At Mayoral Forum, Albanese Stands Out With Reality-Based PPW Response

The question of the Prospect Park West bike lane, posed by WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein at the Park Slope mayoral forum on Monday, may have been intended as red meat. But it’s also a serviceable litmus test.

If a candidate can’t get behind one of the city’s premiere cycling facilities, which grew from the grassroots and transformed a dangerous speedway into a humane neighborhood street, it’s a pretty good indication as to where that candidate stands on the issue of street safety in general.

So congratulations to Sal Albanese for setting himself apart from a pack of know-nothings and fence-sitters. From CapNY:

Sal Albanese, the former Brooklyn councilman who is probably the most pro-transit Democrat in the race, said he “absolutely” would have been installed the bike lane, and that there was “enough community input.”

An honorable mention to Bill de Blasio. Though he repeated the fiction that public input was lacking, said de Blasio: “I think in practice it has worked. In the end, I think it has worked.”

Yes, Bill, it has.

  • Jared Rodriguez

    Sal Albanese is the most progressive mayoral candidate. It seems he really understands liveability and sustainability issues.

  • J

    Stunning displays of willful ignorance. If you repeat a lie enough times, politicians will start to repeat it as well. Ugh. This is Tea Party politics, New York City-style.

  • I want to support DeBlasio, but his positions on transportation keep preventing me.

  • Aaron

    its funny. albanese has been out of office for more than a decade but seems like the only candidate who understands what regular ole ppl on the ground are thinking

  • Bolwerk

    Not really. They’re just milquetoast cowards who don’t want to take a position. Still, it should stop surprising people: the Democrats are the conservative republican (small R) party in American politics, and there are few bigger conservatives in America than New York City Democratic politicians. The biggest competitors for the conservative mantle might be in Albany.

  • James Reefer

    Does he actually have a shot, though? I only hear about him on Streetsblog…

  • J

    While I agree that NYC politicians are quite resistant to change, I disagree that they aren’t taking a position on this. When they repeat the false and oft-debunked rhetoric of the anti-bike lane crowd (that PPW doens’t have wide community support), they are actively undermining current and future efforts to create more liveable streets. If the lengthy process and wide support on PPW aren’t seen as enough, I have absolutely no idea how any project could ever be enough.

    No, these politicians are not indifferent, they oppose bike infrastructure, probably because a vocal minority will always complain. They are cowards, in that they hide this view behind ridiculous notions that these projects are unpopular and had no input, but it is rather clear that if elected, they would put almost zero effort into improving our streets.

  • Bolwerk

    Well, you’re not wrong but, rather, they’re forced to take a position to appease the donor class. If they were going to pander to voters they would be supporting PPW, but they calculate the donor class is more valuable to than the people who have to live with the consequences of the donor class’s wishes.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Calling this ignorance is extremely generous. These careerists know exactly what happened and exactly what they are doing.

    As I’ve said, great credit to those who went through the whole public process on Prospect Park West, with petitions, organizing, the community boards, and working with local council members. I would have assumed that the only discussions that matter take place at fundraisers and in other backdoor situations.

    These pols are just dissing the city’s community process, and saying that only certain people matter, and the rest is theater for the naiive victims. You can make the case that is the “reality-based” viewpoint. It certainly is with regard to the state legislature, was with regard to the NYC government, and perhaps will be again.

  • I know! It is so interesting that you can still be considered progressive in New York when your transpo policy was essentially formed at some suburban car wash.

  • Anonymous

    I know, do these pols really think that everyone just hops in their car and drives to the Mall and Grocery Store?

  • Joe R.

    No, but the ones who matter to these pols do. That said, I think we’re seeing the last gasps of autocentric policy in NYC. Once these people die off or quit, they’ll be replaced by people who think more like us.

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