Bronx Rep Promises to “Make Every Effort to Avoid Blocking the Bike Lane”

vanessa_gibson_block.jpgvanessa_gibson_placard.jpgThe rules don’t apply to you if you’ve got one of these on the dash. Photos: Boogiedowner

Via Gothamist, here’s a story that nicely encapsulates why parking placards should be completely abolished. On Monday, a Boogiedowner reader caught Bronx Assembly member Vanessa Gibson parking in the bike lane on the Grand Concourse, NYPD-issued placard on the dash for all to see. When the Bronx News Network asked Gibson to explain herself, she offered this apology:

The bike lane on the Grand Concourse has been a positive addition for a
lot of Bronx residents. As you know, there is a serious lack of parking
on the Grand Concourse, but I have always respected the bike lane and
apologize for blocking it. In this instance, my car was left in the
bike lane for a few moments while I was unloading supplies for my
district office. I realize that caused some inconvenience and will make
every effort to avoid blocking the bike lane in the future.

A few refreshers. Forcing cyclists into traffic isn’t just an "inconvenience," it endangers other people. The rate of injuries and deaths on the Grand Concourse led the Tri-State Transportation Campaign to name it the second most dangerous road in the Bronx last year. Also, as Transportation Alternatives’ Wiley Norvell told the Bronx News Network, a placard on the dash doesn’t make bike lane-blocking legal. But it’s enough to intimidate traffic agents into not issuing a ticket.

Gibson, a freshman Assembly member who replaced her former boss, Aurelia Greene, after a special election last fall, didn’t explain why she was using a police placard. Giving it up for good might help her keep the promise not to block the bike lane. It will still be tough to find a safe, legal place to park and unload stuff in front of the district office, so the next step would have be to putting in a request with the city for performance parking on the Grand Concourse.

  • Okay, I appreciate the apology, but… can’t this elected official use mass transit like the majority of people she represents or hail a cab or even (imagine!) ride a bicycle? Using a bike, not her car, would be showing true respect to the bike lane.

  • Clarence Eckerson

    I’m actually impressed with her statement. So next step: let’s take her on a bike ride during Bike Month!

  • Perhaps we should ask her to explain how it improves safety and the relationship between the police and the community when our elected officials blatantly break the law in broad daylight, and the cops do nothing about it!

    This point at the end of the boogiedowner post is right on the money.

  • smax

    get over it streetsblog. The rep owned up. Not that big of a deal.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I’m with Clarence. Yeah, its a gotch, you got her and she apologized. Light years ahead of the normal “fuck you” response they teach new Assembly members in Albany. An apology from an Assembly member is almost a cry for help. Engage her. (there is another car right behind her, this is low hanging fruit in gotchas)

    My favorite bike lane block is on Neptune Ave. out in Coney Island just off of Cropsey. There is an enormous Russian liquor store (good price on the Argentine Malbecs) where all day and night the lane is blocked by real nice Mercedes, Porsche and BMWs. And, Neptune is no picnic for traffic either.

  • She owned up because she was caught on film. Again, let’s move this apology to the next level and use it to build relationsh Paul Steely White, why not invite her to go on a bike ride (along with Ray Kelly)?

  • vnm

    Assembly Member Gibson is actually my new rep in the Assembly, and I support her work in most instances. But her understanding of parking policy/economics needs to be improved.

    As you know, there is a serious lack of parking on the Grand Concourse

    Actually there’s an abundance of parking on the Concourse. Everywhere you look there are parked cars. There are thousands of parking spaces. The problem is that all the spaces are taken. The reason they’re all taken is that the city is giving them away for free.

  • Clarence, that’s a good idea. Let’s do it!

  • This is just two blocks from where I live, I hate it when I have to go out in to traffic to go around cars in the bike lane. It’s dangerous!

  • Actually there’s an abundance of parking on the Concourse. Everywhere you look there are parked cars. There are thousands of parking spaces. The problem is that all the spaces are taken. The reason they’re all taken is that the city is giving them away for free.

    Home run! Right on target.

    This is just two blocks from where I live, I hate it when I have to go out in to traffic to go around cars in the bike lane. It’s dangerous!

    Susan: the face of the person who might not survive Ms. Gibson’s bad habit’s “inconvenience.”

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    ….AND let’s make sure the ride includes parts of the Concourse.

  • First of all, I hate this lame, politico response…

    first the compliment: “The bike lane on the Grand Concourse has been a positive addition for a lot of Bronx residents.” …

    then comes the cockamamie excuse: “As you know, there is a serious lack of parking on the Grand Concourse, but I have always respected the bike lane and apologize for blocking it.”

    I shake my head at those that say a little street justice might won’t suit her better. Yeah yeah, it’s vandalism, blah blah blah… but this is were we can counter sue. Deliberately knowing that you are putting cyclist in immediate danger far outweighs the property damage. This can go all the way to the supreme court!

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