City Council Member Julie Menin delivered a safer, resurfaced bike lane for the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Now, the “cheese-grater” ride is finally gone. Fellow Council Member Julie Won and City Transportation official Edward Pincar joined her at an onsite press briefing. But something else was hiding in plain sight.
by David Stone
As Menin noted, “Riders previously had to ride over the same metal “cheese grater-like” material that automobiles drove over on the drawbridge. This surface could be especially hazardous in inclement weather.”
NYC DOT covered the risky surface with “300 metal panels with flexible delineator, the first time the Department of Transportation has used this material in New York City.”
Running for office, Menin emphasized her ability, based on experience, to get things done. And here, she proved it, teaming up with Won from the Queens side of the bridge as well as DOT.
But Along with the Bike Lane…
The bad bike lane bugged Roosevelt Island bike enthusiasts for years. Photos appeared on social media and appeals reached City officials, but until Julie Menin plugged in, nothing got done.
She earns credit for that, but something troubling went unnoticed.
There’s a story about two young fish passing an older fish.
The older fish says, “Good morning. How’s the water?’
Out of earshot, one young fish turns to the other and says, “What the hell is water?”
There are some things to which we become so accustomed we don’t notice them anymore.
In this case, it’s the endless trail of motorized bikes and scooters speeding through stop signs all over Roosevelt Island.
Without question, these unlicensed, uninsured, reckless riders pose a far greater risk than any cheese-grater bike lane. And yet, in the short period in which Menin and others bragged about fixing the lane, two e-bikes and a scooter raced by, just feet away, running straight through the stop sign for all to see.
There’s a message here. Clearly, the reckless riders are confident that rules of the road are non-existent on Roosevelt Island.
And that everyone else has joined Public Safety in pretending either it isn’t happening or it doesn’t matter.
Maybe it’s time for our local representatives to step up their game and not settle for solving just the easy ones.
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