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15 06 2008

Michael Bloomburg, mayor of New York, surprised and disgusted Big Apple cyclists when he stated that, if he could, he would ban bicycles from the trains, especially subways.

Bloomburg heads a bike-friendly administration, but he says New York’s trains don’t have room for cyclists and he’d give them the boot. “I don’t run the subway system, I don’t run the (Metropolitan Transit Authority),” he said, “but if I did — if I had total power — I guess I’d say it’s too crowded for bikes.”

Bike advocates quickly denounced Bloomberg’s comments.

“We have the most liberal bikes-on-transit policy in the entire country,” Wiley Norvell of Transportation Alternatives, the city’s leading bicycle advocacy group, told the New York Post. “Without that access, it would be a huge blow to biking in the city.”

The MTA allows bikes on the subway 24/7, and its website offers some helpful tips for biking and riding.  But the city’s buses don’t have bike racks — unlike those in many other U.S. cities — so cyclists wishing to use mass transit are limited to the subways.

It’s a mounting issue as mass transit systems nationwide experience record ridership amid mounting fuel prices. New York’s system is no exception, and the city’s subway system has become much more crowded. But there are better ways of dealing with that than tossing cyclists from the trains.

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