Three-plus years of pedestrian, cycling, and transit improvements in New York City have come under fire from some local media and politicians in recent weeks.
The data repeatedly shows that the kinds of green transportation projects rolled out by NYCDOT have made the city safer. But as Streetsblog documents, the NY Post‘s editorial board and columnists have been attacking complete streets redesigns. CBS2 and Brooklyn politicians have taken aim at pedestrian safety islands. City councilmembers have mooted bills to require registration of adult cyclists, or require new bike lanes to undergo a lengthy environmental review process before being installed.
An odd flashpoint has been a two-way bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, which was installed at the request of the local community board and has reduced speeding, sidewalk cycling, and traffic crashes. The heat of the controversy probably has to do with the personalities leading the opposition — two former high-ranking city officials who own homes on the street.
The backlash can’t be good for an administration which has finally given pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders an equal seat at the transportation table — a philosophy most widely seen in highlight projects like car-free Times Square, better bus service in the Bronx and Manhattan’s East Side, and protected bike lanes, but which has permeated the city’s overall approach to street design. It could be bad news for plans to further improve bus service, implement a bike-sharing program, and expand pedestrian space. If you appreciate these efforts, sign a thank-you card to NYC officials today at http://tstc.org/nycthanks/.