STATEN ISLAND, NY — The city’s Department of Transportation wants to install new bike lanes along the southernmost stretch of Hylan Boulevard.
Let me explain to you, motorists: if the plan goes ahead, we will lose the driving seat and the parking space. None of this should come as a surprise to any of us anymore.
Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Rive-Sud) and Community Board 3 oppose the plan. But that doesn’t seem like much of a deterrent to DOT, which is presenting the plan for the second time.
Remember, this isn’t just to help cyclists. It’s done to slow down motorists, and on one of the few stretches of road in Staten Island where we don’t experience heavy traffic.
So it’s another slap in the face of the city, another example of the city moving to actively aggravate our driving situation. This after the speed limit was lowered on the entirety of Hylan Boulevard, another kick in the kneecaps.
Previously, advance and borough officials would approach the DOT to help us with our traffic issues.
Now we prefer that they leave us alone. Because the city in recent years has practically stopped trying to reduce traffic jams here. Or so it seems.
No, it is now about driving cars as slowly as possible, in line with Vision Zero’s goals of reducing speed as a means of preventing road accidents.
Although distracted driving, failure to yield the right of way and following too closely are the main causes of accidents.
But the city prefers not to point out this fact because it cannot make money by installing “distracted driving cameras”. At least not yet. So much for following the science of traffic.
And the cycling world is loath to acknowledge this because it blunts their argument that the roads should be for cyclists and pedestrians, not cars or “car storage,” what the rest of us call parking. So they repeat the anti-speeding propaganda.
Motorists should remember that the terms of this whole argument have evolved over the years. Previously, it was “share the road”. Remember? We can all hear each other there, cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
Now it’s about getting rid of cars completely. And you’re saying there’s no slippery slope when it comes to these debates? Please.
Speaking of science, Borelli and Board 3 pointed out that DOT’s own measurement showed 250 riders using that stretch of Hylan on a nice weekend. And yet, the DOT would welcome them among the thousands of drivers who rely on Hylan every day.
Why collect data if it is not used to make decisions?
And cycling itself has changed. It’s no longer about leisurely biking on a sunny afternoon. It’s about people on dirt bikes, scooters and motorcycles riding around everywhere.
But it is okay. Anyone on two wheels, motorized or not, can’t be wrong. So ride on the sidewalk. Pass the red lights. Create your own right on red. Cross the ferry terminal or take a walking path in the park. We won’t say anything. The streets belong to you.
This is the message we have been sending loud and clear over the past few years. Motorists are the bad guys. So let’s remove their driving and parking space.