State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes Interview Part II: “A Williamsburg Culture Doesn’t Suit Bay Ridge”

10/18/2012 9:00 AM |

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What do you like about Longbow?
The best fish and chips this side of the Mississippi, for sure. And their burgers are phenomenal. I think they’re better than Kettle Black’s burger. I guess you guys just did a thing about Kettle Black’s burger being one of the best burgers in Brooklyn? I think Longbow’s is better. And it’s just a great atmosphere. Very, very low-key, great beer selection. The owners are very friendly, and they’re great people; you can have a conversation with them. And I like to go to a bar and talk to… have a conversation, talk, relax, kick back. I don’t want to feel pressure to, you know, be crazed or… I want to watch the ball game, eat my burger, and that’s it.

What do you think about bike lanes?
I’ve already come out and supported bike lanes. There was an article in the Bay Ridge paper about that a few months ago. I think bike lanes make sense for streets because they keep everyone safe, both cyclists and pedestrians. And motorists. I do think they should be put in place with community input and not just at the whim of the DOT. I think putting them in certain areas is dangerous because, you know, at the end of the day it’s going to be very hard to change motorists’ behavior. On 86th Street, say. There’s no reason why you should have a bike lane on 86th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues because the amount of double parking that goes on there and people pulling out of spots and this and that, it’s going to create more of a hazard. And, as a cyclist, I wouldn’t want to ride my bike on 86th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. And I don’t. But on the whole I think they’re good. I think they make sense.

And I think it’s a great way for people who want to come and explore our neighborhoods from other areas of Brooklyn. Let them have a way of getting down here. Let them ride their bikes down here to come to one of our restaurants, to one of our shops, or come to the waterfront, or come to one of our bars. Absolutely. At a time when we have so many closed stores on the avenues, why wouldn’t we be trying everything possible to attract people to come to our neighborhood? In any way possible? And that includes biking.

You ride a bike yourself, you said?
I do.

Recreationally? Or do you commute?
Right now it’s mostly recreational because of time constraints. But I have taken them before… for commuting. I’m a big fan. I’m an avid cyclist. And once this is all over, win lose or draw, I’m going to get back on my bike.

Is Marty Golden an avid cyclist?
You’d have to ask him.