Purim In Kislev? Williamsburg Bicycle Clowns Defend Kent Street Lane

(Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 01:25 PM)

c3.jpgA¬†group of cycling clowns rode along Kent Street in Williamsburg today to protest what they call a growing “anti-bike sentiment in Brooklyn.” Organized by “Times Up”, the ride was a response of sorts to vocal community opposition to the bike lane, which some residents and business owners blame for a sudden dearth of parking. Last month Chasidic Jews in the largely Satmar section of South Williamsburg vowed to protest the bike lane by blocking traffic on Kent.

So today the clowns came out “to comically draw attention to the serious danger faced by cyclists without safe, protected bike lanes.” Blasting music from a boom box, they distributed information in English and Yiddish to educate bike lane opponents about the importance of the new lane, which will eventually become part of a separate bike path connecting North and South Brooklyn. In a press release, bike lane clown Benjamin Shepard declared, “An injury to one bike lane, is an injury to all bike lanes. Enforced, protected bike lanes save cyclists lives, improve the landscape and make better use of public space for most of the community.”

c2.jpgThe following is a press release from “Times Up”:

Ads By Artscroll:

On Wednesday, December 17th, the Time’s Up! Bicycle Clowns will ride to defend the new bike lane and future greenway connector in Williamsburg. The Bicycle Clowns will also be kicking off their year-long “Love Your Lanes” campaign to keep the focus on protecting and celebrating bike lanes.

A small but vocal group is spreading anti-bike sentiment in Brooklyn at a time when non-polluting transportation is on the rise in NYC and is recognized as essential to a sustainable future. Bike lane opponents, including some members of the Hasidic community who protest cyclists’ “immodesty,” along with Council Members Diana Reyna and David Yassky and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, are trying to remove the newly installed Kent Street bike lane. Some opponents have even publicly threatened to illegally block the bike lanes with their private-school buses, which will force cyclists into traffic to avoid crashing into the obstructing vehicle and risk being struck and even killed.

c1.jpg“An injury to one bike lane, is an injury to all bike lanes,” declares bike lane clown Benjamin Shepard. “Enforced, protected bike lanes save cyclists lives, improve the landscape and make better use of public space for most of the community.”

The Bike Clowns will ride on Kent Street and clear the bike lane of motor vehicles so that the bike lane is safe for cyclists commuting to work. The Bicycle Clowns will use theater to comically draw attention to the serious danger faced by cyclists without safe, protected bike lanes. They will educate bike lane opponents that removing bike lanes only encourages more people to drive, which further clogs our city’s streets and taxes our country’s oil resources.

“Safe, accessible bike lanes help us re-imagine our city’s future with far less dependence on motorized travel,” bike lane clown Madeline Nelson said.

(Gothamist / YWN Desk – NYC)

Ads By Israel Book Shop:

7 Comments

  1. Flatbush Bubby says:

    They have to be anti-semites to want to do something like this.

  2. WolfishMusings says:

    Flatbush bubby,

    Congrats! It only took one post before someone yelled “antisemite!” at an issue that, when looked at from a non-frum POV (and possibly even from a frum POV), is perfectly legitimate.

    The Wolf

  3. Gerald Ostrovsky says:

    Hey Flatbush Bubby,
    I consider these Haredim anti American. Quite frankly they have no right to demand
    that these lanes be dismantled. They don’t own the area. They have no problem mooching off the government in every which way but when the government decides on something they don’t agree with, they shrei chai vekayom. Listen here grandma. Very soon if you continue this koo koo attidude you will be screaming anti semite on some very severe issues in this country if you dont stop it.

  4. bklynmom says:

    Bike paths are useful, there is one on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn that is well used by all genders, religions and ethnic groups.
    Viva la bike…

  5. A Giteh Yid says:

    #3 Listen very carefuly when I scream
    “CHAI VEKAYOM!!”
    You dont get it. we good jews, people of the peace, we also want bike lanes. we think it is a great idea. However it is just in the WRONG PLACE.
    You see, we dont ride bikes. NO-ONE IN THIS COMMUNITY RIDES BIKES.
    So please make bike lanes in some other area! we will back you and support the idea. Bicyclists must have a lane.
    Try Mother Gaston Blvd. and East New York Ave. Sutter Ave. Stanley Ave. Flatlands Ave. etc. etc.

  6. stan the man says:

    #6 This path is to allow those bicyclist to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the newest yuppie neighborhood near Williamsburg.

    You see, we dont ride bikes. NO-ONE IN THIS COMMUNITY RIDES BIKES.–That is not how bike paths are determined, not if the residents of the area bike, rather the quickest way from one boro to the next.

  7. minkymalka says:

    Let them ride on sidewalks. I pay utility taxes NYC UXB Tax (i am sure NONE of you know what that is)to use city streets for my trucks. Why should I have to worry when my drivers have to drive dangerously close to parked cars and next to other cars in the left lane because the bike lanes are taking away 4 feet of curb space? as the news stories have said,even garbage trucks and fire trucks are having a hard time making turns,because of these retarded new lanes. Life and driving in NYC is a nightmare as it is, dont make it worse.because of some bicyclists with an agenda.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe to RSS Feed For This Article