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Chuck Schumer on PPW Bike Lane: “I am not commenting”

March 28, 2011

Chuck Schumer, who loves to burnish his cycling cred, seems to have made the mistake of burnishing it a bit too much.  At a press confernece in Jackson Heights, Queens on Sunday, he regaled reporters and elected officials “with tales about his bicycle ride through the neighborhood the previous day.”  He kept it up at the microphone, and talked about riding through “Maspeth and Middle Village and Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.”

Naturally, he was asked about a certain lawsuit:

But the senator became abruptly and uncharacteristically reticent when, at the end of the news conference, which had been called to discuss the city’s appeal of its census count, a reporter asked him about the most high-profile cycling issue in the city: the bike path along Prospect Park West, the elegant Brooklyn avenue where he resides.

“I am not commenting,” he said, at first politely and then more emphatically: “I am not commenting.”

I used to mountain bike and there was a great rule I followed to avoid accidents: if I didn’t want to hit the tree stump up ahead, I didn’t look at the tree stump — I looked at the trail.  Schumer, with his blatant attempt to prove his cycling bona fides, made everyone at the press conference look at the tree stump.

Ashley Parker, the Times reporter writes, “the groups that filed the suit have close ties to Iris Weinshall, Mr. Schumer’s wife and the city’s transportation commissioner until 2007.”  But let’s be clear: Chuck Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, doesn’t merely have close ties to these groups.  Weinshall, by any reasonable measure, belongs to Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes.

Here’s how she, Norman Steisel, and Louise Hainline were identified by the Times in their letter to the editor dated December 17, 2010.

The writers are members of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes. Ms. Hainline is its president. Mr. Steisel is a former deputy mayor and sanitation commissioner of New York City, and Ms. Weinshall is a former transportation commissioner.

Emphasis mine.  The Times has not issued a correction.

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