grinds My Gears: NYC Bikers

Dear NYC bikers/cyclists,

Let me take you through my typical commute to work. It starts off fine: I walk to the subway station just one block away and get through the turnstiles quickly, thanks to my unlimited Metrocard. Then I find out that I have to wait somewhere between 6 and 8 minutes for my subway to come. In case you didn't know, that's a long time for New Yorkers, especially when the subway tunnels in the summertime are about 115 degrees (and that's freaking HOT at 9:30 in the morning!). When the subway finally arrives, I have to squeeze in and hope I find something I can hold on to, since the amount of people waiting for the subway quadrupled in the 6-8 minutes it took for the subway to arrive. By the time I get to my stop, I'm hot, tired, anxious, and running late for work. All I want is to get my coffee and arrive at my air-conditioned office.

Now that I'm out of the subway tunnels, all I need to do is walk a few blocks and avenues to get to Guy and Gallard, where the coffee guy greets me and gets me my medium french vanilla iced coffee without hesitation. However, the few blocks and avenues I have to walk are much more of a hassle than they should be. I understand having to wait for cars to pass: after all, it is New York. However, as soon as the "walk" symbol comes up, I'm going to walk and I expect the cars to stop.

Now, on to the point of this post: bikers. New York bikers: the rules of the road apply to you too. Just because you are not a car does not mean you can go whenever you please. When the cars stop, it does not mean you can keep going. If the "walk" symbol is up, people like me are going to walk. Yes, getting hit by a car would be awful, but I promise you, getting hit by a bike wouldn't be a picnic either. That would hurt. A lot. Please be a little more courteous.

Oh, and if you are one of those bikers who brings their bike on the subway... what's up with that? You have a bike for a reason. Please refrain from taking up the limited subway space, especially during rush hour.