Fortress New York: In the Name of Safety, NYPD Made Times Square Dangerous for Biking
Security overkill has wiped out the Seventh Avenue bike lane through Times Square.
In the aftermath of the fatal driving rampage through Times Square on May 18, the NYPD has shut down the raised bike lane that runs on Seventh Avenue between 46th Street and 42nd Street, commandeering it in the name of security.
Advocates and City Council transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez had suggested a different approach: making more streets car-free in the city’s most crowded place to walk. Instead NYPD has made the daily act of biking through Midtown more dangerous in the name of protecting Times Square against rare acts of deliberate violence.
The raised bike lane was installed during the construction of the permanent Broadway plazas, which opened at the end of last year. Now one segment (above) is occupied by a mobile NYPD tent, complete with parked police cars on the sidewalks and in the bike lane.
Elsewhere, police lined the four-block bike lane with giant concrete barriers. When people started using barriers as seating, NYPD blocked them off with fencing:
Mayor de Blasio committed to “any all and security measures needed to strength the situation at Times Square,” but these barriers are not the way to go. There has to be a way to guard against car attacks without chunky barriers that hem in pedestrians and push cyclists into dangerous traffic.