CYCLE OF RAGE: NIMBY Lawyer Arthur Schwartz Sees Himself as Jane Jacobs Fighting Robert Moses

Arthur Schwartz. Photo: @advocat4justice/Twitter
Arthur Schwartz. Photo: @advocat4justice/Twitter

Arthur Schwartz will not like reading these words, but he is a NIMBY lawyer.

As the attorney for a coalition of block associations that is fighting the bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets, as well as the city’s plan to turn 14th Street into a dedicated “busway,” he has been called much worse by supporters of street safety and transit improvements. But by the neutral definition of a NIMBY — a neighborhood resident who hears about a city proposal and says, “Not in my back yard!” — Schwartz is definitely a lawyer for NIMBYs.

But he would prefer it if you’d call him the heir to Jane Jacobs.

I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Schwartz on Friday afternoon after vandals attacked the bike lanes that his group wants removed. He condemned the violence, but then spent the next 44 minutes arguing that the pro-transit community has him and his clients all wrong: They are merely fighting for the “community” to have a say over changes to the neighborhood.

And they believe, he says, that closing 14th Street to cars will send those cars onto local side-streets. He might be right — but then only mentioned congestion pricing as a tangential issue. He also made it clear that he opposes select bus service on 14th Street. So, no, he’s no Jane Jacobs in that respect.

He also was very eager to defend his credentials as a “progressive” after many opponents pointed out that it was, how you say, odd, that Schwartz, the political director for the New York Progressive Action Network, was fighting transit and other green transportation efforts on behalf of rich Greenwich Village residents and their supposed right to free on-street car storage. (Schwartz, of course, said parking is not his issue — he spends $600 a month to garage his car).

“Before you attack me as a lawyer for NIMBYs, … check out what I have done for the last 40 years,” he told me in a pre-emptive email after our chat. “I have been the elected Democratic District Leader for the Village since 1995, re-elected 11 times, got elected as an Obama-pledged DNC delegate in 2008, a Bernie delegate in 2016, represented Bernie in 2016, Cynthia Nixon in 2018, Jumaane Williams in 2019, and have built a public interest legal foundation in my spare time (I need paying clients, mostly unions, to pay my bills).”

I pointed out that it’s not an attack to call Schwartz the lawyer for a “not in my backyard” group. “Your group is literally opposing something because of the impact it would have … in your backyard,” I said. “An ‘attack’ would be to say you are corrupt or doing something immoral, which we have not said.”

“But even NIMBY is unfair,” Schwartz argued. “When people in Soho rallied (unsuccessfully) against Trump Tower Soho, was that NIMBY? When I represented many of the same groups to keep a Costco from opening on 14th Street (we got a YMCA instead) was that NIMBY? When people living near NYU sued to stop NYU from building three new 40-story buildings was that NIMBY? … NIMBY is a negative term, which I reserve for things like wealthy people opposing affordable housing in their neighborhood.” (To reiterate, NIMBY is not automatically a pejorative. But when people say they love bike lanes, but only in other people’s neighborhood, the shoe fits. And in this particular case, it’s a tasseled Gucci loafer.)

He claims instead that he and his group are merely fighting for “genuine community involvement in planning,” but in our chat, he said he knows nothing about other neighborhoods or their residents, and does not acknowledge that cyclists and transit riders should also get “genuine community involvement.” He ignored many of the basics that truly define progressive politics: concern for the common man, the ability to look beyond one’s own self-interest to the greater good, or even the desire to bike a mile in someone else’s delivery poncho.

The best part of our chat was his conclusion that the mayor would listen to the “very powerful Transportation Alternatives” and retain the L-train streetscape changes as a favor to the all-powerful bike lobby — a conclusion that is very unlikely, given the mayor’s fealty to the automobile.

It was a bombshell interview, presented here unedited, though with some explanatory notes:

Streetsblog: First of all, what did you think of the vandalism?

Arthur Schwartz: I condemn it. If somebody put glass in the street then it’s horrible. I don’t believe in vigilante action.

Streetsblog: But members of the 14th Street community put up signs suggesting that bike lanes don’t belong on “their” streets.

This graffiti appeared on 13th Street near Avenue A on Thursday. It is a reference to parking spaces that were removed to provide more safety for cyclists. Photo: Chelsea Yamada.
This graffiti appeared on 13th Street near Avenue A on Thursday. It is a reference to parking spaces that were removed to provide more safety for cyclists.

Arthur Schwartz: My perspective is this: I support bike lanes. When I was a community board member — which I was for 24 years — I would take pride in being the foremost proponent of the bike lane on route 9A [the West Side Greenway]. It was the first and it is still the best as far as I’m concerned. It has the most usage and it’s the safest, until some terrorist comes driving down with a car. And I supported the north-south bike lane on Hudson Street in the early 2000s. I was a big supporter of bike lanes. I am not against bike lanes. I want to be clear: I am not anti-bike lane. I have a Yuba chained in my house that is well-used, and I have two Citi Bike keys. … When my kids were younger, they used to ride on the back to school. [He described a specially made bike that he custom-designed for his kids.] People used to take pictures of my kids on the back reading books or eating sandwiches. So, I’m a big supporter of bikes.

Streetsblog: OK, you’re a lawyer so let’s stipulate two things: You’re a better father than I am and you’re a supporter of getting around by bike. Fine. But if you’re such a supporter, what bothers you about bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets and a busway on 14th Street?

Arthur Schwartz: I happen to believe that communities that are affected by any change should have a meaningful impact into decisions about that change. … Affected communities should have a real say, not just bullshit, but a real say on changes in their community. I served on CB2 for 24 years. … I was the major insister that park planning … genuinely involve input of and responsiveness to the community. I have four kids. That department and the Hudson River Park Trust responded to the community and changed a lot of stuff. They’d come to us with a plan … and we would organize community input and they’d modify and they would try to make people happy. Even if people would come from other communities to use a park, to me, people who live there should have the most say. Just because someone says it’s a great idea…Robert Moses said that. Robert Moses wanted to build an expressway right down Fifth Avenue and the community said, “This is our community.” Jane Jacobs said local people should be involved in planning. She beat them. So you say, “This is not your street. Fifth Avenue belongs to everybody.” Yes and no. People that live in the affected community … have to me should have a major recognized input to what goes on. … [But DOT] all they did was announce it. They said, “This is what we’re going to do.” They took questions. There was no input.

Streetsblog: There was plenty of input from other members of the community that you are not mentioning: the non-car owners, the bus commuters, the cyclists…

This sign suggested that West Village residents think the roads belong to them. Photo: Jonathan Warner
This sign suggested that West Village residents think the roads belong to them. Photo: Jonathan Warner

Arthur Schwartz: This doesn’t have to all do with cars. Most of the cars that drive down my block are not from my block. There are other people driving across town. It’s not the car issue. I put my car in a garage. It’s not the car issue. It’s the traffic issue. Traffic causes air pollution, noise, vibration, makes it unsafe for your kids to cross the street. That’s my concern, not where I park my car. It really isn’t. Is it annoying? Yeah. But I never expect parking is easy. My kids go to Chelsea Piers until 9 p.m. It’s either a cab or the car.

Streetsblog: So what is the traffic issue, as you see it?

Arthur Schwartz: You close 14th Street and all those cars are going to go down side streets. Trucks vans cars are going to go across my street, which already has enough traffic. … That’s the traffic. So most of the people involved in the 14th St. Coalition, and it’s every single block association in Chelsea and the Village, they’re not car owners. … It’s the traffic they’re concerned about. … People thought, planning wise, the people at DOT who I think have not done a very good job of moving traffic in the city … bus traffic in Manhattan in 2017 moved at 4.2 mph. The average person walks at 3.3 mph. That’s slow for buses.

Streetsblog: Sounds like you are making an argument in favor of turning 14th Street into a busway so buses could move faster.

Arthur Schwartz: I challenge that whole analysis, which was all based on guesstimates. Those of us who live over here don’t think the busway is going to make it move any faster and it will throw traffic onto our streets. And, this is the second part: the way that the DOT has set up the bike lane, the buffer area is totally being used for parking. I could send you photos.

Streetsblog: I could send you photos! But the traffic you’re worried about is even more likely to happen if there’s no bike lane because now trucks that illegally park only obstruct the bike lane instead of the car lane.

Arthur Schwartz: Right, and without the added traffic, it’s not a big deal [to the drivers]. But the minute you shut down 14th Street, it’s a big deal. To me, it’s not the bike lane.

Streetsblog: You say there was no community input, but the DOT wanted to put a two-way bike lane on 13th Street, but the community said no.

Arthur Schwartz: (Sigh) They did little tweaks. And people can do drop-offs of 14th Street. If they did a two-way on 13th St, they would have had to shut it to cars. There wouldn’t have been room for cars.

Streetsblog: Sounds like a good start! OK, so what do you actually oppose now?

Arthur Schwartz: For me, personally? I am not against the bike lanes. I am against the configuration. There are better ways to a) protect the bike riders b) avoid the trucks and c) allow for traffic flow. I think there are better designs that are better that would make it better. I don’t think it’s a safe bike lane. Just because you have a striped area? People zoom around and there are angry drivers who pull into the bike lane.

Streetsblog: Those angry drivers are the ones who frighten all of us, including cyclists and, I’d imagine, those elderly people you mentioned to Gothamist, though you said they were more afraid of the cyclists. So now I’m confused again: Who’s more dangerous to the elderly: speeding drivers or cyclists?

Arthur Schwartz: I don’t think that’s a safe bike lane. My position is in the letter I sent to the lawyers of DOT. Genuine negotiation with the community.

Streetsblog: Sure, but in this heightened climate, where people are dropping glass in bike lanes, or saying, “Give us back our parking,” this is playing out as a bunch of rich Village residents trying to hold onto their parking at the expense of safe cycling and faster transit.

Arthur Schwartz: No one is saying about parking. [Fact check: Schwartz’s letter to the DOT, embedded below, does bemoan the loss of parking.] Well, parking is an issue for people who have cars that live there. [Loss of parking] is supposed to be in all SEQR assessments, it has to be in there.

Streetsblog: You do know that the existence of parking encourages people to own cars and then drive, thereby causing the very congestion you detest.

Arthur Schwartz: I don’t agree with that.

Streetsblog: You don’t agree that free curbside parking encourages people to drive? It’s not a debatable point. There are countless studies on this. Sir, please…

Arthur Schwartz: (long pause) To me the major problem with traffic in New York City is Uber and Lyft, and not local residents. It’s also out-of-city residents driving in. That’s why I support congestion pricing. If I could get rid of Uber, I would get rid of Uber. If you had fewer vehicles entering Manhattan below 96th Street and fewer for-hire vehicles, we would not have the same problem. People who park on 12th Street never use their cars to go anywhere. … I have lived in the Village for 41 years, so I don’t know what it’s like anywhere else. Their statement doesn’t say a word about parking. It has four points. It doesn’t say a word about parking.

Streetsblog: The sign literally said, “West Village Parking Only.”

Arthur Schwartz: So people put up signs. But the most you could conclude is that one sign is the view of one person.

Streetsblog: You certainly know that the issue of parking comes up all the time at these meetings. Many people who own cars believe that their ability to park freely is more important than a clear right of way for transit users or cyclists.

Arthur Schwartz: Some people say that. I have not advocated that position and I don’t like being labeled that way on your blog. Frankly, my business partner bikes to work from Brooklyn every day and is a big fan of yours. I don’t hang out with car-parking advocates.

Streetsblog: You do represent some of them.

Arthur Schwartz: I represent a coalition of block associations. And they really want to be negotiated with. That’s the main thing they want. Traffic on the side streets is the key issue. [Point of fact: Block associations tend to be dominated by landowners, and do not always reflect the full diversity of a neighborhood.]

Streetsblog: All of this could be moot because the mayor might agree with you that all the L-train mitigations no longer are needed because the L train won’t be shut down.

Arthur Schwartz: I don’t think he’s going to do that. You guys wield a lot of political power.

Streetsblog: Streetsblog?

Arthur Schwartz: Maybe not Streetsblog, but TransAlt. The mayor is a big fan, even though he drives everywhere.

Streetsblog: You really think he’s going to bend to bicyclists? Care to make it interesting? Are you a betting man?

Arthur Schwartz: No, I’m not a betting man.

 

Letter from Arthur Z. Schwa… by on Scribd

  • Zach Katz

    Let’s pedestrianize the West Village—then we won’t have to worry about any congestion.

  • This is, quite simply, a question of “who’s in charge here?” And the answer to that question is the elected government, It is not those aggregations of half-wits and lunatics known as Community Boards; and it most certainly is not some self-appointed megalomanical goofball with a bad haircut.

    The correct approach would be to stop indulging these obstructionist yahoos. Send in the DOT to put in the bike lanes, and the police to guard against acts of vandalism and terrorism.

  • Joe R.

    We should have camera surveillance 24/7 after a bike lane is installed. This isn’t just to catch vandals. It’s also to catch people parking in the bike lane, or others which might be harassing or intimidating cyclists. Even if NYC isn’t empowered to issue camera fines for blocking bike lanes, we can send the license plate info to the vehicle’s insurance company.

    And yes, I don’t know why we’re indulging these flat-Earthers, either. Let them believe whatever they want, but it ends there. Their archaic views have no place in public policy.

  • Villager

    Schwartz is a moron. This interview is not a great advertisement for retaining him as an attorney.

  • “For me, personally? I am not against the bike lanes. I am against the configuration. There are better ways to a) protect the bike riders b) avoid the trucks and c) allow for traffic flow. I think there are better designs that are better that would make it better. I don’t think it’s a safe bike lane. Just because you have a striped area? People zoom around and there are angry drivers who pull into the bike lane.”

    I want to congratulate and thank Arthur Schwartz for making an argument for a more robust bicycle lane design.

    If the current design is unsafe because of all the “angry drivers who pull into the bike lane” then surely he’s in favor of something that will keep trucks out of the path of bike riders such as jersey barriers or a parking-protected lane. Because clearly, if he’s “not against the bike lanes” but merely “the configuration,” then the only logical response to address his stated concerns is to really beef things up.

    Also, since he understands that “People who park on 12th Street never use their cars to go anywhere” then I’m sure his neighbors won’t have any problems with removing more parking to make sure their fellow New Yorkers are safe when they bike for transportation.

    Thank you, Mr. Schwartz.

  • I think there should be time lapse cameras to show usage. Bet it would show dozens upon dozens of cyclists using the bike lane every hour for every one car that’s moved on a short stretch. DOT should do this and post the footage as part of its post-installation analysis. Would really help move this debate beyond numbers on a PowerPoint presentation. Something like what TransAlt did here:

    https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2017/06/26/video-proof-that-nyc-will-do-just-fine-without-all-this-parking/

  • Frank Kotter

    ‘I’m actually an environmentalist and have a history of advocacy but this is really about choice – we shouldn’t demand people stop dumping motor oil down their kitchen sinks….’

  • Larry Littlefield

    “They are merely fighting for the “community” to have a say over changes to the neighborhood.”

    Having a say is different than having a veto.

    As I’ve said, I think there is a reasonable balance in NYC today between Robert Moses-like steamrolling of the local interest and the kind of “it’s my world and you are just living in it” NIMBYism that followed it.

    That is a change from when folks like Schwartz controlled everything.

    Remember when the environmental consultants demanded that there be a multi-year, multi-$million environmental impact analysis for bike lanes and Citibike? If Bloomberg had gone along with it, the consultants would have gotten paid, but none of the bicycle and street safety improvements we’re had would have occurred.

    DeBlasio pandered to people like this, before he became Mayor. That accounts for some of his problems now. Even when he is in favor of the greater good, nobody takes him seriously, because they seem him as a pandering careerist.

  • Komanoff

    Fantastic interview. Gersh/Streetsblog has gone into the lion’s den and come out with a substantive interview that opens a window into the lion’s thinking and shines a light on his fallacies and contradictions. What a coup!

    To me, the most revealing thing is Schwartz’s reduction of Jane Jacobs into an acolyte (or flak) for community consultation. She was also anti-car, fer chrissakes, whereas Schwartz is anti-other-people’s-cars. She would have championed all of the L-pocalypse street reassignments, I’m sure, and insisted they go further.

    I’m intrigued by Schwartz’s reminiscences about carrying his young children on his bike. Now they’re older/bigger, and they go to Chelsea Piers by car (though he never drives his) or cab (though he decries Ubers). He lives close to the Greenway he says he helped birth — why don’t they bike by themselves? Could it be that the streets are unsafe, full of killer-drivers?

  • Prototypical scumbag lawyer. I feel sorry for him actually. This is an affliction. I don’t believe he can help but be this way. Shifty, evasive, conveniently noncommittal.

    Streetsblog: Who’s more dangerous to the elderly: speeding drivers or cyclists?
    Arthur Schwartz: I don’t think that’s a safe bike lane.

    HOW ABOUT ANSWER THE QUESTION SCUMBAG

  • This interview is also not a great advertisement for associating with him as a human being.

  • eastphilliamsburg

    “Progressivism” was a great career move that made him a multi-millionaire with a ritzy West Village brownstone.

    But like many wealthy New York “progressives,” the second his privilege is challenged in the slightest way, his true regressive feelings come out.

    (Exactly the same as the UWS parents screaming for segregated schools.)

    Also, google “Braess’ Paradox” or “induced demand.” These are scientific explanations for traffic with a ton of real-world examples backing them up. Denying the existence of these phenomena is pretty close to denying climate science.

  • One thing that shines through in Schwartz’ comments is that it’s *other* people’s cars and driving habits that are the problem. His kids taking a one-mile cab ride isn’t causing congestion. It’s all those other people doing it.

  • Inspector Spacetime

    The number of times the word ‘negotiation’ comes up is comical. Nothing he says has traction; it’s all for leverage.

  • Reader

    Check out this rather incendiary claim from Arthur Schwartz. TA has definitely not given out his address and phone number, nor has anyone accused him of having anything to do with the graffiti. The man really seems to make things up, doesn’t he?

    “What I don’t like about T.A. is that, first, they link me with the graffiti and the glass in the bike lanes,” he said, speaking on Friday afternoon. “Then, they gave out my address and phone number… . Somebody rang my doorbell and yelled at my wife 10 minutes ago.”

    https://www.thevillager.com/2019/01/broken-glass-and-sharp-words-over-l-shutdown-bike-lanes/

  • Joe R.

    When I read some of those comments to the article you linked to, I’m convinced a lot these people really are living in an alternate reality. For example, you have this:

    Fourth, most supporters of the 14th Street Coalition are older, long time residents, who are not particularly wealthy. Many are beyond their bike-riding years. If they are wealthy they park their cars in garages which charge $7-800 per month. What the configuration of bike lanes has done is deprive people of the ability to shop for groceries with their car, the ability to load their cars for trips, the ability to drop off and pick up children from programs and events. There are already bike lanes on 9th and 10th Streets. Is there really a proven need for more.

    If they’re “older”, meaning beyond their bike-riding years, which is probably 75+, then they certainly don’t have children. If they’re not particularly wealthy, then first off how can they even afford to live there, much less have cars and go on trips?

    Then you have this gem:

    @Tommy Johnson- I don’t what planet you’ve beem living on, if you think only rich people own and park cars in the neighborhood. You can’t go everywhere on a bicycle. One still needs a motor vehicle to get anywhere outside the few miles you can ride on a bike. Eldery and disabled people usually can’t ride bikes anymore. The bicycle utopia you envision for bicycles is limited, and is not going to fit within the real world.

    Really, you need a motor vehicle to go anywhere you can ride a bike in one of the most transit-rich places on Earth?

    This too:

    Also there is need to put in some loading zones for commercial vehicles interspersed within the existing parking spaces. I mean within, not takeover all parking spaces. Local motorists have rights too.

    Where in the constitution is the right to free parking? This is among the most expensive real estate on the planet. NYC can do with it as it wishes. Unless motorists are paying market rate for their parking spots they have no more rights to that space than anyone else.

  • Sorry, I didn’t get the memo containing Arthur Schwartz’s home address and phone number. Can you send me the link?

  • kevd

    ‘If they’re not particularly wealthy, then first off how can they even afford to live there’

    rent control?
    buying 30 years ago?

  • Joe R.

    To Arthur Schwartz:

    Your comparison of Jane Jacobs opposing the 5th Avenue Expressway to the opposition to the street changes here is disingenuous at best. An expressway would have had a far larger impact in terms of displaced residents, pollution, and so forth than anything being done here. Sure, what DOT did was a change but in the scheme of things it’s a relatively minor change. At what point do we say a community gets to veto changes to local streets? The 14th Street Coalition seems to think that line is crossed the minute any of those changes even slightly inconvenience people. If we allowed this, DOT would never be able to make any meaningful street changes anywhere. There has to be a balance. It might be something like DOT has determined that this block needs loading zones, a bike lane, a bus lane, whatever, so you ask the community where do you think the best place to put it is, not whether or not it should be put in at all.

    All of this is far different than major changes which would displace residents, cut neighborhoods in two, and so forth. Nothing DOT has done in the last few decades qualifies. The era of urban expressway building, especially in NYC, is thankfully over. It’s far too disruptive, and it prioritizes suburban car commuters over city residents. If you were opposing an expressway, you would doubtless have the full support of nearly all Streetsblog readers, plus a huge majority in your own neighborhood.

    You may not use curbside parking, but consider that this seems to be the primary issue for much of the demographic you represent. It comes up over and over again every time DOT proposes street changes. It needs to be made clear to these people that the curbside space belongs to NYC, not to them. NYC can reapportion that space however it sees fit. If it allows private car storage for free or at below market rates, consider that a privilege which can be revoked at any time for any reason, not a right as some of your constituents seem to think. By the same token, I’ll readily admit bike lanes aren’t a right, either, but rather should be thought of the same as sidewalks. If they’re needed for safe passage, they go in. On the other hand, if a street is pedestrianized so motor vehicles can use it for access only, then such a street typically needs neither sidewalks nor bike lanes.

  • Joe R.

    Fine, but if they qualify for rent control and own a car, that’s telling me they can really afford to pay more rent. Same thing with those in housing projects who own cars.

  • kevd

    rent control and scrie aren’t wealth or income dependent.

  • Joe R.

    I agree about making landlords richer but either way if can’t afford an off-street space to store your car in NYC then you can’t afford a car. There’s no good reason curbside space shouldn’t be priced at market rate, whatever that is. On the outer borough residential blocks admittedly that price might be zero but it certainly isn’t on 14th Street.

  • I wonder if Arthur Schwartz knows how to change a tire.

  • kevd

    I agree that parking should be priced at a rate so that delivery trucks and service vans (plumbers, etc) don’t have to double park and cars can always find a space within a couple blocks.

    The problem is we have super-priced parking for the rich in garages and an enormous, and wasteful free for all for everyone else.
    But, saying that on-street parking should cost far more than it does is very different from saying if someone can’t afford a $600/month garage, they can’t afford a car.

  • Joe R.

    Here’s the rub though—I don’t think even the $600 a month garages represent true market rate. Those garages mostly exist because of parking minimums. Doubtless some of the costs of building them were passed on to commercial or residential tenants. The rates charged by the garages reflect the maximum the current market (which is skewed by free and below market curbside parking) will bear. This is not necessarily a number which covers the actual fair market value of the space. To arrive at that number, one would have to calculate the monthly income per square foot of land someone building to the maximum allowed height could get. Just to get into the ball park, it seems in much of Manhattan you’re allowed to go at least 50 floors. If an average 1000 square foot apartment might go for $3,000 per month, or $3 per square foot per month, then you can get roughly 50 times that amount per square foot by going up 50 floors, or $150 per square foot. A typical parking spot is about 200 square feet. True market price for street space then might be $30K per month, or roughly $40 per hour.

    Obviously these numbers will go up or down depending upon the area and building height. However, I would be really surprised if anywhere in Manhattan they would be less than 4 figures per month. Granted, you can’t compare covered, climate-controlled building space to curbside space, so maybe value it at 1/2 or 1/3 as much. You’re likely still looking at market rates well into the four figures for most of Manhattan. The only way to potentially get parking spots going for a few hundred per month is to build huge garages, at least from a land value perspective. My guess though is once you factor in building and operating costs, it’s not profitable to build just garages or Manhattan would be littered with 50-story garages. The garages that do exist piggyback off more profitable tenants. In fact, that seems to be the case nationally. We offer parking as a “free”, or low-cost, perk to attract tenants or customers.

  • Joe R.

    Probably not, but to be fair how many cyclists in his neighborhood likely go to a bike shop to fix a flat, or change a brake cable? And how many order in or eat out all the time? The wealthy are generally too lazy to bother doing things for themselves. If we ever had a SHTF scenario they would be the first to die off.

  • TALKIN ABOUT A CAR TIRE, JACK

  • JarekFA

    I think what pisses me off the most about this faux progressive, is related to what I hate about de Blasio — this compulsion with declaring oneself a Progressive when they so clearly aren’t.

    Because Artie — buddy — we’re facing catastrophic climate change unless we quit cars. I bike commute 5 to 9 miles each way in NYC. The time is comparable with the train if not faster. It requires a little of extra planning and I get exercise but overall it’s not too hard. For bonus points, I drop my son off at school on my way in.

    My issue is, if you’re so fucking progressive that you find it important to “brand” yourself as such:

    — why the fuck aren’t you kissing my ass and asking me how or what would make my commute easier such that thousands more people feel comfortable enough to do the same.

    You should be leading the campaign to get the cars off our of public streets so that they can be used by the public and the not few and rich.

    why aren’t you leading the campaign to make it as easy as fuck for me to bike commute. Getting cross-town is the biggest pain in the ass but bikes also give you the greatest advantage when going cross town. But there are so few safe routes. Why the fuck aren’t you campaigning for safe routes! You fake fucking progressive but really a NIMBY piece of shit.

    Awwwww — people used to take pictures of your kids on the back of your bike. How cute. That’s what I do every day so why are you such a lying dishonest piece of shit trying to jeopardize me and my family’s safety?

  • AnoNYC

    Why did the city opt for lanes on 12th and 13th when some members of the community complained about bike lanes on 13th? One would assume that would only invite more NIMBYs. Is the current configuration better or worse than the two-way proposal, I haven’t ridden them?

  • PDiddy

    What a bunch of cowards. How about trying it out first before raising the torches and pitchforks. NIMBYs may actually see that the bus only street design increases your already ridiculous property values.

    Give it a shot. The worst that happens is you have to sell your car that you barely use in already crowded NYC.

  • KeNYC2030

    Just further proof that for NYC “progressives,” when you suggest something truly progressive for the streets, all bets are off.

  • qrt145

    NIMBYism is stronger than other political considerations. Look at San Francisco for more extreme examples.

  • Reader

    The city initially proposed one two-way lane on 13th Street, but when the “community” got upset over things like parking, the compromise was to split it into two one-way lanes on separate streets. This was one of the all-time great NIMBY self owns in history.

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