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CB6 to Prospect Park West cyclists — slow down!

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The Prospect Park West bike lane — installed last year to slow down car traffic on the wide boulevard — now apparently needs speed bumps to slow down the cyclists, too.

On Thursday night, a Community Board 6 committee demanded that the city to install “rumble strips” to create a cobblestone-like effect a various places along the controversial two-way cycle path.

The panel also asked for the installation of raised islands — similar to those on Ninth Avenue between West 23rd and West 31st streets in Manhattan — to create safe zones for pedestrians.

“The board thinks [the changes] make a good thing even better,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of the board.

The unanimous vote comes after months of generally favorable marks for the bike lane — but bitter opposition from some residents who say that the two-way bike lane turns the one-way roadway into a war zone for pedestrians. Two groups, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, have sued the city — and neither is satisfied with the CB6 fix.

“It’s window dressing,” said Lois Carswell, president of Seniors for Safety. “It does not begin to solve the ethical issues — or the real safety problems.”

Under the new resolution, the board also requests that the city give special attention to the character of the street, examine double-parking and track crash data over the next three years.

The tweaks come from a community survey undertaken by his Councilman Brad Lander’s office last year.

The city will likely implement the recommendations, given that the Department of Transportation proposed the rumble strips after opponents raised objections to the lane. Despite some continuing opposition, the city hails the lane a success, both in slowing down cars on Prospect Park West and reducing cycling accidents and bicycling on the sidewalk.

But even some cyclists think that the strips will be hindrance — especially on a path that’s meant to empower bikers.

“They’re trying to corral and control us,” said David Dixon, owner of Dixon’s Bicycle Shop, adding there is little evidence that accidents are a problem. “What’s next, spikes shooting up at an intersecti­on?”

Community Board 6 will take up the issue at its full board meeting at the Prospect Park Residence [1 Prospect Park West at Union Street in Park Slope, (718) 622-8400] on April 13 at 6:30 pm.

Updated 4:24 pm, March 22, 2011: Includes some updates and, yes, some tweaks of its own.
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Reader Feedback

Fan of Facts from Park Slope says:
Please do your homework, Natalie. It was the DOT that proposed installing the rumble strips to CB6 in response to community input, not the other way around. There's a link to DOT's 1/20/11 presentation to CB6 here (see Slide 14). http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/prospectparkwest.shtml.
March 21, 2011, 12:39 am
Resident from PPW says:
Why not speed bumps for cars? Wouldn't that slow the speed of the cars and make PPW safer? And if the slowed down traffic makes the the roadway safer, that negates one of the arguments about the need for the bike line on the street versus in the park. Very interesting.
March 21, 2011, 5:16 am
pedestrian from park slope says:
Maybe if this reporter or anyone from the Brooklyn Paper had attended the CB6 Transportation Committee meeting, they would know that the committee was reviewing changes proposed by the DOT, and that the vote in favor was unanimous. It was a great example of people who might otherwise disagree coming together to make reasonable suggestions regarding proposed changes. The unanimous vote even included CB6 members that have been opposed to the bike lane. Seems like the Brooklyn Paper missed the real story here.
March 21, 2011, 6:54 am
jane from park slope says:
This is a puff piece that seems to have totally missed what happened at this meeting.
March 21, 2011, 8:03 am
Frank from Furter says:
"Ethical" issues? what the heck does that mean. Was someone paid off? not really...
The real safety problem is speeding cars who don't stop for pedestrians in cross walks. Narrowing the street has slowed traffic and made it much safer....but its easy to ignore this when you claim someone is ethically challenged.
March 21, 2011, 8:52 am
thfs from cb6 says:
This reporter is either intentionally spinning the story to make it seem like NBBL won something here or didn't even bother to read the resolution that passed. The author had 4 days to figure this out, what's the problem?

I was at the committee meeting and it was incredibly clear that the resolution was in favor of keeping the bike lane because it had made things safer and in favor of DOT's modifications. And it was passed unanimously, a rare feat in this CB.

Oh and just so we're clear, the only NBBL/SfS representative at the person was someone from their white shoe law firm. They didn't even bother showing up to engage in the public process, yet they complain about the process!
March 21, 2011, 8:52 am
P from PPW says:
Someone should ask Lois Carswell what's ethical about suing her neighbors.

The woman should not be quoted in this paper or anywhere else anymore. She completely discredited herself when she spoke at the CB6 meeting and suggested that speed limit signs were all that's needed to slow cars on PPW. She has no understanding of basic facts, at least when it comes to traffic safety and engineering.

If Lois would like a speed bump installed outside her home on PPW so she can hear cars go thump, thump, thump every few minutes, 24 hours a day, I think that would be a great idea.

Natalie, you messed up on this one. The changes to the bike lane grew out of DOT studies, not from CB6 itself.
March 21, 2011, 9:13 am
pedestian from park slope says:
Actually, thfs, a member of one of the opposing groups is on the Trans Com itself, and voted for the motion. This motion was a successful attempt by the Trans Com to get beyond the divisiveness of the last several months and actually tackle the substance of the changes suggested by DOT. As such, it wasn't meant to rehash the old pro/anti debate, but to recognize that CB6 had to address these issues.
March 21, 2011, 9:37 am
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
The "rumble strips" aren't remotely like what you find on a highway. They're very low profile, and are not intended to slow cyclists down but to remind them that they're approaching an intersection and to yield to pedestrians -- a very good thing, in my mind. We all need to share the streets and have respect for one another.

As for ethics, with all due respect, Ms. Carswell, there's not a lot that's ethical about sitting out five years of public process and then suing your neighborhood because you don't like the aesthetics of a bit of traffic-calming infrastructure embraced by the vast majority of your community.
March 21, 2011, 10:02 am
tyler from ps says:
“It’s window dressing,” said Lois Carswell, president of Seniors for Safety. “It does not begin to solve the ethical issues — or the real safety problems.”

What does that MEAN!?! Ethical issues?!
March 21, 2011, 10:04 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Hey Lois,

What is more ethical than SAVING THE LIVES OF SENIORS. Do you really want to go back to having a freeway in front of your home, separating you from Prospect Park.

Why don't you use your powers for good?
March 21, 2011, 10:22 am
tyler from ps says:
Also, Natalie -- there's a BIG difference between a rumble strip (awareness) and a speed bump (forced slowing). Are you planning on using this article in your resume for when you apply to work for the Wall Street Journal?
March 21, 2011, 11:32 am
Steve from PPW says:
"Lane-supporting Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) will likely disagree, given that the speed bumps and pedestrian refuges were tweaks that came from a community survey undertaken by his office last year."

Um, did you call him? This isn't journalism.
March 21, 2011, 1:01 pm
henry ford from detroit says:
Who needs speed bumps? Some broken glass and rusty nails should do the trick.
March 21, 2011, 2:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find it ironic that cyclists claim that those who drive down PPW use it as a speedway, but I can say the same for them. I think that speed bumps would be good for making cyclists following the road. The fact that they will fall from refusing to slow down on them will be a wake up call for them. The fact that cyclists hardly slow down is the reason to placing speed bumps. However, if it was just placed in the first place, then there would be no need for bike lanes, and that would hurt the rogue cyclists a lot.
March 21, 2011, 4:56 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal,

When is the last time you were on PPW?
March 21, 2011, 5:10 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Tal, you can't say that, because bikes don't and can't go as fast as cars.
March 21, 2011, 6:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, CB6 is asking for you to slow down, so please do it. If this will make them slow down, then I support it. Any vehicle going fast on speed bumps can get some part of it affected in some way. If a cyclist does go fast on a speed bump, there is a good chance of them falling while doing that. It's either allow for the bumps, or just agree to have the bike lane removed.
March 21, 2011, 8:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, I have been on PPW years ago when going over to the Montaulk Club for an event hosted by DDDB, but that was before the bike lane existed.
March 21, 2011, 8:54 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
We don't need speed bumps. They will cause accidents by bikers who are not speeding.

and

So, Tal you have not even seen the bike lane and you have all these opinions. How did you generate them. Why. Why Why.....
March 21, 2011, 9:17 pm
tyler from ps says:
Tal -- STOP. Simple as that.

Do you have some sort of psychological problem? Your opinions on the PPW bike lane are based on... umm... I'm not sure.
March 21, 2011, 9:37 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
The are based on the fact that rogue cyclists must be stopped.
March 21, 2011, 9:39 pm
Mike says:
"Do you have some sort of psychological problem?"

I think we all know the answer to that.
March 21, 2011, 10:49 pm
mike from GP says:
I preferred "rouge cyclists". ;)

Come on folks, Tal is a joke. I even accord the NBBLers more respect than him. At least they have *seen* the bike lane. Through their own strange viewpoint, yes, but they have actually seen it. Tal, however, is a straight-up crank who used to be a hanger-on of the thoroughly discredited and publicly-shamed CommuterOutrage.com, should that mean anything to you.

Ignore him. Concentrate on what matters.
March 21, 2011, 10:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville says:
I could not have written the post at 8:53 because I was away from my computer tending to my arthritic cat. Mike, you are posing as me and I will report you because you will be reported.
March 22, 2011, 9:02 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I did not write the comment at 9:02 denying the comment at 8:53 because I was watching videotapes of the WNBA and reading back issues of the NY Post. Mike and mike and Other Michael, I know you were sent here by the Streetsblogs and TA and Critical Mass to attack me. I don't believe in personal attacks, except when I'm making them. So please stop, or you will be seen as a "wacko attacko". Remember, I think in terms of the long term, not the short term, which is when you will be a wacko attacko who doesn't like the WNBA.
March 22, 2011, 9:50 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I did not write the comment at 9:50 denying the comment at 9:02 denying the comment at 8:53 because I was reading back issues of Newsday and cutting out every W, N, B, and A to make a collage.
March 22, 2011, 10:37 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Those last three posts were from this morning were not done by me. I wasn't even at my computer this morning, I was at my job. As a matter of fact, I got to my computer just right now. If anyone thinks I do what was in any of those three posts, they are wrong. I still can't believe that you Streetsbloggers sink that low by impersonating me. Real cold if you asked me. I don't post like that at all, plus I don't have any pets at all hence no cat. Nevertheless, I am still waiting for evidence that the data done by JSK weren't fudged, and nobody has given any evidence to that. As for Commuter Outrage, leave them alone, they have nothing to do with this. Seriously, wouldn't they have still been up today if they were funded by the automobile lobby as you claim? Either way, I wasn't on that website when it was first founded, I came to that one later, and nobody told me to go there, I went there on my own. Overall, knock it off with the personal attacks. I don't mind hearing from those that don't want to agree, but it's those that attack me that I am against.
March 22, 2011, 4:44 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, do you have any evidence that the data WAS fudged?
March 22, 2011, 6:07 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, Never mind.
March 22, 2011, 6:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about proof where it wasn't fudged, because you don't seem to answer to answer that and tend to act defensive on that?
March 22, 2011, 8:48 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, How do you prove something was not fudged?
March 22, 2011, 8:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The were fudged because I love fudge. Sweet and sugary deliciousness!
March 23, 2011, 9:44 am
Tal Barzilia from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, that post at 9:44 wasn't done by me, and I wasn't even online this morning at all, so whoever is doing this, please stop right now. Getting back to the subject, since Commuter Outrage was brought, but I am not mentioning anyone's names here for privacy reason, they did a breakdown on how it was fudged. The first thing is that because bicycles don't have any RFID tracking, we can never truly know the number of them traveling. Another reason to why it tends to seem fudged was when it was found that the rest of the city doesn't actually count outside of midtown and downtown Manhattan. Seriously, how is this taking the total number of cyclists when the rest is left out? If that is not fudging data, then I don't know what is. Of course the imposter probably doesn't, which explains why he said that. Fudged data is when only a selective of amount of data is being used to make a determination while the leaving the rest out.
March 23, 2011, 3:57 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
What??
March 23, 2011, 4:19 pm
Mike says:
Oh my God, Tal seriously thinks that the bike count for PPW is fudged because a citywide count that's completely irrelevant here doesn't use RFID? Or is this another Tal parody? It's too crazy to be true.
March 23, 2011, 5:01 pm
Sally from PPW says:
This is the greatest comedy show on the internet.
March 23, 2011, 5:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, tell me something I don't know about how such stats are determined, because you don't seem to know much about it either, and as usual, you resort to personal attacks rather than trying to prove your point.
March 23, 2011, 6:29 pm
Mike says:
OMG

They are determined by having people stand on PPW and count the number of bicyclists that ride by.
March 23, 2011, 6:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Is there actually someone from the DOT out there on a daily basis counting the cyclists, or is this just assumed?
March 23, 2011, 7:56 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, why don't you come count bikes if it is so important to you.
March 23, 2011, 7:58 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
and yes there was a person counting bikes.
March 23, 2011, 7:58 pm
Scotlandyabas from Red Hook says:
Only in America. The addition of a bike lane = less traffic, less pollution, less noise, an increase in safety for everyone concerned, blah, blah, etc. the list goes on... I don't get it, why is there a debate about this? Someone tell me what I've missed.
March 23, 2011, 9:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Wake up to reality and realize that we are not living in the movie Field of Dreams where if you build it they will come. Even just building a new state of the art sports facility in real life doesn't mean that everyone will come. The same goes for all the luxury housing, and in this case bike lanes. Where has there every really been a demand for bike lanes outside of the bicycle advocacy websites. Read some of the comment on the City Room, and you will see many comments making the claim that they were being forced on them rather than by an actual input. I have been to hearings on many issues, and the pannelists, who have pretty much made their decision before comming in, just pretend to hear others just for show. They were probably thinking about where they were going to have a celebration dinner after that sham event they just hosted. I know this from all the events that I went to that involved the WTC site, Atlantic Yards, MTA, and even congestion pricing.
March 24, 2011, 9:20 pm
Mike says:
Tal has not ever actually seen PPW since the traffic calming bike lane were installed, so he obviously hasn't seen the thousands of bike riders a day that use it during good weather. His comments here are completely irrelevant and should be ignored.
March 24, 2011, 10:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike whatever you are on, I don't want it. I have heard from residents who have lived there, and seen that bike lane all year long, but hardly ever saw them using them. The only time it ever looked full when was when TA and Streetsblog called for a flashmob of their kind to come there, while every other time, that was hardly the case. It's so nice to use photo-ops as evidence. Maybe there should be a live webcam showing the place and then we will see who is actually there durring the day. For the record, I have commented on other subjects here, and I hardly hear anyone being so defensive on them whenever I state my view, so why here do you tend to reveal such hostilities? You guys had your say, now let others have their say. It's about time you start putting away the Haterade you have been drinking. I take it rogue cyclists don't believe in fair debates and think that the world revolves around them and only them. Nobody is telling you what to like, so quit it already. If I am not worth it, then why are you still giving me the time of day? That sort of contradicts your claim if you are still answering me. Cut the personal attacks right now!
March 24, 2011, 10:48 pm
Mike says:
This isn't a debate. It's a safety project that makes a huge difference to our community. We are invested in our community and we care about it. You aren't and you don't. That's why your opinion isn't relevant.

It's not a personal attack to state the fact that your opinions are not based on firsthand observation or knowledge about the project, and should therefore be discounted by those who might read them.
March 24, 2011, 11:35 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

You are personally attacking us in a very real way. For reasons I can not fathom to understand you are attacking our personal safety.
March 25, 2011, 7:45 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael (or Chicken Outfit, which describes you better) and Mike, a personal attack is when you attack the person just for simply disagreeing. I don't attack the person, I just state why I disagree with such ideas. Is it a crime to disagree on having bike lanes? I guess to those that act like religous zealouts, it is one. Debates is what makes the issue interesting rather than just one bobblehead thread. If you like those so much, then go back to Streetsblog. When you are on a more open website like this, you can expect to hear from the opposition. If you asked me, only a chicken or coward like you guys are the ones who don't want to debate this. Then again, you probably need the time to design your chicken outfits. Saying that someone can't have their say does show that you don't know as much about this as I do, so when you can't come up with a rebuttal, you demand censorship. I find that a cowardly act.
March 25, 2011, 5:54 pm
BRBR from Bay Ridge says:
http://brbrbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2011/03/get-ready-to-rumble.html
March 25, 2011, 8:42 pm
Mike says:
Oh my god, Tal, why are you being so dense?

The problem isn't that you disagree. The problem is that your arguments are, almost invariably, based on a combination of facts that aren't true, assertions that are irrelevant, and twisted, tortured logic. Plenty of people disagree, and disagreement is just fine! The problem with you is that your posts are full of lies and mistruths. You simply don't know what you're talking about. Making stuff up isn't appropriate in the debate you seem to want to have.
March 25, 2011, 8:55 pm
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
I don't understand why the article didn't make clear that the "rumble strips" are not the ones you find by a tollbooth. That was made abundantly clear at the DOT meeting held back in January.

Whether or not they're needed on the PPW lane.. I'm not sure, but I trust the DOT expertise here.

One place I would love to see some kind of speed control put in is on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway. THAT is 10,0000 accidents waiting to happen, every day.

http://inklake.typepad.com
March 25, 2011, 9:19 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal.

I DON'T WANT TO DEBATE YOU. THIS IS NOT AN ACADEMIC EXERCISE. THIS IS ABOUT MY PERSONAL SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF MY CHILDREN AND MY NEIGHBORS.

Every time you post you misinformed opinions I want to make sure that the people reading this know that you have no idea what you are talking about.
March 25, 2011, 9:24 pm
Scotlandyabas from Red Hook says:
How will parents who jog with their strollers, and the food cart guys be able to use the bike lane when the rumble strips are installed?
March 26, 2011, 9:41 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
The rumble strips are not going to be that big. Just groves
March 26, 2011, 2:25 pm
om from ps says:
grooves
March 26, 2011, 3:46 pm
Gary Reilly from Carroll Gardens says:
The "rumble strips" will be strategically located at the approaches to pedestrian crossings. The purpose is not to slow down cyclists along the lane, but to alert them to potential pedestrian conflicts.

The goal, along with most of the other aspects of the motion, is to improve safety conditions for peds and cyclists.

The committee also approved a separate motion to request that the City work across agencies and with civic groups and advocacy organizations to improve education about the rules of the road, specifically to address the rules around bikes and bike lanes.
March 26, 2011, 7:38 pm
Mike says:
The "rumble strips" won't even be grooves. They'll just be strips of the kind of marking paint the city uses, which is slightly raised. Like on the LES waterfront greenway.
March 26, 2011, 7:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As I recall, there are also some rumble stripes on Queens Boulevard near the LIE, so this won't be something new, plus there is no toll there either.
March 26, 2011, 9:17 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

and what does this have to do with the article?
March 27, 2011, 6:48 pm
Rickpat from Windsor Terrance says:
I have walked by it different times, biked it walked along the park the other evening, 6 P.M. no heavy traffic, I think the Bike Lane(s) work.
April 1, 2011, 9:30 pm
Tal Barzila from Pheasantville, NY says:
The other day when I was walking from the door of Kentucky Fried Chicken to my car parked on the road, I was hit by a cyclist on a bicycle. He wasen't watching where he was going, and he hit me right on my lower abdomin and legs, knocking my tub of chicken all over the road in the process.

Bicyclists need to realize that they don't own the road, and that cars and walkers have right-of-way over bicyclists, because in my experience most bicyclits don't pay as much taxes as those who drive cars. I've talked to some people over at NY Times.com and they agree that for far too long, bikers intersts have run roughshod over the car driving majority. I have debunked the counterarguments ad nauseum, but people keep attacking me and impersonating me, which is a low blow beneath the belt.

-Tal Barzilai
Aug. 11, 2011, 3 pm

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