Jersey City Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh is the first recent running mate of Councilman-at-Large Amy DeGise to weigh in on her July 19th hit-and-run, writing in an Instagram story “We should use this as an opportunity to make safer streets.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I saw the video and I agree with everyone that Councilwoman DeGise should have stopped. Everyone has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law,” he wrote.
“We should use this as an opportunity to make safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, and better enforcement for our current traffic laws.”
Saleh and DeGise both successfully ran on Mayor Steven Fulop’s ticket in November.
The two council members who ran independently, Ward E Councilman James Solomon and Ward F Councilman Frank Gilmore, both called for DeGise’s resignation yesterday after CCTV footage of the incident was released, with Safe Streets JC and Bike JC following suit.
DeGise did not stop or appear to hit her brakes after she hit bicyclist Andrew Black, who seemingly ran a red light, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street, the footage shows.
She has said little about the incident beyond that she is glad no one was seriously injured, declining to comment further due to her pending court case.
I ride a bike to work every day and do a lot of longer rides in the city on the weekends – 30 miles and up. I don’t own a car.
The motorized bikes are a huge problem and one cyclist and “safe streets” advocates don’t seem to want to talk about. They prefer instead to talk about cars, driver behavior, and how many bike lanes are needed.
The motorized bikes are going the wrong way in the bike lane more than half the time. They travel at the speed of cars and with more bulk than bicycles. They count on everyone to avoid them or look out for them. And they run as many lights as they can get away with – and have the speed to do it
It’s an economic opportunity that was created by the well-meaning spread of bikelanes in urban areas. Delivery people can get around faster than cars by using bike lanes (when it suits them). And there’s no regulation on the size or speed of the vehicles using the bike lanes. Which is having the paradoxical impact of reduced bikelane usage by actual bikes. Check out 2nd Avenue in NYC some time.
This has also created an overall aggressive and lawless pattern on roads. And no doubt plenty of motorist anger and anxiety. Not to mention pedestrian anxiety since motorized bikes are flying by in all directions regardless of the designated flow of lanes. Increasingly these bikes (and others) are turning up on the sidewalks when it suits their need to keep going fast regardless of the safety of others. This puts kids, seniors, pets and generally anyone who thinks the sidewalk is a place to chill and lower their guard – at risk.
If there has been any meaningful discussion of these issues, I haven’t heard it.
As for Degise – bounce her ass out. Totally inexcusable to leave the scene of the accident, even though the cyclist was clearly to blame for the accident itself. Won’t be surprised if phone records help to explain why she had tunnel vision entering a busy intersection when motorists and cyclists alike should have their head on a swivel. The behavior reeks of entitlement, which in her case is the legacy of political nepotism. Picking the political jobs she wants because of family influence. And now picking and choosing which people deserve to be treated decently. Get lost and stay lost, lady.
You’re right about people, especially the e-bikes going the wrong way in the bike lanes. I see them over and over and I always make a point to tell them they are going the wrong way. One guy not on an ebike tried to give me crap as I just stopped and he started cursing at me. I told him to take a shot. He whined but didn’t.
How come Amy hasn’t been booked and arraigned already? If it was one of us, that would be the standard procedure.
You want safer streets? Prosecute Amy!
Amy has to be removed from all of her jobs in the public sector.
Resigning from Counsel isn’t sufficient.
Residents have advocated for enforcement against lawless bike riders in the Police Captain’s meetings, and been met with deaf ears. They just shrug as if the task is impossible. Police inaction is contributing to the entire atmosphere of “bike riders can do anything.” And they do.