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Neighbourhood News

Neighbourhood News: February 13th

Two Wheeled News

The Courier Journal

City aims to build center for bike commuters

The city is seeking federal money to develop a large bike station intended to encourage more bicycle commuting into downtown.

If the request for $1.3 million in federal Department of Transportation aid isn’t approved, the city will try to find other sources of money to help construct the facility on city-owned land somewhere downtown, said Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Mayor Jerry Abramson.

“We’ve been discussing the project for several years, and now we’re ready to move forward,” said Poynter, adding that the city hopes to have a design by year’s end and start construction once it is funded. “We’d like to have it built yesterday.”

Poynter said the intent is to have secure parking for bicycles, as well as lockers and showers to accommodate commuters who need to change into good clothes for the work day. A bike shop with rudimentary sales and repair services could also be part of the station, which would be close to bus lines, he said. Read More

Gotham Gazette

Bike Lanes Run into Opposition

Protesters showed up in clown suits. Their opponents threatened to barricade a major thoroughfare with school buses. A respected community board member was fired from her leadership post. The debate has involved lost jobs, injury — and even sex.

The source of all this controversy and activism? A bike lane.

With concerns about pollution, congestion and energy consumption, encouraging people to cycle instead of drive could be seen as a kind of motherhood and apple pie issue. But as the Department of Transportation greatly expands New York’s bicycling lanes, it has encountered opposition from local small manufacturing businesses, the Hasidic community and shop owners, among others.

“We would never have predicted that bike lanes could provoke so much upset,” Gowanus Lounge once observed after a community meeting on bike lanes, adding that a member of a local civic group said the issue “led to the most contentious meetings they have experienced, including discussions of Atlantic Yards.”

Some of the controversy undoubtedly stems from the frenzied competition for New York’s streets with motorists, cyclists, trucks, pedestrians, skaters and baby strollers all jostling up against each other for safe passage. Some critics, though, say the city, in its drive to expand bicycling, has not always consulted sufficiently with the affected communities . Read Morebikelanes

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