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Planning Junkie

Geek of the Urban Sphere


This is old, but worth mentioning anyway.

Sometimes it starts to feel like everything is political. A city may appear to care about cyclists, spending valuable tax money on new bike lanes and programs. But then maybe they only did it to get votes. Ultimately they seem to appease whoever complains the loudest.

In December, Manhattan removed a popular stretch of bike lane that was the shortest way to Williamsburg Bridge. Department of Transportation spokesperson Seth Solomonow sent the following statement by way of explanation:

“A small portion of this lane is being removed as part of ongoing bike network adjustments in the area, which have included the recent addition of a barrier-protected connector lane on nearby Williamsburg Street and the completion of a unique, two-way protected lane on parallel Kent Avenue. We will continue to work with any community on ways we can make changes to our streets without compromising safety.”

This statement doesn’t explain how removing a highly used bike lane doesn’t compromise safety.

In this case the cyclists using the route did not take it sitting down. In fact, they took matters into their own hands. Not only did they repaint the bike lane in the middle of the night, they made a video proclaiming how if the lane was removed they would just put it back for their safety.

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