NY Post: Hasids vs. Hipsters In Bike Battle

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bla.jpgVIDEO LINK BELOW: The following appears in Tuesday’s NY Post:

The hipsters just will not let their bike lanes go.

Groups of bicycle-riding vigilantes have been repainting 14 blocks of Williamsburg roadways ever since the city sandblasted their bike lanes away last week at the request of the Hasidic community.

The Hasids, who have long had a huge enclave in the now-artist-haven neighborhood, had complained that the Bedford Avenue bike paths posed both a safety and religious hazard.

Scantily clad hipster cyclists attracted to the Brooklyn neighborhood made it difficult, the Hasids said, to obey religious laws forbidding them from staring at members of the opposite gender in various states of undress. These riders also were disobeying the traffic laws, they complained.

Two cycling advocates were apprehended by the Shomrim Patrol, a Hasidic neighborhood watch group, as they repainted a section of bike lane at 3:30 a.m. yesterday, but when cops arrived, no one was arrested and no summonses were issued, police said.

“These people should apply for a job at the DOT,” neighborhood activist Isaac Abraham said of the repainting. “You put it on, they take it off — and they will probably do this again.”

A Department of Transportation spokesman said: “We will continue to work with any community on ways we can make changes to our streets without compromising safety.”

A source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.

Abraham contends the bike lanes put children at risk of getting hit by cars or bicycles as they exited school buses.

But Baruch Herzfeld, who has tried to bridge the gap between hipsters and Hasids with a bike-rental program, said safety is not the issue so much as xenophobia.

“They don’t want the hipsters in their neighborhood,” he said. “It’s like in Howard Beach back in the day when they didn’t want black people in the neighborhood.”

The cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has not taken sides in the dispute.

But bike lane or not, “cyclists have a right to be on Bedford Avenue,” said Wiley Norvell, a group spokesman.

YWN VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to see a video of bicyclists repainting 14 blocks of bikelane in the dead-of-night.

(Source: NY Post)




8 COMMENTS

  1. “A source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.”

    But as Yossi Gestetner wrote here in an editorial, Bloomberg delivered only halfways, and it was more symbolic than REALLY making a change on the lane.

  2. For the Chassidim to complain about the cyclists is ridiculous and a chillul HaShem. We live in Golus and its about time we start to appreciate that. UnTzniusdik posters etc is one thing. Bike lanes are there for safety!

  3. Bike lanes cause traffic obstructions. That is a safety issue too. Years ago there were no bike lanes. Why do we have to become the United States of Europe?!

  4. 6, maybe in gashmius green & the boring rainy UK you sit by with that attitude but here in the USA we are still allowed to say what we want.