Whether or not the quote was in jest, livable-streets advocates haven’t forgotten Anthony Weiner’s promise in 2010:
“When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” Mr. Weiner said to Mr. Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”
Mr. Weiner is mercifully now out of the running, but a Lhota administration could be just as gung-ho about eliminating a critical piece of infrastructure. And it wouldn’t be hard to do. Here’s what Lincoln Place looked like at 7th Avenue this morning.
Many see the destruction of bike lanes as an intense affair involving bulldozers and legions of construction workers. For protected lanes on Prospect Park West and Ninth Avenue, that might be true.
But the vast majority could easily disappear under a fresh coat of asphalt. And even before that, the next DOT Commissioner could just let the paint fade, as is happening on 68th Street in Bay Ridge. (Sorry, don’t have a photo of that one.)
I’m happy about this particular upgrade. The Lincoln Place lane was marred by potholes, making it smoother to ride with the cars. Once the paint is down, it’ll be much improved.
But until then, it gives us a chance to appreciate that the gains we’ve made under Mayor Bloomberg and Janette Sadik-Khan could end not with a bang, but with a whimper.