The Livable Streets Backlash Claims a Victim at Brooklyn’s CB1

Teresa Toro, one of New York City’s most productive livable streets activists in recent years, has been deposed as chair of Brooklyn Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee. CB1 covers the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn and has recently been embroiled in bitter fighting over the new bike lanes on Kent Avenue. CB1’s executive committee voted unanimously to remove her.

As committee chair, Teresa was instrumental in winning New York City’s first on-street bike parking, last summer’s Williamsburg Walks event on Bedford Avenue and — don’t forget this — a 39-2 Community Board vote in favor of the suddenly controversial Kent Ave. greenway plan.

It’s also worth noting that the Kent Avenue bike lanes were the by-product of a decade of community-driven planning as part of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. Williamsburg’s politically-powerful Hasidic community, offended by the loss of parking space and the potential increase in short-sleeved, female goyim rolling through the neighborhood, has vowed to make life miserable for cyclists.

We’ll try to get some more details in the new year. In the meantime, get some rest over the holidays, folks. The backlash is for real and it’s gonna be a fight in 2009. You can fax a letter to Mayor Bloomberg to express your support for the Kent Avenue bike lane.

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