NYC Mayor declares war on... cars

Here’s a breaking news flash for all of the readers of Hot Air. We have it on good authority that the traffic in New York City is frequently… pretty bad. On top of that, the metro system is a dangerous mess, so getting around can often be a time consuming chore. (I know you’re shocked, but it’s true.) Well, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been made aware of the problem and he’s determined to do something about it.

So what’s the root cause of all this mayhem on the motorways? Clearly, according to the Mayor, it’s all those darn cars. And now there’s a plan being rolled out to put them in their place. (CBS New York)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to sign a massive redesign of city streets, favoring buses and bikes over cars. The mayor was on board an M-14 bus during the Monday evening commute, asking riders how they felt about the new 14th Street busway…

The sweeping agenda calls for transforming streets to speed up buses and make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“For too long, things have been stacked in car drivers’ favor and away from other people that need to use our city streets,” said Johnson.

This plan actually wasn’t de Blasio’s idea originally. It was hatched by the City Council Speaker (Corey Johnson), but Hizzoner is endorsing it enthusiastically.

So what are the details? They’re looking at 250 miles of “protected” bike lanes. Then there are another 150 miles of special bus lanes. The plan also includes construction projects for better bus stops, as well as improved pedestrian crossing signals. Oh, and the cops will be directed to conduct a “crackdown on bad drivers.”

In case this hasn’t already set in for you, they’re talking about hundreds of miles of city street lanes that will be closed off to cars, making them only available to bikes and buses. Keep in mind that the existing streets in the Big Apple run in between the massive buildings that populate the boroughs. And the buildings don’t move. So that means there will be even fewer lanes of traffic to accommodate all of the vehicles in the streets.

And this construction will all require heavy equipment and road crews. Each street being “upgraded” will be shut down for months, if not years, driving all of its normal traffic onto other, already crowded streets. The city will be effectively paralyzed, even more so than it is today. It’s pure genius, New York style.

The bizarre thinking behind this plan should have been evident from one of the initial statements from the guy who came up with it. “For too long, things have been stacked in car drivers’ favor and away from other people that need to use our city streets.”

Pardon my pointing this out, Mr. Johnson, but we’re talking about “streets” here. By definition, they exist to allow vehicles to move smoothly from place to place. Pedestrians belong on the sidewalks. Bikes can ride on the shoulders. Given the sad state of the subways and bus lines, which people already complain about constantly, how do you expect people to get back and forth once you make the streets unusable for cars?

Of course, the Mayor may not be aware of all this. Bill de Blasio doesn’t mingle with the hoi polloi on the bus or in the subway very often (unless it’s for a photo op). Each day he travels back and forth on the eleven-mile trip to his gym in a small caravan of SUVs. By the time this construction project gets fully underway at the end of 2021, he’ll likely be on his way out of office. I suppose he’ll need to find a new gym closer to home.

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