Speaking of bike lanes, the backlash has gotten personal.
For the past 10 years, Bob Cassara has happily served on Brooklyn Community Board 10, surrounding Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton. Among his hobby horses on the gadfly board has been the expansion of the city’s bike lane network. But this is the outer-outer boroughs, where cars are still king—even if most of them aren’t driven that much, this being New York—and Mr. Cassara’s advocacy has led to a clash with the local City Council rep, Vincent Gentile, a vehicular savior.
Nevermind his decade of service and dedication to the cause, Mr. Cassara has not been reappointed to the board, according to The Brooklyn Paper. Sure, these things happen all the time, but in this round, the helmet-hugging board member was the only one of his cohort who was not reappointed. He knows how the game is played, though:
“Community boards are all about politics, so what can I say?” Cassara mused. “I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. It’s their loss.”
A Gentile staffer denied that Cassara was sacked over bike lanes — or any other specific cause — but simply because the councilman believed it was time for a change.
“It has nothing to do with removing anyone in particular,” said the spokeswoman, Dena Libner. “It’s about welcoming new members onto the board.”
This may be the first time anyone has been booted from a board for biking, but such expulsions are somewhat routine. Recall just a few years ago, when Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declined to reappoint nine members of Community Board 6 because they were vocal opponents of Atlantic Yards.
Ah, local politics.