Meet a Mayor Who Figured Out How to Neutralize Anti-Bike Lane NIMBYs


A small city in Massachusetts may have just pointed the way for the Big Apple to finally vanquish bike lane opponents who hold too much sway over city officials willing to sacrifice street safety to some vague notion of community consensus.

The Boston-area city of Cambridge just passed the “Cycling Safety Ordinance,” which requires the city of 115,000 to install barrier-protected bike lanes whenever a street is upgraded. The ordinance allows the city to bypass community pushback by mandating the life-saving road improvements even if a community objects — something that has stalled much-needed bike lanes and other street redesigns from coming to fruition here.

New York City has a similar bill — the Vision Zero Street Design Standard — which has the support of a veto-proof majority of City Council members. But it remains stalled because it lacks the support of Mayor de Blasio, who has preferred a piecemeal approach — overruling community boards when he wants, but deferring to them when he doesn’t want to rock the boat.

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