Voice: Loon Sabotaging Brooklyn Bridge Bike Path

The Village Voice published a report today claiming that someone is harassing bicyclists by sprinkling staples along the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge bikepaths.  The staples stick to the tires and eventually puncture them.  The problem has been going on for “a few weeks” the paper says. 

Village Voice: Runnin’ Scared Blog: “It might be a pedestrian that doesn’t like cyclists,” says Brooklyn Heights Bike Shop manager Tony Scarselli. “The Manhattan Bridge has a pedestrian and a bike side. The bikers that came to me with flats, many of them were riding on the pedestrian side.”

Flickr photo by seth holladay

Share this Story:

, ,

  • HDEB

    If someone is actually doing this they have too much free time and need to get a hobby.
    Might I suggest cycling?

  • nabeguy

    “Many of them were riding on the pedestrian side” So what does that tell you?

  • bhod

    This person is my hero.

  • fotog

    bhod, I’m with you! If they were on the pedestrian side, they sure learned their lesson! It’s like that invisible fencing for dogs :)

  • bhod

    Actually, I don’t even care if they keep it to the pedestrian lane. Those bell-dinging, speeding, reckless jack—s deserve any retribution pedestrians take on them.

    Get bikers off the Brooklyn Bridge! People think it’s nice to shut down traffic on some streets on weekends. Imagine how nice the bridge would be without bikes.

  • leeee

    if you read this right, it says that the staples were on the peds. side. on the manhattan bridge, there is a walkers side and a cyclist side. you don’t know how many times i have rode over the manhattan bridge and had to go around people who were clearly on the wrong side walking in the bike lane. so, this isn’t a one side thing here. again, do any of you know how dangerous it is getting of the bike lane on the manhattan side of the bridge? imagine how the bklyn bridge would be without walkers!!! bhod, how do you suggest cyclists that care and are respectful towards others get home? train, then you would complain about that too…

  • clarknt67

    I should be safe as I rarely bike in the ped side.

    Well, except when I have to swerve around pedestrians who are blocking the bike line.

  • HDEB

    You and other people who can’t share public space should be banned from the Brooklyn bridge.
    Statements and attitudes like yours make the only effective solution electrified barbed wire between the pedestrian and bike lanes on the bridge.
    What a shame people can’t coexist by following basic rules and exercising courtesy.

  • bdm

    If it puntures my stroller tires, Ill be super annoyed!

  • http://instaputz.blogspot.com Norman E-mailer

    The headline is unacceptable! You cannot blame the loon — that beautiful aquatic bird — for this asshole’s actions.

  • lee

    ace, what if you live in brooklyn and work in manhattan. have you ever rode a bike in the city? and if not try and then tell me how safe you feel. there is always the possibly getting doored by someone who doesn’t look before opening a door, getting cut off in the middle of the street by a peds. j-walking or by a car/bus/truck. so, have any other bright ideas?

  • bhod

    Yes, either in the street, or over the Manhattan Bridge. Pedestrians — especially tourists — do cross into the bike lane. But on most weekends, there’s hardly any other way to get across. Hundreds of pedestrians cram into one lane (really a half lane at some points) so that 10 bikers can have the other.

    And don’t tell me most bikers are safe when every single one of you a-holes comes down each side of the bridge at 50MPH, stopping to scream at pedestrians if someone dares block your warp-lane.

  • nabeguy

    From an historic perspective, I doubt that Mr. Roebling had bikes in mind when he planned the bridge and the walkway (also know as the footpath). I certainly don’t recall seeing bikes on the bridge when I walked it in my youth. That all changed, however, with the transit strikes, when bike ridership zoomed. So, from a temporary exigency has grown a habit that many clearly view as a right. And, with the increase of people exercising that right comes the almost inevitable increase in the abuses of it. There are always going to be people who refuse to play by the rules, whether they be bikers or pedestrians, but in this particular case, I think it is the hapless tourist who just happens to want a picture from the north side of the Bridge that is at a disadvantage. Until a little self-policing occures, and perhaps the addition of bollards to demarcate the areas better, the kind of bickering seen on this thread will continue.

  • lee

    bhod, why are you so angry? if i could hit 50mph on my bike then i would be a racer. i ride up at 6 mph, watch out for people, stop to let them cross safely and don’t scream. how about having some of the peds. (and yourself since you are so angry) traffic be diverted over the manhattan bridge as well, there is a separate lane for them.

  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    Attica! Attica!

  • clarknt67

    ACE: Honestly, it occurred to me that a solution is the close an west bound lane in the car platform in the morning and a east bound lane in the evening and dedicate it to bikes. Ah, in a perfect world. Won’t happen though.

    As for the loon, his work is counter productive. As a matter of course, I have to concentrate all my energy on watching out for pedestrians who wander into the bike lane and can’t/won’t/don’t watch out for bikes.

    Now I have to keep an eye on the ground on a look-out for staples.

    bhod it’s too bad you can’t share. I don’t really understand this right of entitlement pedestrians seem to have to paths. I’m not sure what gives a walker priority over a biker in people’s eyes.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Don’t you mean east bound in the morning and west in the evening? Reducing lanes to rush hour traffic wouldn’t help at all.
    Methinks the “entitlement” right of pedestrians stems from the fact that pedestrians have right of way over bikes, as bikes do over cars.

  • me

    I got a flat this morning on the manhattan bridge. It was early, so i decided to go on the ped side to take in the view of the city. I don’t know why people have to be such goons and pop my tires. I cross the brooklyn bridge all the time and am always nice to peds and am very zen about them walking in front of me and I take it slow. I get mad at other bikers who go too fast or yell at tourists (i like to walk on the bridge and want a picture with the empire state building too). But popping my tires?! Making me late for work? That’s pure cocksuckery right there. A sad, sad pathetic little person is clearly responsible.

  • gb

    No One Of Consequence, bikes don’t have priority over cars. cyclists have to obey all laws as if they were cars.

  • bhod

    anyone who thinks all (or even more than 30%) of bikers obey ANY traffic laws is nuts. No stop lights for them. Riding on the sidewalk when it suits them. Riding in the pedestrian lane, apparently, to get a better view of the city.

    The funny thing is I’m not against cycling in general. Healthy. Environemtnally conscious. Great! But ped. to bike is = bike to car. Stop trying to freakin’ run us over!!! And I’ve seen numerous times bikers stop (breaking from their jet down the ramp) to yell at families with children for inconveniencing them. Slow the frick down! and chill!

  • Nabe person

    Isn’t the path under TV observation and heavily patrolled? This shouldn’t be a major issue in catching the idiot doing it. PS Bike riders need to obey the traffic laws too.

  • No One Of Consequence

    gb, it’s not that they don’t have to obey the laws, but cars are to give right of way to the bikes; i.e. you can’t run ’em over cuz they’re slower.
    ASFIK, any time a car hits a cyclist, the driver is automatically at fault (well, at least in another state, might be different here).

  • SwingLine

    actaully, the freakin’ bridge does have cops that patrol it frequently. some frickin people just dont know better than to be in the way not realizing that it is gonna be like getting hit by a car.

    its can also loud there, so yelling is kinda like a horn. not sure what makes a person think that a biker would try to run someone over. i would think that they run the risk of getting hurt too, not to mention possibly ruining their ride!

    not sure who said every biker follows all rules though.

    Oh and drivers are responsible when they hit someone (even if not at fault) in NY.

  • lee

    i am sorry, do any of you read the papers about when a cyclist is killed by a driver? all they say is i didn’t see them and they don’t get fined, arrested or have their license taken away. so, do you really think cars slow down around bikes? no, they honk, cut you off, park in the bike lanes, yell at you all the things you say cyclist do to peds. on the bridge. you may have noticed people stopping to talk to families b/c they have no control over their children and make it unsafe for others. get on a bike and you’ll understand. and yes, i am one of those cyclists that slows down, stops etc…

  • HDEB

    Lee: You are right, when a motorist hits a cyclist if they say it was an accident they are very unlikely to be fined or prosecuted in any way.
    We need and deserve separate bike lanes. A few more years of $125+ barrel oil and I think we’ll be on our way to bike friendly new urbanism.

  • http://www.brooklynbackstretch.blogspot.com BKBS

    The problem is that when we talk about this, we think about the worst representatives of our respective groups. This morning while running over the Bridge, I nearly got run over by someone speeding on a bike and completely ignoring the “stop” at the Brooklyn end.

    And earlier this week, I nearly got run over by a cyclist speeding the wrong way down a one-way street.

    I love when I see cyclists who follow basic traffic rules; my frustration is with those who completely ignore them, thus behaving unpredictably and putting all of us at risk.

  • cb

    They also put other cyclist at risk.

  • travy

    cyclists take their lives in their hands every time they ride. doesn’t seem worth the risk to me. just walk, what’s the rush?

  • Curmudgeon

    More staples on the pedestrian side! I don’t know who is doing that, but they certainly have my blessing. Perhaps the bike riders will then stay off our side and walkers will be safe. They should be banned from the Brooklyn Bridge altogether!

    The bottom line is this:

    Pedestrian in Bike Lane at most means: inconvenience to bike rider who must be careful not to hit walker. (boo hoo, but this may slow them down!)

    Bike Rider in Pedestrian Lane at most means: serious injury or death to walker who has no defense against the bike rider.

    Now, I ask you who the duty to make the greater effort to behave responsibly?

  • HDEB

    A cyclist could get a flat from the staples, sending them out of control and careening into the pedestrians whose interests the staple dropper is trying to represent.

    Travy: My life is a rush! I have a lot to do and not enough time to do it. If I can get from point A to B quickly it is valuable.

    Curmudgeon: Both the pedestrians and the bike riders have equal duty to behave responsibly (I take this to mean stay in their designated area). A cyclist is just as likely as a pedestrian to get injured in a cyclist/pedestrian collision.