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Reader Rant: Ninth Avenue Bike Lane is 'Massive Scandal'

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To many (readers of Streetsblog), the new bicycle lane carved out of Ninth Avenue in Chelsea and the uppermost reaches of the Meatpacking District represents a bold new world for New York City transit. And like many bold things, it was a gift from the Dutch. But while giving some real estate to bicyclists may sound like a fairly noncontroversial topic, woo boy, one Chelsea resident is certainly not pleased with the outcome. In response to the heated discussion regarding the battle of Ninth Avenue's storefronts, he writes:

Great job on 9th Ave stores; I live over the barber shop. But you're missing a huge one! Look at the bike lane/parking spaces "improvement" on 9th Ave from 23rd down to 16th. That abomination was rammed down the neighborhood's throat with no notice, no hearings, no debate, no nothing. One morning we woke up to the sound of pneumatic drills and that was it.

Result? - Four lanes of traffic cut down to three. Dreadful traffic jams, especially weekends after midnight.

- Parking spaces reduced, moved to the middle of the avenue. Every other block all parking spaces eliminated. Confusing new sticker system for parked cars. Strangled traffic means it's more dangerous to maneuver in and out of parking spaces.

- Deliveries to stores made burdensome; trucks now have to park around corner. Drive-by business from motorists picking up coffee, sandwiches, newspapers, etc., substantially reduced causing serious financial hardship to small store owners.

- Traffic slowed by purposeless cement islands -- I shouldn't say purposeless, they were created to line many pockets.

- The entire travesty ostensibly to benefit bikers . . . who use their special lane ABOUT ONCE EVERY FIVE OR TEN MINUTES DURING THE DAY.

- Nota bene: despite this happening in the heart of Manhattan, there's been no news coverage BEFORE OR AFTER. Zip, nada, zilch. Clearly Bloomberg can control the media's appetite for scandal, because this monster bike lane is a doozy of a scandal that stinks to high heaven.

Talk to Councilperson Quinn, the Committee Board Transportation Committee, the Road Dept, the Budget Dept. Be prepared to see a lot of beet-red faces all around because this thing was a set up; were that not the case, there would have been organized opposition.

Bloomberg's 9th Ave Bike Lane construction is a precursor of the NAFTA Superhighway. Look that up and see what the federal government has already embarked on without the knowledge or consent of the American public. Such projects can succeed only with the systemic complicity of the news media.

Go do the reporting. Interview us Chelsea residents. Interview the store owners. You'll see everyone hates the goddamned thing.

It might be in these bikers' best interest to make sure that they are wearing helmets when pedaling down Ninth Avenue. Just saying.
· Battle for 9th Avenue Still Rages on in Chelsea [Curbed]
· CurbedWire: Chelsea Bicyclists Harder to Hit [Curbed]
· Bicyclists Will Soon Be Harder to Run Down in MePa [Curbed]