The saga continues: At some point last night or early this morning, the impromptu bike lane painted by activists on Bedford Avenue in South Williamsburg was painted back to black by the DOT. This Sunday, bereaved cyclists will hold a "New Orleans-style funeral procession" for the deceased bike lane, so perhaps the black paint is fitting? Baruch Herzfeld, an Orthodox Jew who runs a South Williamsburg bike clubhouse, tells us, "I can't believe they are dedicating resources to make sure cyclists are less safe than more safe. There are tons of bike lanes that need repainting and they spend their time repainting one away? Whoever is in charge of the DOT bike lane painting must have a consignment deal with the Malach ha'mavess (angel of death)."

Regarding the bike lane's initial removal, an op-ed in Yeshiva World expands on rumors that the Bloomberg administration instructed the DOT to sandblast it as an election-time favor for the Hasidic community in South Williamsburg, which has objected to the bike lanes because of parking issues and the increased presence of immodestly dressed female bikers: "Days before the November elections, voters were told that the lane is indeed coming down... To my surprise, it did happen...and Williamsburg voters are still extremely happy with the fact that Bloomberg gave them what they asked... Bloomberg is still laughing thinking how he got thousands of votes just for delivering on a bike-lane, while raising taxes, etc."

Local resident Leo Moskowitz tells us he also heard—before the election—that the bike lane would be removed. (DOT spokesman Scott Gastel tells us "the white line will be retained as a traffic-calming marking.") But Moskowitz also insists Hasidic opposition to the bike lane has nothing to do with female flesh:

People are trying to say this is about women biking through the neighborhood dressed immodestly, but that is not the issue, the issue is about the safety of our children. There are a lot of insitutions on this stretch of Bedford, and kids being dropped off by school buses. When buses can't pull into the bike lane, it's a safety issue. Kids are being knocked over by bikers almost every day. If you had kids would you want them dropped off nine or ten feet from the curb?

The bikers aren't that bad but they need to follow the rules. All we're saying is that there's a bike lane on Kent, and a bike lane on Wythe; why can't they use those? The DOT screwed up in the first place by implementing the bike lanes without discussion with community leaders.

When we mentioned that the DOT did, in fact, conduct public meetings with the South Williamsburg community, Moskowitz countered, "There were meetings but there was no discussion. The DOT just came in and said, 'This is the plan.'"