when a proposed Bay Ridge Parkway bike lane [pdf] was blocked, Council member Domenic Reccia blamed it on "safety," and said that "it would make the street even more busy." Last night, CB 10 gave no specific reason for voting down the proposal besides saying that cyclists should pay insurance. "I'm embarrassed," said one CB member, "that we rejoice—that some rejoice when they get a bike lane." Haw haw! Because there's nothing more rugged and robust than car-related death and injury. What kind of hippie wants their streets to be safe?

L Magazine's Henry Stewart was there, along with the folks at Transportation Alternatives to voice their support for the 6.3 miles of bike lanes that would connect Bay Ridge to Bensonhurst and the 21st century, but despite an "unusually long and spirited debate" and the fact that "no one came to speak against the bike lanes," the measure was voted against by "too many hands to count." One of the 8 CB members that voted in favor of the measure "spoke eloquently about the benefits of bike lanes—how cities with more bike lanes have less obesity and diabetes, how American cities have the highest rate of bike fatalities in the world." The response? An opponent on the board said "once a bicyclist rode by her very fast, and it was scary."

When asked if the DOT might come up with alternative proposals that would suit everyone, board chair Joanne Seminara noted that such a request had "already been sent. And DOT had ignored it." A spokesperson for the DOT tells us, "DOT gave a presentation on the proposal last year, continued to discuss it with elected officials and other stakeholders over the following months and, based on their feedback, recently notified them that we will not proceed with the installation. As we've done with our projects across the city, we will continue to work with community representatives on ways to make our streets safer for everyone who uses them."

And Transportation Alternatives released a statement lauding the "participatory, community-driven process" that occurred and expressed hope that "the community board will give the people what they're asking for and bring a bike lane to the Bay Ridge Parkway." Given the show of hands in Bay Ridge last night, it may take another year for a chance to do so.