Sunday, November 21, 2010

Consider the Bike Lane

The recent decision by the Department of Transportation to remove a bike lane on a scenic stretch of Father Capodanno Boulevard - overlooking the putrid beaches on the east shore of Staten Island - was disappointing, although not exactly surprising.

Generally, bike lanes are a good idea. They help promote alternative forms of transportation, and could ease congestion by diverting traffic into a single lane. They also prevent speedsters from wreaking havoc on pedestrians.

Father Capodanno Boulevard is not a heavily-trafficked street (except for rush hours) and the addition of the bike lane was a mild impediment to cars, to say the least.

But the unfortunate fact is that Staten Island drivers are not mature enough, forward-thinking, or possess the common decency to share the rode with cyclists traveling at a less-than-optimal speed. This will obstruct the locals from getting to their nail salons and mini-mansions at an average clip of 30 to 90 seconds a commute. Not acceptable.

In July of 2009, a driver went ape shit on Father Capodanno. Unable to share the road with a bike, he got out of his car, grabbed a cyclist and threw him to the ground, then kicked him.

In September, a Staten Island woman flung open her car door into the bike lane of a busy Brooklyn intersection and killed a cyclist in what police called a 'freak accident.'

On the legislative side, local politicians have gone sour on the bike lane initiative. Marty Markowitz, a usual bike lane ally, recently called the DOT commissioner a bike lane "zealot."

Way out in Colorado, a candidate for governor uncovered a UN/Marxist conspiracy behind the insipid bike lane.

Staten Island legislators have weighed in on the conundrum, pointing out the obscene blight the bike lane has made on our pristine suburban sprawl.

"Staten Island is a car culture... It has never been a bicycle culture."
- Councilman James "Get the fuck outta my office" Oddo 

"I think [removing the bike lane] is a very good solution."       
- Boro President Oswald Copperpot   

That's right. Who needs these freakin' bikes anyways? It's not part of our 'culture.'

Let's move ahead and outlaw cyclists all together. (Bikes are for children and hippies, right?) No runners either. Go to Dolphin Gym. Buy a membership. (They're not a sponsor.)

Let's make the street safe again for SUVs, tanned soccer moms, and Hummers driven by men with modestly-sized genitalia. Because that is what our 'culture' is. Am I right, Staten Island?

3 comments:

  1. Good post. Some comments...

    Re "Father Capodanno Boulevard is not a heavily-trafficked street (except for rush hours...)

    Father Capodanno Blvd might move slowly during rush hours, but the rest of the time it is known for speeding. This was one of the primary reasons for the bike lane being installed there. Now the speeders have more elbow room.

    Re: "and the addition of the bike lane was a mild impediment to cars, to say the least".

    Absolutely correct, I drive on that road and you'd hardly notice the bike lane. But it did, at least on the southbound side, narrow the road and force drivers to pay attention to their driving, and this lifelong Staten Islander attests that speeding was noticeably cut after the bike lane was implemented.

    One more thing...the bike lane on the northbound side is to be replaced with a bus lane. Most people on SI, including drivers, will tell you this bus lane is going to be filled with cars, and there will be little or no enforcement, just like the bus lane on the Staten Island Expressway.

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