Le Dîner en Blanc shuts down the bike path
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July 29, 2015- Letter to the Editor by BPCResident
Well, I had a run in tonight with someone associated with this Le Dîner en Blanc event on the bikeway at Chambers street around 7pm. I was on a Citi Bike headed north when it became apparent that the entire bikeway was flooded with people in white making their way to the event. They were walking north on BOTH sides of the bikeway literally bringing bike traffic and other pedestrian traffic to a standstill.
Just south of Chambers street, I got off my Citi Bike to walk through the crowd. I thought this was a reasonable thing to do given the fact that the entire bikeway was blocked by people in white totally oblivious to the fact that they were blocking every1 else from passing through. At Chambers St, as I was walking through the crowd north a man in white, ostensibly employed by the event, put up his arm and pushed me back as I tried to walk through as the crowd was crossing from the east side of the West Side Highway.
He and I exchanged a few words and then things became very heated when he tried to prevent me walking through what is an active bikeway. The funny part is that I intentionally got off the bike to walk it through the crowd, and still this guy was in my face trying to block my way. He called me a few names and then another employee of the event (no ID, No credentials, just dudes in white pushing people around) pulled him aside and told him to let it go.
BTW, at no time was I confrontational or angry until this guy pushed me. I kept telling him, I am walking my bike, I got off my bike to weave through the crowd, so just let me walk through.
While I am usually in favor of events being hosted in BPC because it showcases our neighborhood, this event seems to really gone too far in alienating local residents.