Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa vowed Thursday to end the city’s “war on vehicles” by removing bike lanes and speed cameras — in stark contrast to transportation policies promoted by his Democratic rival Eric Adams.
“This administration, the de Blasio administration, and clearly Eric Adams, if he’s elected, partner with Bill de Blasio, would want to continue this war on vehicles in the City of New York,” Sliwa said at a campaign stop in Manhattan.
The Guardian Angel founder said his approach to bike lanes would be, “If you’re not using it, you lose it.”
“Have the Department of Transportation put a wire out and let’s look at the analytics. Every hour, how many bicyclists are passing by, whether it’s recreational, for work purposes, whatever. And if you’re using it, you keep it,” Sliwa proposed.
“Perfect example, Queens Boulevard,” he said.
“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had visitation with my two youngest sons, we’ve gone to Queens Boulevard, small businesses have been crippled because there’s no parking as a result of the bike lane and we sit there for like an hour.
I’ve … barely seen a bicycle going in one direction towards the city or in the direction of Long Island. That would have to be eliminated,” Sliwa said.
Earlier this week at an endorsement event by the bike and transit group StreetsPAC, Adams said he would add 300 miles of protected bike lanes across the city if he’s elected mayor. De Blasio has constructed over 100 miles of protected bike lanes during his seven-plus years in office.
Sliwa said he’d also slash speed cameras.
“I would eliminate all speed cameras, but be open to the discussion if maybe we need to keep them in a school zone. That makes sense.
“But in terms of every other use of speed cameras, it’s obvious now, especially after the lockdown and pandemic that it has not prevented accidents, it has not prevented injuries or fatalities,” Sliwa said.
Last month, Adams pledged to increase enforcement of traffic rules by both NYPD officers and automated systems like red light and speed cameras after a 3-month-old was killed by a reckless driver in Brooklyn.
Sliwa said his position on speed cameras — stated just 12 days before the general election — is “incredibly important” since it “differentiates” him from Adams.
The two also differ on congestion pricing. Sliwa said it would “crush” the middle class who commute into Manhattan from the outer boroughs by car, while Adams supports it.
Evan Thies, a spokesman for Adams, said Sliwa’s positions are “just more evidence that he doesn’t understand the challenges this city faces and doesn’t have the plans to lead.”
Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks