« what would you do? | Main | liquid lunch, part 462 »

Bloomberg to commuters: "I have no idea what I'm talking about"

The transit strike isn't even on yet and the media is working New Yorkers into a frenzy. There is talk of calling in the National Guard and some cab organizations are threatening to keep their workers off the road in a show of solidarity.

And there is the buffoon Mike Bloomberg, spinning and wheedling his way through press conferences and interviews. Bloomberg has already said that cars must have at least four occupants to be allowed into the city during a strike. His solution to the people who don't know four people to travel in with?

Bloomberg suggested that motorists who haven't filled each seat should offer rides to strangers to meet the four-person quota.

Asked if that might not be dangerous, the mayor responded:

"You will be going in a car at a very slow speed with cars on either side of you, in front of you and behind you. I would suggest that's not a significant risk."

Hey! You in the trenchcoat? Want a ride?

Right now some would-be stalker is sitting in his apartment rubbing his hands in glee at the thought of easy prey.

I can see it now - Stockbrokers riding in with hookers, cops riding in with three card monte dealers - think of the friendships that can be forged through this!

And think of the potential for animosity. Fights will break out among strangers over whether to listen to Howard Stern or Curtis and Kuby on the ride in. Drivers will start charging their passengers. Passengers will start revolting.

And Dean Kamen will have a kiosk on every street corner selling Segways and some entrepreneur will be selling Real Dolls so you can pretend you have passengers. Hey, you can pretend you have a girlfriend, too while you're at it. There's a silver lining in every cloud, folks. Look for the opportunities here.

I mean, besides the opportunity for Bloomberg to prove how out of touch with the people he really is.


I hate that man!

where is it that they do that "slug" thing? detroit? where they pick up a carfull of riders so they can use the carpool lane. i'm not sure i'd have the nerve to do it in new york, tho...

Actually, here at the Pentagon we have a similar system called "slugging". People who drive in to work stop at a "slug" line and pick up two or three others so that they can use the HOV (high occupancy vehicles) lanes and avoid at least some traffic. The people are mostly strangers, although I understand friendships and even marriages have occured. So far (and its been going on for decades) minimal bad stuff has happened. As New Yorkers have repeatedly shown the world, we're all, with some exceptions, pretty good to each other (at least when we need each other).

Andy (who is not a slug)

Drivers will start charging their passengers will break the strike in a week said the handsome Libertarian.

tanya: As a Detroiter, I resent any implication that we are not as scary as New Yorkers. Indeed, when you want scary, the Dizzle's got all dat shiznit.

my humblest apologies. i promise to quake in my boots henceforth, at the mere thought of detroit. quake

I totally agree with you. I live outside of NYC and I am always in the city. The way the media has hyped this up is rediculous. Seriously, you know its not going to happen. It will either get solved or someone will step in (i.e President Bush). So will the media please stop making everyone worry. Please don't get me started on the 4 person occupancy requirement per car...

Michele, I think the Mayor should volunteer to go first to show us all how safe it is, and pick 4 strangers up completely at random for a week.

Maybe you could make a Top Ten list of places he should go to do this????

Heh. I'm sitting here imagining the awkward silences and then the inexplicable stains in the backseat.



This boggles the mind. Can we arm ourselves for the commute?

I don't get what you guys are complaining about. Is it being told what to do by the mayor? For many, the drive to work is the only time they get to spend with themselves, and giving that up is a huge sacrifice.

I don't pretend to speak for others, but I've been doing so called "casual carpooling" for years. Cars line up outside of the train station, the fast food joint, or wherever and fill their car from a line of smartly dressed and curteous professionals eager to begin their workday . We are all so socialized as a group that nothing too weird can happen.

The fact is that casual carpooling works, and is an accepted fact of life in many other places. What makes NYC any different? Do people wear more cologne? Do they try to "network" with you during the drive in? Sure, there's an annoyance factor, but so what?

I've got to agree... Nicole...


But Michele, did you expect more from a guy who used personal wealth to get into public office? Call me cynical, but I think the worst is yet to come.
(This from a Philly area chick who is forced to tolerate Mayor Street)

There's another reason why this disturbs me...

Once this ruling becomes widely known, think of the upsurge in Linklater-like arty films about 'four strangers driving to work in the cityand the relationships between them, and the realisations that they come to about their personal lives and beliefs in this short, but life-changing, journey'.

This is a threat to our freedom from widespread pretension and boredom.

Fight the power.

While I agree with Bloomberg that it's not the job of a mayor to be popular, but to do what is right, there is a difference between not trying to be popular and trying to make yourself actively hated. But at least he's successful at it.