Woody Allen wages war against cyclists in New York City

Woody Allen continues to battle against cyclists in New York City.
Woody Allen continues to battle against cyclists in New York City. Photo: Courtesy of Raffi Asdourian/Flickr

Woody Allen went to a church Wednesday night to continue his war against cyclists in New York City.

The 80-year-old actor, comedian and filmmaker was among a packed house inside Holy Trinity Episcopal Church where older Upper East Side residents opposed cyclists over a proposal to paint new bike lanes on one-way streets throughout the neighborhood, according to Gothamist.com.

In March, the Department of Transportation proposed adding bike lanes to 85th, 84th, 78th, 77th, 67th and 68th streets that would connect Central Park to the East River Esplanade.

When that proposal didn’t go over well, DOT came up with alternate routes that included East 70th, 71st, East 75th, 76th, East 81st and 82nd streets.

Allen has a home on East 70th St.

At the meeting Wednesday, Allen called the plan “unacceptable,” arguing that East 70th St. was too narrow for a bike lane and is already congested with school and hospital traffic.

“None of the streets can accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way,” he said. “Every street has a good argument why it shouldn’t have a lane.”

A bike lane in New York City.
A bike lane in New York City. Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Allen has a history of battling the escalation of cycling in the city.

In a 2011 interview, he said the expansion of cycling was ruining the city, according to The Telegraph.

“Uncontrolled bike riders are a great hazard, and the wonderful idea of more and more people having bikes in New York will turn sour as people become alienated, because so much of it is out of control,” he said.

More recently Allen wrote to the Community Board 8 criticizing the bike lane plan.

“The situation has gotten off to an unregulated start and is out of the control,” Allen wrote in the email obtained by The Post.

“The great amount of cyclists do not obey any safety laws and ride freely at varying speeds on the sidewalks, through stop lights, the wrong way on wrong way streets, sometimes lethally.”

Among cyclists voicing support Wednesday night was Richard Adler, a 70th St. resident.

“I feel there’s a lot of NIMBY [not in my backyard] going on here," he said, according to Gothamist. “People seem to fear something that’s unfounded.”

In the end, the cyclists won — for now, anyway. The committee voted 9-2 to send the bike lane proposal to the full Community Board for approval. It votes May 18th.

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