Friday, May 20, 2011

Williamsburg Cyclist Has Helmetcam Footage of Homicidal Hasidic School Bus Drivers 

Well this won't do much to cool the summer South Williamburg bike wars: a Brooklyn cyclist with helmet-mounted camera recently took to the streets for first-hand footage of alleged Hasidic-hipster aggression. What he found wasn't exactly the street-fighting, bike-trapping reported elsewhere, but it's worrisome nonetheless.

The cyclist who shot this footage, who told Gothamist, ""I bicycle through Williamsburg every morning with a camera mounted on my helmet," has his closest call when an apparently stopped school bus roars into action and seemingly deliberately cuts him. After some window-banging and exchanged words, the driver apologizes for attempting to kill the cyclist, and everyone agrees to share the road and be nice—until the cyclist comes across another school bus.

Anecdotally, avoiding the Hasidic school buses has long been my way of justifying getting to work late. Ride through South Williamsburg at 10:15am on a weekday and it's calm cruising, but anytime before ten one's bound to come across at least one (likely many, many more) such bus swerving and stopping diagonally on Kent or Wythe avenues. For all their wide-swinging turns and sudden accelerations, though, my interactions with the bus drivers have always been civil if not downright courteous. That said, my commute doesn't involve riding along BQE-adjacent death trap Williamsburg Street, as the video-making rider's does, apparently.


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