NYPD says "Happy Earth Day!" by stealing NYers' bikes

gone, but surely not forgotten

It's Earth Day. It's also the day the White House and the City of New York decided to junk hundreds of bikes, the vehicles used by New Yorkers to reduce their carbon footprint.

From Gothamist, two hours ago:

Obama has no idea what he just got himself into. Someone sent this photo to the blog This Is FYF, which reports that "citing security concerns that bikes might be secret pipe bombs, NYPD officers clipped the locks of hundreds of bikes along Houston Street this morning in preparation for President Obama's speech at Cooper Union. The bikes were unceremoniously put in the back of the truck. Onlookers were not given information as to what would become of the bikes. Happy Earth Day!"

Those bikes are at least as important to their riders as cars are to their drivers, and, in some cases, represent as major an investment for their owners as a car does for those who like piloting their own multi-ton metal vehicles around the city. Would the NYPD be so cavalier in junking hundreds of those precious planet-scarring cars?

The history of the NYPD's war on bikes tell us that for the men and women in blue today's crackdown on innocent parked bikes is a win-win situation: The cops get to pretend they're guarding us from terrorists, and at the same time they're reducing the actual number of bikes (and, perhaps more crucially, discouraging potential riders from thinking of bikes as a reasonable alternative to cars).

Has anyone noticed the stories in the media and the glossy posters telling us that in just about one week we can begin celebrating the fact that "May is Bike Month in New York City!"? Someone should share the information with the City authorities.

And perhaps in one final note here, prollyisnotprobably reminds us that Bicycling Magazine put NYC within the top ten on its list of the most cycling friendly cities in the country. The prollies had already suggested our city doesn't belong there.

RELATED: "NY activists drop rainforest banner at City Hall"

[image by Anthony Rebholz/Thisisfy via Gothamist]

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Published on April 22, 2010 6:57 PM.

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