What it would take to lose all the bike lanes in NYC

Bike Snob is, among other things, a genius. He has proved it again by calculating the number of a particular subset of bikers—he defines a member of this subset as a "Nü-Fred Bike Hate Unit," or NFBHU—it would take to have the city pull up all the bike lanes: 80,000. First he sets the scene:
Anyway, I don't have a problem with people who choose not to use the
bike lane, or who ride Pistas, or who shop at Old Navy for that
matter. However, what this Nü-Fred was also doing was running all the
lights, and this being rush hour it meant that the crosswalks were
pretty crowded. I made no attempt to keep up with him, but I kept him
in my sights for awhile, during which I probably watched him ride
against the light through three or four crosswalks. Furthermore, at
each of these crosswalks, I'd estimate that at least five pedestrians
looked at him like they wished he'd get run over by a truck--and this
wasn't even in the most crowded part of town.

Then he points out their PR potency, which is high.
Basically then, a single hapless Nü-Fred (though I suppose calling a
Nü-Fred "hapless" is redundant, since the haplessness is implied) has
the power to turn five New Yorkers against cyclists every single
block. This means that, in the course of a 20 block journey during
peak hours, one (1) Nü-Fred will make one hundred (100) New Yorkers
hate cyclists. (If you'd like, we can refer to this 20-block
100-person figure as one (1) "Nü-Fred Bike Hate Unit," or NFBHU.)

Of course, it's impossible to say with any certainty how many Nü-Freds
there are in New York (at least without subpoenaing Bianchi,
Specialized, and Felt and forcing them to disclose their regional
"urban fixie" sales records). What we can determine though is how many
NFBHUs it would take to turn each one of New York City's eight million
people against cyclists, and the answer is this:

80,000 NFBUs.

Really, if you think about it, that''s not all that much. All it would
take to would be for some evil anti-bike mastermind to unleash 80,000
Nü-Freds on the streets of New York and in a single weekday morning
the entire populace would turn against us. By week's end, bicycles
would probably be illegal, they'd turn the bike lanes into free car
parking, and without cyclists to preoccupy them the police would then
be free to focus the entirety of their efforts on beating Occupy Wall
Street protesters, harassing food trucks, and insulting the poor while
they defend their right to break the law.

He describes his calculations are "crackpot" but that's not fair, and besides, crackpot has never stopped anybody from calculating before. Speaking of indignities:

1 comment:

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