As you may have read, Robin Williams was on The View yesterday, where he again rolled out his anecdote about getting pulled over by the NYPD for biking on the sidewalk. "I wasn't dressed, like, in bike clothing," Williams explained. "I had a single-speed track bike, and I had on a bal aclava, which basically makes me look like a terrorist or a crack dealer. No one was on the sidewalk, and all of a sudden woop-woop!" The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck wasn't amused, telling Wiliams, "I got hit by a bike on a sidewalk!" Williams replied, "Well, it's the law because of her." And because of every other inconsiderate jerk who bikes on the sidewalk—these people should be ticketed, to be sure.
But obviously if you're a Hollywood celebrity, you're above the law. Once the cops checked Williams's ID, they sent him on his way with a warning, explaining, "There's a new law. Look, we won't give you a ticket this time." Of course, it's not a new law, but nevermind that—what's interesting to the NY Post's Steve Cuozzo is that Janette Sadik-Khan put in all these damn bike lanes, so now cyclists are riding on the sidewalk. Or something. We don't understand his point! In his words:
Now, cops' refusal to ticket Robin Williams for bicycling on the sidewalk clearly shows [Sadik-Khan's] already won the hearts and minds of The Finest. What better way to tell cyclists that the NYPD "crackdown" on lawless riders is a joke, if all it takes is a celebrity name to get you off?
Ah of course, it makes perfect sense—Sadik-Khan got a tip that Robin Williams was biking on the sidewalk, and she called her friends in the NYPD (because they just love her) to pull the star over and not ticket him, so that he would go on TV and spread the word that the cyclist crackdown isn't to be taken seriously. Sadik-Khan was probably hiding up in the school book depository chucking about the whole thing as it went down!
We've often likened Cuozzo to angry confused Grandpa Abe Simpson, who was immortalized in a Springfield tabloid for "yelling at a cloud." But after today's Cuozzo rant—in which he blames DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for two cops who failed to ticket a movie star—we're starting to regret our Native American nickname for Cuozzo, "He Who Yells At Cloud." His latest opus is so baffling that it reads like he just randomly typed in his most hated keywords into a word processor and called it a day. In a way, he now reminds us of another beloved cartoon character: Rosie, the Jetsons' confused household robot. One discombobulated anti-cyclist polemic comin' right up, Mr. J!
We get that Cuozzo's being sardonic when he writes, "Clearly the NYPD needs a tougher hand at the top. Sadik-Khan is obviously more feared by her minions than Kelly is by his. Time for a change!" And his notion that the cyclist crackdown is "a joke" is spot on—but not for the reasons he espouses. Cuozzo seems to think it's a joke because cops aren't doing enough to write cyclists tickets, but we know that there's been an increase in summonses, as articles in such papers as the NY Post have illustrated. When the NYPD is wasting resources ticketing cyclists for carrying tote bags on their handlebars and pointing radar guns at cyclists to bust them for speeding in Central Park, the best word for that really is a joke. It's just not funny—unless you're some atavistic Archie Bunker-type who thinks these damn cyclists are to blame for NYC's traffic problems, and your flaming hemorrhoids, and your adulterous wife leaving you, and the lousy Knicks...