Borough President Markowitz is often cruising around the borough in a chauffeur-driven hybrid SUV, but now his office has purchased two bicycles for the exclusive use of Borough Hall staffers.
Markowitz unveiled the two Jamis Citizen bikes on Wednesday at Borough Hall.
The two bikes will join the Beep’s existing fossil-fueled fleet of seven hybrid sport utility vehicles. Markowitz’s office purchased the new wheels at The Bike Shop on Union Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront District. The $1,020 taxpayer-financed project included the two bicycles, two helmets, two locks and two bells.
“Being green starts at home, and that includes the home of city government,” Markowitz said. “By biking, Borough Hall staff can conserve energy, enjoy the beauty of Brooklyn, and let’s not forget, burn off calories.”
Markowitz was joined by Transportation Alternatives, the bike-advocacy group, and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at his press conference on Wednesday.
“We think it’s great,” said Wiley Norvell, the bike group’s spokesman. “It’s common for people who run New York City to have a windshield perspective on transportation, but having two bikes at Borough Hall will, at the very least, put those staffers in the saddle. Perhaps they will become greater advocates for bike safety.”
But will the borough president give up his SUV with the license plate “Bklyn BP” for a two-wheeler? Uh, no.
“Very often, when I leave my home [in Park Slope], I’m not going to the office,” Markowitz said. “I’m going to other parts of Brooklyn for meetings, or I have to carry materials. For me, it’s difficult. I’m not physically — how do you say it? — active enough to bicycle long distances. My bicycle riding is basically leisure.”