The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes Won

When I accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s offer to become Transportation commissioner, I told him I wanted to change the city’s transportation status quo. The DOT had control over more than just concrete, asphalt, steel, and striping lanes. These are the fundamental materials that govern the entire public realm and, if applied slightly differently, could have a radical new impact. I saw no reason why New York couldn’t become one of the world’s great biking cities — or why it wouldn’t want to. But the act of actually achieving it launched the bitterest public fight over transportation in this city since Jane Jacobs held the line against Robert Moses’s Lower Manhattan Expressway half a century earlier. By the time the fight localized — in October 2010, when police attempted to control hundreds of dueling protesters for and against a new bike lane along Prospect Park — The Brooklyn Paper called the proposal “the most controversial slab of cement outside the Gaza Strip.” Read article

See also: Inside the Story of How Cycling Changed New York

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