A local pol is trying to protect bike-riding Bushwick hipsters from themselves.
The city is planning to install more bike lanes in the inexplicably popular transplant enclave, but the politician says the rule-flouting, beardo speed demons will endanger longtime locals — especially children and the elderly.
“This neighborhood is filled with many children and senior citizens, and bike lanes pose hazards for them specifically,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D–Bushwick), urged the local community board in a March 11 letter to reject the plan. “Many users of bike lanes ride at high speed, often ignoring traffic laws and signals.”
Community Board 4 nevertheless voted 13–10 with two abstentions to approve the new designated lanes for several major corridors — despite many members echoing the Assemblywoman’s concerns about reckless riders overrunning the streets at a meeting last month.
Transportation officials countered that bespectacled bicyclists are already traversing Bushwick’s boulevards, and said the new lanes will just offer them a designated space that will make the streets safer for motorists, pedestrians, and riders alike. If they are breaking the law, it is up to police to crack down, they said.
“The fact is, there are bicycles in your neighborhood, and we want to make it as safe as possible for everybody on the road,” said spokesman Theodore Wright.
Davila also argued the lanes will harm businesses on heavily-trafficked Knickerbocker Avenue by obstructing deliveries and turning off shoppers. But Wright claimed the change would have no impact on stores trying to load or unload their goods, as there will still be a parking lane, and the bike path won’t block traffic lanes or sidewalks.
“This is a simple thing — this is a bike lane, it’s not moving traffic and not impacting the neighborhood in any other way,” he said.
The Assemblywoman further slammed the city for not reaching out to locals when planning the lanes — but the reps claimed they actually did more community consultation than is typical, conducting a year of surveys and workshops with residents.
If the city goes ahead with the lanes, they will appear this summer.