The iconic image of a child riding a bicycle touches the heart because many of us grew up riding through our parks and neighborhood streets. We remember summertime, training wheels, friends and family, and for many of us, there was no reason to stop riding at any age. Yet as with much in life, there is a place and time for just about everything. The problems and confusion associated with bicycle lanes lie in the mayor’s inability to differentiate between the realities of a large city like New York and the fantasy Land of Oz. Here in Middle Village, the parallels are all too disturbing.
But NYC differs from Oz in that the mayor of the Emerald City shows common sense.
Obvious to even a dull-witted observer, you do not need to hover over a crystal ball to see that bicycle lanes are not simply useless, but create problems. Look around; No bikes on 80th or 69th Streets. No bikes on Eliot or Cooper Avenues. No bikes anywhere. Absurd yet true, you would get more use out of “Dog and Cat Walk Lanes” or “Jogger Lanes,” which for all we know de Blasio has in the works. During the summer, bicycles CAN be seen circling Juniper Valley Park as they have for generations without special lanes. But in winter, you have as much of a chance of spotting a cyclist as catching a lobster in the Newtown Creek. We need bicycle lanes the way the Tin Man needs a Porta John. Not to give the Ding Dong Mayor any more ideas, but Porta Johns would be more useful than bicycle lanes along the bus stops in the neighborhood.
If on occasion a bicycle is spotted actually utilizing a bike lane, it is either traveling on the wrong side of the street or disregarding a traffic light. In addition, trucks cannot unload or must block the roadway, buses cannot turn, desperately needed parking spaces for residents, sports events and shopping areas are lost, and traffic is doubled for longer periods accompanied by auto exhaust and noise pollution.
Not “Cowardly Lionish,” but cowardly corrupt and manipulative, the city often makes decisions neither consulting the community nor respecting any opposition from its residents. Since the de Blasio administration has already classified a “cemetery” as “open-space” for homeless shelter families with children, we must acknowledge that these bicycle lanes are also “contracted-out” with taxpayer funds due to incompetence or more likely through nepotism. It is not inconceivable that the mayor may next attempt to convince us that La Guardia and Kennedy Airports need special runways for flying monkeys.
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
When it comes to quality-of-life issues that include bike lanes, shelters, education and the like, one harsh similarity confronts New Yorkers – the would-be “Wizard of Gracie Mansion” suffers from the exact same mental challenge as Dorothy’s scarecrow. Chasing rainbows, Ding Dong de Blasio will get another Middle Village vote when you see the Wicked Witch on the cover of Victoria’s Secret.