NY City Hall Weighs in on Bike Lanes

Monday, March 21, 2011 - 10:33 AM

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) None of the following will be new to our readers.  But it's interesting, in light of reporting that the New York City Mayor may not be backing Janette Sadik-Khan, that this memo comes today from Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, an extremely smart and experienced politico pro (former Schumer aide, former Hillary Clinton aide)  within the Bloomberg Administration, in response to a New York Magazine article (whose contents will also be no surprise to our regular readers, sniff.)

Would seem to indicate pretty strong support for JSK, which those familiar with the situation tell me is real, not manufactured.

UPDATE:  Howard emails me he's been tweeting on this issue for a while @howiewolf.t...Here are a few:

From March 18: Will those who say bike lanes are "imposed" note this? CB6 trans committee unanimously endorsed modifications for PPW bike lane last night

From March 18:  New Q Poll NYers support bike lanes by 15 points 54-39. Strong #s.

The City of New York

Office of the Mayor

New York, NY 10007


To: Interested Parties

From:  Howard Wolfson

Subject: Bike Lanes

Date: March 21, 2011

In light of this week's New York magazine article about bike lanes I thought you might find the below useful.

  • The majority of New Yorkers support bike lanes. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of New York City voters say more bike lanes are good "because it's greener and healthier for people to ride their bicycles," while 39 percent say bike lanes are bad "because it leaves less room for cars which increases traffic."

  • Major bike lane installations have been approved by the local Community Board, including the bike lanes on Prospect Park West and Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn and on Columbus Avenue and Grand Street in Manhattan. In many cases, the project were specifically requested by the community board, including the four projects mentioned above.

  • Over the last four years, bike lane projects were presented to Community Boards at 94 public meetings. There have been over 40 individual committee and full community board votes and/or resolutions supporting bike projects.

  • Projects are constantly being changed post-installation, after the community provides input and data about the conditions on the street. For example:

o       The bike lane on Columbus Avenue was amended after installation to increase parking at the community’s request.

o       Bike lanes on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and on Father Capodanno Blvd. in Staten Island were completely removed after listening to community input and making other network enhancements.

  • 255 miles of bike lanes have been added in the last four years. The City has 6,000 miles of streets.

  • Bike lanes improve safety. Though cycling in the city has more than doubled in the last four years, the number of fatal cycling crashes and serious injuries has declined due to the safer bike network.

  • When protected bike lanes are installed, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists), typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations.

  • From 2001 through 2005, four pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents. From 2006 through 2010, while cycling in the city doubled, three pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents.

  • 66 percent of the bike lanes installed have had no effects on parking or on the number of moving lanes.



Comments [2]

david zelman

I don't know about other neighborhoods but i do know about the upper west side and the columbus ave bike lanes.
In addition to misinforming CB7, the chairman of this board took it upon herself/himself to meet with business owners and political leaders emissaries but did not invite anyone from its own transportation committee, nor did he/she invite anyone who had voiced disagreement with her policy.
What the city has done is polarize neighborhoods. No one is against bicycle lanes per se, what I object to is the misinformation and the arrogant nature of the city on this issue.
The other problem that I have with this policy is that there has never been any attempt to compromise with residents who feel that the DOT is systematically removing parking spaces from the upper west side.
I wholeheartedly support CB7"s position of creating resident parking.
As of now, 20% of the vehicles parked in my neighborhood of the upper west side are not registered in NYC. Resident parking will reduce carbon dioxide and add millions of dollars to the city's general fund. Resident parking appears to be a topic that the politicians have decided to dismiss.

Mar. 21 2011 12:05 PM

Thank you, Howie! This whole debate has been blown way out of proportion by a few rich NIMBYs with nothing better to do and a huge fear of change. NYC is not built for cars and the few bike lanes out there out of the thousand of miles of roads devoted to automobiles are nothing to get all worked up about. Communities and community boards love them - only these elites with money and time for lawsuits don't. It's time for the city to move on, make more, and ignore the hate.

Mar. 21 2011 12:04 PM

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