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Old Posted Apr 15, 2010, 5:06 PM
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Brooklyn Welcomes Bike-Friendly Policy


By Joan Lowy & Raanan Geberer

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BROOKLYN – In Washington, D.C., Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a weekend bicyclist, is facing a backlash after saying that the government is going to give bicycling and walking the same importance as cars in transportation planning and funding. The National Association of Manufacturers called the policy “dumb and irresponsible,” while Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) suggested that the secretary’s thinking had been “clouded by drugs.”

But in Brooklyn, bicyclists have found a much friendlier atmosphere. The borough has miles and miles of bike paths – both dedicated paths like those in Prospect Park and on Ocean and Eastern parkways, and bike lanes in city streets like those on Bedford Avenue, Union Street, Third Avenue, Grand Avenue, Empire Boulevard and elsewhere. And, of course, this includes the bike paths over the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges.

The new policy is an extension of the Obama administration's livability initiative, which regards the creation of alternatives to driving — buses, streetcars, trolleys and trains, as well as biking and walking — as central to solving the nation's transportation woes. Many in Brooklyn welcome the policy, saying that federal funding accounts for the majority of financing for bike-path improvements.
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