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Hasidim on Brooklyn Bike Lanes: Not Kosher

A Hasidic Jewish community that abuts the Brooklyn hipster enclave of Williamsburg has been up in arms since late-summer about bike lanes  installed in its section of the neighborhood. The primary complaint: Bohemian girls showing too much skin as they bike by. (Who wears short shorts?)\r\rThe corridor..\n

A Hasidic Jewish community that abuts the Brooklyn hipster enclave of Williamsburg has been up in arms since late-summer about bike lanes installed in its section of the neighborhood. The primary complaint: Bohemian girls showing too much skin as they bike by. (Who wears short shorts?)The corridor where the Hasidim live is the gateway to southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Fort Greene and Park Slope, a path well-worn by the borough's cyclists. In order to accomodate the bike lanes, the city changed parking laws in the area, resulting in a lot of fines to members of the Orthodox Jewish community. Around Thanksgiving, Hasidic officials warned that they would protest the new lanes by parking private buses in them.Yesterday, a Gothamist reader told the blog about a harrowing ride through South Williamsburg earlier in the day. On first pass through the Hasidic corridor, she claims, a man walked directly in front of her and tried to engage her in "a game of chicken," causing her to have to "swerve around him." That's minor compared to what happened on her way back:As I was making a left ... a bus drive[n] by a Hasidic man (no other people on it) sped up to make the right ... in front of me even though there was no room for him to make the turn. ... [H]e made it impossible for me to access the far right side of the street. I had to turn in between two lanes of traffic. There was no space for me to get over until I got closer to the light, which had by that time changed. I tried to pull up into the gas station on that corner, but a huge truck with a crane started backing out. I had to swerve back into traffic where I hit a huge crack and bit it. My head almost got run over by a car. Fortunately, I got away with a scraped knee and the creeps. ... [B]y the time I finally made it back to the start of the bike lane again ... there was a guy driving his minivan down it ... IN REVERSE! Both bikers and representatives of the Hasidim are expected to continue the contentious fight over the bike lanes at a Community Board meeting in early January. But, with fall transitioning into winter and temperatures nosediving into the 30s and below, the primary offense behind the bike lane brouhaha (the immodest attire) should be momentarily moot. Right?
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