BK Borough Prez Calls DOT Commissioner a “Zealot” Over Bike Lanes

During an interview with WNYC, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz labeled the city's Commissioner of Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan a "zealot" yesterday  for her strong advocacy of bike lanes in the city, reported the Daily News.

Markowitz called out Sadik-Khan due to the city's plan to create a two-way bicycle lane on Prospect Park West which will stretch 1.8 miles from Prospect Park West between Union St and Bartel Pritchard Square .

"Like our DOT Commissioner, whose professionalism I respect, I too support cycling in this city," Markowitz told NBCNewYork.   

Specifically the BP said he supports the use of bike lanes including the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, the one on Ninth Street in Park Slope, and the Kent Avenue one in Williamsburg -- but Markowitz told NBCNewYork he opposes the Prospect Park West because it  "will both take away needed parking for residents and park-goers and interrupt access of pedestrians to the park during peak usage in summer and on weekends."

The city's motive in adding the lane is due to the area's high number of speeding and reckless driving incidents. In addition, the Prospect Park West area currently has no cycling space for riders leaving them to ride on the sidewalks, according to the DOT.

While Sadik-Khan, who organized the additional bike lanes across the city, did not address the '"zealot"  comment,  she did reiterate her strong support for the Prospect Park West bike lane.

“Prospect Park is the front yard for thousands of Brooklyn residents, and this project will make its entrance safer and more inviting. Protected bike lanes are a proven traffic-calming strategy that benefits everyone on our streets — whether you’re on foot, on a bike or in a car — and the Park Slope community is enthusiastically working with us on the development of the project," Sadik-Khan said in a a statement to NBCNewYork.

Markowitz, who admits to going to "meetings by automobile" also said during the interview that Sadik-Khan does not practice what she preaches when it comes to her mode of transportation to meetings.

"Even our commissioner of DOT, who you very well know is probably the biggest advocate of doing everything possible to eliminate automobiles - even she, when she goes to meetings, she's not on a bicycle," Markowitz said. "She's in a chauffeur-driven car. Interesting, isn't it?"

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