“Politicians learned the lesson,” wrote Sadik-Khan in a March 2016 opinion piece in New York Magazine. “Bikes were bad politics.” (Through a representative, the former commissioner declined to comment to Thrillist about her time in office.) “I’d imagine that if you were a politician, and you walked into a room where a couple hundred people are screaming about a bike lane, you’re not going to jump up to take a contrary opinion,” joked Doug Gordon, founder of bike advocacy blog Brooklyn Spoke.
The political theater that bike lanes inspired in NYC, on the other hand, was first-rate. Take, for example, the battle for Prospect Park West. In 2009, the NYC DOT presented a plan to reduce speeding on the road by installing a 1.8-mile, two-way lane protected by a “floating” lane of parked cars. The project was approved by a community board vote of 18-9, and completed in June 2010. (Twenty-two parking spots got reappropriated over 19 blocks, though the NYC DOT told the New York Times in 2011 that 16 had been reinstated.) Then the opponents -- a small cadre of residents calling themselves Seniors for Safety and Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes -- sued the city, and the fun really began.