The City Council voted today to requite the Department of Transportation to consult with local community boards before installing any further bike lanes in the city.
“Bicycle lanes should be constructed only after consultation from residents who live in the neighborhoods they are meant to serve,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Our legislation will ensure the Department of Transportation works with community boards and fully considers feedback from neighborhood residents on where, and how, bicycle lanes are installed.”
The Bloomberg administration’s zeal to make the city more bike friendly has been hailed by cycling and environmental advocates, but has created a backlash in some neighborhoods and among business groups who say that the lanes are not used very often and create an imposition for residents and drivers.
The Council’s bill would require the Department of Transportation to make presentations at affected community boards on the proposed bicycle lane, if requested by that board and would require the Department of Transportation to give affected community boards at least 90 days’ notice before the proposed installation.
“Passing this legislation will give community boards enough time to officially go on record about bike lanes in their districts, ” said Council Member James Vacca, head of the Transportation Committee and a former district manager for a Bronx Community Board. “Communities deserve to have the chance to work with DOT on any concerns to a proposed bike lane, and I believe that this bill strikes a balance between the community’s need to be heard with the desire for bicycle lanes to be installed where appropriate.”
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