NIMBY Bike Lane Naysayers’ Newest Claim: Bikes Are Too Noisy?

10/17/2011 12:03 PM |

This is a loud bicycle.

  • This is a loud bicycle.

The arguments put forth against the installation of new bike lanes in the city usually make at least a bit of sense—they’ll make deliveries more difficult for local businesses, they’ll take nearby residents’ parking spaces away, they require pedestrians to look both ways when crossing a one-way street, etc. But the unfortunate woman whose complaint opens this WPIX piece on the forthcoming East Harlem bike lanes is almost certainly the first to make this claim: bikes make too much noise.

The article begins thusly:

Bicycle wheels hiss up and down Second Avenue, creating a symphony of pumping pedals and shifting gears outside of Elizabeth Harper’s sixth floor window. The music lasts from morning to as late as 11 o’clock at night, says the 91-year-old who has lived in her East Harlem apartment since 1959.

Really, a symphony? Wait, this sounds familiar

Regardless of Harper’s opposition, complaints lodged against the new East Harlem lanes form a chorus of the aforementioned qualms about parking, worsened congestion, and difficulties for local businesses’ deliveries.

The lanes in question, which will extend up First and Second avenues between 100th and 125th streets, are still on track to be installed next year. Come spring, the Department of Transportation will start installing the lane on Second Avenue. With these two extensions, the DOT will come that much closer to completing its long-planned continuous east side bike lanes stretching between Houston and 125th streets.