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Old 05-07-09, 11:20 AM   #1
nycwtorres
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He’s arrested for riding on sidewalk!


Is this Clinton Hill biker an unrepentant menace or a cautious father protecting his child from maniac drivers?


Well, on the mean streets of Brooklyn, he’s both.

Steven Walcott spent a night in jail last Friday after an officer ticketed him for cycling on the sidewalk near the corner of Classon and Greene avenues — and then discovered that the two-wheeling dad had an outstanding warrant for the same offense dating back several years.

“I told the officer I have to ride on the sidewalk because people drive like animals in the streets. They’re going to kill me or my son,” Walcott told The Brooklyn Paper.

At the time of his arrest, Walcott was alone on his bike and en route to pick up his son from school.
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According to his account, Walcott spent several hours at the 88th Precinct stationhouse before being remanded to the infamous Tombs in Manhattan.

He didn’t appear before a judge until Saturday afternoon.

Walcott said the judge dismissed both citations against him as long as he doesn’t run afoul of the law in the next 60 days.

He vowed that he would do just that.

“I’m not going to stop,” the recalcitrant cyclist said. “What am I supposed to do? Duel it out with those maniacs and the trucks?”

His experience puts him in the crosshairs in the battle for the control of the city’s streets and sidewalks. It’s common to see scofflaws like him pedaling illegally on sidewalks with children strapped into kid seats.

Even though the first ticket did not discourage him from biking on walkways. Walcott could have spared himself the ordeal of a night in the slammer by simply paying the fine, an option that didn’t appeal to him either.

“I know you’re supposed to go to court, but you get scheduled for a whole day. I didn’t have the time,” he groused.

“Besides, people shouldn’t get summonses for this.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
What do you think?
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Old 05-07-09, 11:24 AM   #2
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I ride on the street when I'm not towing my kids, and on the sidewalk or greenway when I am.

He was an idiot for ignoring the original citation.
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Old 05-07-09, 11:25 AM   #3
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1) It's safer to ride in the street than on the sidewalk. It doesn't matter whether you have a child on the back or not -- it's still safer.

2) The youtube link on "people drive like animals in the street" is a pretty awesome video, but completely unrelated to the article.

EDIT: if you're kids are riding with you on separate bikes, then I would say the sidewalk is safer.
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Old 05-07-09, 11:27 AM   #4
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CBR, it is not true that towing a Burley trailer with two kids in it on Broadway and 177th Street is safer than the sidewalk. Quote whoever you want. In my neighborhood, you'd have to want your kids dead to take them in the street with no protection but a couple of aluminum tubes and some fabric.
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Old 05-07-09, 01:29 PM   #5
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Why to ride a bike if you are afraid, stay home, man? I ride everyday and I would say that most of the drivers in NYC are polite. I ride with my kid as well, when i have time. Main rule is to make sure you are visible did he follow? I always use a blinker when there is no sunshine and it helps a lot, drivers see me and very often give me a priority, ex. stop signs going uphill.

On that picture I do not see any lights or... helmets on him or his son. Who would he blame if he falls on a sidewalk and cracks his head? Crazy maniacs walking by?

As for me, this guy does not deserve any sympathy at all.
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Old 05-07-09, 02:33 PM   #6
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CBR, it is not true that towing a Burley trailer with two kids in it on Broadway and 177th Street is safer than the sidewalk. Quote whoever you want. In my neighborhood, you'd have to want your kids dead to take them in the street with no protection but a couple of aluminum tubes and some fabric.
Washington Heights is a pain in the neck to ride through especially once the warm weather arrives and everyone and their mother is outside crowding both the sidewalks and streets; 177th and Broadway can be a nightmare because of the GWB/garage/Bronx bound traffic. I stick to Ft Washington.
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Old 05-07-09, 02:37 PM   #7
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177th and Broadway can be a nightmare because of the GWB/garage/Bronx bound traffic. I stick to Ft Washington.
I generally do too, but I keep the Burley trailer on the sidewalk there, as well.
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Old 05-07-09, 03:23 PM   #8
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Bikes on sidewalks are a hazard to the pedestrians, especially in a crowded city like NY. Even going slow, the bike is probably moving 3 times faster than a pedestrian. There are plenty of hazards for a cyclist on a crowded sidewalk, not the least of which is slamming into a ped and falling over, thus endangering the child anyway.

If he's concerned about riding on the streets, then when he's transporting his child he should use some other form of transportation.

I also concur that a guy who gets a ticket, doesn't pay it, doesn't contest it and gets popped for it doesn't deserve much sympathy.
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Old 05-07-09, 03:42 PM   #9
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I live in Clinton Hill. I am a native Clinton Hiller. I am a THRID GENERATION Clinton Hiller. And I can say with certainty that this guy is a bone-head for riding on the sidewalk in my neighborhood.

First of all, adults on bikes belong in the STREET unless there is a dangerous condition on the road in which case you either dismount your bike and walk on the sidewalk or go incredibly slowly down the sidewalk giving peds the right of way but take the chance of being ticketed.

You don't have the right to wave your kids around and use them as a "get out of jail free" card. Having kids is no excuse for breaking the law. If a parent seriously feels that it's too dangerous to ride with their children LAWFULLY then they should be thinking about using another form a transportation to chauffer their kids or choosing a route they feel safer riding -- IN THE STREET.

Note: There are a few circumstances where I wouldn't mind a parent riding on the sidewalk with a child but the above case isn't one of them.

And he ignored a prior citation?!? Bone-head move #2!

Come on. This guy is basically saying that HIS safety is more important that YOURS or MINE or anyone elses on the sidewalk. More important that the kids' playing on the sidewalk that he might hit!! It's all about him because he thinks he's above the law and that the law doesn't apply to him. Well, I hope he enjoyed his night in jail. I'm sure he'll be back there soon.

If I see him riding on the sidewalk in my nabe I'll be sure to have some words for him. If I see him walking down the street I'll be sure to hop up on the sidewalk and buzz by him on my bike to make a point. Let's see if he gets it.

Anyway, if he's that scared of riding a bicycle in the streets then he shouldn't be riding a bike. Period. Again, I ride the very same streets that he does and have all of my life-- a lot longer than he's lived here. If I can safely ride in the same streets, so can he.
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Old 05-07-09, 03:46 PM   #10
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I generally do too, but I keep the Burley trailer on the sidewalk there, as well.
I know you are a responsible cyclist. If you slowly ride on the sidewalk with your children part of the way then I know there is a hazardous situation that you're trying to avoid so I personally wouldn't mind. But in this guy's situation, there was no excuse for it. Not one.

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Old 05-08-09, 10:24 AM   #11
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Given the state of cycling in NYC, I wouldn't bring my kid out on the bike or in a trailer on most roads. I'd absolutely love to be able to ride from Astoria to Central Park, it's not that far, but there is absolutely no route I'd be comfortable enough to ride with my kid in tow. Or one that my wife would even feel comfortable riding. New bike lanes in Astoria/LIC and all. They could have done something really worthwhile in in Astoria/LIC and created some bike blvds with traffic calming, at least the stretch in Astoria could have been made better.

I ride my bike all over town, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
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Old 05-09-09, 06:48 AM   #12
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As a parent & commuter, I understand WHY people ride on the sidewalk (my scofflaw wife included) but I don't agree with it.

There is no expectation as a pedestrian that when you step outside your door, that a cyclist will ride by on the sidewalk. NYC Law requires anyone over 12 to ride in the street.

That said, if the DOT and NYPD want to get cyclists off the sidewalk they'll create safer bike lanes and enforce the laws regarding those lanes.
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