New York City Council Members Carlos Menchaca, Ben Kallos, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso and Helen Rosenthal joined StreetsPAC board members and dozens of bike commuters this morning on two rides that culminated on the steps of City Hall in a celebration of Bike-to-Work Week and a call for further action on street-safety initiatives.
StreetsPAC organized the group rides, which originated at Union Square and Brooklyn Borough Hall, with the help of Council Member Menchaca and the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. For some, the sight of dozens of bikes on the plaza in front of City Hall was a sign of great progress – though much work still remains.
"It was a short ride from Borough Hall to City Hall, but it has been a long ride to move the city forward on issues of safe streets and a more livable city, and we have a long way to go," said Lander. He called for public funding for the expansion of the city's bike-share program, Citi Bike, an idea that was echoed by Menchaca and Reynoso.
Kallos lamented having to navigate around dump trucks and buses blocking bike lanes on his short ride from Union Square, but was pleased to hear his colleague Rosenthal offer discretionary funds from her district to help complete the East Side Greenway. "It really doesn’t make sense that somebody can’t ride their bike the full loop of Manhattan," Rosenthal said.
"The City Council had 10% bicycle mode share today," added StreetsPAC board member Dave 'Paco' Abraham, who organized the bike ride. "They're already ahead of Mayor de Blasio's 6% citywide goal."
Help StreetsPAC organize more events like this – donate today.