Back in January, we New Yorkers got a brand new mayoral administration, including a new and boldly-bespectacled DOT Commissioner who said they’d fortify our chronically blocked bike lanes in the first 100 days:

You wouldn’t know it from where I’m sitting, but they did put down some of those big concrete “jersey” barriers here and there. Mostly thought the it seems like the pledge has been the subject of derision and ridicule…though the DOT is now conducting one of its famous “pilot programs” in search of just the right cheap-ass material with which to cosmetically fortify the city’s bike-themed truck-unloading lanes:

So far, the results appear to be predictably underwhelming:

To wit:

I’m too lazy to do the necessary research in order to figure out where this stuff comes from, but I suspect it’s the same place where they bought these:

Someone somewhere pointed out that when New York City first started putting in bike lanes they used actual concrete and stuff:

Now it feels more like every few weeks they make a Home Depot run and fill a van with a bunch of stuff they hope might work–which is something you can do yourself just as easily:

In this sense the DOT is like that person who keeps going through cheap gimmicky wheelsets instead of just springing for a nice handbuilt pair made out of quality materials and being done with it once and for all. All of this is compounded by what’s in the bike lanes with you–not just the delivery drivers who have no place to unload there trucks, but all the e-contraptions, both commercial and private.

I know it’s politically incorrect to engage in “New York exceptionalism,” and I’m supposed to note that plenty of other cities elsewhere in the world have managed to work a lot of this stuff out. Nevertheless, as an armchair historian (or, more accurately a toilet seat historian, since thanks to mobile devices that’s where I conduct most of my research), it seems to me this town has been a clusterfuck since its exception so perhaps it’s the height of folly to expect anything else:

That’s a dead horse left to rot, though a livable streets advocate would no doubt find this a more acceptable use of the curb than the storage of a privately-operated Hyundai.

Cholera, polio, drivers…if it’s not one thing it’s another, and once we do get this car thing under control who knows what will be next. Will it be a soporifically bland utoptia?

Or will it be an oddly appealing hellscape?

[Food vendors, micromobility, people in the streets…wait a minute, this is the future advocates want!.]

Just kidding!

We’ll all be under water because climate change, obviously:

[Park Slope, 2024]

Sure we will.

Moving on, putting on my new Dirtbag/Normcore Road evangelist hat, here’s your Dirtbag Road Craigslist Bargain Of The Day!

Sure, it’s lugged steel and not glued-together aluminum, but no bike is perfect. Just make sure you pick up a matching helmut:

Craigslist never disappoints.



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