Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Bloomberg Not Budging on Bike Share, More Bike Lanes
Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 01:15 PM
SCROLL DOWN FOR TRULY FUNNY VIDEO OF MAYOR "RIDING" TO THE STATE OF THE CITY
In his state of the city address today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to add more protected bike lanes and touted the city's planned summer launch of North America's largest bike share program. He also promised to step up traffic enforcement.
The Mayor started off with highly-produced video (at the bottom of the post) nodding to several of his signature initiatives from last year, including creating a plan to allow hailing of livery cabs outside of Manhattan. The video also featured a cameo of Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan riding a bike in a bike line, as Bloomberg admonishes Wolfson to "stay in the bike line."
The Mayor has faced withering criticism and even a lawsuit -- since dismissed -- over protected bike lanes, particularly one along Prospect Park, in Brooklyn.
“Now, I realize the debate over bike lanes has sometimes been hot and heavy," the Mayor said in his address, delivered in a Bronx High School and largely focusing on education.
"But the reality is more and more New Yorkers are biking, and the more bike lanes we put in, the fewer deaths and serious injuries we have on our streets."
“This year, we’ll take steps to enforce the law requiring every delivery rider to have proper safety equipment and clothing that identifies the name of the business. At the same time, we’ll launch the largest bike share program of any city in the country. Those bikes will create another option for getting around town faster and easier, and so will new Select Bus Service in Brooklyn, which we’ll launch in partnership with MTA Chairman Joe Lhota."
The Mayor, whose NYPD has also faced criticism over lax traffic enforcement, also promised more vigilance.
“We’ll also make our city smarter and safer by deploying Traffic Enforcement Agents to safety hot spots at key intersections, doubling the number of 20 mile-per-hour zones for schools.
The Mayor also name-checked the proposal to start a "select bus service" in Brooklyn, with off-board payment and priority lanes.