Yesterday the City Council held hearings on three new bills that would require the DOT to "present bike projects to community boards, coordinate with other agencies before implementation, and report back on the results," as Streetsblog puts it. The thing is, the DOT already does this: despite what the anti-cyclist reactionaries would have you believe, existing law already requires CB hearings prior to the installation of most bike lanes (yes, even the Prospect Park bike lane, which opponents falsely claim was rammed down Park Slope's throat). But cycling advocates fear one of the bills could tangle the city's robust bike lane expansion in red tape.

Intro 412, sponsored by Councilmember Lew Fidler (D-Brooklyn), would require community board hearings on all bike lanes at least 90 days before construction. Current law already requires the DOT to seek community board input on projects that take away or add a travel lane or parking lane for four blocks or more. But Filder's bill would require the DOT to seek CB input on even the most minor bike lane, such as the Class 3 "sharrows"—those painted arrows that remind drivers the street is shared by cyclists... and cops getting coffee.

“We’re talking about the most minor, the most routine bike lanes that DOT paints," Transportation Alternatives' general counsel Juan Martinez told the Community Board, Streetsblog reports. "When we’re talking about these routine improvements, the months of delay that happen when you have to go through the community board means New Yorkers’ safety is delayed." According to the Post, Councilmember James Vacca (D-Bronx), "his voice in high gear," fired back, "You consider community input to be government obstructionist behavior? If you have nothing to fear because everybody loves bike lanes, why not have more public hearings?"

The bills are expected to pass, despite Trans Alt's confusion over why only bike lanes were covered under it. "This bill doesn’t ask for more community input over crosswalks or to add more parking," Martinez pointed out. Thankfully, Jack Brown, the founder of the Coalition Against Rogue Riding, was on hand to put everything in perspective. According to Streetsblog, he angrily compared cyclists to terrorists, not once but twice. Just imagine if the man on the bike was a terrorist!

Asked for his reaction to the bill, Transportation Alternatives spokesman Michael Murphy told us, "With motor vehicles killing hundreds every year and injuring thousands more, why single out bikes for extra bureaucracy? If safety was really your concern, wouldn't you start with the far greater danger to pedestrians? Clearly, there's another agenda at work here—one that puts politics first and safety last."