Manhattan hazards: e-bikes and steel plates


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Dodging bikes — So far, Manhattan is exempt from legalizing electric bicycles in NYC’s bike lanes. The new legislation gives localities the ability to regulate the top speed of e-bikes. Hence our Mayor will be taking time out from his cross-country travel to figure out how to keep the traffic on the streets and sidewalks safe for pedestrians and bikers alike as DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and restaurants deliver take-out to the hungry minions in Manhattan who want their hot food hot when it arrives. In a WNYC interview with Brian Lehrer, the Mayor acknowledged that there has to be “order and security for everyone, particularly for our seniors, and pedestrians have to be protected first,” as reported in Patch. A tall order. One of the questions posed to the Mayor by Mr. Lehrer, was “Whether people on e-bikes should be forced to ride in the streets instead of bike lanes because the vehicles can reach the city’s speed limit for cars.” The Mayor said that they are going to have to figure out how to make it work “legally” and “appropriately” so that pedestrians and people using bikes for their work are protected. A good thing for sure.

Out of line at the Times — Some may have been taken by surprise by the NY Times’s endorsement of Tiffany Caban as Queens DA. What was surprising to me was that the headline in the print edition on June 18th endorsing the candidate read “Ms. Caban for Queens District Attorney” and never mentioning her first name until halfway through the editorial. The “Ms. Caban” headline appeared in the print edition. If it was online, it was removed. The online edition uses her full name, Tiffany Caban. No “Ms.” This time, the print version was ahead of the digital Times. Would love to know the backstory.

Meddling plates — The city never stops repairing its streets. Would be helpful if they could come up with a way to fix them so that they were not a litany of hazards when crossing from curb to curb. The latest impediment is the metal plating that’s being used before/during/after the street is paved. The plates do away with pebbles and small holes, but they bring their own set of challenges, like separations between the plates, slipperiness, and having to step up to the plate. Will our streets ever be camera-ready?

Toasting the French — Waiting for Hot & Crusty to re-open on Lexington Ave between 85th and 86th Streets was futile. It closed, the sign said, for renovations. But they never returned and the location remains empty. However, several stores down a Paris Baguette opened. Too much competition no doubt. Hot & Crusty was a combination NY style bakery-cafe. You stopped at the counter, ordered a sandwich or soup or salad, maybe a coffee, sat down, devoured it and made your way to the bus or train on the same street. Definitely an eat-and-run event. Paris Baguette has a different concept. An international bakery, it invites sitting and staying awhile to drink your coffee, have some freshly baked breads, pastries, cakes, snacks, and work your laptop. Most sandwiches and salads are pre-made. At one time, Hot & Crusty shops had several locations. Not sure that there are any left. Not so with Paris Baguette and other French bakery-cafe-bistros which are taking over Manhattan. Most are large-scale French establishments like Maison Kayser, Le Pain Quotidian, Paris Baguette. The French are also making their mark on a more intimate scale: There’s French bistro-cafe Bonjour Crepes and Wine, with locations on Lexington and 94th, Second and 82nd, and another in Astoria. Some of these establishments are self-serve. Others have wait staff and self-serve. All are very NY, with some French flair.

Funnies — Mailman/postal worker wheeling an empty mail cart to a street mailbox to mail a bunch of letters ... Sign in a newly opened coffee/wine bistro promoting its “chilly bean soup” — which turned out to be a hot, not cold, bean soup with chili peppers.





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