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Williamsburg Chasidic Residents Protest Bike Lanes

Leading activists in Willimasburg’s Chasidic community are calling on NYC officials to eliminate bike lanes on Wythe and Bedford avenues, and to delay construction of a new one planned for Kent Avenue. They point out that dressing immodestly is considered by most residents here to be offensive; the bike lanes tend to direct a certain amount of the unwanted scantily-clad through the streets of the neighborhood.

R’ Shimon Weisser, a member of Community Board 1 in Williamsburg-Greenpoint, told The New York Post, “I have to admit, it’s a major issue, women passing through here in that dress code. It bothers me, and it bothers a lot of people.”

In what is probably a display of their savvy, members of the community do not mention the modesty issue when engaging in official protest with governmental bodies. At a September 8th community-board meeting, R’ Weisser and others who spoke out brought up such issues as the bike lanes allegedly causing parking problems and traffic congestion.

Another reason for opposing the special car-free lanes presented officially by some community activists is that the cyclists allegedly tend to disobey traffic laws which creates a safety hazard. They point out that traffic safety must be considered paramount in this neighborhood that is so full of children.

(Dov Gordon – YWN NYC)

11 Responses

  1. This has to be one of the most blatant examples of how to upset a community where Jews and non-jews live together. If the Chasidic people of Williamsburg want to live in a ghetto, without the outside world, then let them move to Kiryas Joel, where their own taliban rules how people live and dress. This is New York City, not a shtetle in Poland. For better or worse, we live among the goyim and they live among us.

  2. I agree completely! I do not live in Williamsburg but I woek there every day and the creation of bike lanes all along the route that many people use to get to various places, one being Williamsburg is terrible! Along Vanderbilt Road, right outside of Prospect Park, a bike lane has been created, making the constantly crowded street into a 1-lane street. This has increased traffic tremendously and to those who are rushing to be in work early in the morning, we can’t just leave an extra 5-10 minutes early every morning! Bedford Ave also has one of these ill-fated bike lanes all the way down the street. Now, I don’t know about everyone else but I’m a pretty safe driver and I still have found myself having to swerve away form the bike riders who for some odd reason feel that the street has now become theirs. THEY DO NOT STAY IN THEIR DESIGNATED LANE AND ARE MAJOR IMPEDIMENTS TO TRAFFIC!! THESE BIKE LANES HAVE GOT TO GO!! I support this claim wholeheartedly. And yes, forget about the immodesty and lack of tznius-which is definitely of paramount concern; let’s focus on trying to avoid accidents that are bound to happen!

  3. #3-

    In reality this will cause non-jews to respect the Jews who stand up for human dignity. And in fact many non-jews admire communities such as Kiryas Joel for their modesty. The people who live in Kiryas Joel are not being forced to live their lifestyle; in fact they are happy without any media pressure to be immodest. How about not blaming the non-jews if you are having issues with tznius.

  4. To #3
    I agree with most of what you said – but “Taliban rules”? That’s completely uncalled for and smacks of self-hating antisemitism. Stop the Sinas Chinam!!!

  5. To Yeruchem:

    Its not Sinas Chinam by any means. Its a rational and clear description of a group that exists in Kiryas Joel and if the same group was still in rule in Afganistan, it would clearly be called the Taliban. It hurts when our own people go to bizarre extremes to enforce their own versions of the Torah instead of understanding that we have to wait for Moshiach to tell us which way is correct. Knit yamulka or black velvet? Barcelino or straimel? You get the idea. But the streets of Brooklyn? Too much already.

  6. This may upset a few but, it needs to be said. We live in America not Meah Sharim. Williamsburg is full of many different sects. Many pay up to $3000 a month to live there while many take section 8 and live almost free. I know this because I worked in Williamsburgh and have seen the benifit cards and have translated section 8 applications from Eng/Yiddish and visa versa. We have an actual soup pot of people all blending together.
    Talking about tznius I have been “solicited” by many chasidim while working in Williamsburgh and living in Boro Park.The same group of people that are publisizing “bike lanes not being tnius”
    Think about it what does the public (outside the frum world) think about tznius when they see so many people in the livush not acting like pious?

  7. Joseph,
    I would not tell lies before Rosh Hashana as I believe in my religion and am not a liar.
    This is sad but, VERY TRUE.
    Joseph,if you do not see it you are lucky and an honest man and a true yid but, also a bit in the dark.
    Go to any doctors office and grocery store in BP, Flatbush, Wburgh, Lakewood…and you will see benifit cards.
    The other issue I mentioned.
    I HAVE been “solicited” bt men in the livush and even offered money. My coworkers have been also and even my clients (Jews and Gentiles) have been. One frum modern woman was even told “Are you my Polish Shiksa? The room at the BP Hotel is waiting for us. (and I don’t think he was talking about a cleaning girl)
    I have seen many things done by men in the livush (that are not appropriate for a bat yisrael to post at this time) so please do NOT tell me I am telling lies. This is my comment and my story. You may not feel the same but, have respect and don’t call me a liar.

  8. milchig,

    The defamation you stated above is pure sheker and loshon hora. And I’m not talking about the Benefit card. There are legitimate reasons for having one, despite your not recognizing poverty in our communities. I’m referring to the other subject you mentioned, that is a pure malicious falsehood.

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