CLown Corps Pedals Bike Lane Awareness
The Daily News
July 3, 2006
By Bill Egbert
A GANG OF Manhattan clowns was on a dead-serious mission yesterday: reminding drivers to steer clear of the city’s bike lanes. “There’s so little space for bikes anyway,” said writer Marilyn Horan, a member of the Bicycle Clown Brigade decked out in clown makeup and candy-cane striped stockings. “When the lane is blocked, you have to veer into traffic.
” The clown brigade comes from Time’s Up! – a group of bike activists who run free bicycle repair workshops and the Critical Mass cycling protests. They also honor victims of fatal bike collisions by placing white-painted “ghost bikes” at crash sites. As the clowns encountered cars parked in bike lanes yesterday, they acted out slow-motion collisions with comic pratfalls. Then they staggered in disbelief, wondering what the strange, nonbike object could be doing in their bike lane. “We try and make it funny while still making our point,” said Christian Gutierrez, 32. The clowns also issue real-looking parking tickets that carry a reminder that blocking bike lanes carries the risk of a $115 fine. Charles Williams, a Brooklyn driver blocking a lane on Eighth Ave. at 29th St., said the clowns helped him realize that even a quick stop in a bike lane can be deadly. “I knew I wasn’t supposed to be here,” he said as he headed for a legal spot up the block, “but I figured I’d just be a minute.