City To Cyclists: “Don’t Be Jerks!”

05/11/2011 3:32 PM |

Dont be like this cyclist.
  • Don’t be like this cyclist.

Borrowing from the pages of a certain New York Post columnist, the city’s Department of Transportation has launched its new initiative appealing to New York’s surging cyclist numbers, admonishing every last one: “Don’t Be a Jerk!” They’ve enlisted the help of celebrity spokespersons Paulina Porizkova, Mario Batali and John Leguizamo to demonstrate three types of objectionable bike behavior in three PSA commercials (after the jump), with DoT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan even making a cameo to tell Leguizamo what a jerk he’s being (though, technically, he’s more of a pest).

The videos’ release coincides with Bike Month and a new DoT Bike Smart Pledge to get cyclists to obey those rules they’ve gotten so used to ignoring—but presumably not the non-applicable ones the NYPD is enforcing.

In a statement accompanying the ads’ release yesterday, Sadik-Khan said:

“As our streets have become safer and as more New Yorkers take to two wheels, bike riders need to adopt a street code. A nice way to put it is that we all simply need to look out for one another. To put it a little more bluntly, don’t be a jerk. It’s a simple, direct message with a wink for bicyclists to follow the rules and help make our streets safer for everyone on them.”

The ads specifically address three all-too-common cycling infractions: not yielding to pedestrians, riding against traffic, and riding on the sidewalk (when you’re over 12 years of age). Happily, there are no ads telling cyclists not to ride with totes on their handlebars or to not complain about nearly being killed.