Of course Mayor de Blasio was late to the party — hizzoner’s late to everything. And of course he made a mess of things once he did arrive.
Pick a topic, any topic, and the above is true, but this week we’re talking about the Queens Boulevard bike lanes.
The lanes have been installed in phases, ever expanding eastward, over several years. As they go they eat up travel lanes and parking spaces like some kind of green Pac-Man, racking up points for cyclists and their government allies prosecuting the War on Cars.
Phase IV, starting where Phase III left off at Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, was supposed to have been done two years ago. Store owners, shoppers, delivery drivers, cabbies and everyone else who drives and parks along the boulevard got a reprieve from the change to come. Finally, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the work would be done this summer.
Hours later, de Blasio threw poor Trottenberg under the bus, declaring at the Feb. 19 town hall in Forest Hills that he would consider an alternate idea for the lanes from area Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz. She would move them from the edge of the roadway to somewhere in the middle, with protection from traffic. How this would be done is unclear (this page once suggested putting them where the medians between the main and service roads are now). And what would be done to shift the lanes at Yellowstone, already a messy intersection, is a mystery.
We did not look forward to the further social disruption expanded bike lanes would bring. We value the private automobile. And we hope a better way can be found. But two years of leaving people hanging and then embarrassing a top lieutenant in public while announcing a change of plans? Does de Blasio think he’s President Trump now?
No, he’s just de Blasio, late as usual.