Streams

NYC Quietly Removes Staten Island Bike Lane

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 07:47 PM

(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.

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Comments [2]

Aunt_Bike

The NYC Council will hold a hearing on bicycling on Dec. 9 to address balancing the needs of cyclists with those of other road users. Here is the link to the City Council notice, with the address and meeting time....

http://tinyurl.com/29ga3l6

According to TA, "Members of the public who would like to testify get 2 minutes to speak and are asked to sign-up and also submit a paper copy of the testimony when they are finished speaking". It is also suggested that participants show up at least 45 minutes early so as to clear security before the meeting starts, and that you need a picture ID to be admitted.

Nov. 23 2010 06:28 PM
David Northmore

I am very disappointed by Commissioner Sadik-Khan's decision to remove these lanes without consulting with the community first. It has taken a lot of work by private citizens to rally for more bike lanes on Staten Island. To remove these lanes without a hearing is, at best, insensitive. I find the statement "a solution that works whether you're on transit, a bike or behind the wheel" to be particularly insulting. Does the Commissioner intend to imply that taking away infrastructure is a solution best for cyclist? I doubt it, but it does portray the Commissioner as someone uninterested in the concerns of bicyclist on Staten Island. I am surprised that after standing up to all the opposition to bike lanes and the closing of streets in other, more politically powerful parts of our city, it only took a newspaper editorial and some complaints from a politician or two for her to cut her losses and run. The people of Staten Island can be proud today. The little people finally won, they got the big people to pick on the littler people.

Nov. 18 2010 11:43 PM

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