Friday’s Headlines: Pedestrians and Cyclists Are Resiliency Edition
“Resiliency” should mean punish cars, not people.
Of course, people really lost their shit yesterday when the Battery Park City Authority posted this advisory on Twitter:
COMMUNITY NOTICE: To facilitate ongoing #BPCResiliency work, a one-block section of the Hudson River Greenway bike path will be converted to shared use on a temporary basis until November 2021. Read more: https://t.co/33QpSyjBQq #BatteryParkCity #BikeNYC @NYSDOT @CommunityBoard1 pic.twitter.com/4MffKBw6Go
— Battery Park City Authority (@bpca_ny) August 16, 2021
At issue was a short stretch of the Hudson River Greenway where the usual wide pedestrian sidewalk has to be closed, and those pedestrians forced into the bike lane, during a temporary “resiliency” project to protect the Battery Park City ballfields that were flooded (from the east, not from the river) during Hurricane Sandy. Now no one objects to a resiliency project — but taking away 15 feet of pedestrian space to turn the busiest bike lane in North America into a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists is absurd … when there’s a perfectly good lane of car traffic that could have provided the detour.
And people really lost it when they clicked on the Battery Park City Authority blog post, which featured a rendering of the new arrangement — which looked far more dangerous that the person who made the rendering took out the silhouette of a cycling kid.
Also love how the child disappeared from the second rendering since it's no longer safe
— Rob Bellinger (@rob_bellinger) August 19, 2021
We reached out to the state DOT to find out why it continues to discriminate against pedestrians and cyclists in favor of cars (particularly ironic for a resiliency project to fix damage from a climate change-linked hurricane), but no one responded. The bike path and pedestrian path will go back to normal in the fall, the Battery Park City Authority told us.
In other news from what seems to be like the fifth slow news day in a row:
- Crain’s did a deep dive on our current carmageddon — and how it’s likely to keep getting worse, what with 538,330 new cars registered in the five boroughs this year!
- Losing the Mermaid Parade hurt, but losing the West Indian parade on Eastern Parkway — a Labor Day tradition — really really stings. (NYDN)
- Like Streetsblog, the Post’s David Meyer and amNY’s Kevin Duggan covered Reinvent Albany’s report that the delay in congestion pricing is taking a real toll (pun intended) on the MTA’s finances.
- The Bronx Times found some Pelham Parkway residents who have no problem with cars that turn the tree-lined boulevard into an expressway, yet somehow are worried about e-scooters.
- And finally, we understand the situation in Kabul is tragic, but we did notice that the Afghan capital has great bike lanes, which reminded us that poor countries often have better bike infrastructure than the United States because many residents can’t afford cars. But that’s true in New York City, too, yet car culture wins anyway:
— Nico! ? (@thatonenico) August 19, 2021