Upstate NY Mayor: People Who Bike in the Winter “Should Be Arrested”

Mayor Jeffrey Graham of Watertown, New York (population 27,000), has an interesting way of expressing his concern for people out on the streets in these wintry conditions. Speaking on a local radio show, Graham let it slip that he doesn’t think too highly of folks who travel without a car in the snow.

Mayor Jeffrey Graham of Watertown, New York told a local radio program winter cyclists "should be arrested." Image: ## Watertown, New York##
Mayor Jeffrey Graham of Watertown, New York, told a local radio program that winter cyclists “should be arrested.” Photo: ##, New York##

At about 1:45 into the sound clip above, a caller leads Graham to digress from a discussion about shoveling sidewalks and describe what he thinks should happen to winter cyclists:

I know I’m gonna get in trouble for this: People who are on bicycles out on streets like this — they should be arrested. I mean, that is a clear and present danger that is being created and if you’re gonna sit there and make the argument that texting while driving is reckless, doing that is reckless and it creates a danger for them and the motorists.

Unfortunately, they’ve got their — quote — rights, so they can do it.

The New York Bicycling Coalition responded on its Facebook page:

So if you live in Watertown and you don’t own a vehicle, and therefore you have to bike to work in order to provide for your family, you deserve to be arrested.

In case you’re wondering, the mayor’s comments came in response to a reference to a child riding a bike. It’s amazing that local police haven’t rounded up the reckless little tyke and thrown him in the slammer yet — in the name of public safety, of course.

  • Timothy53

    I know about your weather. I am talking about cyclists going out in weather and getting lost and requiring rescue.

  • Timothy53

    Nice. How entitled does one have to be to have to beg for what is right and by law? Who is the one who has an undue sense of entitlement? Maybe the one who is making demands that another must give up rights under the law for their convenience? You know, like motorists?

  • flyerhawk

    No they aren’t causing property damage. But if they get stranded they will require 1st responders to go get them.

  • Andy

    Stranded means having to leave something behind. If someone no longer feels like biking in snow, they can always walk. No first responders necessary – they can just walk their bike to the coffee shop and enjoy a brew while watching people in cars spin out.

    People driving in the snow are the ones leaving their cars behind when their slick tires are no longer capable of getting them anywhere.

    I’m glad that you are so concerned for cyclist safety, but anyone cycling in winter is prepared. That’s not the case with most drivers on the road, so you might do better putting your concerns on them.

  • flyerhawk

    Well my concerns apply to anyone who willingly goes out in that sort of weather.

    So your opinion is that anyone who rides a bicycle is automatically prepared simply because they ride bicycles?

    My comments are about a very specific area that I have experience with.

  • Andy

    “My comments are about a very specific area that I have experience with.”

    Go on, tell me about you experiences with first responders involving cyclists then.

  • flyerhawk

    Well we’re done here.

  • ludicrous_speed

    I think you’ve misunderstood me. My mockery was aimed at the motorists.

  • Guest

    If you knew where Watertown is located, you’d hardly call it “East Coast.”

  • Timothy53

    Well, then I am happy to be your explanation.

  • joe cipale

    Thank you for proving my point, fool.

  • Andy

    Of course it hasn’t happened. Cyclists going out in winter know that they need to wear a jacket and be prepared. We aren’t going from a heated garage to a heated car to a heated office. It makes us more prepared for the possibility of having to walk the bike if conditions aren’t easily rideable (usually because cars have rutted out the roads in an attempt to drive when it’s ridiculous to do so). Requiring rescue? Doubt it ever happens in towns. We’re talking about commuters here, not Alaskan adventurers.