A version of this article originally appeared on Transportation Nation.

Photo by Ed Yourdon.

Let’s go back in time to December 2010. The city’s tabloid editorial pages are just beginning to sink their teeth into the transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, for — among other things — her avid support of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. In Brooklyn, well-connected residents are preparing to sue to remove a bike lane.

On Dec. 9, 2010, New York’s city council holds a standing-room-only, overflow-room-inducing, five hour-plus hearing on bikes and bike lanes in New York City. Bronx council member James Vacca, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, kicks things off first by warning the crowd to be polite, then sets the stage by pointing out “few issues today prompt more heated discussion than bike policy in New York City.”