Senator Duane Takes a Swipe at DOT for 9th Ave. Bike Lane

Duane_07.jpgAbout 70 people showed up for a screening of the documentary film Contested Streets and a follow-up conversation on transportation issues last night. Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assembly member Deborah Glick were not among them, both claiming last minute conflicts. The event was hosted by Manhattan Community Board 2. 

State Senator Thomas Duane (right), Deputy Borough President of Manhattan Rose Pierre-Louis, and 12 representatives of CB2 joined Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul Steely White and Department of Transportation Senior Policy Advisor Jon Orcutt at NYU’s Casa Italiana.

Given her opposition to congestion pricing despite her district’s low rates of car ownership and often crushing traffic congestion, we were hoping to hear what Deborah Glick had to say on transportation and livable streets issues. Instead, we got a bit of insight into how Senator Duane views DOT’s innovative new Ninth Avenue bike lane project.

During his opening remarks Duane took "just the tiniest swipe at DOT" for beginning construction on the city’s first-ever, on-street, physically-separated bike lane without consulting his office. Even though the project was vetted and approved unanimously by Community Board 4’s transportation committee and requires no state funds or approval, the Senator complained that he woke up one morning earlier this month to find the bike lane built and "holding up traffic."

"I know it was an attempt to fix things," he said, "but it wasn’t good for it to come as a surprise." Duane hopes that the City will be more conscientious about taking input from "all sides" when it comes to a congestion pricing bill.

–April Greene

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Streetsies

|
All in all it was a great year for New York City’s Livable Streets Movement. Here are the winners of our 2007 awards. See you in January… Best Livable Streets Project: The Ninth Avenue bike lane, Chelsea. Best New Public Space: DUMBO’s Pearl Street Pocket Park. Honorable mention: Chelsea’s Meat Market Plaza. Best Pedestrian Project: […]

TA, Manhattan Pols Urge DOT to Commit to Fully Redesigning Fifth and Sixth

|
Last month DOT announced its intent to add a protected bike lane along 19 blocks of Sixth Avenue. A coalition of advocates, business groups, community board representatives, and elected officials think the city can do better. At a press conference next to the Flatiron Building this morning, they called on DOT to redesign the entire length of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. In a […]

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

As Citi Bike Expands, So Should NYC’s Protected Bike Lanes

|
When Citi Bike launched last year, ridership numbers quickly surpassed levels seen in other cities. New York’s system had a number of advantages — more stations, more bikes, more places to go, and more potential customers, for starters. But there’s another reason so many people felt comfortable hopping on the blue bikes: For years before […]