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Grand Street Bike Lane Keeping the Tourists Away?

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The Grand Street bicycle lane?a slightly confusing trail of green paint that snakes through Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy?may only be one month old, but it appears to have worn out its welcome. The Soho Politics blog has already chimed in on the lane ("Has anyone noticed that Grand Street has been turned into a rat maze?), and now the controversy has turned up in the the Villager. The bike lane is separated from traffic by a row of parked cars, but some argue that it's too much for 34-foot-wide Grand Street, teeming with pedestrians and delivery trucks. The president of classic Little Italy bakery Ferrara had a colorful chat with the paper:

"Grand St. is an emergency thoroughfare," Lepore continued. "Last week two fire trucks couldn’t make the turn," onto Mott St., a fact several other business owners confirmed. "There's no provision for cabs, tour buses, fire trucks or ambulances." The cafe owner said deliveries to his establishment are now scheduled for before 11 a.m. daily because of the street congestion, which he said is caused by the new bike lane.His sister added: “There used to be 42 tour buses a day, now they’re down to 35.” A bad thing for local businesses, sure, but some probably aren't complaining.
· The new Grand bike lane isn’t, Little Italy merchants complain [Villager]