Activists Re-Paint Stripped Bike Lane Dec 8, 2009

In case you missed this, the 14-block stretch of bike lane running through South Williamsburg was recently removed by the NYC DOT. Shortly afterwards, a group of activists decided to re-paint the lane. A ballsy move considering the backlash that came the Hasidic community. After two successful nights of repainting the lane, reports indicate that the Shomrim Patrol – the Hasidic neighborhood watch, called the NYPD on Sunday night. While the Shomrim Patrol said that the NYPD arrested the individuals, this new information suggests the NYPD arrived and no arrests were made. The NYPD has yet to confirm these reports. A quote from one of the participants and a bit of a back-story is below.

We got some paint and paint rollers and went out on foot. We just went up there and started painting the bike lane. This was on two different nights; Friday and Sunday. It was almost finished [on Sunday], but the Shomrim were called and showed up. They stopped two people and talked to one for a while. They went up and bear-hugged one of the people to try to stop them from getting away. The other person was like, “You’re not police, you can’t detain me,” and just left. The first person they just stopped and talked to for a while. This person explained what the group was doing…Police were called, but they did not give anybody summonses or arrest anybody. Nobody was ticketed.

It all started when this past Summer the Hasidic community voiced their disgust with the scantily-clad woman riding bikes through their neighborhood and it’s been a battle ever since. There’s a whole back story here on the Gothamist post from today. It’s a good read and covers most of the bases.

There’s an event this Sunday, hosted by Times Up!, to protest the removal of this essential corridor for cyclists. Details are here.

  • pachius

    hell yes. its beautiful to see making their messege clear as water.

  • Kanon08

    I love it.

  • radam

    pretty rad yo.
    they should take a hint from Kramer.

  • radam

  • Matt Rennick

    There’s a group in Toronto that paints DIY bike lanes, among other things that are awesome, every now and then… The Urban Repair Squad…

  • Santiago Belmont

    lmao at kramer. but thats good stuff… shit ..i work around williamsburg and when im carrying deliveries around there its hell since they act like the line is not there or we exist and without it it would be WORSE. whos in charge of This? i want to collaborate

  • Matt

    Who else want’s a naked bike ride through their neighborhood every saturday until they let up???

  • prolly

    You’d wanna do that on a Friday night so they can’t call the cops…

  • edwonka


  • zack

    tell those kids to get some latex gloves, hands covered in fresh white paint tend to give you away pretty quick if the po roles by….

  • Rui

    They shouldn’t be painting lanes in protest, they should be organizing a scantily clad girl ride through that section of the neighborhood since that is what the hassidim have am issue with.
    Organized barely dressed men and women (keep it legal) up and down the block say for three hours every Saturday until the bike lanes go back up. Show em that bike lanes are not their decision and the streets belong to all, even those who may differ in moral ideals.
    If I loved in the area, I’d organize it myself. Might have to wait until spring though.

  • Jingles

    You’d wanna do that on a Friday night so they can’t call the cops…

    Posted by prolly

    word up! hands tied…ha! that’d be so good.

  • Jingles

    Also how’s most of the comments in that gothamist article? A lot of hate going on and some “good ol days” talk. I feel dumber reading some of that shit also makes me really wonder about folks sometimes.

    Oh well. Thanks to those dudes for saying fuck this and going out there and taking matters into their own hands.

  • Wow

    How unfortunate for Brooklyn that the Taliban has taken hold there.