Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of Note to Self, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get Note to Self shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
Weiner on Wheels: From "Ripping out F*ing Bike Lanes" to 'Expand Citi Bike to Five Boroughs'
Monday, August 05, 2013 - 05:01 PM
NYC Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner wants to expand Citi Bike to all five boroughs, according to a new list of policy proposals issued by his campaign. He also wants to require landlords to offer bike parking.
In 2010, when well-connected Park Slope neighbors were fighting to remove the Prospect Park West bike lane, Weiner taunted the current mayor, saying "I'm going to rip out your f---ing bike lanes."
But since joining the Mayor's race, Weiner has been a bike share booster, though he's still iffy on bike lanes. "I always want to increase the amount of bike riding that we have in the city," he told TN shortly after he entered the race. "I like the bike share program, I've got (a station) right on my corner, I'm going to use it, I've got my fob in my pocket...but I will say this: the way we pursued this policy left a lot of people feeling like this was a policy that was brought down upon them in their neighborhood without a lot of consultation, without a real conversation about what it is we're trying to do, and a larger vision."
Now Citi Bike is transportation talk of the town and Weiner wants to see it expanded.
"New York's new bike share program has passed its first test," Weiner writes in the online booklet with a long list of policies and an even longer name: "Even More Keys to the City: 61 Additional Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class," a follow up to 64 previous policy proposals.
Weiner writes of Citi Bike: "Unfortunately, all 6,000 bikes are concentrated in some of the wealthiest areas of the city, which already have some of the best public transit options. We need to expand the program by setting up racks linked to subways and shopping strips in underserved areas like Canarsie and Castle Hill."
If this seems a bit Johnny-come-lately to a popular idea, the rest of Weiner's 11 transportation and infrastructure policies in the booklet seems like what you'd get if you focus grouped an urban planners who have trouble finding parking in the outer boroughs.
On zoning and parking minimums: "The city should amend the parking space requirements which incentivize car ownership while also increasing the space allotted for bike parking," reads one proposal.
On crosswalks: Weiner calls for a return of the "Barnes Dance," a four way walk signal for pedestrians that is statistically safer but can frustrate drivers who have to wait longer at red lights.
On tracks-to-trails: "The High Line is a success. But why stop in Manhattan?"
On parking: He wants neighborhood parking stickers and less frequent street cleaning and alternate side of the street parking days in some neighborhoods, and to let people park closer to fire hydrants.
On cabs: He's against the outer borough taxi plan, but he wants outer borough yellow cab and taxi stands instead. "We can incentivize cabbies to remain in the outer boroughs by creating hubs of available fares."
On zoning: Wi-Fi requirements should be in the building code so large buildings are required to provide free wireless internet access to surrounding public spaces.
On transit: And like every Mayoral candidate since John Lindsay, Weiner wants more local control of the subway system.