In case you haven’t heard, New York City launched a bicycle share program last month, a network of 300 stations and 3,000 bikes spread across Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn that users can borrow for short commutes.
The system proved controversial before it even began, derided by conservatives who saw it as the billionaire mayor’s latest foray into nanny-state overreach, of a piece with his attempts to do away with guns, cigarette smoking, trans fats and sugary beverages. Opponents wailed that parking spots were being usurped, business were being harmed, and their aesthetic sensibilities offended by the ungainly blue cycles. In short, the bikes have increased our velocity down the road to serfdom.
The poster child for this sort of fear-mongering is Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who sits on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. In a video on the WSJ website, Rabinowitz infuriated the program’s supporters, railing against “totalitarians” that have “begrimed” the city’s beautiful neighborhoods — as if somehow bikes, and not cars, are responsible for the layer of black film caked onto city buildings — and warning of the all-powerful bike lobby.
Around here, warnings about powerful interest groups can only mean one thing. But Rabinowitz sees pedaling activists as threatening not to siphon American resources toward a Middle East client state, but to bring down the republic.
In case that’s not scary enough, Bloomberg’s transportation czar and the woman responsible for the bike share program, Janette Sadik-Khan, is descended from a Nazi-collaborating imam and is clearly seeking to turn Manhattan into wartime Dresden with a model borrowed from London’s Red Ken Livingstone. Confused? Daniel Greenfield helpfully sums it up: “A Muslim Nazi collaborator’s granddaughter oversees the de-car-ing of a city after a plan based around a plan from the tenure of a modern collaborator with Muslim Nazis falls through.”
In case you forgot, we’re talking about bicycles.
The New York Observer, published by a man we here like to call Ivanka Trump’s husband, doesn’t see the program as a threat to democracy — merely to free-market capitalism. Somehow this self-sustaining program with a corporate logo plastered on every inch of available bike real estate, “however innocent its intent” — not nefarious, merely innocent — “represents another governmental intrusion into the private marketplace.” It’s unclear if Mr. Kushner feels that paving roads and running subways are also examples of said intrusion.
Jon Stewart had a nice go at Rabinowitz, as have many others. And I’ll leave it to them to help us keep our heads about the supposed threat that a small army of two-wheeled conveyances poses to the American way.