Peabody 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.
City Hall Not Denying Deal in Brooklyn Bike Lane Controversy
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
New York, NY —
City Hall isn't denying there was a deal to remove a controversial bike lane that runs through a Hasidic neighborhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg won political points during the election campaign by supporting hundreds of miles of bike lanes. But he angered some members of the Orthodox Jewish community when his Department of Transportation installed a bike lane on a busy, commerical section of Bedford Avenue.
Now Bloomberg has flipped the political equation by blasting out 14 blocks of the bike lane. That prompted protesters who tried to paint new decals in the middle of the night -- before they were stopped by a Hasidic community watch group.
A spokesman for Bloomberg didn't deny a deal with the community to remove the bike lane after the election and would only say "we always work with members of the community on any project." A DOT spokesman would not say how removing a portion of the lane was consistent with the Mayor's transportation vision.