If the bike paths were truly a safety hazard that’s one thing, but if the scantily clad cyclists are the real issue because of a religious issue, then that’s on the Hasids. It’s really not up to others to make their religion easy for them. Shame on Mayor Bloomberg if he caved to religious pressure to remove the bike lanes for religious reasons.
Hipsters repaint bike lanes in brush off to Hasids
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 sex in various states of undress. These riders also were disobeying the traffic laws, they complained.
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.