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Renegade Bike Lane Painters vs. Hasidic Jews

We've written both about renegade bike-lane painters, who put bike lanes where cities won't, and about issues that New York's Hasidic Jewish communities have had with bike lanes going through their enclaves. Now, the two have combined.A few days ago, some bikers attempted to repaint a 14-block section of bike lane that had been removed from Brooklyn's Bedford Avenue, though they were arrested in the process. Bedford is an incredibly important northward path from South Brooklyn to Williamsburg, and is a street that people drive on very quickly and really needs bike lanes. Apparently, the lanes were removed as part of some deal Mayor Bloomberg made with the Williamsburg Hasidim. The Hasidic community, in general, hates the bike lanes through their neighborhoods, and often makes passive aggressive attempts to prevent bikers from using the lanes, either by parking cars in them en masse, or by simply standing in them (source: personal experience).So, kudos to these intrepid bike advocates for taking matters into their own hands. It's not like they were creating a bike lane where the city deemed it to be unsafe, they were putting one back where there has been one for a long time. Removing bike lanes seems like a step in the wrong direction that we should not be taking. (Anti-kudos to the anti-Semitic commenters on any number of blog posts about this. You can be mad at the Hasid's bike policies without making it about their race and religion.)Here's a video of the painters at work:[youtube], uncredited, via Gothamist.Photo by Mike Epstein

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