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Lots of yelling, little decided at Prospect Park West bike lane hearing

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The Prospect Park West Bike Lane is a miracle solution and a horrific danger, bike lane friends and foes trumpeted at packed hearing last night.

More than 300 people — politicians, second graders, New York Times writers among them — gathered to praise, slam and critique the controversial bike lane that this week spawned a lawsuit, international coverage and more than a few rifts between neighbors.

The hearing amounted to a lane-themed “open-mic night” to vent about everything from a neighborhood culture war (“You people see biking as a religion”) to tiny bike lane improvements (“Let’s consider rumble strips”), with plenty of anecdotal evidence on both sides (“I’ve personally seen five fender benders on this street.”)

Bike lane advocates — who wore florescent stickers — outnumbered lane opponents by about four to one, with many calling the 19-block strip of cement a Godsend. It makes morning commutes easier, traffic safer and cycling with kids more enjoyable, they said.

“The lane encourages us to use our bikes more often and our cars less often,” said Alan Esner, who lives on 12th Street. “We get better air quality and exercise.”

But opponents suggested the lane was not only unsafe to pedestrians — who risk getting run over by cyclists — but also rarely used.

“It’s underutili­zed,” said Roz Kochman, who lives on the 15th floor of a building on Prospect Park West. “If you don’t believe me, come to my apartment and look out my window.”

To that, a cyclist named Johanna Clearfield responded, “I practically live on that bike lane; so you should know my face then.”

Both sides weren’t shy about clapping, booing and shouting, as when Lois Carswell, president of Seniors for Safety — one of the groups that this week sued the city for installing the lane — got up to speak.

She outlined some potential “improvemen­ts,” noting “we would be happy if the lane were moved into the park” — but the audience began to grumble loudly, at which point she stopped, frowned and said, “I didn’t ‘boo’ you. I think civility should return to Park Slope.”

On Monday, Carswell’s group and Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes sued the city for installing the lane, claiming the Department of Transportation fudged data and colluded with lane-lovers to squash opposition, ultimately putting pedestrians in harms way.

The suit came after more than a year of debate and tension surrounding the lane, which the city pitched as a traffic-calming measure that would reduce speeding on the hectic throughway. But backers pointed out that as far back as 2007, CB6 petitioned the city to install the protected path as a way to retard speeding car traffic.

Opponents say that the road has become clogged, that parking is more difficult and that the bright green lane has taken away from park aesthetics since it was painted last spring.

But the Department of Transportation has consistently trumpeted it as a success, presenting data that shows that fewer cars exceed the speed limit, fewer bicyclists ride on the sidewalk and fewer cyclists get into accidents.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) echoed that view at the meeting, which was held at John Jay HS, saying, “I believe that the prospect Park West Bike Lane is working. … Fears that it would become constantly gridlocked are simply not true.”

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Reader Feedback

I judge when you use bad grammer from Park slope says:
The word is "anecdotal.". Not antidotal. ANECDOTAL. Learn it. Live it.
March 11, 2011, 8:09 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
The community board put out three signup sheets to speak last night - "pro", "con", and "other." When I signed up to speak on the "Pro" list. When I got my turn, I was on the *third* "pro" sheet, roughly 100 people in.

The "con" list had *EIGHT* people on the entire list. Two of them you mentioned above (Roz Kochwell, Lois Carswell). Others have spoken on behalf of NBBL previously. Of the eight, six identified themselves as living on Prospect Park West.

Their suggestions for compromise weren't feasible - a 2-way bike path inside the park would be dangerous, and unworkable (what about traffic inside the park?). 8th avenue has no room for a bike lane.

The NIMBYism is just sad. A few people with multi-million-dollar apartments opposing a lane that benefits the entire neighborhood. It was also extremely generational. None of the opposition was under the age of 60, and none made any mention of trying to ride a bicycle in NYC.
March 11, 2011, 8:45 am
Steve from PPW says:
Correction. Carswell was hollered at when she said that traffic is "controlled" just fine elsewhere in the city without bike lanes.

She clearly has never left her apartment, since speeding is rampant everywhere, enough so that the DOT ran PSAs reminding people of the 30 MPH speed limits.

NBBL did a lot of booing too. They booed a guy who said he was from Carroll Gardens but who said the bike lane made it easier for him to get to things in Park Slope. That's right, Carroll Gardeners...NBBL doesn't want you in "their" neighborhood. You'd think people would want people from other neighborhoods spending their money here!
March 11, 2011, 9:21 am
Larry Littlefield from Windsor Terrace says:
There has been a lot of disinformation and red herrings put out by opponents of the bike lane, but at least we seem to be moving toward a reasonable set of questions.

Are pedestrians safer with three lanes of fast moving cars, or two lanes of slower cars plus a bike lane?

And is 8th Avenue wide enough, and traffice sane enough, for a variety of bike riders including seniors and parents riding with children, to ride safely?

Based on my personal experience, I think the two lanes of slower traffic is safer for pedestrians. And although I ride comfortably on traffic-side bike lanes elsewhere, 8th Avenue is too narrow and drivers rushing from the Prospect Experessway to Flatbush Avenue to be safe for bicycles.

I do see the horrors described by the opponents -- traffic jams and speeding aggressive cyclists -- but not on Prospect Park West. On 8th Avenue, and in the park were recreational cyclist ride fast for exercise.

People go and observe, and draw their own conclusions. Take a drive up 8th Avenue at 8:00 am and down PPW at 5:15 a couple of times (and a bike ride on 8th if you dare), and walk across the street at PPW.
March 11, 2011, 9:39 am
boof from brooklyn says:
Decided? Right now the only one to decide anything is the judge presiding over the lawsuit.

NBBL saw fit to preempt CB6's efforts to work for improvements with a legal action that would make everyone less safe; are they surprised that some of their neighbors are booing them?

I sure hope the judge is fair and wise.

(Also, great comment Larry L.)
March 11, 2011, 10:33 am
Roz Kochman from Park Slope says:
I want to correct the spelling of my name. I also spoke of the dangers of parking on the park side of the parking lanes-the street is too narrow now for safety for those who need to park-contrary to the other comments my views are not generational -I am expressing what many of my neighbors would say to those who dont live on PPW-we are the ones who suffer the most from the dangers and inconvenience. Car lanes, bike lanes and pedestrian safety can all be controlled by the traffic lights-and restoring the elegant boulevard that was PPW
March 11, 2011, 11:09 am
Steve from PPW says:
You're right, Roz! Restore the elegant boulevard that was PPW! Get rid of the parking on the east side of the park and restore the trolley service to the street. Get rid of all traffic signs and street markings and put cobblestones back.

The street is no more narrow than 99% of other streets in the neighborhood. In fact, it still has two lanes of moving traffic, which is one more than most.

Plenty of your neighbors, when they can't find parking on PPW -- which I guess has been many times before and after the bike lane -- park on side streets from President all the way down to 15th Street. On those streets, passengers and drivers must exit cars right next to moving traffic, depending on which side of the street they park on. Those streets are even more narrow, with just one lane of moving traffic through two parking lanes. Why are most people able to exit their cars safely on say, 5th Street, but not around the corner on PPW? I've never heard anyone complain about this process anywhere else other than in the last 10 months.

This is about perceived safety and not actual safety. It's about a willingness to learn new behavior, making small personal sacrifices for greater community safety, and looking at the street as something that belongs to everyone. You live across from Prospect Park. That alone belongs to all of Brooklyn, the other four boroughs and our many visitors. The streets do, too.
March 11, 2011, 11:19 am
Mike says:
The street is the same width as 8th Ave north of Carroll, and no one seems to have trouble parking there. And no one is lobbying to take width away from the sidewalks on 8th Ave to widen the driving/parking lanes. If the Orwellian-named NBBL were at all consistent, they would be lobbying to rip out some of the sidewalks on 8th Ave.
March 11, 2011, 11:20 am
Resident from PPW says:
Tear down the lanes! Move the bicycles back into the park and ban the cars in the park.
March 11, 2011, 11:38 am
Johanna Clearfield from Park Slope says:
http://vimeo.com/20920507
I am the first of many speakers on this vimeo reel. It was a joy to have the democratic forum offered to finally speak about this issue. After working a 10 hour day and biking to John Jay in the cold rain, it was a blessing that my name was called before the close of the meeting. I left thinking of comments that were not said.
NBBL repeatedly cited the problem of congestion on PPW but not one person talked bout evaluating the laws that allow Fresh Direct trucks to stay double parked for most hours of the day.
Nobody talked about the solution of eliminating the parked car lane all together. Would the loss of maybe 50 or 60 parking spaces be such a fatal sacrifice in a neighborhood where park and not traffic is the primary reason most of us choose to give up 3/4 of our salaries to rent? "The horror?"
Any time I try to ride my bike down 8th Avenue, cars honk at me -- easily facilitating my having an accident by startling me with a ear-blasting honk for absolutely no reason other than to either signal their annoyance at having a bike impede their 55 mile flight down the avenue or, in their limited thinking, "warn me" that there is a car coming. I have been biking in NYC for 20 years. I am aware that cars are on the street.
I am grateful to CB6 and Brad Lander for the opportunity to voice my appreciation for what should be the rule, not the exception, in NYC for bike transportation.
http://pleasetellmeyouarejoking.com/2011/03/07/rich-people-dont-want-bike-lanes/
March 11, 2011, 11:39 am
Aunt Bea from PArk Slope says:
Blue haired ladies? Mink Stoles? sounds like you got ppw confused with an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies."
March 11, 2011, 11:51 am
Larry Littlefield from Windsor Terrace says:
People can say anything, interpret what they see any way they like. Go and see for yourself, on multiple occasions, and then make up your mind.

As a driver, by the way, I appreciate that people no longer honk and give me the finger when I drive down PPW at the speed limit.
March 11, 2011, Noon
ilovebrooklyn from PPW says:
Roz: I live/look out on PPW also. Totally agree that I'd never get out of the street side of my vehicle (on either side of PPW) while cars were rushing down PPW. (Of course, I wouldn't have done this when there were three car lanes of veering, speeding traffic either!) So I wait for the traffic light to change, stopping traffic, and then get out. I don't consider this to be a sacrifice that warrants risking bikers' -- and pedestrians,' and other drivers' -- lives by removing the lane. My best advice is: adapt. It's really not so hard.
March 11, 2011, 12:15 pm
Gary from PPW says:
Those complaining that it is hard to get out of parked cars because of traffic should be more empathetic of those on bicycles who have to ride in that space almost all the time without the luxury of being able to wait for a break in the traffic. That is why we like protected bike lanes.
March 11, 2011, 12:31 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
For those who have concerns about unloading on the bike-lane side of PPW - You should look at this video:

http://www.streetfilms.org/floating-parking-bike-buffer-zones-in-separated-cycletracks/

There was thought & concern put into this design. And think about the bicyclists perspective as well - with the exception of separated bike lanes, every time a car door suddenly opens into the street is a chance that you're choosing between hitting a door, or veering into traffic.
March 11, 2011, 12:56 pm
Lucas from Bay Ridge says:
Grammer?
March 11, 2011, 1:29 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
@Lucas: for whom?

(and that's grammAr. )
March 11, 2011, 1:58 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I was on the list to speak but time ran out.........................

I am "PRO" bike lane but I am not a biker. I am certainly not a member of the "Bike Lobby"

Even thought I live on 8th Ave so I hope my opinions count as much as those who live on PPW.

I represent 2 organizations.

First I am a member of the Prospect Park Track club. As a pedestrian, the Class 1 bike lane makes it easier to cross the street. As one approaches the bike lane from either direction one can easily see if a bike is coming for blocks. The stripped zone between the parked cars and the bike lane give more than enough room to see past even the tallest SUV. This stripped zone also gives drivers room to get out of their car with out "dooring" a bike.

I am also a member of the Automobile Association of America. As a driver I am glad to see the bikes off the road and onto their own protected bike lane. PPW is now one road were I don't have to be worried about a bike swerving in front of my car because the rider is about to be doored or because a Fresh Direct truck is using the dangerous Class 1 bike lane to store their vehicular while unloading.
March 11, 2011, 2:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of those who signed on the support side happened to be just another flash mob told to come there by either Streetsblog or TA. They have probably done this in the past with others as well. Another thing that wouldn't surprise me would if they all said similar things in claiming that Bloomberg and JSK are good, while NBBL is very selfish. That sort of reminds me of the AY hearings of where the supporters always said how Ratner is a good person and those on DDDB are nothing but selfish and were given personal attacks. It almost sounds as if Kansas is bleeding once again. On a side note, I am not part of DDDB in any way or form nor am I part of NBBL either, so don't make such accusations on those.
March 11, 2011, 6:11 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Nothing was decided at this meeting because it was a public hearing. The decision will come next Thursday, when the transportation committee votes on some of the recommendations that grew out of the Brad Lander & Stephen Levin survey.

Your headline is misleading.
March 11, 2011, 7 pm
Ann from Park Slope says:
I think it was good for people to talk face to face----much harder to hurl insults at an actual person (although that didn't stop some people).
What about a dance party next time? No one can be mad at a dance party.
Other Mike will wear his mink stole.
March 11, 2011, 10:02 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
Tal,

By your own self-admission, you don't live anywhere near the neighborhood.

The vast majority of the people in the audience do. Myself included. It didn't matter whether TA, or 5BBC, or any other advocacy group publicized it. It was also mentioned by *every* major news organization. The entire neighborhood knew about it. The NBBL lawsuit made everyone realize how important it was. And as a result, we showed.

And you know what? It's not like NBBL and SFS couldn't put out the word to their people to show. Lord knows, they probably did. And in the end? It was the *same* ten people from SFS/NBBL that were there in January, that are always in front of the media. Noone else.

The CB6 Committee chair was *begging* for people to speak out against the bike lane. Yet there were 90 people signed up to speak in favor of it, still waiting to speak.

What's your axe to grind in this anyways? You don't even live in New York City. This neighborhood is fighting desperately for a bike lane that 75% of the population wants, against a rich, entitled minority. Why do you support them?
March 12, 2011, 1:22 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal you are wrong about your assumption about the room being filled with a "flash mob". I cam alone and the person sitting behind me was a neighbor and the person who sat next to me was the father of one of my daughters classmates.
March 12, 2011, 4:35 am
Mike says:
Peter, please don't respond to Tal and his foaming irrationality. You'll only regret it.
March 12, 2011, 11:48 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I think it fun and important to respond to Tal.

It is fun because, well, it is fun.

But it is important because people read these forums and while everybody is entitled to have and opinion, readers need to know which ones are based on first hand observations and which ones are not.
March 12, 2011, 12:09 pm
johanna from park slope says:
no. i am not confused. there are blue haired ladies with mink stoles who reside in the grandeur of PPW. please. Beverly Hill Billies? not exactly. We have our own version of entitled elite. my point was the same. they swing their doors out on the street side and that has resulted in more gruesome deaths of bikers than any other cause. same point. try to wrap your head around it (I am responding to an earlier Post).
#2 - the assembly was not full of outsiders who were sent as plants from Transportation Alternatives. Yes, TA got the word out but I, for one, live 2 blocks from John Jay and I recognized most everyone as locals. Do you really think that parents would come from Manhattan shlepping their five and four and three year olds? Please tell me you are joking.
http://pleasetellmeyouarejoking.com/2011/03/12/you-cant-ride-a-bike-in-new-york-pinkies-out/
March 12, 2011, 1:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As usual, you guys gang up on me just for not taking your side, which I find to be very cowardly. It's interesting how those on NBBL are said be Orwellian when in fact, I find that more on the rogue cyclists for always acting like those special animals that are exempt from the rules. For more on that, please read Animal Farms. Honestly, according to philosophical studies, right and wrong can change definitions depending on who is looking at it. The reason I am against bike lanes is mainly because they are barely used. Also, there are bunch of schools, hospitals, senior centers, and even firehouses closing along with those working there being laid off. How come there is no money to help them, which is what our taxes are for, but plenty for bike lanes? BTW, it's not just bike lanes, this also includes charter schools and even building new professional sports facilities like the ones the Mets and Yankees got and even more for the Nets. Bloomberg always claims that the city is broke to help the public sector, but doesn't mine using even more money in taxpayer dollars for his pet projects and rich buddies.
March 12, 2011, 6:16 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal,

I consider the fact that you called me a coward slander.

PS I will agree with you when I agree with you, not because you don't agree with me.

Whataminute. How do you know the bike lanes are barely used? Do some blue hared dame tell you that? Were you here lately.

Ok, if they are barley used, what number of cycelests will be considered enought you you to not say "The reason I am against bike lanes is mainly because they are barely used."

I heard in Plesantville every home has a quarter mile driveway. If they are barely used are they unnecessary?
March 12, 2011, 7:49 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
Drama! Drama! Drama!
March 12, 2011, 9:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, the drivewways in Pleasantville are used a lot, and everyday of the year. In other words, you lost on that battle. I never saw the reason to spend so much money on placing lanes that aren't even used most of the time. This isn't Field of Dreams where they will come if you build it. The same goes for the pedestrian plazas like the one in Times Square or even the street cafes. If they are only going to be used seasonly or when weather permitting, they will just be seen as a waste of space the rest of the year. I would rather see tax dollars used for something more important such as the places in the public sector that really need it such as the teachers and firefighters that are worth more than any bike lane, and they are being threatened to be laid off, but I guess that doesn't matter to you, because you just want your bike lanes and you don't care if fires can't be put out or the youth can't get their eduction. They do more than your kind does, and that's a fact. If it was really about stopping vehicles from speeding, then fix the timing of the traffic lights and croswalk signals, because it will cost much less and won't result in making anything an inconvience.
March 13, 2011, 12:48 pm
pete from Windsor Terrace says:


As a 25 yr. resident here,
I think the bike lane is a huge
improvement.
PPWest was a speedway and
-like Eighth Ave. is now_
dangerous to bike riders and
pedestrians.
Now PPWest is more orderly and safe for all- it's just better utilized.
Note:I neither bike nor drive.
March 13, 2011, 1:43 pm
Ann from Park Slope says:
is it really the case that in the dark days before the bike lane, PPW was littered with corpses? Or that the slope is beset with marauding bands of blue haired ladies in mink stoles (named "Mrs. Thurston Howell the 3d?) seeking to wipe out bikers?
I don't think so.
March 13, 2011, 6:13 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
Ann,

Before last year, the only people who rode a bicycle on PPW were either suicidal, or got lost. Today, I saw a father teaching his grade-school-age daughter how to ride her bicycle in the lane.

So is it the case now, that in the dark days after the lane was put in, that PPW is littered with the corpses of those unfortunate enough to try and cross the bike lane without looking??

(as for the blue haired old ladies, we all know the woman who uttered that comment was, shall we say, wound up. Besides, blue haired old ladies with mink stoles have their drivers open the doors for them, so you do have a warning in advance.)

The funny thing is that I generally hear two complaints about the lane.

Either 1) The lane is dangerous to cross, crazy bicyclists are reckless, and it was safer the old way. Or 2) Noone uses the bike lane, so why bother?

It can't be both, so which one is it?
March 13, 2011, 6:38 pm
Other Michael from PARK SLOPE says:
Tal

I know for a fact that the teachers in my kids school use the bike lane to get to work.

Other Fact: It cost very little.

Tal, have you even been to Times Sq? It is full of people when it is cold, snowy and even dark.

But again Tal, how many bikers a day will satisfy you?
March 13, 2011, 7:37 pm
Marty Barfowitz from Outer Borough says:
Incivility? Incivility is when a small group of wealthy, entitled, politically-connected elites sue their own community because they didn't get their way in the democratic arena.

Fact check: Supporters outnumbered opponents by 7 or 8-to-1 at the CB6 meeting.

Fact check: There was not "lots of yelling" at this meeting.

Why does the Brooklyn Paper insist on making this PPW redesign project so much more "controversial" than it actually is? Gersh, increasingly, your newspapers are pimples on the ass of the community you supposedly serve. Your goal is not to inform. Your goal is to foment conflict.
March 13, 2011, 8:46 pm
christopher from boerum hill says:
bike lanes are good. fact
March 13, 2011, 10:19 pm
Ann from PArk Slope says:
Peter: I was merely commenting on the exaggeration that seems to be the hallmark of this debate. (to be fair, in the short time that i was able to tolerate the extreme heat and humidity of the meeting, i did hear someone on the other side say something about 'human sacrifice").
I've lived in park slope a long time. Even taught a few children to ride their bikes here---and surprise! Everyone survived!
As for your second point, from my observation, the bike lane is underused. In fact, the other night, I actually ran from GAP to the traffic circle, and back, all in the bike lane. Not another soul was there, save one other intrepid runner. And I'm not that fast.
The park is another story. Lots of bikers there. On those rare occasions where I have dared to step a toe into the bike lanes, I have definitely heard the dulcet tones of bikers shrieking at me to "get the @#$% out of the bike lane!!!!" But that's in the park.
For what it's worth, I don't usually wear my mink stole---unless it's really cold.
March 13, 2011, 10:53 pm
Marty Barfowitz from Outer Borough says:
You know, Ann from PArk Slope, you've got a point. I find that there are lots of underused public assets in the neighborhood that could be put to better use.

The other night I was walking up 6th Street between 8th and PPW. Not a single car drove on the street the entire time I was walking on the block. And I'm not that fast. I don't understand why we allow streets to exist that aren't used ALL the time. It makes no sense. I think we should de-map 6th Street.

This morning I woke up early and walked through Prospect Park with my dog. Not another soul was in the Long Meadow and that's a huge amount of space to let go idle in a big, crowded city where space is a precious commodity. I think we should build a six-story public parking garage in the Long Meadow. That would ensure this space is used all of the time. And it would solve, what I'm sure you will agree, is our community's biggest problem: The lack of free, convenient parking.

Also, it's funny what you say about exaggeration being the hallmark of this debate. Every time I stick a toe in a bike lane someone screams at me too.
March 13, 2011, 11:46 pm
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
Bruce Ratner deserves a hug for not adding bike lanes to the new arena.
March 14, 2011, 1:06 am
Mike says:
I can't wait to see Ann's response to Marty B.
March 14, 2011, 2:18 am
Phil from Snark Slope says:
@Marty Ha! Perfect. @Steve Haha--Ratner must have known that if he included bike lanes in his plan it would have been a definite deal killer.
March 14, 2011, 10:44 am
Ann from Park Slope says:
Not to step on your narrative, but parking really isn't the issue for me, because of course, I have my chauffeur Hughes to take me everywhere in one of my stretch limousines.
Seriously, I wasn't trying to offend--(unless marty didn't pick up after his dog, in which case---IT IS ON!!) In my opinion (if I am permitted to have one), transportation in a city this size should do the most for the most people--and if bike lanes are underused, that's something that should be a factor. Obviously, you guys disagree.
March 14, 2011, 10:55 am
Steve O. from p hts says:
Great news, Ann!

Most households in Park Slope don't own cars.
http://11215-cars.notlong.com/

Now we can all agree that the the best thing to do is reduce the amount of street space given over to them. Let's hug!
March 14, 2011, 11:31 am
ann from park slope says:
hug? hmm. maybe a handshake?

Ride safely.
March 14, 2011, 9:02 pm
Mark from used to be from bklyn says:
Hold on..... I moved out of Windsor Terrace (probably called Park Slope by now) 10 years ago. I used the PPW bike 4 or 5 times a week to ride down to the gym over by the library. The problem I saw then was that cars drove on PPW like it was the frickin' Autobahn.

If I lived on PPW I would be more concerned with speeding cars then bikes.
March 14, 2011, 9:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, (or may I say Chicken Underwear as you go on Streetsblog) I have been to Times Square, but I don't see that many using it when the weather is cold. As a matter of fact, Macy's is thinking of moving the parade to 6th Avenue, and many don't seem please about it. When that plaza was placed, a number of buses that used to run down there were switched over to 7th Avenue, and were later stopped on the MTA claiming that there are too many buses there as it became congested carrying so much of that traffic. BTW, I was there just today since I was seeing the Purim Shpiel over at the Hudson Theater. When I saw some cyclists today, some were running the red lights while others were going to the wrong way. I told some of them to follow the rules, and they ignored me as many rogue cyclists I see tend to do. In the long run, it's a bad idea to pedestrianize a major thoroughfare, and there is a reason why Broadway in Times Square is known as that.
March 15, 2011, 12:27 am
Other Michael . Chickenunderwear from Park Slope says:
OMG, I have been outed. I feel so much more relaxed.

Anyway Tal, When you were in Times Square did you have room to put your feet? Because before the plaza people had no room to walk. NOW THEY DO. I won this battle because you did not get pushed off the sidewalk.

But, seriously; I don't understand your logic. Are your saying that because a "rogue cyclists" breaks the rules the bike lanes should be removed? Would that mean if a car driver uses a cell phone while driving we should stop making portable digital devices?
March 15, 2011, 6:29 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
@Marty Barfowitz: Sounds like you had as close to a perfect day or two as one can have in Brooklyn.
March 15, 2011, 7:08 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Actually, Tal, the parade is moving to 6th Avenue to avoid an extra, complicated turn in the parade route down 42nd between 7th and 6th. Maneuvering balloons and floats around a corner isn't easy. The new route would be simpler - CPW to 59th to 6th. It has nothing to do with Times Square.
March 15, 2011, 10:04 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, most of those people you are referring to on the Times Square Plaza are pretty much tourists. They have to learn that it's not always a good idea to take pictures while in the middle of the streets, especially when in a major part of the city. They can always take them from the sidewalks as others do. As for the rogue cyclists, the more they act like that, the more people will want more enforcement on them. BTW, in drivers manuals over at the DMV, they do consider bicycles to be vehicles, so they should recquire licensing and registration just like the rest, but your kind doesn't like to pay in favor of getting a free pass. As for drivers talking on cell phones, I am not one of them, and I find it better to use a hands free set or even just turn on the speakerphone functions, but this is this also the problem with pedestrians, because this distracts them. On a side note, the only reason I knew you were Chicken Underwear on Streetsblog was because that post about not getting to speak at that hearing matched your post here, so it has to be you and not someone else.
March 15, 2011, 6:21 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
My kind has no problem with bikers being licensed and the law should be enforced upon everyone, including bikers.

I used to work in Rock Center and I went through Times Sq often. The sidewalks were impassable because there were just to many people, not just people gawking. Anyway, tourists need a place to sit as do New Yorkers who want to eat lunch.
March 15, 2011, 7:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, don't give me that they need more excuse. There are already seating areas in parks and plazas for this. Why take away roads for this? Can we reopen the Central and Prospect Park Drives in return to get back the number of streets lost for that? BTW, there is a bunch of tables in Bryant Park, and it's only a block away from Times Square. I wouldn't rely solely on tourists because they are a boom bust economy. I say that those that live and work in the area should come first especially because they are there all year long rather than those who only spend about a week or month there. Why do their needs outweigh everyone elses. They have to learn, that they should not block sidewalks and streets on others. I am sure that they wouldn't like it when it's done where they live.
March 16, 2011, 6:10 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
First, the tourism industry in NYC is growing faster than any other. Not booming and busting at all.

There was not enough room on the sidewalks for all the tourists and people who live and work here to walk.

Also the people who live and work in Times Square don't need more roads, because very few of them drive to of from Times Square. They take the subways and walk on the overcrowded sidewalks. The few who drive are still doing just fine.

So the needs of the many do outweigh the needs of the few.

and please don't tell the tourists bout the nice tables in Bryant Park. Us New Yorkers need a place to be by ourselves.
March 17, 2011, 8:03 am

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