When it comes to bike lanes, Borough President Marty Markowitz is no cheerleader.
Earlier today, the New York City Council Transportation Committee and Chairman James Vacca (D-Bronx) heard testimony on the city's growing bicycle network.
As usual, the was a topic of fierce debate.
Markowitz, who has several times expressed a loud disapproval of the parking-protected, two-way bike lane, called the bike lane a "disaster."
"It increases congestion on the roadway and ruins the aesthetics of one of our city's grandest boulevards," Markowitz testified.
He complained that the lane takes away parking from "parking-starved" Park Slope and that cyclists often fail to yield to pedestrians. Markowitz questioned why Central Park West in Manhattan has received a traditional bike lane, and Prospect Park West had not. He urged that the Borough President's office and affected communities have a greater voice in proposed road changes.
"The DOT claims their policies foster public safety," said Markowitz. "But with all due respect, this isn't about safety—it's about ideology. It's about an ideology whose ultimate goal is to force people out of their cars."
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman also testified before the committee, though perhaps less passionately. He applauded DOT efforts to engage the community, but urged that the planning process needs to be improved even more.
A recent survey released earlier this week by CB6, Council Member Brad Lander and Council Member Steve Levin showed that while three quarters of Brooklynites polled support the Prospect Park West bike lane, only half of those living on or near the boulevard agree.