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Bikelash! Cops say they’ll crack down on speeding cyclists

The Brooklyn Paper

Do they make radar detectors for bikes?

Cyclists in Prospect Park might want to consider such an accessory now that cops have said that they will start ticketing bike riders who exceed the park’s 25-mile-per-hour speed limit.

Cops spent much of Thursday barricading the East Lake Drive and stopping all bicyclists to hand out fliers announcing the rules enforcement, which begins on Saturday and comes on the heels of two serious crashes between riders and pedestrians.

Officers will also target riders who salmon against the flow of traffic on the park loop.

“The issue on the stretch [along the downhill part of West Drive near the Vanderbilt Playground] is speed,” 78th Precinct commanding officer John Argenziano told Patch.com. “Bikers are going too fast downhill.”

An NYPD spokesman added that the enforcement effort will mostly target the speeders.

“We’re not going to be jumping out of trees, ticketing for little things like wearing headphones,” he said.

The crackdown comes after collisions in the park left two women with brain damage — and after dozens of other accidents and close calls.

Cops say the crackdown will not focus on pedestrians who break street rules — but on “bike enforcement.”

Officers did not hand out any fliers — which also note road “safety tips” — to pedestrians when The Brooklyn Paper visited the barricade on Thursday.

That irks cyclists, who say spaced-out walkers and in-the-zone joggers are just as much to blame for the recent string of crashes.

“The problem is with both parties — so targeting just us isn’t going to solve anything,” said long-distance cyclist Prince Quinland. “What about all the pedestrians who don’t watch where they’re going?”

The increased enforcement comes three weeks after 55-year-old park volunteer Linda Cohen was struck by a 61-year-old cyclist in on West Lake Drive, leaving her so badly injured that doctors kept her in a medically induced coma.

And in June, 37-year-old actress Dana Jacks suffered brain damage after a cyclist collided with her in the same spot. She’s planning to sue the city, citing the very lack of enforcement that apparently ends on Saturday.

Reducing speeding was a major theme at last week’s public hearing on ending the battle over Prospect Park’s roadways, where hazy rights of way have long made the roadway chaotic.

The Department of Transportation then responded by installing cones to slow cyclists on West Lake Drive. Police enforcement is the second wave of city action, with one officer citing the crashes as “the impetuous.”

The fliers that were handed out on Thursday offer the usual safety tips, such as “do not bike with a dog on a leash” and “cyclists and skaters must travel clockwise.”

It also reminded cyclists of existing, but often flouted, rules, including that cyclists must have a bell, and cannot wear headphones and must stop at red lights.

The red light rule particularly angers some cyclists, who say the park’s roadway is a sacred car-free spot — unlike a normal street, where they’re happy to stop for lights.

“They’re asking us to screech to a halt after reaching 25 miles-per-hour,” said Anthony Lowe, who belongs to a bicycle racing team and noted they recently fought a similar battle in Central Park. “There’s nowhere left to train in New York City.”

Rules for two-wheeling park users are perfectly fine with two-legged park-goers, who say the open space was never meant to be a mini Tour de France.

“The cops are late,” said Forrest Cicogni, the husband of the injured actress. “But his is what we wanted — it’s a good first step.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

mike from GP says:
I'm a bicyclist and pedestrian, and honestly those racing cyclists annoy the hell out of me. Kick the cars out of the park first! Put down speed bumps.
Dec. 2, 2011, 7:01 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Some of the races make the rest of the bikers look bad, but speed bumps will be a hazard for everyone.
Dec. 2, 2011, 7:20 am
J from BK says:
“We’re not going to be jumping out of trees, ticketing for little things like wearing headphones,” he said.

NYPD did NOT just say that!!!! That "little thing" is more dangerous than speeding -- and clearly illegal:

—VTL 375 (24)(a) Cyclists may not wear more than one earphone attached to a radio, tape player or other audio device while riding.

Cyclists with headphones are unaware of their surroundings and dangerous.

Speed doesn't kill -- idiots kill. Please please use judgement and go for the reckless cyclists only... They're obvious standouts and drive other cyclists crazy, too!
Dec. 2, 2011, 7:30 am
Bob from BK says:
Cyclists sometimes speed in the parks. Motorists virtually always speed in the parks. Why not crack down on drivers too? They also crash into people in the parks (and are more likely to kill the victim), you know.
Dec. 2, 2011, 8:15 am
S from PPW says:
The public hearing was over two weeks ago, not last week. Do you fact check, Natalie?
Dec. 2, 2011, 9:13 am
Silas from KB says:
Usually I side with bike riders in disputes about sharing the road, but saying that you shouldn't have to obey the speed limit because you are "training" is pretty lame.
Dec. 2, 2011, 9:21 am
Brian Van from Kips Bay says:
So this means they fixed the speeding-by-motor-vehicle problem in Central Brooklyn and are ready to move on from that, correct?

Last time I checked, cars injured and killed a lot more people than bikes ever did in that part of town. It's true that reckless cyclists need to be stopped just the same as any other reckless user of public space, but this seems to me to be more of a consequence of the media misplacing their priorities and the NYPD happily dancing along to their tune. Because if people getting injured in the roads (by something OTHER than bikes) was a priority to The BP or any other media outlet, you wouldn't have room for any other news.

Fix the bikes but REALLY FIX THE CARS. Get the story right.
Dec. 2, 2011, 9:48 am
Stu from PPW says:
Glad to see Deputy Inspector John Argenziano taking his job seriously. I agree that something must be done about the rude, speeding cyclists who have little regard for pedestrian safety in the park.

Can he also do something about the speeding and reckless drivers on 3rd Avenue, 4th Avenue, 5th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue, 8th Avenue, Prospect Park West, Flatbush Avenue, President Street, Degraw Street, Carroll Street, Douglass Street, Union Street, 1st Street, 2nd Street, 3rd Street, 4th Street...the list goes on.

Because as much of a pain as it can be for me to jog in the park now and then due to the rude cyclists, I am much more worried about getting hit by a speeding, texting, red-light-running driver on my way TO and FROM the park.

The 78th Precinct's priorities are messed up.
Dec. 2, 2011, 9:49 am
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
Don't worry folks this crackdown will only last for a few weeks at most. Afterwards, us responsible cyclists can just enjoy the park just as we've done in the past, without incident.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:22 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
That really makes a lot of sense (NOT). This is a lame effort to placate people who have no idea what the speed of a bicycle is. Even fast ones rarely hit the 25 MPH speed limit.

Last April cops in Central Park spent the early morning hours one day near the bottom of a hill trying to catch speeding bicycles and managed to nab exactly one cyclist who happened to be going 28 MPH. That's not even outside of the margin of error for the radar device.

If NYPD really wants to be useful they might try to clock cars in the park that frequently do 40 MPH or try some of the streets surrounding the park like maybe Parkside Ave., where the absence of any traffic signal or crosswalk for the full length of the Parade Ground turns that stretch into a speedway that rivals the BQE on a good day.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:23 am
Big V from Park Slope says:
Sometimes I walk, and sometimes I ride my bike. When I walk, I don't want to yield to cyclists, and when I ride, I don't want to yield to pedestrians. Can't we just make it so that when I'm walking, I have the right of way over cyclists, and when I'm riding, I have the right of way over pedestrians? That would solve everything (for me).
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:35 am
prillis says:
why is it that whenever bikers are asked to act responsibly in prospect park, their immediate (and only) reaction is to whine about cars?
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:40 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
it happens to be i am a biker and trying to follow rules, its about time bikers should follow rules and regulations, otherwise cop should handle out summons for all of them....
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:47 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
There is no point on that hill where a pedestrian can't look and see that they are clear to cross. I have crossed it many times with a stroller and a 3yo, and have never had to wait more than a minute for bikes to pass.
Bikes are not invisible, but they do have momentum. Pedestrians should recognize that and let them pass. Its really not a big deal.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:51 am
Rupe from Brooklyn says:
Mark your calendars:

The 78th Precinct Community Council meets the last Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the 78th Precinct station house. (6th Ave & Bergen)

That would make it Tuesday, December 27th.

Anyone who thinks the 78th ought to focus on reckless driving that kills hundreds of New Yorkers every year ought to be there to give John Argenziano a piece of their minds. People are mowing down pedestrians and speeding in cars all the time, but the NYPD doesn't do a damn thing.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:56 am
Hector from Boerum Hill says:
We need law enforcement in Prospect Park, but it shouldn't single out one type of park user. Why are the cops openly admitting they will ignore drivers and pedestrians who break the law? That's just patently unfair.

Cars go faster in Prospect Park than cyclists. That's just a fact. If police are going to enforce the speed limit in the park, why ignore the faster, more dangerous speeders?
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:03 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Prillis -- Seriously? Are you that dense?

It's all about calling out the NYPD for their politically motivated, low-hanging fruit method of operating. This is a RIDICULOUS use of limited police resources. The issue is not "whenever bikers are asked" -- it's EVERYONE is asking the NYPD to enforce dangerous motor vehicle traffic!

The park is just one GLARING example of the absurdity. The speed limit in the park is 25 mph. There are a small handful of bikes that even come close to that speed (never mind exceed it) in the park. HOWEVER, I would hazard a guess that 97% of all cars far exceed this speed limit... many (most?) drivers in the park treat the road as an expressway and are usually traveling at 45 mph. Many even *double* the speed limit. That should be 6 points on their license... but, instead, they're setting up a task force to target the bicycles! Whooo hooo!

The NYPD should be focusing on what will most impact the SAFETY of the folks using the roads. Should bicycling violations be *in the mix*? Yes, absolutely. But part of a COMPREHENSIVE campaign. Ticket fast bicycles in the park, but completely IGNORE the high-speed and aggressive motorists?! Come on.

100 pedestrians and cyclists are KILLED every year in New York City by cars. Hundreds more are injured (many severely) every MONTH.

Yes. Enforce or have education campaigns about bad/dangerous cyclists behavior. For example, have the police actually STOP the thousands of delivery men that *insist* on riding the wrong way and on the sidewalk... ya know, instead of just driving past them in their squad cars. Tickets necessary to change this behavior?! No. But the police actually have to DO something (i.e., roll down their window and talk). Instead, the NYPD does these big media events that do NOTHING for *actual* safety. The vehicle that jumped the sidewalk and slammed THROUGH the fence of the Cortelyou Road tot lot the other week... guess what? It wasn't a bike.

And don't think I've forgotten about the pedestrians.... How many of those "close calls" with bikes are caused by folks REFUSING to wait on the damn sidewalk? The crossing light says "Don't Walk" -- where do you stand?! ON THE SIDEWALK. Not 2 feet past the parked cars. Do you know what goes there? Cars and bicycles. Not oblivious pedestrians that can't wait 20 secs on the sidewalk.

When was the last time you saw a car pulled over on a Brooklyn street? (for me it was about 2 or 3 years ago) When was the last time you saw speeding, aggressive behavior, reckless driving? (for me, it's EVERY day)

So, yeah. I'm whining about cars. I'm also VERY disappointed in how short-sighted and selfish your attitude is.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:04 am
manhatposeur from Portlyn Lakes Park says:
The cops should go after reckless drivers and speeders and criminal elements. Not busting on cyclist.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:11 am
John from Greenpoint says:
Most of the riders you all are complaining about are lucky to maintain an average speed of 18 mph. The fittest riders can get above 30 mph on the downhill section of the course, but those guys generally use the park before 7 AM. And even they only average about 21 mph all the way around the park.

This is a waste of police resources that could be better spent enforcing the law against drivers who actually kill people.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:12 am
prillis says:
perfect example, burns. this article is about police preventing bike accidents in the park, and you whine about car accidents outside the park (OMG! cars create accidents in NYC! thanks for the news flash.). and thanks for your guesses about how fast cars and bikes are in prospect park. very scientific. perhaps the spandex has caused permanent damage to your brain.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:14 am
Joe from Crown Heights says:
I see the problem as one of design. If you were going to design from scratch an intersection where a high-speed cycling path was going to intersect a pedestrian crossing, it would look nothing like this. You would seriously narrow the bike path at the point of crossing so the pedestrians would only have maybe maximum 5-8 feet of exposure between curbs, knowing exactly where to expect bikes to be, unlike the game of chicken or Frogger going on now. Then you would heavily sign the crossings with warnings to both bikes and peds, like you see on the Hudson River Greenway:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4477484005_02c28a2b71.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4015/4478105426_50b7bb9183.jpg

Then if there's any place where it's really critical that bikes slow down or stop every time they go past, you install a little chicane with barricades, like this one on a pedestrian bridge over Fort Hamilton Parkway:
http://g.co/maps/bqx9f
Because you have to turn hard to snake through it, there's no way to hit it at high speeds.

But all this is impossible because the park drive is a wide open 60-foot free for all with no physical separation or organization because it is designed to be a giant roadway for cars. Get the cars out of the park permanently, fix the design, and then you wont need the cops at all
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:20 am
John from Greenpoint says:
Prillis,
As a cyclist who uses the park with a speedometer on my handlebars, I can confidently state that when the park road is open to cars, most drivers exceed 35 mph. I have never seen a car driver ticketed in the park.

The issue here is that pedestrians can't or won't see and hear bikes.

-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:23 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I have to agree with prillis on this. Why is it that whenever there is a call to enforce the rules on cyclists, so many bike zealouts come up not only crying foul to this in acting like victims to the rules, but also bring up cars, which is completely irrelevant to the issue? I will not argue that cars do kill people, but so do bicycles. Just because on kills more, doesn't mean that the other should be ignored taken on less. Many are finding cyclists that don't comply with the rules a problem, and are asking for this to be taken care of as soon as possible. Those that only use stats are just looking at the effects rather than the causes, because stats don't tell the whole story. Again, this sounds a lot like the anti-Israel crowd when making such claims, because a lot of them say that the IDF or Mossad is more of a terrorit group than Hamas will ever be just because they killed more without knowing what really happened.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:24 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Prillis -- Did you even read my comment? Seems like you didn't. But that's fine. It clear I can dismiss anything you say because you don't like actually thinking.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:25 am
John from Greenpoint says:
Tal,
Tell me about a single pedestrian killed by a cyclist in the last 5 years in New York. I can list half a dozen pedestrians and cyclists killed by cars since August.
-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:27 am
ty from pps says:
Why do zealots like Tal always cry foul about Israel and the Mossad when we're talking about TRAFFIC SAFETY in Brooklyn?

(Wait. Zeatlot isn't the right word... it's another one ending with -ots.)
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:29 am
prillis says:
yes, burns, i did read your rant about NYPDs priorities. i'm sure the two folks who were seriously injured by BIKERS IN THE PARK would disagree. i also saw how you then raged about cars in nyc . . .
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:32 am
Rob from NY says:
I think the NYPD should do this whenever any pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, car or bike. NYPD: Please keep it up and distribute the safety warnings equally. First recommendation, 106th and Broadway in Manhattan, where a pedestrian was killed by a speeding car. Stop all the cars, and hand them flyers.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:33 am
prillis says:
ty, the article is about BIKERS IN THE PARK not a generalized article about "traffic safety in brooklyn."
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:39 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Yes. Two people were seriously injured in Prospect Park. HOWEVER, thousands upon thousands of pedestrians and cyclists are injured every year by CARS. I think that all of those people would AGREE with me.

"i also saw how you then raged about cars in nyc . . ." No. I "raged" about speeding and reckless cars IN THE PARK and the city at large.

Do you honestly think totally ignoring the 45 mph CARS IN THE PARK, but "cracking down" on bicyclists is appropriate?! Really? Why are cars not being slowed down? It's a matter of time when a car crushes a pedestrian or cyclist -- either just because of speed or the aggressive road rage I see whenever I am in the park when the road is open to cars. It's a when, not an if.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:40 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I use that analogy, because it goes well with your claims that motor vehicles are the bigger problems because there are more casualties on their side, and the same goes with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I can draw a lot of parallels between them. However, my point is that you are using the effects to make your claim, but ignoring the causes. If you actually look at the causes, you will see that when a cyclist hits someone, they weren't following the rules, while a motorist may not be solely responsible if they were following the rules. Don't forget that they can either be charged for either being negligible or non-neglible. If a pedestrian/cyclist gets hit by a motor vehicle, but the motorist wasn't flouting the laws or sober in some cases, they won't be charged with any negligence. A lot of cyclists who have injured or even killed pedestrians have been known to have negligence, because a number of times they have been flouting the law. The main point is that stats alone don't say everything, and being less doesn't make them any less of a threat.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:41 am
John from Greenpoint says:
I agree with Rob. Whenever there is a traffic fatality of any kind, the NYPD should set up a check point, stop all vehicles and pedestrians and explain that they are going to start "enforcing the rules" soon.

And by the way, I don't know a single person who has ever received a speeding ticket in a motor vehicle in New York City. Not one.
-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:42 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Prillis -- Putting the LIMITED RESOURCES of the NYPD to tackle this politically motivated "problem" makes it a "traffic safety in Brooklyn" issue!!!

It's a zero-sum game. Take NYPD away from streets to put in park. There are fewer police on streets.

Again. Read my comment. Try to think a little.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:43 am
ty from pps says:
Tal, WHAT?!

"If you actually look at the causes, you will see that when a cyclist hits someone, they weren't following the rules, while a motorist may not be solely responsible if they were following the rules."

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:45 am
prillis says:
yes, burns, i do think cracking down on bikes IN THE PARK is appropriate. cars have not hit and seriously injured ppl IN THE PARK. BIKES IN THE PARK have.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:50 am
Gershlike from Bklyn Paper Town says:
A cyclist was killed in Prospect Park, so we don't have to imagine what the NYPD response would be IF a driver killed somoeone. We know.

Dr. Rachel Fruchter was enjoying a leisurely ride on her bike when she was struck and killed by a van driver going over 40 mph. He had entered the park even when it was supposed to be closed to cars.

The 78th Precinct didn't do jack —— about it.

This week alone a 90-year-old man was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Paper didn't write any "Mean Streets" stories on it. Dead senior citizens are of no concern to this paper since they don't generate page views.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:50 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Gershlike -- No, the van driver was ticketed for having a cracked windshield.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:53 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
John, please explain why just because bicycles don't kill or injure that many people they are less of a threat. By such logic, am I supposed to believe that terrorist groups such as Hamas, Fatah, or even Hezbollah or not such of a threat to Israel just because they kill so little. Seriously, casualties caused by cyclists should never be ignored no matter how much they produce even if it is smaller.
Dec. 2, 2011, 11:54 am
prillis says:
gershlike - a cyclist was killed in prospect park? well by burns' logic, we should be outraged that runner's jaywalk in NYC and the cops do nothing about it!
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:01 pm
BURNS from Ditmas Park says:
Umm... Tal. Let's go with your ridiculous analogy. Let's say Israel spent all of it's safety and security resources on two things -- counter-terrorism and the fire department. Great right? No terrorist attacks and no buildings ever burn down. Meanwhile, 70% of the population has been mugged or raped or robbed... because they are not using any of their resources for basic policing and crime.

THIS is what you are describing here. The NYPD should divert its limited resources to bicycle enforcement (I guess they are Hamas in your dumb analog) and totally ignore things that affect the SAFETY and SECURITY of most people.

Who says cyclists (Hamas and Hezbollah) should be ignored?!?! No. But they shouldn't take up an absurd proportion of limited resources... especially when the NYPD isn't using ANY resources to police the general threat of speeding cars, aggressive and reckless driving, running red lights, etc. etc. etc.

As John said above. I also don't know a single person in NYC that has received a ticket for speeding or any traffic violation.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:06 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
prillis -- you are just a thick-headed douche bag. You must have a hard time getting through life MISSING THE POINT of almost everything you read. Have a nice day.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:08 pm
Peter says:
@Tal - and I swear you're a performance artist.. bravo...

So do you think guns should be regulated like knives, or baseball bats, or sticks?
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:12 pm
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
Prillis:
There is nothing that would indicate that the cyclists involved in the recent pedestrian collisions were engaged in doing anything illegal.

News accounts don't even say that the accidents occurred in crosswalks, so one can only presume that they were not or they would be hammering cyclists for that. There is no evidence that illegal speeding was an issue in either incident, and based on the location of the Jacks case, near Center and West Dr., it's extremely unlikely in that one.

So what exactly is NYPD cracking down on?
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:13 pm
John from Greenpoint says:
Tal,

Your logic would hold that just because butterflies don't kill anyone they may still carry as much threat as machine gun-toting sharks riding in B-29 bombers piloted by blind drunks.

-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:15 pm
Elizabeth R from President St says:
GOOD! Enough is enough.

Some of these out-of-control cyclists think they are participating in Tour de France and half of them never shut up, yapping to each other as they are riding in their packs.

It's a wonder they have enough breath to pedal.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:16 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
John -- Do you know how much anthrax a butterfly can spread? It's unreal. I kill every butterfly I see just to make sure that doesn't happen.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:25 pm
John from Greenpoint says:
Elizabeth,
So you're after us for chatting now? If some of us can be so conversational, how is it that we propel ourselves at breakneck speeds?

-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:31 pm
Opus the Poet from Garland TX says:
Are the NYPD going to write tickets for bicycles the same way they do for cars with no enforcement until the vehicle is 10 or more MPH over the limit (35MPH in this case) or are they going to write tickets for 26 MPH when their radar isn't even that accurate measuring from the return off a bike and rider?

If they write tickets for 1 MPH over on bikes instead of the 10 over that is allowed cars they open themselves for a huge lawsuit for unequal enforcement of the law.

And if you don't think cars are a problem look at this speed survey of motor vehicles in parks from a few years ago: http://www.transalt.org/newsroom/releases/168 "Central Park Loop Drive Speed Study Shows 99.9% of Cars Exceed the Speed Limit by 5 mph or More "
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:38 pm
prillis says:
i'm starting to think that speed bumps is the right idea. they are only dangerous to those going too fast - if you slow down, rollerbladers, bikers, cars, etc. can get over them.

everyone has to slow down, all treated alike.

@burns: nice 'douchebag' comment. stay classy peloton.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:42 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Opus, don't you know that you can't cite Transportation Alternatives? They are "zealots" that want to destroy America. You must have known that.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:43 pm
Stu from PPW says:
Speed bumps are not the best for kids or anyone else who might be a little unsure on their bikes.

And if we need speed bumps in Prospect Park, surely we need them on every avenue from Red Hook to Coney Island.
Dec. 2, 2011, 12:59 pm
prillis says:
stu - i'd respectfully disagree. i've seen kids/beginners do fine w. them - esp. given that they ride a bit more slowly anyhow. i'd be fine w. having them outside the park as well, but want to stick w. the thrust of this article. note that speed bumps would also allay concerns about NYPD resources. i think the only one annoyed would be people who like to speed and EMTs.
Dec. 2, 2011, 1:11 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
prillis -- I think it's really funny you think I'm a member of one of the various spandex peletons.... just because I find this to be an absurd and pointless "dog and pony show" by the NYPD that has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It's purely a political show to make it seem like they are doing their job (they're not when it comes to road safety).

If you were curious, my bicycle is a city bike with one gear (no, not a "fixie") and my top speed going down the hill in the park is maybe 15 or 20 mph, maybe. I also own a car and drive quite a bit. I'm also a pedestrian and ride the bus and subways. The streets are unsafe. Period. And, guess what, enforcing a non-existent bicycle speed problem in the park isn't doing anything for anyone!

And yes. I stand by my comment. You're a short-sighted, thick-headed douche that seems to miss the point about almost everything.
Dec. 2, 2011, 1:27 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
How about a quick read....

http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/12/02/suggested-locations-for-additional-nypd-traffic-enforcement/

Where should "targeted enforcement" actually be? The 78th precinct issued a whopping 91 speeding tickets from January through October. In fact, only an average of 57 moving violations per month... all moving violations (remember, one stop sometime involves more than one). So, in the enormous 78th Precinct, the NYPD pulled over less than 2 cars per day. Yep. Let's focus on the "speeding" bicycles in the park. Jeesh.
Dec. 2, 2011, 1:40 pm
prillis says:
boy burnsie, did an nypd play hide the sausage with your girl? quite a hard on you have for the cops.
Dec. 2, 2011, 1:58 pm
John from Greenpoint says:
Prillis,
Yeah, he has "quite a hardon" for cops. Asking public safety officers to do things that actually increase public safety, rather than squandering their time and our resources with useless posing is dickish.

The reason why you all, and cops, want to target cyclists is clear: you are not cyclists. You see cyclists as strange people not of your culture and they should per persecuted for it.

Automobile operators, however, are just like you. And if they happen to murder someone in the course of their travels, well, it must've been an accident. Anyone can see that.

-John.
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:05 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Prillis -- talk about keeping it classy... not to mention avoiding any intelligent thought. Good work!
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:06 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
By the way, I live in the 70th Precinct, the huge area south of Prospect Park. They issued 14 speeding tickets this year. Yes. That's January through October -- 14 speeding tickets.

7,000 tickets for cell phones and seat belts.... but 14 for speeding. Harrumph.
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:18 pm
Opus the Poet from Garland TX says:
Just a technical note, from my days doing this kind of thing in the Army, human targets have much less reflectivity than a motor vehicle and have a much smaller profile. Are NYPD traffic radar certified to be accurate measuring the speed of bicycles?
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:21 pm
DG from Brooklyn says:
Imagine if there were two shootings in Prospect Park in six months and the NYPD conducted a massive crackdown to prevent future murders. In a vacuum, it would be hard to argue against the NYPD doing their job.

But we don't live in a vacuum. If the NYPD focused its efforts on Prospect Park while allowing hundreds of people to be killed and tens of thousands to be injured by guns across the city we'd all be outraged at this gross imbalance in the NYPD's priorities. Yet that's exactly where we are when it comes to the NYPD's focus on bicycles, minus the outrage.

Yes, do something about reckless riding in the park. But with easily preventable traffic injuries and fatalities happening on a daily basis in Brooklyn, why is anyone pretending that this is the best use of limited NYPD resources?
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:27 pm
Amy from Park Slope says:
I was in the park on the day of the second accident, and from what I could see it was not near a crosswalk, so IF she was trying to cross, she was not at a crosswalk... when I went by she was laying near the buffer lane, center hill, and there were alot of people(cyclists too)along with the cops trying to help. It would be nice if the police would report where and how EXACTLY an accident happens and then we could better analyze what needs to be done, reality is always more complex.
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:44 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Yea, the vast majority of biker are not exceeding the speed limit, but they do startle the unaware person crossing the street. Especially because they don't make any noise like a car.

Bikers and pedestrians have to be more aware that they are entering a crosswalk.

This would help a lot.

http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2011/07/signs-that-make-sense-in-central-park.html

Like in Central Park
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:47 pm
prillis says:
DG - i'm not sure that hypothetical is accurate b.c the NYPD is concerned with ppl shooting ppl w. guns in both instances (in park and outside).

(NB: there was a 'gross imbalance' of NYPD resources following the sexual assaults in and around park slope, but no one seem too hot and bothered about it.)
Dec. 2, 2011, 2:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, bicycles are considered vehicles in most cities and states. However, I find it an irony that many feel that they are more special than others. Just because bicycles don't produce emissions doesn't make them exempt from the rules. Even if all motor vehicles were banned from using the park, that still wouldn't do much for stopping the bike zealouts from flouting the laws that they would do either way. The park would be much safer if cyclists just agree to follow the rules rather than act like victims to them. If you believe that following the rules is so important, then start with yourself before you go at others. Start practicing what you preach rather than telling them to do what you say, not as you do.
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:15 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Wow Prillis -- missing the point YET AGAIN. You are a superstar!
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:19 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Grade separate the pedestrian crossings. That fixes the problem. Neither party has to watch out for the other one. Between what the police enforcement will cost, plus the cost of any lawsuits, it's far less expensive to just put pedestrian overpasses in key locations and be done with it.

As for speeding cyclists, the usual standard for a ticket because of equipment errors is 10% plus 4 mph, rounded up to the nearest mph. In this case then, the police shouldn't even think of ticketing a cyclist for speeding unless they're going 32 mph or more. My guess is the pickings will be very slim using that standard.
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:20 pm
prillis says:
why grade separation when speed bumps would be way cheaper (and faster)? and it's fair to everyone b.c it forces all to slow down.

burnsie: i've missed the point again! beat you to it, sucka!
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:24 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
No need to get the police involved, the bikers will police themselves.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:38 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Why grade separation? Because it's the only thing which works 100% of the time. Speed bumps will make the road totally unusable to cyclists while still not solving the problem. Sometimes pedestrians are so unpredictable that a bicycle going only 10 mph might not be able to avoid them.

The problem is people are looking for easy, quick fixes here to a complex problem. You're NOT going to get any group to change their behavoir, even with enforcement. The minute the police need those cops doing the enforcement elsewhere, everyone will behave as they did before. Rather, you need to change the infrastructure so the consequences of "normal" behavoir aren't dangerous. Pedestrians are never going to look for bikes when crossing. Cyclists are going to want to go fast on downhills because it's a "reward" for the effort expended going uphill. The only thing which will reliably work 100% of the time is total grade separation of both groups. We can keep trying to do things other ways, but so far we've had about as much success doing that as drilling a hole in water. I think it's time to try something known to work.
Dec. 2, 2011, 3:41 pm
prillis says:
i don't think it would work 100% of the time, as ppl would bypass the walkovers. and speed bumps don't make it totally unusable to cyclists - you can make the gradual hump type or leave spaces on the side (which also forces bikes to slow down) to pass through. see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sidewalk2/sidewalks209.htm
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:08 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
If you fence the road off then people can't bypass the crossovers. That's why highways and railways are fenced off. The same can be done here. To every problem there's an infrastructure answer.

And slowing down cyclists with speed bumps does make the road unusable to many. Riding at 10 mph is NOT exercise for any cyclist in halfway decent shape. In the same way we accomodate joggers, dog owners, people who play team sports, etc., the city should accomodate cyclists who ride for fitness or sport. If the city is unwilling to do this in parks, then build accomodations elsewhere.

The number of cyclists is only going to grow. It's time we recognized the need for facilities where cyclists can ride without worrying about pedestrians or motor vehicles. Maybe a citiwide system of grade-separated bike roads above normal streets would work for this (and also serve commuter cyclsts).

Remember that the very purpose of a bicycle is to allow a person to go much faster than walking under their own power. If all we're going to do in this city is continue to tell cyclists to slow down or stop for every pebble, then bicycles are pointless. In the same way we accomodate what motor vehicles and pedestrians naturally do, we need to do likewise for bicycles. That basically means providing places where a cyclist can get up to speed, and stay there.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:24 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Can any of you bike zealouts please explain why it's so difficult just to follow the rules, and I would like to hear good, convincing reasons, and NOT some kind of excuse?
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:24 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal are you related to Prillis?
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I have never heard of this prillis person, so my answer is no. I have answered your question ty, so now it's time for you to answer mine. Again, I want to hear good reasons, and not some excuse.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:32 pm
prillis says:
Joe R - i see your points, just don't agree with them, incl your thoughts about a bike's fundamental purpose. i think that it is eminently reasonable to expect bikers to slow down to safe speeds in prospect park, particularly in high traffic areas. same w. cars, rollerbladers, skateboarders, etc.

Tal - as burnsie would (will?) say, you're missing the point. it's the damn cars' fault.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:32 pm
prillis says:
I am not Tal. I like how he agrees with me, but am confused about his Mossad, et al analogies.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:35 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
That one is easy Tal-because a lot of the "rules" that apply to cyclists either don't make sense, don't make things safer, are physically impossible to follow, or actually make cycling more dangerous. Remember that best case rules are an approximation of safe, reasonable behavoir. Worst case rules take on a life of their own, existing solely for revenue functions, and can actually make things worse.

The answer as I've said always lies in infrastructure. I'm thoroughly convinced it makes the most sense to completely separate cyclists from pedestrians and motor vehicles (and also to completely separate motor vehicles and pedestrians). Only then can cyclists operate both safely and optimally.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:35 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
prillis,

The problem from what I understand is the cyclists training in Prospect Park simply have no other facilities. City streets are worthless for training because of all the obstacles. Highways might offer a good place for cyclists to train, but they're closed to bicycles. I'm still not seeing why you're so adamently against just grade-separating pedestrians and cyclists in the park. This way both groups can have their cake and eat it too. It seems NYC always opts for "solutions" which never work. This latest round of enforcement is just another high-profile photo op for a few politicians which in the end will accomplish absolutely nothing.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:42 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

You don't have to be a bike Zealot to know that the "rules" of the park were designed for auto traffic 24/7. that is not the case anymore.

The traffic light need to be changed do to the fact that there is no car traffic in the park for a vast majority of the time.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:44 pm
Mike from Ft. Greene says:
As a former cyclist, a pedestrian, and driver...

Cyclists in general are OK. Disrespect for traffic laws? Cyclists beat drivers every time. If drivers ran stop signs, red lights, and drove against the flow of traffic as often as bikes do, there'd be a blood bath every day. As far as contempt for pedestrians; cyclists show a lot more.

Pedestrians aren't guiltless - but the law gives them the right-of-way. As a vehicle operator, that's the rule you have to abide by - don't and hurt someone - you *are* responsible.

From my point of view, walkovers don't cut it. If I'm at the park, my purpose is to get some relaxing walking in.
Having to climb a walkover with stairs or the average grade built into them is more than I can hack - as is dodging cyclists who don't yield; I *can't* run out of the way. So, yes, I expect cyclists to yield for me in a crosswalk - instead of hurling colorful expletives when I don't jump at their urging.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:48 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Mike,

You can dip the road down about 8 feet in the vicinity of the crossover so the crossover requires no climbing. In fact, it's easier for cyclists to deal with an elevation change than pedestrians. They would just pick up speed when the road dips down, and use that speed to carry them up the other side.
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:53 pm
prillis says:
Joe R. - i'm not totally against grade separation, but i don't think they'd ever get build and they'd be eyesores in the park. but i do fundamentally disagree with you about racers training in the park. i think they're dangerous, generally obnoxious, and i just don't care that they have limited places to train in the city. there are a lot of things people give up by living in NYC. also bikers can easily train just outside the city (say, riding a bike just north of the bronx).
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:54 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Mike --

"As a vehicle operator, that's the rule you have to abide by - don't and hurt someone - you *are* responsible."

I don't get it. What do you think is different? If I hurt someone with my bicycle, how am I not responsible? How is a bicycle "not yielding" any different than a car "not yielding" (rushing a crosswalk or aggressively cutting off pedestrians/cyclists/other cars)??

I thought that was the point? Aren't they all vehicles?

How is a bicycle rider "shouting expletives" different than a car blasting their horn and charging at you?

(The answer to the last one is that the driver in the car doesn't care if they hit you... As a "former cyclist" you must realize that a cyclist is FAR MORE vulnerable and they know they will get hurt just as much or more in a collision... There seems to be a weird perception that a person on a bike feels less vulnerable than someone in a 2-ton steel box. Umm... it's the opposite folks!)
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:58 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
prillis,

The point is obnoxious or not (and yes, even though I'm a cyclist I find a lot of the Lance wannabees obnoxious), these cyclists training in the park aren't going away. In an ideal world they might be willing to ride all the way out to Long Island or Westchester to train. In the real world that's not happening. The city might as well just deal with the reality of what is, not what should be. If they can't be accomodated in the park, figure out some other way, perhaps closing off a lane on certain expressways during late nights or early mornings.
Dec. 2, 2011, 5:14 pm
Mike from Ft. Greene says:
Hi Burns!

My points were to reinforce what you've agreed is true. Bikes and cars are vehicles and must yield. True, drivers are at fault too - if they fail to yield. I'm can't argue stats on either - but my experience with cyclists would seem to indicate the percentages are equal or worse for cyclists. There's just that many more cars.

The issue seems to be what someone mentioned - getting back up to speed takes physical effort, and some cyclists appear to think that any impediment to staying at speed is to be ignored or challenged - as if that pedestrian somehow deliberately positioned themselves in the bike's way. A car or truck generally makes enough of a racket to be heard beforehand and they're big - easy to spot - and, for the most part, their trajectory is easy plotted by the brain unconsciously. Not so much for bikes. When I rode back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, I had a small air horn because some pedestrians (and certainly more drivers) either didn't see me or chose to ignore me. I've had my share of roadside spats, been run into parked cars, and screamed at a few motorists. Think a bicycle gets mistreated - try riding a motorcycle. But the fact remains we all have to share the road. The cyclist case is not helped by the bike messengers and delivery services in the city. When I walked the streets of Manhattan as a svc rep, I had more than a few collisions with them. Running into the cart I pulled loaded with tools wasn't healthy for a rider that blew the light or was on the sidewalk.

Joe R - I like your idea - if properly executed sounds like a reasonable alternative.

There are solutions - and I understand all the sides - but it has to be worked out through well thought out routing changes, engineered partitioning, enforcement, etc. The city is slow to change - that's just the nature of the beast.
Dec. 2, 2011, 5:36 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Mike -- You made a very good point.... "The cyclist case is not helped by the bike messengers and delivery services in the city."

I think it's a perception issue more than an *actual* issue in many cases. The average cyclists (i.e., the vast majority) are not riding the wrong way and on the sidewalk like delivery guys or blowing through red lights... most are rolling through red lights if safe (at the same speed the pedestrians are jaywalking through the same intersection!!). But it's the delivery guy that you has a "close call" with. But that sticks with you.

I support and commend any effort by the police to enforce and educate about safety... IF and ONLY IF it's actually the goal. What they're doing in Prospect Park is not even close to that! This is a game. 14 speeding tickets over the last 10 months... total... in the 70th Pct. That's not an NYPD that is actually concerned with safety.
Dec. 2, 2011, 5:58 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
I know... bike zealots... But some perspective.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/12/02/the-weekly-carnage-156/

Fatal Crashes (4 killed this week, 141 this year, 19 drivers charged).
Dec. 2, 2011, 6:04 pm
greenlight from sunset park says:
This was posted on Brownstoner today. Not by me.
"My husband was cycling in Prospect Park yesterday, 12/1, at approx. 4:30pm when an agressive grey van hit/swerved/ran off the road/ran into him.... His injuries are quite serious. I understand that 5 police vehicles, fire dept and EMA arrived on the scene. I am trying to gather information from witnesses to the incident. If you have any information, please contact me at kelleytara@hotmail.com. I am still working on police/accident reports but sometimes that takes time and need to line up the information. Thanks in advance. "
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:25 pm
anabdul from cobble hill says:
Cyclists never stop for red lights. I thought that was the law. What about mothers with Hum Vee babystrollers? Or joggers who threaten me each time I walk down the street? Nobody used to jog in my neighborhood nor run me over with a stroller before the real estate values shot up. What a bunch of white, self-absorbed snots.
Dec. 3, 2011, 5:58 am
Juan from Grand Army Plaza says:
"The red light rule particularly angers some cyclists, who say the park’s roadway is a sacred car-free spot — unlike a normal street, where they’re happy to stop for lights."

That's the funniest thing I think I have read in a long time! If you live in NYC and haven't seen a tool on a bike running a red light, then you're blind.
Dec. 3, 2011, 11:39 am
S from PPW says:
The park should most definitely be a "sacred car-free spot" and unlike normal streets.
Dec. 3, 2011, 1:44 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
The park should most definitely be a "sacred car-free spot"

And the surrounding streets will be packed!

So sad - the bikers had a chance to be exemplery citizens, but chose to be selfish brats - and now will pay the price - you should have policed yourselves.
Dec. 3, 2011, 2:04 pm
E from Clinton Hill says:
beware people who use the word "bike" as a verb.
Dec. 3, 2011, 2:12 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
"And the surrounding streets will be packed!"

Good. That's where traffic should be! On the streets OUTSIDE of the park. How is that such an strange concept?

If the park never allowed cars, folks would say it was downright CRAZY if someone suggested opening up the roads to cars. Crazy. Just because they are there now doesn't make it any less crazy.
Dec. 3, 2011, 2:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here is the bottom line. Until there are specific rules for bicycles, you are to follow the rules as all other vehicles do like it or lump it. Enough with this acting like victims to the rules already. If others have to follow the rules, so should you, and I am still in support of having bicycles licensed, registered, and insured just like all other vehicles are. The only opposition I see from this is those that don't want to get caught. As for those who still think there is no parallel on bike zealouts not being as much of a problem as Hamas because they are miniscule, I can show a statement like that and replace the words, and you will see how similar they are.
Dec. 3, 2011, 4:51 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"Good. That's where traffic should be! On the streets OUTSIDE of the park. How is that such an strange concept?"

Remember - you asked for it!
Dec. 3, 2011, 5:12 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Bikes and there rider will not be licensed for a long time, if ever.

So here we are talking about reality. We are trying to make rules that make sense.
Dec. 3, 2011, 5:19 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Or - How is that a threat?!
Dec. 3, 2011, 6:27 pm
Kat from Brooklyn says:
For some strange reason when people are in the car, on the bike, in the front of this screen writing a comment, walking their pitbul, they get more disrespectful as oppose to when they are walking on foot, without the dog and having to face a conflict with another person face to face. Which brings an idea..lets all meet in the park and talk about it tomorrow..it's almost 100 comments here..
Dec. 3, 2011, 8:23 pm
S from PPW says:
I agree! I'd love to see how everyone behaved if they had to sit down and talk in person.

Tal, Burns, prillis, Or...what time works for you?
Dec. 3, 2011, 9:31 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal can only get to Prospect Park from 7-9 am on weekdays but he must stay till 5-7pm.
Dec. 3, 2011, 9:44 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
I haven't said anything on here that I wouldn't (and haven't probably at some point) say face-to-face. And, yes, that includes calling prillis a thick-headed douche. I stand by that assessment.
Dec. 3, 2011, 10:06 pm
Aunt Bea from Park slope says:
Imagine that the victims were bikers hit by car. No one would ask whether the victims were to blame. And no one would fault the police for taking steps to make sure it didnt happen again. The park belongs to everyone. It's not a velodrome. Be safe. Be considerate.
Dec. 4, 2011, 12:17 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
"Imagine that the victims were bikers hit by car. No one would ask whether the victims were to blame."

Sorry Aunt Be. That's simply not borne out by reality.... There are so many examples of bicycles hit by a car where the cyclist is "blamed." And its the police that add ambiguity to many of the situations.

One example -- http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/12/01/in-lefevre-case-nypd-press-statements-dont-match-nypd-crash-report/

.... An NYPD officer told Gothamist that the department “had concluded that Lefevre had run a red light at the intersection.” The glaring flaw in that conclusion is that if both Lefevre and driver Leonardo Degianni were traveling in the same direction, and Lefevre ran a light, presumably Degianni could not have struck Lefevre unless he did the same. Regardless, there is no mention in the crash report of either party running a light....
Dec. 4, 2011, 1:45 am
Doug from Park Slope says:
The park simply needs to get rid of the car lanes. It's not like Central Park where they roads cut across town. These are roads that go around the park where there are already roads going around the park. But some of those bikers are loco - it's not the Tour de France in there. Relax
Dec. 4, 2011, 2:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Even if cars were banned from using the roads in Prospect Park, I doubt that would change anything. Some cyclists will flout the laws no matter where. I cannot even believe why cars get brought up by some of you bike zealouts when this is about how out of control some of you kind has became. Why do some of you cry foul whenever the police are enforcing laws on your kind yet acting silent or rushing to the defense when it's on others especially us motorists? Again, practice what you preach sometimes, otherwise many will think that you have a double standard. BTW, I wouldn't mind meeting you next Sunday durring the day, but it has to be before 5 PM, because I have to be at the Rebuilder's Holiday Party in Union Square that day.
Dec. 4, 2011, 6:27 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
We actually had a very civilized meeting a few weeks ago in the Picnic House.
Dec. 4, 2011, 7:36 pm
S from Ppw says:
Tal, name your date and time and we'll be there. I'm sure a lot of people will come.
Dec. 4, 2011, 9:37 pm
Greg from Park Slope says:
And if you are going to get the bikers how about all the double parked cars 24/7 on 7th Ave. It's out of control.
Dec. 4, 2011, 10:01 pm
adamben from bedstuy says:
i walk, bike, drive. i see all making "errors" but i find pedestrians to be the worst; walking where they shouldn't and not looking and expecting you to avoid them. cars are next because they are always going too fast and don't always see you, even if they are looking. bikers are also bad but mostly for pedestrians since they don't know what to do, even if they are looking, when a bike is hurtling at them. i used to race/train and know that you aim for the pedestrian because when you get to them they would have moved (that is the one place they won't be). however, most bikers don;t know what they are doing or what the rules are. give them licenses, after an exam, and tags. then just go after the reckless ones, like we do with cars.
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:44 am
prillis says:
hi-larious watching the spandexers getting ticked this past weekend for running the red light. one tubbie was fuming about it, to the delight of the crowd. was that you, burnsie?
Dec. 5, 2011, 11:20 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Prillis... let me cut-and-paste my comment from Dec 2nd.

prillis -- I think it's really funny you think I'm a member of one of the various spandex peletons.... just because I find this to be an absurd and pointless "dog and pony show" by the NYPD that has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It's purely a political show to make it seem like they are doing their job (they're not when it comes to road safety).

If you were curious, my bicycle is a city bike with one gear (no, not a "fixie") and my top speed going down the hill in the park is maybe 15 or 20 mph, maybe. I also own a car and drive quite a bit. I'm also a pedestrian and ride the bus and subways. The streets are unsafe. Period. And, guess what, enforcing a non-existent bicycle speed problem in the park isn't doing anything for anyone!

And yes. I stand by my comment. You're a short-sighted, thick-headed douche that seems to miss the point about almost everything.
Dec. 5, 2011, 11:48 am
prillis says:
burnsie, do you think providing details of your life gives authority to your inane comments? probably.
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:37 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
prillis -- You are a real sweetie-pie. How many times have you been divorced?
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:48 pm
prillis says:
yes burnsie, my marital status, like the number of gears your bike has, will have a great impact on these issues. stay sharp, little one.

(answer: never. my turn: how many logos do you display when 'training' in the park?)
Dec. 5, 2011, 1:44 pm
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
prillis -- you're a very sad, sad person.
Dec. 5, 2011, 1:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
In some way, bike zealouts are sort of like Hamas. The first thing is that they refuse to listen to reason such and rather have a hostile attitude towards the others. The next thing is that they feel that everything should only be in their favor rather than for everyone. More importantly, they feel that they are not the ones who have to keep their end of the bargain when the others side must such as Israel. There you have it, the parallels that bike zealouts share with Hamas. For the record, I suggest a lot of you look up Hamas, because none of those claims I have said were done arbitrairly.
Dec. 5, 2011, 2:50 pm
Stu from PPW says:
Tal, see you Sunday? What time can you show up at Prospect Park? Let's meet by the bike lane on PPW.
Dec. 5, 2011, 4:03 pm
Matt says:
CARS OUT OF THE PARK!!!

HAMAS OUT OF THE COMMENTS SECTION!!!

PEDESTRIANS LEARN TO LOOK BOTH WAYS!!!
Dec. 5, 2011, 4:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As long as it's before 6 PM, I can be there.
Dec. 5, 2011, 5:46 pm
marc from park slope says:
tal,

one reason cars are brought up is because the signage, traffic signals and road markings are designed for car traffic even though cars are only allowed in the park for only 20 out of 168 hours in a week. This creates problems since many park users of all different types have no idea where they are supposed to be and what rules are being followed when the park is closed to traffic. For example, cyclists aren't supposed to use the bike lane when the park is closed to traffic. Many people don't know this and they don't know that historically the police have not enforced the traffic signals for cyclists or pedestrians when the park is closed to traffic. The traffic signals also create a problem for any type of recreational cycling whether fast or slow. The traffic signals are designed for cars. There are 16 lights in the park which means, on average, one every 0.21 miles. If you have to stop at every light it would hardly pass as bike riding. Clearly, since the police have not enforced the redlights for cyclists for years, they have not seen this as a major safety issue.

The traffic signals should be set to recognize the wide diversity of conditions in the park. For example, this past weekend I rode on saturday and sunday around 7am. On saturday I road for nearly 90 minutes before I even encountered anyone in a crosswalk, whether the lights were red or green. On sunday it was 60 minutes of riding before an unleashed dog crossed at a crosswalk. The only thing dumber than stopping a waiting for a greenlight at a completely empty crosswalk would be for the police to waste resources by waiting there to give tickets. Now if I road at 12 noon on a weekend I would find a lot more people using the crosswalks as well as jaywalking, more unleashed dogs, etc.

Of course there is a simple solution to this, which would apply whether or not cars are removed from the park. It is a solution that has been applied in central park and the bike lane on Prospect park west. During hours when the park is closed to traffic you switch the lights to flashing yellow and enforce yielding to pedestrians. This would allow the police to exercise some discretion and if done properly would force cyclists that want to ride at higher speeds to ride at less crowded times which the more responsible ones do anyway.

This solution was brought up at the public meeting but for some reason they have decided to go a different route and create the same animosity that the crackdown in central park did earlier this year before they arrived at a solution. I see no reason why they should re-invent the wheel when they have a solution applied in a park that has many more users and the same problems.

It's this type of stupid decision-making that makes people lose faith in public institutions and officials.
Dec. 5, 2011, 9:21 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
These are the signs that are in Central Park.

http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2011/07/signs-that-make-sense-in-central-park.html

I don't know why the governing body of Prospect Park is having such a hard time with this
Dec. 5, 2011, 9:43 pm
S from PPW says:
Tal, how about 3 pm on Sunday at 3rd Street and Prospect Park West?
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here is the main point right now. Nobody is calling for bicycles to be off the road, so loosen your tin foil hats on that. All they are asking for you do is just follow the rules. What I am hearing from many of you bike zealouts is more of an excuse rather than a reason. Do you hate following the rules because it makes you part of the very system that you are fighting, which is the very same reason many of you refuse to wear helmets despite the fact that they will protect your heads in the event you fall? As for meeting, I don't want to see another staged event where you bring a bunch of cyclists just to see that it's used a lot when it probably isn't.
Dec. 7, 2011, 4:57 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Can you tell my why you think "bike zealouts" hate following rules?
Dec. 7, 2011, 5:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, you and your bike zealouts probably know that answer more than I do, and it's not my job to look that up for you anyway.
Dec. 8, 2011, 6:17 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Because you are making it up.
Dec. 8, 2011, 6:27 pm
S from PPW says:
Tal, no cyclists. Just honest people who want to meet you and talk. I don't have a bike to bring anyway.

3 PM sunday? 3rd Street and PPW?
Dec. 8, 2011, 6:29 pm
Mike says:
Looks like Tal's chicken.
Dec. 9, 2011, 5:55 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I am not convinced Tal is real. I really think he is a sockpuppet created by Gersh to gut us to look at his website.
Dec. 9, 2011, 6:02 pm
Sam from Carroll Gardens says:
Does anyone really give a rat's ass what "Prillis" thinks? She's an idiot.
Dec. 10, 2011, 1:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Mike, I am real just like you are and I resent your comment which I see as being way below the belt, even for you. In the way I am treated, there are famous people I can relate myself to of the both past and present in the way to understand what they have been through in how its similar to me.

Socrates: Questioned the authorites of authorites, which lead to his death.
Confucious: Believed that respect is something one most earn and not demand.
Napoleon Bonaparte: An unknown that came from a far away land to rise up in the rankings
Frederick Douglass: Was threaten to stop printing about free blacks and escaped slaves in joing the Union Army.
John T Scopes: Placed on trial for teaching evolution in a religous school.
Eliot Spitzer: Not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
Hillary Clinton: Had her statements taken out of context and stereotyped
Dec. 20, 2011, 1:14 pm

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