Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bikelane Backlash

A friend of mine writes:
What do you make of the city council bike lane hearings with DOT? I find it deeply disheartening that facts hold no sway. Some bonhead council member can say to Janette: you never consulted the community, and she'll patiently give the dates of all the times she did consult the community, and the council member will simply repeat his ludicrous assertion, unswayed by fact. I'm reconsidering this whole democracy thing.
Generally, I stick my fingers in my ears and go "laa laaaa laaa laaaa laaaa" until it goes away. It reminds me of Republicans. Simply ignore the facts and keep repeating what you want people to believe. Eventually, many of them will.

My other thoughts are:

1) We got a few very good years out of Janette Sadik-Khan. Honestly, that might be all we get for the next decade. But the city is still better off for it (once the Queensplaza bike path is finished and we can keep that gate on the Manhattan side open, I'll be content for a while).

2) Democracy does not bring bike lanes. Benevolent dictators do. It is why I love Bloomberg.

3) I'm afraid of real backlash from the next mayor. I don't want somebody running in opposition to bike lanes winning the election.

4) To rectify #3, I propose somebody start a serious organization dedicated to paving through the middle of Central Park to extend 6th Ave from 59th St to Harlem. Pedestrian overpasses will be built so people can continue to enjoy the park as before. And make sure to use whatever arguments people against bike lanes are using.

The goal is to create serious backlash to this proposal (a lot like Moses, Jane Jacobs, and Washington Square Park in 1958). If "populist" politicians want something to rally against, we need to give them something other than bike lanes.

3 comments:

central park bike tours said...

Bike lanes in Astoria NY are very inefficient and only get the traffic more congested. This is my personal opinion. In order a bike lane to be able to do its purpose, it should be separated from the main road with something like fence otherwise it just does not work.

PCM said...

I agree the bike lanes aren't too useful right now. But I do now understand how a line of paint makes anything more congested.

Central Park Tours said...

Bloomberg started this green policy and hopefully the next mayor will extend it.