Video: How NYC Mayor Ed Koch made (then killed) protected bike lanes in 1980

By Michael Andersen
August 20, 2013

Source: Green Lane Project

Ed Koch, New York Mayor 1980

Ed Koch, New York Mayor 1980

New York’s short-lived protected bike lanes of 1980 have gone down in history with Jimmy Carter’s White House solar panels as a road not taken.

In this short, endearing video from a few years ago, the late Ed Koch tells the story of how, as New York mayor in the wake of two oil spikes, he visited China and decided to introduce protected bike lanes to a few streets in Manhattan. His proposal met an obstacle that’ll be familiar to many people who’ve brought bike proposals before reluctant city officials.

The more things change…

Video via Portland Cityscape. (Koch photo: Flickr user Swedennewyork.)