The City of New York can find more ways to waste money than just about any government entity on the planet.
Several years ago, these bike lanes were painted on the streets -- very expensively, and in the face of much public opposition -- and touted as the greatest thing since Luke Skywalker was told the amazing secret of his dark and sinister lineage. Mayor Mind-Everyone's-Business, said so. Alas, they have gone mostly unused.
There's several reasons for this:
1. The City put some of them in the stupidest places. Three blocks from my home you can ride the bike path all along North and South Railroad Avenues...right up until the time both streets come to an abrupt end within about a mile, or so. And those two don't even connect to another bike path; you have to travel across other streets, in normal traffic, just to get to another bicycle path to continue your Journey to Nowhere.
2. The City insisted on painting these bike lanes on some of the narrowest major thoroughfares on Staten Island, so that bicyclists just might as well be riding in traffic, anyways. Many of our streets still follow the haphazard routes they did in Colonial Times, and few of them have been widened 230+ years later. Considering how many bus stops and stores there are along some of these roads, the bikers have to weave in-and-out of the lane and into traffic to avoid the buses and the delivery trucks. Most of these bikers don't have the same brainpower you'd expect to find in a garden slug, and consequently, they don't signal. Many are under the mistaken impression that someone doing 55-in-a-40-zone, with three screaming brats in the back, putting on her makeup in the rearview, and dialing a cell phone while driving a 3-ton SUV, are possessed of a gymnast's reflexes, and will most certainly stop to avoid hitting them. Heaven forbid a biker should have to stop to let the flow of traffic pass them by.
3. I can't tell you how many bicyclists haven't figured out how to navigate intersections. There's two kinds of biker in this category; a) the effete, metrosexual douchebag who believes that where the bike lane is broken by an intersection, he still has the right of way, no matter what, insisting that the lane must be assumed to be infinite where it isn't -- and besides, he's superior to you car-driving slugs, and b) people who will wear bright yellow or reflective orange spandex in public without a clue, fear of embarrassment, and despite open questions about their lineage and/or sexual preferences.
4. There is a brand of biker in this City that is so in-your-face about the superiority of the Watermelon EnviroMENTAList biker code, that they deliberately weave in-and-out of the lanes to obstruct traffic, curse and threaten those making legal turns across the bike lanes, and take every opportunity they can to delay traffic and antagonize motorists as a sport. Consequently, this being New York, many of those obnoxious bikers find themselves involved in "accidents" that range from the unintended open car door, the "unintentional" nudge of SUV or Full-Size sedan that occurs after the biker flips someone the bird (commonplace!), to the City Bus Driver who "just didn't see him (The Spandex-wearing buttsniffer) in my blind spot". Consequently, these bike lanes get less use by the day, because the more aggressive bike riders are recovering from the consequences of their own stupidity...and more often, their just desserts.
5. The only people dumber than Staten Island bicyclists are those tens of thousands of assholes who congregate here every year for the New York City Marathon. Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island is the starting point for the Marathon, and the runners begin their first leg by crossing the Verrazano-Narrows bridge...which must be closed for the event. Just so a few thousand doofuses can have the "experience" of trying to run 26-miles while keeping control of bowel and bladder...only to fail, dropping dead from heart attacks along the way.
This is rich:
"It’s a major step backwards. It’s sad, and to do it without input from the community is, in a word, arrogant."
Umm, no; the lanes were originally PUT IN without input from the community (Mayor Bloomberg insisted upon them, and he presumes to know better about everything than we do, the asshole), and the person who gave this quote should remember the old saw about people in Glass Houses; The Bike Riders of this Island are a bunch of arrogant cocksuckers who believe a bicycle should be allowed to go wherever they can get it to, and worse, they're aggressive in this arrogance; just ask anyone who has had to dodge bicycles and their metrosexual owners who insist on riding upon the Boardwalk, through the train stations and trains themselves, and the Ferry.
Mr. "This-is-in-a-word-Arrogant" Douchebag, you're lucky you're still alive; I know a ton of drivers who would just love to run a dope like you over, if they could get away with it.
I want to know how the City justifies the money they spent in painting these monstrosities on the street in the first place, only to cover or remove them five years later? I have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting the answer to that question.