De Blasio’s Police Department Continues to Sabotage de Blasio’s Bike Infrastructure
Police obstructed the newly-installed protected bike lane outside City Hall yesterday, forcing people on bikes into traffic.
It was safe while it lasted.
For about two weeks, the new protected bike lane on Park Row outside City Hall worked the way it’s supposed to work. With the addition of a concrete curb separating it from traffic, the bike lane was no longer obstructed by cars belonging to NYPD, city officials, or the press. (In its design, DOT set aside parking and standing zones specifically for those vehicles.) People could finally use Park Row to bike safely from the Brooklyn Bridge to Lower Manhattan and back.
So much for all that. Yesterday evening, the new bike lane was filled with NYPD vehicles. Several people posted photos on Twitter:
— Steven Fahmie (@fahmiesmf) September 6, 2017
NYPD commandeered the bike lane, ironically enough, as a staging area for bikes that police use for crowd control:
— Cycle NYC (@cyclenyc) September 6, 2017
And no, it’s never good when NYPD obstructs a route that people on bikes rely on to provide separation from fast-moving traffic.
The problem goes beyond this single project, of course. All over the city, police treat bike lanes as perpetually-available parking areas. Mayor de Blasio, for his part, hasn’t shown much concern for keeping bike lanes unobstructed — publicly stating that making drop-offs in bike lanes isn’t a big deal.
The police cars were gone from the Park Row bike lane this morning, according to Twitter user @D00Rz0NE. But until 1 Police Plaza makes it clear that officers should steer clear of bike lanes, it’s only a matter of time before this happens again.
How many people will ever feel confident they can comfortably use NYC’s bike network if they can’t count on police to leave a safe, unobstructed path?