Borough President Markowitz to the Department of Transportation: New Amsterdam is not Amsterdam!
On the eve of a protest and counter-protest regarding the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane, the Beep forcefully reiterated his die-hard opposition, and took a few more shots at his nemesis, the Department of Transportation.
“Prospect Park West was one of the most beautiful, scenic, majestic thoroughfares in Brooklyn and the bike lane has destroyed its beauty!” said Markowitz.
But the Beep’s aesthetic concerns — which echo the criticisms of other opponents of the lane — were only the beginning.
“[Pedestrians] cannot see bicycles on the other side of parked cars [on Prospect Park West],” said the Beep. “When you cross the street children often break from their parents and there is a danger that a cyclist won’t see the kid in time — or a senior citizen!”
Of course, bike lane supporters say just the opposite; that it has increased safety for cyclists and also reduced speeding cars.
The Beep ain’t buying it.
“I lived on Prospect Park West for eight years! My windows faced it, and I rarely saw speeding,” said Markowitz, adding, “That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but I rarely saw it.”
But Markowitz reserved his strongest ire for the agency that implemented the bike lane, the Department of Transportation.
“They’re using Brooklyn as a guinea pig!” said Markowitz, citing the absence of a similar two-way lane near Central Park. “Nobody asked for this! This is the vision of the DOT! Their belief! Their ideological approach!”
Of course, Community Board 6 did call for such a lane in 2009, and a petition by the group Park Slope Neighbors in favor of the lane garnered over 1,300 signatures, according to the group’s founded, Eric McClure.
Still, Markowitz said the transportation agency has an agenda that goes beyond so-called green transportation.
He added, “It’s the objective of the DOT to, frankly, stigmatize the owners of cars.”
Markowitz proposed a way to reign in the agency, which he said, “is not accountable to anyone.”
“This issue of where to place bike lanes, it’s worthy of review by the City Council,” said Markowitz. “What is our objective in this city? To stigmatize the use of cars? To make it difficult to park? Do we want Brooklyn to replicate Amsterdam? These are legitimate policy issues.”
©2010 Community News Group
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