Senator Chuck Schumer loves to talk about riding his bike around New York City. But Schumer, who resides on Prospect Park West, has been notably mum on the subject of the controversial PPW bike lane. At a press conference in Jackson Heights on Sunday, Schumer was running his mouth about biking again, telling reporters, "I rode my bike around these neighborhoods. I rode through Maspeth and Middle Village and Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. I ride my bike all over the city." But don't ask him about biking outside his front door!
When asked about his position on the hot-button PPW bike lane issue, the Senator said, "I am not commenting. I am not commenting." Schumer, who has never shown any reticence on other hot topics ranging from abortion to Afghanistan, is apparently too scared to dip his oar into the turbulent waters of the bike lane whirlpool. Which is interesting, because his wife, former NYC DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall, has been one of the most forceful opponents of the PPW bike lane. The group she co-founded, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, even held at least one meeting at the Schumers' residence. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.
Schumer's "no comment" comes as the Wall Street Journal chimes in with a predicable op-ed excoriating the DOT's bike lane expansion. Noting the lawsuit filed against the department over PPW, the article asserts that "traffic congestion has gotten so bad on the street that emergency vehicles have to use the bike lane during rush hours. Many senior citizens complain that they've been nearly knocked down by cyclists zooming in the wrong direction." For the record, there have been isolated reports of ambulances using the bike lane, but it's a stretch to claim this is the norm. And the "many" unidentified senior citizens who complain should probably be made aware that the bike lane runs both ways, so there is no "wrong direction."
Anyway, sources say Schumer is indeed against the PPW bike lane. So why doesn't he just come out and admit what everyone knows? He's entitled to his opinion, and since it jibes with his wife's position, it's not like he has to worry about sleeping on the couch.