Wednesday’s Headlines: Carlos Menchaca’s Bike Lane Party Edition

Carlos Menchaca. Photo: Ben Kuntzman
Carlos Menchaca. Photo: Ben Kuntzman

Sure, Sunset Park Council Member Carlos Menchaca is happy. On Wednesday, he’ll be joined by DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg as they announce that the city has fast-tracked a 45-block segment of the delayed Fourth Avenue protected bike lane.

The new portion from 15th Street to 60th Street will be completed by the end of the bike lane season as part of Mayor de Blasio’s “Green Wave” plan (it was originally scheduled to be done in 2020). The Post previewed the work.

We mention Menchaca because he’s a true supporter of bike infrastructure, so putting a bike lane in his district is pretty much the low-hanging fruit. So don’t be surprised if someone — maybe someone with a Streetsblog press pass, who knows? — asks Trottenberg what her strategy will be for building out the bike network in neighborhoods where the lawmakers aren’t named Menchaca or Lander, but Treyger, Yeger, Koslowitz, Eugene, Ulrich, Diaz and Deutsch.

But until then, here’s Tuesday’s news:

  • The day was dominated by coverage of the big transit win on 14th Street, as a judge gave the city permission to build a bus- and truck-only route. The Daily News and amNY focused on legal machinations, while Gothamist focused on plaintiffs’ concern about cars ending up on residential streets. The Post keeps calling it a “car ban” (as if that’s a negative thing).
  • Friend of Streetsblog Noel Hidalgo — aka “noneck” on Twitter — biked to the World Trade Center and all we got is this epic thread about the Port Authority’s security theater over the supposed terror threat represented by bikes.
  • State Senator Andrew Gounardes wants to make express buses cheaper for students. (NYDN)
  • The Post took a novel approach to the self-driving car story — “test driving” the vehicle that drives itself. (The Tabloid of Record also played it straight with a news story. So did amNY)
  • Assembly Member Felix Ortiz — not the most enlightened member when it comes to pedestrians, to say the least — does want the state DMV to put the “Dutch Reach” in its driver’s manual. (Ben Max via Twitter)
  • Reggie

    Noel’s experience reminds me of the special security checks made (used to be made? haven’t made the trip in a while) when cyclists bring bikes aboard the Staten Island Ferry.

  • crazytrainmatt

    They still do the security theatre on the ferry. I took the ferry the first time a few weeks ago. I thought I might be running late and was walking quickly when I got barked at by an officer hidden in the corner of the garage entrance. There’s absolutely no signage or even a countdown clock, but somehow they are surprised when cyclists don’t go exactly where they want.

    Somehow the slightly larger Washington State Ferries system manages with far less attitude.

  • AMH

    Right, and cyclists on the 5-Boro Tour get sniffed by dogs before going over the Verrazano, and again before boarding the ferry! Never mind that full-size motor vehicles drive over that bridge every day.

    It also reminded me of the few times I tried to use the bike rack behind my own office building! Every time I locked up there I got grilled by security guards (who didn’t bat an eye at people parking cars nearby). I got sick of that pretty quickly.

  • maxmaxed

    So after biking up to 1st Street, what do we do next? Having fun between 35mph trucks on 4th Ave?

  • That last stretch up to Atlantic is the really bad too – the road becomes a bit narrower, and there’s a lot more congestion (not to mention all of the construction barricades). Why can’t they just do the entire thing?

  • The ferries for New Jersey that leave from the Vesey Street dock (formerly called “World Financial Center”, now called “Brookfield Place”) do not have the ridiculous policies of the Staten Island Ferry. You just walk on with your bike.

    And, the last time I took my bike on the Governor’s Island ferry, I didn’t see any of those oppressive Staten Island Ferry practices.

  • 8FH

    They should just take out the parking there and do a barrier protected bike lane


To keep making progress on traffic safety, redesigns as substantial as this protected bike lane planned for Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn will have to be implemented citywide. Image: NYC DOT

DOT Shows Its Plan to Get the Reconstruction of 4th Avenue Right

Fourth Avenue is far and away the most viable potential bike route linking Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Park Slope, but it's still scary to ride on, with no designated space for cycling. At 4.5 miles long, a protected bike lane would make the reconstructed Fourth Avenue one of the most important two-way streets for bicycle travel in the city, connecting dense residential neighborhoods to jobs and schools.