MANHATTAN – As snow gets set to fall on New York City today, an important reminder of how bureaucracy continues to put lives of Upper East Siders in danger— particularly if you’re on two wheels.
Anyone’s who’s used the First and Second Avenue bike lanes knows they can be treacherous in perfect weather— forcing cyclists to dodge pedestrians, cars, construction and delivery trucks on any given day.
So, as you can imagine a city councilman representing the Upper East Side is steamed after trying to make it safer in winter, only to be rebuffed.
“It’s total bullshit,” Councilman Ben Kallos told StreetsblogNYC after plans to buy a bike lane snow sweeper were shot down by City Hall, despite the money already being allocated. “We’ve already bought these things for the Parks Department.”
The reason? The snow plow is detachable so other seasonal equipment can be installed. Yes— the fact that the machine has more than one use is the problem.
Laura Freyer, a mayoral spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget told Streetsblog:
“OMB is not ‘blocking’ the purchase,” Feyer told Streetsblog. “The vehicle itself is capitally eligible [but] because it’s removable, the attachment is not capital eligible. We gave this explanation to the City Council in December.”
But, like an onion, as we go deeper the stink only grows worse. Councilman Kallos believes City Hall is putting the kibosh on the bike lane snow sweepr plans to cover for the Department of Sanitaiton, which would have to staff and operate the equipment.
A DSNY spokesperson told Streetsblog it is “looking at all options.” and until the bike lanss are safer, so is Councilman Kallos.