State Senator Diane Savino fumed on Facebook about cyclists, telling her followers that she drives through her district shouting at the two-wheeled menaces to “find a fucking bike lane and get in it.”
The comment from the pol, who represents Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Coney Island and Bath Beach in addition to Staten Island’s north shore, was in response to a labor lobbyist’s post blasting cycling “apologists” following the Central Park collision that left a pedestrian dead. Another follower suggested requiring bike registration and licensing, to which the pol also said she was “intrigued.”
The Daily News reports:
Savino said her comments were meant as a joke but she continued to express frustration with bicyclists who don’t obey traffic laws.
“Unfortunately, those who don’t follow the rules of the road create problems as we saw with that terrible tragedy in Central Park,” Savino said.
“Minimally, there’s got to be greater enforcement,” she continued. “And bikers have to take responsibility for what’s happening. They’re moving sometimes at 40 miles an hour. We just went through the whole process of reducing the city speed limit to 25 miles an hour, unless it is otherwise posted. That should apply to bikes as well. We are all in this together.”
The pol also said she had no plans to introduce new bike safety legislation when she returns to Albany.
DNAinfo went to the author of the blog post that sparked the Facebook discussion:
Eben Weiss, who writes the blog, Bike Snob NYC, drew attention to Savino’s comments on Twitter and on his site on Thursday.
“A state senator bragging on Facebook about engaging in acts of road rage is inappropriate, alarming and representative of a disregard for public safety,” Weiss told DNAinfo New York.
“It’s an insult to her constituents. It’s also totally ironic because the conversational thread that inspired her comment is based on a total misreading of comments I made in which I excoriated reckless bicycling.”
It appears cyclists in her district are taking notice. Streetsblog notes that Brooklyn Spoke author Doug Gordon, a constituent of Savino’s, sent an open invitation for the elected official to ride with him and his two children and see what life is like from the saddle.
I ride my children to school almost every day and then head to work. We bike to swim lessons, gymnastics, birthday parties, parks, and to the grocery store. With or without my children, I have been harassed many times by drivers who think New York City’s streets belong solely to them. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing – riding in a bike lane or legally exiting a bike lane to make a turn or avoid an obstruction such as a parked car – there is truly nothing I can do to stop an angry driver who simply doesn’t like bicycles from getting upset with me.
I ask you to kindly join me and my children, along with any other families who would like to come, on a short bike ride. It might be helpful for you to experience what it feels like to bike on New York City streets.
Savino, who lives in Staten Island, is already well-known for her outspoken Facebook posts. In February, for Valentine’s Day, she reminder her colleagues to stop taking photos of their genitals because “no one wants to see your penis pop up in a text message.” She also railed against supporters of indicted Congressman Michael Grimm, who claimed he’s the victim of a conspiracy.