Brooklyn Boro Prez Carries Tune, Slams Mayor Over Bike Lanes

Markowitz Takes Light-Hearted Approach, But Is Upset With NYC

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — For the first time this holiday season, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is sending out Christmas cards with a message.

It’s a message Mayor Michael Bloomberg might not like.

And so it has begun — “a fist-in-the velvet glove” Christmas card Markowitz has been sent to nearly 7,000 of the city’s movers and shakers, including Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

“Lanes fit for Fido and lanes made for lovers; Hikers and bikers and significant others,” Markowitz sang to CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer. “Strollers and schleppers and skaters and joggers; Holiday lanes for all the egg noggers; Lets not forget cars it’s getting inane; Welcome to Brooklyn the borough of lanes.”

While it’s lighthearted, the sentiments behind it are no joke. Markowitz is furious that the city installed a double bike lane along Prospect Park West. He said it’s an anti-car attempt to re-engineer the city.

Markowitz Christmas card lyrics

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with some of his Christmas card lyrics. (Photo: CBS 2)

“There’s no question about it. They will do anything they can to make it difficult to own a car and use a car. That’s the objective. That’s the social agenda,” Markowitz said.

And so his Christmas card spoofs the mayor’s lane-o-mania by picturing Prospect Park West with one teeny tiny lane for cars, along with lanes for bikes, lovers, sitting, holiday only, and walking.

“When the horn honks, when the dog bites, when the bikers stray, I simply remember my favorite lanes and then just say ‘oy vey,’” Markowitz sang.

Sadik-Khan took a light hearted approach to the dig, noting, tongue in cheek, “The borough president’s holiday card clearly shows some improvement in reindeer traffic compared to last year’s card.”

“If this prompts the city administration to review their current policy on bicycle paths in this city, then the car has served its purpose,” Markowitz said.

The mayor’s office admitted that it did get the card, but maybe in keeping with the spirit of the season it had no comment.

Markowitz said he does wonder why there is no bike lane on East 79th Street leading into Central Park. He said there should be. Maybe, it’s because Mayor Bloomberg lives there?

  • Vernon Huffman

    What’s wrong with making it more difficult to use a vehicle that pollutes, wastes petroleum, and takes up several times as much space as the healthier alternative? Every level of government has been subsidizing cars for decades. Maybe it’s time to favor more sensible transportation. Why not encourage drivers to park cars outside the city? Then we could all enjoy getting around more safely.

  • Peter Frishauf

    The Prospect Park West redesign is wonderful and pedestrian, car, and cyclist injuries are way down. And Marty doesn’t like it. Boo hoo!

    I do agree with one of Markowitz’s observations, though: 79th Street in Manhattan could use an awesome protected bike lane as a fine entrance to Central Park (please add other E-W streets while you are at it). All of it residents, including Mayor Mike would then have a safer, healthier, street. And Marty can get jealous all over again!

  • rob

    It’s so true. We are being lane out with these silly so called bike lanes. We the owners of cars pay for everything that involves transportation usage such as something call streets. If the bikers pay for just one cent for parking or license plates then maybe I’ll reconsider my views. I used to love the streets of NY. It’s big and wonderful. Now it’s a piece of garbage full of lanes. Where’s the horse lanes? dammit.

  • Shirley Ranz

    Prospect Park is closed to traffic most of the day on work days and all day on saturday and Sunday. The Roads are used by walkers joggers and bikers at that time. There is no need of bike lanes only on city streets that border Prospect Park.
    Besides, bikers are notorious for breaking the rules of the road and threatening pedestrians much of the time.

    • karma5230

      And how are you supposed to get to the Park? Levitate?

  • aldous huxley

    New York Rule Number One:

    Thou shalt not upset King Michael.

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