Blizzard of Discontent

We haven’t had the full reckoning promised by the City Council yet, but it seems safe to say that a few things contributed to the uproar over unplowed NYC streets over the holidays: 1) There was a lot of snow; 2) the Bloomberg administration didn’t declare a snow emergency, and 3) apparently many motorists could have used the official government declaration telling them not to drive in a fierce blizzard, because stuck and abandoned cars made it harder for plow crews to do their jobs.

There didn’t seem to be much reflection, however, about the complications caused by driving and parking during an extreme snowstorm. In fact, as you can see in this rant by Council Member David Greenfield, who took umbrage that the Ocean Parkway malls got cleared so people can walk or bike in his district, some elected officials weren’t above using the occasion to take a swipe at the city’s bike policy.

The “blame bike lanes” instinct also surfaced at the Post and the Daily News, both running indignant opinions about bikeways getting cleared of snow. They may be pleased to hear that the Prospect Park West bike lane is impassable for cyclists.

One of the ironies here is that some anti-bikeway types, including opponents of the PPW bike lane, have claimed that snow clearance would be an Achilles’ heel of the new, physically separated facilities. In the eyes of the opposition, NYC’s bikeways are damned if they get plowed, and damned if they don’t.


A Handful of Car Spaces, or a 27-Dock Citi Bike Station?

Because a construction site is blocking the sidewalk on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, a Citi Bike station was taken off the sidewalk in mid-April and re-installed along the protected bike lane on the other side of South 11th Street a couple of weeks ago, replacing a handful of parking spaces. The new site was the only […]

Gut Check: New Yorkers Need to Speak Up For Bike Policy

Yesterday the Post came out with another attack on the ongoing evolution of New York into a city where transit works better, streets are safer, and people have better options for getting around. Using a Post-manufactured squabble over the city’s Christmas blizzard response as their set-up, the editorialists launched into a screed against Transportation Commissioner […]

What Big Snow Can Tell Us About Our Streets

So the snow that hit the Northeast over the weekend is gradually sublimating and melting away, and a couple of the blogs on the Streetsblog Network are looking at the difference in the way municipalities treated pedestrians and motorists during and after the first big storm of the winter. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia […]