Biking Big Snaps Senator Schumer on Disputed Bike Lane

Monday, March 19, 2012 - 11:00 AM


Senator Charles Schumer on the Prospect Park West Bike Lane (Paul Steely White photo)

Kind of hard to think up a more imaginative twist to the Prospect Park West bike lane story -- yesterday, while riding his bike with his daughter Anna, Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives and one of the motivating forces behind the high-profile lane, yesterday almost literally bumped into Senator Charles Schumer riding on the lane.

"My three year old Anna and I were riding our bikes to the park. And all of a sudden as we approaching the park I saw what looked like Senator Charles Schumer riding on the Prospect Park West Bike lane. I whipped out my cell phone and snapped the shot," White tells us. "And as I was taking the photograph he looked at me and smiled and said, I ride all the time."

Schumer's wife, Iris Weinshall, the former City Transportation Commissioner, was a major backer of the lawsuit to remove the lane.

That lawsuit was dismissed, though that dismissal is being appealed.

Schumer's office had no comment.


Comments [6]


That is cool that the Senator would go against his wife's opinion and continue to ride a bike path that she is fighting to have removed.
I don't know all the details but it seems a shame to have a bike path as nice as the one there removed. It would be nice if all cities integrated alternative commute routes like these. As a daily commuter by bike its very difficult when the proper pathways do not exist. I ride a bike like this everyday

Mar. 28 2012 02:03 PM

@Steve is right. Chuck Schumer actively lobbied city council members in support of his wife's anti-bike lane effort. It is not sexist for him to ask her to stop this appeal effort.

Bicycling is an important part of the transportation system in many cities, and is becoming part of it in NYC. The PPW bike lane is a key link in a bike lane network that should be embraced and expanded. Given how heart disease and diabetes are becoming our city's top killers, we have no time to waste.

Mar. 20 2012 11:30 AM

I agree that Iris and Chuck are entitled to separate opinions and actions on this and any other matter.

But according to reports, Schumer actively worked to remove the lane himself, so it's not a matter of a husband telling his wife to obey his command. He's wrapped up in this, too.

This wasn't some independent project for Iris Weinshall. She possibly traded on her husband's political connections to secure free legal representation for her organization.

Since Chuck was in no small part responsible for setting this ridiculous ball in motion, he owes it to his neighbors to stop it for good.

At the very least, he could do exactly what you say: tell everyone that in a modern world his wife is entitled to her opinion but that he happens to think the bike lane is a good addition to the neighborhood.

Mar. 19 2012 05:28 PM
Joanna Smith

Actually catching Schumer on the lane is like seeing a unicorn. I have seen him running red lights and salmoning the wrong way up my street, but never on the PPW bike lane.

Mar. 19 2012 05:04 PM

Even though I agree that the lawsuit should be dropped, I do not think it would be appropriate for Senator Schumer to pressure his wife to do so, nor do I think it is appropriate for anyone to pressure him to pressure her in that way. It is refreshing when public figures, married to each other, are willing to take positions that appear to contradict one another's. She is not his chattel, no matter how highly placed he may be, and she is entitled to her own opinion and to act upon them. To suggest otherwise is something I find to be highly sexist on the part of the writer of the comment.

Mar. 19 2012 04:29 PM

Time for Schumer to step up and get his wife and neighbors to drop their lawsuit.

He might even think about inviting them for a bike ride!

Mar. 19 2012 12:06 PM

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