NYC Quietly Removes Staten Island Bike Lane

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(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) There's one fewer bike lane in New York City, but no one seems to want to comment.

After repaving a major traffic artery on Staten Island, the City DOT is replacing the bike lane along Father Capodanno Blvd. with parking and a bus lane.  The lane used to connect the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to local light rail.

The lane had been a point of contention among local drivers and cyclists for some time. The borough's newspaper even called for its removal, saying it endangered cyclists -- and arguing there were alternative routes (though those routes are shared with pedestrians, and after a certain hour, require a detour.)

There was no public announcement about the removal of the bike lane, but DOT chief, Janette Sadik-Khan told the Staten Island Advance, "we heard from the community and worked closely with local leaders to engineer a solution that works whether you’re on transit, a bike or behind the wheel."

Local politicians also supported the move, but did not return calls on the topic.

Local bike advocates are irate. Transportation Alternatives issued a statement lamenting the lack of formal process in removing the bike lane, citing a similar move a year ago in Brooklyn that was politically motivated.  WNYC last year had reported that City Hall wasn't denying that the removal of that lane, through a heavily orthodox Jewish section of Williamsburgh,  was a political favor delivered after Mayor Michael Bloomberg's narrow election victory.

They point out that this bike lane was part of the bike masterplan, and see this as a step backward from building a bike friendly city.