Monday, May 7, 2007

ride to work

Headwind this morning headed down the West Side Greenway but at least it was sunny and warm. Lots of traffic on Chambers street with the usual crop of cars parked illegally in the bike lane / no standing zone (and in front of the fire hydrant too) on Centre Street, opposite 1 Centre Street, between Chambers and Park Row. This includes Mr. Softee, who regularly parks in front of the 2nd hydrant on the block, which is about midway into the frontage of the plaza in front (back?) of City Hall Park, an assortment of private vehicles some with press plates some with NYPD parking permits -- which are not supposed to let one park in No Standing only No Parking. I have called to complain twice with no result although when I followup with "311" they say that NYPD responded and fixed the problem. Except that is a lie from NYPD since the problem wasn't fixed the day I called nor any day thereafter.

I once complained to some NYPD officers standing around in the plaza doing nothing much; they said they were on CounterTerrorism patrol and couldn't do anything. Of course, they don't realize that in an emergency (including a terrorist incident) the narrow road is narrowed further by the illegally parked cars so emergency vehicles would have great difficulty getting past all the regular traffic snarled in the area. Indeed, this row of 12-15 illegally parked vehicles would make a great site for a car bomb but you don't see them checking underneath the cars for explosives etc. nor looking in the back of the big moving van that was parked there the day I complained directly opposite all the city offices in 1 Centre Street (and directly in front of the northernmost fire hydrant on the block).

Jay Street in Brooklyn, which is one of the streets bordering the Metrotech campus, has on several occasions had an officer posted to keep the bus stop clear and keep an eye on the numerous vehicles double-parked in back of the Marriott (which is the entrance to NYCERS and next to the entrance of the Metropolitan Credit Union which also has something related to NYPD in the same building). I was told by one of the officers one day that he'd had a busy morning chasing off numerous vehicles including an NYPD Captain in his official car. When I came back at lunchtime I saw him busy at one end of the block chasing off someone while a hundred or so feet in back of him someone in civilian clothes pulled up in a car and parked, leaving some photocopied sheet about NYPD mug shot division (not even an official NYPD parking placard) and disappeared into the Marriott. The uniformed officer on bus stop duty noticed, and when I left was looking over the car while grumbling about the nuisance this car was creating. I don't know what happened but I suspect nothing official like ticketing much less the well-deserved towing a car with no claim to NYPD affiliation would receive.

Odometer: 45:32:38 / 504.89 miles this season / 1535 total.
That makes 17.17 miles today, which includes walking my bike to Eddie's Bicycle Shop for a replacement inner tube for the rear wheel after the valve stem broke while inflating it this morning, and despite my pedaling home vigorously up the West Side except for having to stop for a red light (and indeed doing a decent clip of around 12 mph on most of Chambers Street) at 15-18 mph this is an average speed of 10.28 mph today.

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