This has been a hot issue in recent months, when the Hasidim in Williamsburg, Brooklyn began to complain in September about the overly sexy female bikers who use the Bedford Avenue bike lane. At first, I thought this was some kind of joke or bad reporting in the form of someone’s comments being taken out of context.
The Bedford Avenue bike lane is a major artery through Brooklyn and to the Williamsburg Bridge, with part of it traversing a neighborhood that is densely Hasid-populated. But the complaints weren’t a joke, and the Hasidic community — or, shall I more accurately say, the men of the Hasidic community — has pressured the city to remove the offending corridor, to protect them from the possibility of seeing women ride by in (GASP!) tank tops and shorts and skirts and other shocking states of undress.
In response to the city removal of the bike lane markings, a few days ago a couple of bike activists took it upon themselves to perform a late-night repainting of the lane. The guerilla artists were stopped by local residents, got hit with a few charges, and the makeshift markings will be removed.
Some questions this raises: What city am I living in? What country are we living in? What century is this? A neighborhood pressuring the city to change a bike route because of reasons such as unsafe conditions and so on, I can live with. But this makes me so angry that I want to organize a naked ride through the neighborhood. (Who’s in??)