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Eric Adams

Underhill Ave. Still In Limbo Two Weeks After Mayor Promised Decision in ‘A Day Or So’

The mayor's perception of time differs from that of mere mortals, but he did say on Feb. 5 that he would decide "in a day or so." It's been two weeks.

Mayor Adams just keeps giving the side-eye to completing the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard.

The days have stretched to weeks.

Two weeks after Mayor Adams said that he would decide "in the next day or so" whether to finish the almost-done Underhill Avenue bike lane, the project remains in limbo.

"We’ll let you know when there’s an update," City Hall spokesman Charles Lutvak told Streetsblog on Feb. 20, a full 15 days after Adams indicated he was ready to finally make a decision on the Underhill project "in the next day or so."

"Yeah, you know, give it a day or so," the mayor said at that Feb. 5 presser, admitting that his perception of time differs from that of mere mortals. "My definition of day or so may be different from yours, but we'll come up with the answer."

The project — which would bring the benefits of the city's "bike boulevard" configuration to the stretch between Pacific Street and St. Johns Place — was nearly finished when Mayor Adams ordered it halted, citing unspecified complaints about it.

As a result, Adams ordered the Department of Transportation to do door-to-door outreach, despite two years of previous engagement. City Hall never released the results of that extra outreach, despite a demand (and FOIL request) by the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council.

Since City Hall stopped work on Underhill last September, the DOT hasn't presented a single new bike lane or bus lane proposal to a community board, and the stalled project has become symbolic of the Adams administration's hostility to street redesign projects — a policy that is being carried out by a newly established office inside City Hall overseen by a land-use bureaucrat and Adams loyalist, as Streetsblog reported.

"It has been nearly six months since work on the bike boulevard was paused," the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council said in a statement. "The administration's failure to act is irresponsible and is causing a neighborhood issue to fester when it could have been resolved months ago. ... We hope that Mayor Adams will do the right thing and complete these safety improvements rather than continuing to burden his administration with problems of his own creation."

The group also addressed Adams's belief that supporters of the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard are outsiders to "the community" who are trying "to dictate what is going to happen on a local level."

"The latest outreach ... will undoubtedly show great local support, as the previous years of outreach have also shown," the Council said, citing its own petition showing the vast majority of supporters are locals.

Most people supporting the Prospect Heights open street and bike boulevard are from the area. Map: BetaNYC/ Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

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