Last week, Churches United for Fair Housing (CUHHF) director Bruno Daniel was seriously injured when he crashed his bike in a pothole in the narrowly designated bike lane during a routine trek, according to friend and co-worker Rob Solano.
“What frustrates me is that a few months ago, these guys were making it seem like this was not a hard job,” Solano said following Daniel’s accident. “Everyone that tells me about that lane says the same thing, that it’s bad for pedestrians, bikers and everyone.”
Although a DOT representative announced last week that the agency is currently in the process of finalizing the bidding and that bike lanes could be in as soon as August, Solano, executive director at CUHHF, said that isn’t enough.
“There has to be construction crews in the city who can get this going,” he said. “There are going to be more accidents and that’s the thing that irks me the most.”
Solano said his friend, a Brooklyn-born activist in his mid-20s, landed face-first on the cement after hitting the pothole.
“He messed up his jaw, crushed his nose and his forehead, but he still got up and hailed a cab to the hospital,” Solano said, adding that he is hopeful his friend will make a full recovery.
“But when I heard it was about the Pulaski Bridge, it enraged me,” he said. “We identified the problem and identified there’s a solution. Why are we waiting? The bike season is just about to start.”
After hearing it could take until August, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol also expressed his frustration with the late summer rollout for the proposed bike lanes.
“It is disappointing that the dedicated bike lane will not be completed before the scheduled G train shut downs – as originally planned – but I do understand that the complex nature of the bridge is hampering the ease of installation,” Lentol said in a statement.
Lentol added, “We must certainly ensure that the bike lane is installed with safety as priority, not timeliness.”