Two very controversial things happened at yesterday's big City Council meeting to talk about bike lanes, and how they're ruining Christmas. First, City Council member David Greenfield proposed mandatory registering for all bike riders, the same way drivers have to register with the DMV. (DBV does have a nice ring to it.) Second: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, inveterate cornball and bike lane enemy, sang a song against bike lanes to the tune of "My Favorite Things." Here's cringe-worthy video of Marty's ditty, which he insists "summarizes this whole issue, period!"

If by "summarizing this whole issue," Marty means reducing it to a glib gimmick that's as confusing as it is annoying, why yes, this song is the bike lane war in a nutshell! The Borough President has been a dogged critic of DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, once going so far as to call her a "zealot." Yesterday he issued a press release ALL IN CAPS CONDEMNING THE EXPANSION OF BIKE LANES IN BROOKLYN. But he wasn't the only one blasting Sadik-Khan yesterday.

Jessica Lappin, a councilwoman from the Upper East Side who has been calling for increased enforcement of scofflaw cyclists, seemed hurt that Sadik-Khan hadn't read a bill she's introducing that would require the DOT to release detailed information about traffic accidents, including a count of those involving bicycles. According to the Times, when Sadik-Khan admitted she had not read the bill, Lappin replied, "I will tell my staff that despite our negotiations, I guess the top of the agency is not engaged."

And James Vacca, the chairman of the Council’s transportation committee, asked Sadik-Khan how how many people in the city ride bicycles every day. When she told him she didn't have a number, Vacca said he was shocked the DOT would make such radical changes without a precise count of how many might benefit. To which Sadik-Khan replied, "We don’t have the number of cars in the street, either." Then Vacca was all: "Maybe we should have those numbers, too." Great, next thing you know cars will want their own lanes! (The Times notes that the DOT later furnished a survey from 2007 showing that 500,000 New Yorkers identified themselves as regular cyclists.)

For those who've been following along with the bike lane saga, yesterday's meeting was mostly more of the same (with the exception of the show tunes and the proposal for cyclist registration). Simply put, New York is crowded and nothing changes here without a fight. But the Observer's Matt Chanan sees a territorial element in the subtext of yesterday's hearing:

The big issue for the council is that Sadik-Khan painted a long green stripe right through their turf. One of the few things Council members feel like they have any real say over is land-use issues, of which the streets are a major part. But when the lanes began to proliferate, and Sadik-Khan and the rest of the DOT began painting with impunity, Council members realized they really didn't.

So now the council is pushing back. But with 200 more miles of bike lanes installed and 1,800 miles planned with a 2030 deadline, is it too late? As we've seen, it only takes a couple of days to erase a bike lane. If cyclists want to keep them, they're going to have to keep agitating for them. And if they're ever lacking in inspiration, they should just listen to Marty Markowitz's musical stylings on repeat. For the record, here are the lyrics:

"Lanes fit for Fido and lanes made for lovers

Pikers and bikers significant others

A lane just for Santa but please don’t complain

These are a few of my favorite lanes

Strollers and schleppers and skaters and joggers

Holiday lanes just for all the eggnoggers

But lets not forget cars, it’s getting insane

Welcome to Brooklyn, the borough of lanes!

When the horn honks

When the dog bites

When the bikers stray

I simply remember my favorite lanes

And then I just say

Oy vey"