In a decision that flew largely below the news radar and is first mentioned here almost a week after its occurrence, Governor Rell announced that she was requiring MetroNorth to make increased accommodations for bicycles on 380 new trains currently on order. Following previous Beatbikeblog discussions and discussed in this article, the move attempts to address the increasing demand for a bicycle infrastructure connected to rail transportation. The Governor's order calls not only for more bike-specific spaces on trains but also for bike racks at Connecticut stations and a review of policies regarding transporting bikes in rail cars.
As is its tendency, the comment section of the article provides a heated debate not only of the state of these resources but of the inherent right to take bikes on the train.
One commenter writes:
"I guess the Gov doesn't ride the train to NYC during the rush hour, the commuter train is for commuters not bikes, but If thats what "SHE" wants the people should buy it for her.
Following this argument I guess the commenter does not consider bike commuters actual commuters but of some lower class of transients as he continues stating,
"Well I'll come right out and say this I'm a conductor for this RR and being on this side of the fence, I can look at the issue from both sides, Yes it is a great way to help the the gas problem,and global warming and all that. but from the other side we cater to the working class that as of now take Buses,subways,taxis,and walk the "last mile" the last thing this city needs is people trying to get though NYC traffic on bikes."
Supposedly, as this conductor states, the rail system "caters to the working class" which is not interested in bicycle transportation and furthermore this policy is doing New York a favor by keeping bike of its streets as well. Both comments, I assume, are hard for (you) the bikeophile to swallow yet the poster is quickly agreed with by another commenter who writes,
"As someone who had nearly been run down by careless bicyclists who ignore red lights, AMEN!!
As to the bikes on the train, why should someone whe has paid hundreds of dollars for a monthly ticket have to stand because the new cars have fewer seats so a small percentage of people can bring their bikes on."
As is often the case this reader assumes that as their transportation arrangement trumps those of others as it may be considered more typical or "normal". Their payment of a monthly ticket (supposedly) suggests that their needs should be prioritized. Well what then I ask of the needs of another commuter who pays for a ticket, and even an additional ticket for their bike, and chooses to ride to work by a combination of methods? Are their needs not equal?