There’s never been a better time to ride a bike in New York City, but some say cyclists better enjoy it while they can — they won’t always have such a loyal ally in City Hall.
Thanks in part to the installation of more than 200 miles of bike lanes in the city, 236,000 New Yorkers ride a bike daily, up 28 percent in 2008. The New York Times just launched Spokes, a monthly bicycle column. And there’s a “bike summit” planned for May 6 at NYU.
“I’ve never seen a mayor, or an administration, this friendly to bikes or pedestrians,” said Queens Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. who is a bike advocate. “And I can’t see a new mayor going down that same path. It would be bad for cyclists, but good for people who can’t park their cars and trucks that can’t make deliveries.”
Some New Yorkers can’t wait for a 180-degree shift at the DOT.
“It’s insane. It’s like they don’t want anybody to have a car in New York City — that’s the premise that’s what this administration wants,” said Leonard Altabet, manager of Manhattan Grand Optical in Little Italy. Altabet said he’s seen a drop in business since the city added bike lanes along Grand Street.
“We are at a high point right now,” acknowledged Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives. “But we don’t have any more room for transportation except on bikes, mass transit and on foot.”