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NY Mag platform for Bike Lane debate

I don’t have a lot of time for this posting because I’m buried in tax prep. But enough about me…Most of you noticed this huge bike lane article in NY Mag. It’s hard not to notice because it made the cover.

The author, Matthew Shaer, takes an in depth look at the debate which might as well be titled: “is New York City ready for bike lanes?” as if this is the only monitor of whether people can actually ride a bicycle in New York City.

Most of this news seems to be spreading like wild fire and there is really no help from the Bloomberg administration and the DOT who has been relatively silent on this whole issue, kind of like them saying: “Here, you guys work this out.” Maybe it’s more of reflection that we NYC cyclists don’t necessarily need bike lanes or rather big extensions of the sidewalk in order to ride our bikes. Rather, we should just be encouraged to get on on bikes and become traffic…you know…”ALL LANES ARE BIKE LANES.”

But still it’s hard to ignore the heated discussions and the platforms for everyone to vent their hatred of cyclists which really is about: “food delivery people riding on the sidewalk and this not being regulated.” oh yeah, “and the NYPD’s hatred of cyclists dating back to the days of critical mass and the Republican National Convention.” But let’s just forget history for a moment.

Let’s all pretend the popularity of cycling just magically began because King Bloomy hired Janette Sadik-Kahn in the DOT and then painted some of the asphalt green. Of course this pissed off the car loving neighbors, especially when it interfered with their ability to park and speed.

So enjoy NY Magazine and their love affair with two stone age minded cranks. One is ­Louise Hainline, dean at Brooklyn College, founder of the quite Orwellian sounding group: Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes or NBBL, kind of like the war department entitled, ministry of love. it’s great to know that someone can sit in their ivory tower, on the Prospect Park West and so easy effect the discussions about safety and bicycle infrastructure with the stroke of their pen…oh yeah and it helps to have powerful politicians on board who happen to live on Prospect Park West like Senator Chuck Schumer and his wife, former do-nothing DOT commish Iris Weinshall. Wow, I really hope they are not inconvenienced from getting their groceries form the illegally parking fresh direct trucks.

The article:

Not Quite Copenhagen
Is New York too New York for bike lanes?

(photo caption: “The biker careers against traffic; the driver veers into the forbidden lane; the jaywalker marches, oblivious. But only the sucker yields.)

Photo-illustration by Peter Rad
Article by: Matthew Shaer

n a blustery day this winter, ­Louise Hainline, a dean at Brooklyn College, stood on the roof deck of her Park Slope building, ­ankle-deep in fresh snow, squinting intently into the sun. Below, a lone cyclist coasted southwest along the iced edge of Prospect Park. Hainline shook her head. “And they say this bike lane gets a lot of traffic,” she scoffed.

Hainline, who is in her early sixties, has chin-length blonde hair, rounded features, and cheeks like burnished McIntosh apples. She and her husband, CUNY physics professor Micha Tomkiewicz, purchased their penthouse unit on Prospect Park West in 1997, “when real estate here was a little cheaper,” she says. There have been a lot of other changes to the landscape of Park Slope since they moved in. But in fourteen years, Louise Hainline has never seen anything as “monstrous”—nothing as “truly offensive”—as the Prospect Park West bike lane.

Read the whole thing here.

Here is a nice follow up by bicycle blogger: Brooklyn Spoke.

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