Lunatic Local Pol Squashes Superb South Brooklyn Bike Lane Plan

04/12/2011 4:32 PM |

No space for bikes or bike lanes on these broad blocks?
  • No space for bikes or bike lanes on these broad blocks?

City Council Member Dominic Recchia (D) seems largely to blame for another abandoned Brooklyn bike lane plan, this one on an even larger scale than that shelved project for Lafayette Avenue: 3.2 miles on Bay Ridge Parkway from an existing lane on Shore Road in Bay Ridge all the way to Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst.

In a very brief item the Post notes, with no small tinge of delight, that Recchia and local politicians defeated the Department of Transportation’s proposal to install a bike lane of an unspecified sort (a DoT mockup suggests a painted-on bike lane between parked cars and moving cars on both sides of the street). The Councilman is quoted asserting that Bay Ridge Parkway “is extremely narrow, which means people would be fighting to get around each other… it would only be a matter of time before somebody got hurt,” whereas with no bike lanes providing sorta-safe space for riders nobody will get hurt.

That doozie of a quotation comes from Recchia’s blog, where he writes more extensively on the dangerous bike lanes that he’s successfully kept come invading and destroying his constituents’ streets:

I’m proud to announce that a controversial set of bike lanes proposed to run through Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst will not be moving forward. The bike lanes, running up and down Bay Ridge Parkway, would have created a dangerous situation for pedestrians, motorists, truck drivers, buses and bike riders. It’s a narrow street with a high volume of traffic, congestion and reported accidents. Bike lanes have a place in New York City, but not on Bay Ridge Parkway.

Reached for comment, The L‘s resident Bay Ridge expert and former Bay Ridge Parkway resident Henry Stewart says: “I used to live on Bay Ridge Parkway… The thing I hated most about it was how wide it was.” Questions of girth aside, the notion that bike lanes reduce safety rather than promote and foster it is worrisome, and perhaps indicates a victory for the Prospect Park West bike lane naysayers’ media campaign.