ABC News’ “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg ranted against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) for the miles of protected bike lanes throughout the city as the TV segment on Wednesday took an uncomfortable turn — one de Blasio probably didn’t expect.
De Blasio appeared on the NYC-based “The View” to tout his unprecedented initiative offering free health care to all residents — including illegal immigrants.
After a few minutes spent discussing that topic, Goldberg abruptly hijacked the conversation to talk about “what’s really pissing me off.”
“What? I’ve never heard you pissed off before,” de Blasio said, laughing.
Goldberg replied, “No, you actually haven’t. You’ve built 83 miles of protected bike lanes, OK? And I like bikes. I like people who ride, but I don’t think you understand the impact of taking something like 10th Avenue — which is six lanes — down to two-and-a-half, particularly when you have a winter storm and you can’t move — none of that is moveable so you can’t get — nothing flows.”
“Also, I’m upset that you love these bikes, but you don’t tell people to put a helmet on. We tell children to put helmets on,” Goldberg continued. “This is an issue.”
As de Blasio’s face noticeably reddened, Goldberg continued to berate him about the difficulties that bike lanes in the city pose to drivers and delivery trucks.
“And you know, you haven’t taken down the size of the trucks, so a giant truck that is bringing food to New York, which is — you know, we’ve got nine block-long trucks delivering — and they can’t make the turns,” Goldberg said.
“What feasibility study did y’all do when you decided to put these in?” Goldberg demanded as the audience snickered. “Because I know a lot of places — I noticed they’re not on Madison Avenue and they’re not on Park Avenue.”
De Blasio finally got a word in, saying, “They’re all over, Whoopi, respectfully.”
But the audience immediately reacted in apparent disbelief as Goldberg corrected de Blasio.
“No, they’re not. Actually, they’re not on Park and they’re not on Madison.”
De Blasio conceded that bike lanes don’t exist on every avenue “for specific reasons,” but then said, “They’re all over the city in every kind of neighborhood.”
Co-host Meghan McCain then butted in: “The audience is mutinying. They say, ‘No, it’s not.'”
De Blasio attempted to regain control as he defended the city’s “Vision Zero” plan, which aims to reduce bicyclist fatalities and crashes.
“We had, this last year in New York City, the fewest traffic fatalities since 1910,” de Blasio said.
But an unimpressed Joy Behar, another co-host on the show, said, “Well, there weren’t any cars in 1910. That was a tricky — that was tricky.”
“It’s not tricky. Because in 1910 there were more horses than cars in New York City,” de Blasio interjected. “Every year since then the traffic fatalities went up and up. We brought it back down to the level of 1910 because these bike lanes slow traffic down.”
An exasperated Goldberg fired back, “But you screwed the city up!”
Goldberg also said de Blasio was a bit out of touch with average commuters, since “you go through the city with a police escort.”
“And I’m just saying you might want to take a look at some of this because now you have [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo coming in talking about congestion pricing. And I kind of feel like it’s a setup,” Goldberg said.
Indeed, Cuomo — a Democrat — proposed on Tuesday a congestion zone tax of $11.52 for cars and $25.34 for trucks, as well as a $2 to $5 tax on hired vehicles and rides.
Check out more of the awkward interview in the video below: