Two Arrested in the Bedford Bike Lane Battles - NBC New York

Two Arrested in the Bedford Bike Lane Battles



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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 25: A cyclist crosses the Brooklyn Bridge during the evening commute August 25, 2009 in New York City. Recent improvements in biking infrastructure have led to a 35 percent increase in bicycle commuting in the center of the city between 2007 and 2008. The Department of Transportation recently announced the completion of a three-year project that created 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city with more scheduled to open next year. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Another battle was been lost in the Great Hipster-Hasidic Wars of Williamsburg following reports that hipsters have been detained.

    The two bike lane vigilantes shown in a video repainting a Bloomberg-blasted bike lane were arrested, handcuffs and all, after turning themselves in to detectives yesterday evening.

    Quinn Hechtropf, 26, and Katherine Piccochi, 24, were charged with what essentially amount to war crimes, specifically on the record as "criminal mischief" and a violation for "defacing the street."

    Ironic, it is, that the DOT were the ones that actually did the defacing. The biking hipsters essentially re-faced the street, giving bicyclists back their safe passage lane to the Williamsburg Bridge.

    The arrests come at a strange time, if only because the two were originally released without charges by cops in the early morning hours on Tuesday after being detained by the Hasidic community's very own neighborhood watchmen.

    Baruch Herzfeld, spokesman for the pro-bike-lane group, seems to think that someone got that arm-wrenching 3 a.m. phone call. He told the Post, "The cops told them they wouldn't get arrested, but the police must have come under pressure by the Hasidim."

    Yesterday it was noted from a source close to Bloomberg that the bike lanes were removed before the mayoral election last month in order to secure support from the Hasidic community. So the calls might indeed be coming from in the house.

    But war is war, and like all great conflicts there are allegiances in government that tend to move the chess pieces from square to square. While the Hasids may have the mayor's office, the hipsters might have a connection in the Senate. The real Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been leading the policy charge in their other Great War -- the battle to secure a waterfront sight for next year's Jelly Pool Parties -- so might one suspect he could lend a hand here as well?

    Schumer has yet to get his hands dirty in the battles over Bedford, but he did release a statement last month noting he found the Pool Party concert series in the first place while riding his bike along Kent Avenue. So he is a biker. And bikers -- government officials or not -- tend to stick together when it comes to the city's safe streets.