The opposition to the great new Prospect Park West bike lane, by former Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, sums up perfectly, why I thank both God and Mayor Bloomberg, she no longer has the job.
When in the role, she seemed to feel her agency’s sole mission was to make things ‘better’ for the minority of New Yorkers who drive. I thought I was at a séance, and Robert Moses was speaking through the woman who held the job under Mayor Giuliani.
It’s like the days of the Forest Service of yore, when trees were thought of only as lumber-in-waiting.
We live today with the results of 60 years of the policy Weinshall and her predecessors advocated and implemented: catering to the few who use cars, while giving short shrift to the majority who don’t. The resulting marginal state of public transportation, and the dangerous conditions which cyclists face, the ‘car lobby’ then cites as justification as to why automobiles need ever more resources devoted to them, and how ‘no one uses’ the scraps provided for pedestrians and cyclists.
As the current commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan said about the new bike lane,
“These are no longer the days of the wild Prospect Park West, a street where 70% of cars used to speed, and 46% of bicyclists cycled on the sidewalk”.