Friday’s Headlines: ‘Granite and Steel’ Edition

One rendering of the proposed Brooklyn Bridge bike lane shows an arrow pointing into our glorious future (though the lane would likely be a narrow two-way route). Photo: Mayor's Office
One rendering of the proposed Brooklyn Bridge bike lane shows an arrow pointing into our glorious future (though the lane would likely be a narrow two-way route). Photo: Mayor's Office

It’s an incremental story, but in our little corner of the world the big news yesterday was that the Department of Transportation finally will curtail cars on the Brooklyn Bridge as construction of its protected bike lane begins for real on Monday. Mayor de Blasio announced the lane in his State of the City address earlier this year, and passersby have observed construction materials massed around the site. But now it’s on, folks.

Streetsblog — which arguably has spilled more ink promoting the project than any other city publication — had the story first, with the richest context. The bike lane, which will wrest a bridge lane from drivers, represents “one of the most significant clawbacks” of space taken generations ago, wrote our grizzled editor, who noted that the mayor’s plan still does not meet national standards for a two-way bike path, which should be at least 12 feet wide.

But it will do for now, a soupçon of safety on the span that Marianne Moore described as a “caged Circe of steel and stone” and that for Frederico Garcia Lorca embodied the “City That Does Not Sleep.”

The Post explained the construction. Gothamist played it as service journalism, emphasizing the city’s instructions for motorists. The lane is supposed to be finished by the fall.

Later this year cyclists will claim a repurposed lane of the Queensboro Bridge. But after that, why not a lane on every bridge? The movement for walking, biking and transit has only begun to fight.

In other news yesterday:

  • Mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia pandered to the cops counseled safety, saying that the police build-up in the subway should continue until ridership fully rebounds, in order to restore confidence. (amNY, NYPost)
  • The AOC effect: the Congress member’s questions are delaying the earliest LaGuardia AirTrain construction for a few weeks. (WSJ, NYPost)
  • There’s two in every crowd: Husband-and-wife conductors defrauded the LIRR out of thousands. (NYDN, NYPost, LIPress)
  • A 91-year-old man was gravely injured by a car driver in Chelsea yesterday morning. (Streetsblog)
  • Yet another hazard of cars: they combust at the worst times. (SILive)
  • A Queens drunk driver was indicted for manslaughter for killing the passenger of another vehicle in a crash in April. (QNS)
  • Scooter concerns build after pedestrian death. (NYT)
  • Katie Honan, Paul Berger, Ben Chapman and others are national treasures, and this is very bad news. What, Rupert can’t spare a little couch-cushion change? (TheHill)
  • Maybe if Honan, Berger, et al. are out of a job, they could take some time off? WSJ’s travel section boosted bucolic bike trips.
  • Finally, the Times previewed seven events around the five boroughs for celebrating the new federal holiday of Juneteenth on Saturday.


Shocking Video From the Brooklyn Bridge “War Path”

Earlier this week we showed Doug Gordon’s incredibly dull video from our ride over the Manhattan Bridge with a member of the Daily News editorial board, a mind-numbingly mundane scene that the paper nevertheless characterized as a “battleground.” The same day, the Post ran a story about the Brooklyn Bridge promenade under the headline “Look […]

The Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Is Open and It’s Magnificent

Pedestrians and cyclists don’t have to settle for scraps of space on the Pulaski Bridge any more. This morning, the bridge’s new two-way protected bikeway officially opened to the public, the culmination of a four-year effort to improve biking and walking access between Greenpoint and Long Island City. The Pulaski carries thousands of cyclists between Queens and Brooklyn across Newtown […]