We can only say that it's about time-two Staten Island council members are calling out the Bloomberg administration for their failure to conduct a single environmental review of the disgraceful bike lane roll out: "Two city councilmen are pressing Mayor Bloomberg and his bike-lane-loving transportation chief to require that any new bicycle lanes go through the same exhaustive public review as other road changes. Staten Island Councilman James Oddo, the Republican minority leader, said plans for new bike lanes should undergo the city's lengthy environmental-assessment process, or the city should allow other, more minor traffic changes to bypass the review."
NYC's Sadik needs to be constrained-and we say it's about time because we have been questioning-along with the NY Post's Steve Cuozzo-for a long time why the city council has not instituted a challenge to this unilateralism. As we said last month: "The city-with the mayor's explicit or tacit approval-has embarked on a grandiose plan to thoroughly remake the city's streetscape. This is all being done without a single environmental impact study-and at an exorbitant cost. Much like the failed calorie posting experiment that DOH imposed by going to the unelected Board of Health for approval-while bypassing city council review-the current extreme makeover has never been properly reviewed by either city planning or the city council. When the council allowed the calorie posting to proceed without any complaint, it laid the seeds for this more radical usurpation of authority."
So kudos to Oddo and Ignizio-and their comments are right on point: "Oddo and Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-SI) penned a letter last week demanding an explanation from Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, an avid cyclist and bike-lane proponent, of why the lanes don't require the scrutiny. "The creation of bike lanes and the removal of vehicle travel lanes represent a major reordering of Department of Transportation priorities that may affect the environment and appear to qualify" for a formal environmental review, the letter reads. Oddo told The Post, "To add one left-handed turning lane [on Staten Island], it's taking us eight to 12 years, yet there have been all of these bike lanes installed without any bumps in the road. How is that possible?"