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The bike lane is working

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Never have so many words been exchanged about so few feet of pavement and lane striping. Our kids should be forgiven for believing that the Battle of Brooklyn was when George Washington strategically retreated his bicycle across Prospect Park West.

Yes, there has been controversy. But it’s time to accept the facts: Extensive data show the project is a success. The community board asked for it. The vast majority of neighborhood residents support it. The Department of Transportation is proposing a few modifications to make it work even better. Prospect Park West is safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and even drivers.

Let me make one final effort to make the case clear: Community Board 6 asked for this project to calm traffic and provide a safer place to bike (in both directions). The Department of Transportation presented the project to the community numerous times, to hundreds of people, before it was ever implemented, and made changes in response to feedback before laying down any paint last summer.

The Department of Transportation released a six-month report in January, with 67 pages of raw data. Speeding is down. Accidents are down. Injuries are down. Riding on the sidewalk is down. Cycling is up. Overall, commuters using Prospect Park West are up. It takes about the same amount of time to drive down the street, and fears that Prospect Park West would be constantly gridlocked have simply not proven true.

Opponents have questioned the data, but they have not released their own for public scrutiny, and their most recent press release misstated basic facts.

Meanwhile, my office — along with Councilman Steve Levin and CB6 — conducted a detailed survey to which more than 3,000 people responded. Prospect Park West residents were evenly divided. But among all Park Slope respondents, more than 70 percent support keeping the lanes. Most feel safer not only biking on Prospect Park West, but also walking there. Eighty-five percent of respondents said the lanes have met the goal of reducing speeding.

Yes, not everyone agrees. Opponents include some of my friends, and a few former city officials. I respect their opinions. But I hope they won’t waste time and money on a lawsuit — and put at risk further safety improvements — when safety data, public process, and a majority of neighborhood residents all support the lane.

The Department of Transportation recently proposed a few modifications that would add raised pedestrian safety islands, signals to tell cyclists to yield to pedestrians, and “rumble strips.” I’d also like to find a few more parking spaces and adjust loading zones, to make parking a little easier.

Hopefully, the Department of Transportation will make these changes, and we can — at long last — move on.

By whatever mode of transportation you prefer.

Councilman Brad Lander represents Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Borough Park, and Kensington.

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Reader Feedback

Mike says:
Well said. Too bad Councilman Levin, who represents the other half of PPW, is too busy pleasing the politically powerful to respect the wishes of a majority of his constitutents and publicly embrace this important safety improvement.
Feb. 25, 2011, 7:33 am
boof from Brooklyn says:
What a breath of fresh air you are for Brooklyn, Councilman Lander. Thank you for your work and for this essay.
Feb. 25, 2011, 9:49 am
petunia from park slope says:
Nice to hear a rational, sensible voice about what is really a non-issue. I don't own a bike or a car, but I have been crossing PPW as a pedestrian almost every day for 14 years, usually with kids or dog in tow, and it's so much easier and safer now. When I walk out of the park during the morning rush hour, I have never seen a traffic logjam. When I do rent a Zipcar, I don't have to worry about people drag-racing past me on PPW. I don't have the political connections the opponents do, but I still heard about the bike lane proposal and meetings about it months before it was installed.
The loop in the park is for exercise, it would not work well as a commuting bike lane, and as it is, the eastern side of the park's jogging/bike lanes are very congested with cars taking up most of the road (and driving way past the speed limit) during AM rush hour.
I'm just one person, and this is all anecdotal, but I don't quite understand how the anti-lane people can arrive at their conclusions based on what I've observed on the same stretch of road every day.
Feb. 25, 2011, 9:58 am
jooltman from Park Slope says:
My kids and I love this bike lane. We want to see more protected bike lanes installed around the city because we like riding as a family and it's the only place we feel safe doing so. We also like how they calm car traffic. These Neighbors for a Better Bike Lane, including Chuck Schumer, remind me of Tea Party people who run around screaming about how we can't trust the DOT's data or government in general. What my family sees is government really working to make streets balanced and safe for everyone. Thanks for your work on the issue.
Feb. 25, 2011, 11:40 am
Martha from Sunset Park says:
Well said, thank you for voicing the truth about PPW so clearly and positively. I love the lane, like so many others, and it saddens me to see a few powerful people make virulent, incorrect arguments against safe streets for all.
Feb. 25, 2011, 12:15 pm
Mike from PPW says:
Well said, Brad.
Feb. 25, 2011, 12:33 pm
Steve B from jackson heights says:
NBBL is giving rich, privileged, politically connected snobs a bad name.
Feb. 25, 2011, 12:34 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Brad, thank you for your courage on this issue. It's a big deal that you've chosen to speak the truth in the face of such well-connected and wealthy people with no interest in facts or their community.

Thanks for your honesty and passion.
Feb. 25, 2011, 1:05 pm
Gary from Carroll gardens says:
Thoughtful, reasoned, and based on readily available facts.

Great job Brad. The members of NBBL could learn a few things from your example.
Feb. 25, 2011, 1:31 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Glad to hear it's working.

Now enforce the bike laws.
Feb. 25, 2011, 1:52 pm
Michael from Park Slope says:
Bravo, Brad! A fine job of clear thinking and clear writing.
Feb. 25, 2011, 2:16 pm
Miichelle from Park Slope says:
Move the bike lane down to 4th ave.
Feb. 25, 2011, 3:12 pm
Jabir from Park Slope says:
Add another bike lane on 4th ave.
Feb. 25, 2011, 4:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Please do not grill me or even wish me dead for saying this, because I am entitled to my opinions as much as others here. Honestly, I have nothing against bicyles, the bike cultures, or even livable or safe streets. What I am against is the attitude that is displayed by cyclists and the fact that most of the year, the bike lanes aren't even used. Why should motorists, who use the roads 365 days a year, have to give up a lane to a small group of people who only use it when weather permitting. In the winter, they are mostly seen as a waste of space. How about instead use shared roadways, which won't inconnvience anyone, because it won't involve giving up any lanes nor will it cost anything? The only problem to that I can see is that rogue cyclists will hate this because it would mean that they would have to start showing responsibility and even following the rules that they hate so much. Also, the city has more important things to spend money on such as schools and hospitals that are facing closings due to the costs in the budget. Again, they are used more durring the year than bike lanes yet for some reason they are snubbed by a mayor who puts his pet projects and rich buddies ahead of what's really needed.
Feb. 25, 2011, 6:29 pm
Mike says:
Hey everyone: don't engage Tal and his copied-and-pasted rant that makes no sense. He's admitted he's never even seen the new PPW. He's just not credible. Let his troll post stand on its own as a troll post.
Feb. 25, 2011, 6:36 pm
Jerry from PPW says:
Tal trolls these articles. Do not engage.
Feb. 25, 2011, 7:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, it's uncalled for to label someone such as myself as a troll just for simply stating why I disagree with the bike lanes. I didn't even take Lander on that statement, just stated why I think he is wrong, which is not making any forms of slander towards him or anyone else who likes bicycles. I just think that in the long run, bike lanes don't work. Just read the sentence where I mentioned shared roadways, because they don't involved changing any roads so they won't cost anything for taxpayers. However, I do find it an irony that cyclists claim that they want the rights to use the roads, but they won't take the responsibilities such as following the rules let alone pay for them through licensing and registration fees that we motorists already pay for through that, which is what prompts the Animal Farms reference.
Feb. 25, 2011, 7:50 pm
Caron from PPW says:
I live on PPW and support the bike lane. I'm thrilled that PPW no longer feels like a highway outside my window. Thanks Brad for your intelligent response and leadership, surveying people, listening, and suggesting improvements. It's time for everyone to move on to the really tough issues facing our community and the city such cutbacks on key education and social service programs.
Feb. 25, 2011, 7:58 pm
David from Brooklyn says:
Great work, Brad.

I wonder where in the world Steve Levin is?
Feb. 25, 2011, 8:31 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Can you review for us how often you have actually been on Prospect Park West?
Feb. 25, 2011, 10:35 pm
Mike says:
Please do not engage Happy Fun Tal.
Feb. 25, 2011, 11:12 pm
Kim from Park Slope says:
I completely agree with Caron. I live 1/2 block from the bike lane and my kids and I love it! It's calmed PPW (fewer speeding cars, fewer accidents, fewer drivers screaming at each other...etc.). Thank you Brad Lander for supporting bike lanes!!!

Next how about some "Children Crossing" signs for 3rd st/PPW and 9th st/PPW so people making right hand turns onto PPW remember to watch out for kids in the crosswalk!
Feb. 25, 2011, 11:23 pm
Anne from Park Slope says:
We also live on PPW and are so happy with the changes. Reducing the number of lanes has slowed traffic and and reduced the number of cars speeding past our windows. We can watch PPW from our living room window and never see any traffic congestion. We are so happy with the changes and feel like it's much safer crossing the street with our son.
Feb. 26, 2011, 8:54 am
Jonathan from Park Slope says:
Nice work Brad. What do you say, Steve?
Feb. 26, 2011, 9:29 am
Steve (not Levin) from PPW says:
Exactly! Where is Council Member Levin on this? Lander has taken a courageous stand, since this is such a contentious issue, but Levin is MIA.
Feb. 26, 2011, 9:46 am
Gene Aronowitz from Sunset Park says:
Excellent, well reasoned, well stated and well supported position. Thank you for all your work regarding safe streets.
Feb. 26, 2011, 11:09 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"It's time for everyone to move on to the really tough issues facing our community and the city such cutbacks on key education and social service programs."

Unfortunately, your mayor puts his pet projects and rich buddies ahead off all that, and even give the excuse of being broke when he doesn't mean spending it on what interests him.
Feb. 26, 2011, 6:42 pm
Not Tal from Not Pleasantville says:
Reminder with Tal: do not engage.
Feb. 26, 2011, 6:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
BTW, there was a letter to the editor on the Daily News today reguarding the bike lanes.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/letters/index.html
Feb. 26, 2011, 6:45 pm
Ann from Park Slope says:
I'd find your stance on this alteration to our neighborhood a lot more "courageous" if your survey had been limited to people who really live here. Streetsblog encouraged its followers to fill out the survey, regardless of residence. Why not conduct a reliable survey of park slope residents?
Feb. 26, 2011, 11:19 pm
mike talks to himself at home too from Allegedly PPW says:
Right on Ann. Those surveys were all crashed by the same bike lobby that keeps writing in here and telling everyone how they should shut up. Right Mike? Steve?
Other Mike? Other Mike ll?
Feb. 27, 2011, 12:43 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Ann, why should only the opinions of people who live on PPW count? People form all over ride, walk or dive on or across PPW.
Feb. 27, 2011, 8:09 am
Marty from Park Slope says:
Ann from Park Slope:

The Lander/Levin/CB6 survey was conducted both online and on the street. The survey results are very specifically broken out by PPW residents, people who live above 8th Avenue, Park Slope and greater Brooklyn.

You should be aware that a majority of people WHO LIVE ON PPW support the redesign of PPW. An overwhelming majority of Park Slope residents also support it.

You are very much in the minority in your opinion, even on your own street. Sorry.

http://bradlander.com/ppwsurvey
Feb. 27, 2011, 10:51 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
You have a good point there, Ann. The fact that Streetsblog encourages their members sort of reminds me of Bleeding Kansas back in the late 1850's when some from Missouri were told to live there at the minium time needed to vote to outweight the anti-slavery votes. If you don't know what Bleeding Kansas is, I suggest looking it up just like I did, because your questions will be answered there.
Feb. 27, 2011, 12:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, cut the double standard already. You keep attacking me for commenting here just for not living in Brooklyn with that locals only attitude. If people who don't actually live on PPW can participate on the survey, then those that don't live in Brooklyn can comment here. Keep in mind that the internet isn't private, and everyone is welcomed here.
Feb. 27, 2011, 12:50 pm
Mike says:
Tal, the reason your opinion doesn't count isn't that you don't live on PPW. It's that you haven't even seen the project, you don't know anything about it, and your opinions betray that.
Feb. 27, 2011, 5:19 pm
tom murphy from sunset park says:
Brad(Baruch): you did yourself a mitvah.
Feb. 27, 2011, 7:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, just because I haven't actually seen it, doesn't mean I can't read about it, which I did. Also, I heard on through the media about how some felt about it in being an innconvience. BTW, the last time I checked, I wasn't the one who was denying someone a say here, which is what you are doing right now. One other thing, cut the attacks on everyone here who says that bike lanes aren't a good thing and knows almost nothing about safety or the neighborhood just for taking such a side, because you had your say on this, so let others like myself have ours', plus drop the hostilities please in that it's only making you look bad.
Feb. 27, 2011, 8:12 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal Nobody is denying you your right to have a say (we can't stop you). Make all the noise you want.

It is just important that readers that are new to this forum know that you don't actually have physical experience with the thing we are all taking about.
Feb. 27, 2011, 8:55 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I was just wondering were Pleasantvlle was.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=New York 11215&daddr=Pleasantville, NY&hl=en&geocode=FZJ1bAIdLBGX-yl3ydjM41rCiTEB-5VHq8b54w%3BFZW3cwIdeyKa-ylDeGdlkL7CiTGiUJaZaAA7FQ&gl=us&mra=ls&sll=41.138069,-73.784709&sspn=0.062961,0.116386&g=Pleasantville, NY&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=10
Feb. 27, 2011, 9:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To add to Ann's point about Streetsblog telling their readers to fill out the survey on the bike lane, I wouldn't be surprised if command decisions on other places were done as well. It wouldn't be surprise if they were told to come here to always defend the bike lanes by any means necessary. I can still remember going to hearings about congestion pricing, and those people just either repeated what Bloomberg already said about it or made stereotypes or personal attacks at anyone who opposed it. Even on other issues, they went to hearings to slam the opposition or anyone else who had questions about something they liked being planned despite not living there themsevles.
Feb. 27, 2011, 9:17 pm
Ann from Park slope says:
Marty, you cannot be serious. Everyone and his mother filled out that survey. It is so annoying to keep reading that the neighborhood was crying out for this. It's ridiculous--there's a park a stone's throw away. Why ruin a grand boulevard for a redundant lane that is, at best, used a few months a year, and even then, sporadically? And "traffic calming" is a complete crock-- change the timing of the lights if speeding is such an issue. Just stop saying we wanted it. We didnt. We don't.
Feb. 27, 2011, 9:52 pm
mike from GP says:
Ann,

Over and over again, you repeat the same discredited canards, and continue to be wrong on even the most basic of facts. You people are simply unbelievable.
Feb. 27, 2011, 10:52 pm
Gary from PPW says:
Thanks Brad once again for your thoughtful participation in this process. Count me and my family as more PPW residents who love the bike lane/traffic calming.
Feb. 27, 2011, 11:30 pm
mike from GP says:
Thank you Brad for your support! I don't live in your district, but I am a frequent and happy user of the new PPW.
Feb. 28, 2011, 12:28 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Anne, we have been over this. But, changing the timing of the lights if just good enough.

Given a 3 lane road people are just going to accelerate unnecessarily and change lance excessively just to get to the next red light. That is the danger of excess capacity.

The park is on way, hilly and only has a few entrances along PPW. Nice for a park but not nice for a commuter bike lane.

I still thing it looks like a grand boulevard.

It was asked for. Just not by you.
Feb. 28, 2011, 5:40 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
Michael:

In your missive to Anne, you might add:

1) With only 3 direct access points from the street, one needs to use PPW just to GET to the park.

2) PPW is south bound, the same as the park loop. Anyone wanting to go north without the hassle of traveling about 1-1/2 miles out of the way is forced to go the wrong way or use the side walk.

3) The old PPW was 3 lanes south bound. Adjacent 8th Ave. has always been 2 lanes north bound. It's the 3rd traffic lane on PPW that was redundant, NOT the new bike lane.

Now that everyone has a lane, the new PPW is safer and works almost perfectly for every mode of transportation that it serves. Brad is right. Let's move on.
Feb. 28, 2011, 10:19 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ann, I would say almost seldomly, though sporadically does sort of answer how much the bike lanes are used. The bike lane on PPW isn't the only issue, because there are similar ones all over the city, and the same thing comes to them hardly being used even when the weather is good out. The claim comes from the people who live near them, and see this all year long noticing the bike lanes almost never used, but see motor vehicles on the road all the time. I can still remember people on the City Room stating where they lived be it upper Manhattan or the Rockaways, and they claimed that they never saw so much traffic there until after the bike lanes were placed, not before they were there.
Feb. 28, 2011, 2:17 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

It is a good thing you were not around when they build the Subway out to Coney Island. It did not get much use when it was raining or cold. It also past by a lot of farms. Eventually it became a very important part of the transportation infer structure of NYC.

Oh I forgot. you are from Pleasantville. No subway there either.
Feb. 28, 2011, 4:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, the subway line that goes to Coney Island was originally part of a Brooklyn Rail Transit (BRT) line that was built in 1878 that was absorbed into the a subsection of the subway known as the BMT, which was the case for many former BRT lines. At that time, the population was a lot smaller and much of southern Brooklyn wasn't developed at that time either. Also, the BRT lines weren't subways, they were commuter rails just like any other trains that existed at that time. The first subway line didn't come until 1904 when Robert van Wyck broke ground near City Hall with the golden shovel in 1900, and Brooklyn didn't even get their first subway line until 1908. Please do some research before making such claims.
Feb. 28, 2011, 4:30 pm
Susan from PPW says:
I agree with Ann that the bike lane ruined the grand boulevard. Get rid of the bike lane and restore it to its former historic beauty. After that, you can get rid of the parked cars, which didn't start appearing on the park side of the street until the 1950s or so. Once the cars are gone, bring back the electric streetcar that used to run down Propsect Park West until the 1940s. I'd love to hear the clang, clang, clang of that trolley and the rumble of the streetcar on those tracks, wouldn't you?

Do Ann, Louise Hainline, her neighbors at 9 PPW, and other opponents really want to stick with the grand boulevard argument? Because we could find a lot of examples of how the street has changed over the past 100 or so years.

There may be other reasons to oppose the project, but how it looks is really subjective.
Feb. 28, 2011, 4:44 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
So Tal

There was not much use on the rail lines that run down to Coney Island. But they cough on.

I am very aware of the history of the Subway but I think it is irrelevant what it was called.
Feb. 28, 2011, 5:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, the IRT lines was the original subway lines, while the BMT was just pre-existing lines absorbed by the TA (now MTA), so that's a big difference there. Also, when that line you mentioned was built, Brooklyn wasn't even part of NYC, but it's own city, and Coney Island wasn't even considered part of Brooklyn, but just part of Kings County as Brooklyn itself was. Coney Island didn't become part of Brooklyn until the early 1890's, while the rest of Kings County didn't become a borough until 1898, though approved by a slim margin. How ironic that a person who doesn't live in Brooklyn knows more about the history compared to someone who does. The original city of Brooklyn was just what is now downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, and Fulton Ferry (I will never call it DUMBO), while the rest were their own towns until absorbed into them just like the rest of Manhattan becoming part of NYC. The reason for the name subway was because they were mostly underground hence the prefix sub, and this already existed in London and Paris before it came here.
Feb. 28, 2011, 6:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Susan, the streetcars are not comming back anytime soon to NYC, and there is a reason they were taken off to begin with. After hearing all of the accidents they had with people, with some on 10th Avenue alone, the city decided it was too dangerous to have mass transit at street level, which lead to having trains either above or below ground only. The reason why they were stopped was because of laws later on forbidding overhead wires, and part of that had to with the blizzard of 1888. Another reason was because motor buses were able to go anywhere without the need of tracks and poles and could go along with cars, which made the streetcar and trolley obsolete in the first place.
Feb. 28, 2011, 7:08 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Other Michael, do not engage Tal. Why don't you ever learn? He comes for attention, gets it, and comes back. Don't feed the troll.
Feb. 28, 2011, 8:17 pm
Mike says:
Wow, the blizzard of 1888 MUST be why the streetcars were removed a full 60-70 years later. It's impossible to escape that direct correlation.
Feb. 28, 2011, 10:10 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Jeez, Mike, you're just feeding the troll.
March 1, 2011, 8:39 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Ann & others: Honestly, if you support driving at high speed through residential neighborhoods, then New Jersey is the place for you! It's really not that far away, and I hear they speak English.

For those of us with families in Park Slope, I gotta say the bike lane on PPW is awesome. Speeding cars and children DO NOT MIX. PPW in the bad old days of pre-bike lane gave me a heart attack because my small kids had to cross it every day to get to Harmony playground at 10th-11th streets. The drivers would go 20 mph over the speed limit and slalom back and forth to beat the lights.

Now, cars drive slowly, and my kids have a greater than 90% chance to go play safely.

Ann, you fear change. I get that. But Park Slope is now rife with families with small kids. It's no longer a good place to speed. But Florida and/or New Jersey beckon. Please go.
March 1, 2011, 3:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Reguardless to when the streetcars, trolleys, and even els were stopped, my point was if they were stopped then due to inefficiency, then why bring them back? Buses replaced streetcars and trolleys around WWII because they could move more freely without the need of wires or tracks. Also, in the early 1900's, most of them were banned in Manhattan because the population was growing too fast and rapidly making them a danger. The reason why most of the els also saw their demise around WWII as well was not because people said they were eyesores and blight, but because nearby subway lines were a lot faster and more efficient, so they were no longer needed. Overall, no transit that the city already got rid off in the past is comming back, and streetcars and almost no different from buses.
March 1, 2011, 7:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Scott, one does not need to change the roads to stop speeding. A more cheaper and convienient way is to just fix the time of the traffic signals and crosswalks. This idea of traffic calming has not been found to be a sucess in the long run. Many places that had either bike lanes or pedistrian islands on them actually went from bad to worse. As for bicycles, while they might be good for excercise, they are not seen as a major form of transportation. I doubt you can carry a set of tools like a repairman can with a van. Unless you live a short distance to work, I doubt that you can make a good commute with a bicycle especially if you have to go over so many sloped terrains. If the bicycle wasn't proven to do the job over a century ago, it probably can't do it now.
March 1, 2011, 7:38 pm
Mike says:
It's like a train wreck that just keeps coming.
March 1, 2011, 8:34 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal said "How ironic that a person who doesn't live in Brooklyn knows more about the history compared to someone who does"

You have no idea what I know.
March 1, 2011, 8:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
You guys really do need to learn how to chill and put down your egos on this.
March 1, 2011, 8:40 pm
Ann from Park slope says:
Hi, Scott. No disrespect, but you didn't exactly invent having kids in park slope. I'm not sure a lecture on that subject is going to garner support for your argument. Many of us long time slopers remember a time when you couldnt take your kids to the park-- needles, crack vials, crime. Im not saying this because i think it gives us additional cred ( "i walked miles to school backwards"), but just to point out that disliking the bike lane doesnt mean i dont understand what it is to care about my family. Or my neighborhood. And jersey?? You cut me to the quick.
I also missed the part where i said i liked speeding cars. I just dont care for the bike lane, and think there were other ways to reduce speeding cars. At the end of the day, i dont think it's a huge deal. And one day, assuming you dont move to the suburbs, some change will come to the neighborhood. You'll disagree with it, and some person who has lived here for 5 minutes will lecture you on what it means to care about the neighborhood, and what it's like to have kids here. (they might even suggest you go to new jersey). And you'll remember.....the misty water color memmmmmmmories....of the way we were....
March 1, 2011, 9:02 pm
Mike says:
Tal of all people asking others to put their egos down? That's rich.

And Ann -- how long you've lived here is really not relevant. The thing that's relevant is that you're simply wrong on this issue.
March 2, 2011, 9:58 am
wkgreen from Park slope says:
Ann-
As someone who has lived in nearby neighborhoods and often enjoyed Prospect Park for almost 32 years and happens to be raising kids there now I'm not humming "the way we were". It's the way it IS.

We could talk all day about how this slows down traffic w/o unduly impeding traffic (see my comment above - 2 lanes north on 8th Ave. now = 2 lanes south on PPW); I can remember a time in the recent past when my daughter, as a fledgling young bike rider, accidentally hit someone on the PPW sidewalk coming back from the park. I apologized profusely, but I was damned if I was going to risk getting her killed riding the wrong way in the street. This scenario, although still legal for kids 12 or
March 2, 2011, 2:01 pm
wkgreen from Park slope says:
(contd.)
under, is no longer likely to occur. As it is this design works for everyone, whether they realize it or not.

I don't understand how you or your buddies at NBBL could not "care for the bike lane" - there are so many advantages to this and so few disadvantages, but far be it for me to explain the unexplainable. I'm still flummoxed that there is any opposition at all let alone that it is soooo... vocal. It's a HUGE quality-of-life improvement, and in the long haul I'm sure that you will all get used to it and soon wonder how anyone could ever have thought that looking both ways at a supremely well designated bike lane was such a chore.
March 2, 2011, 2:03 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Pretty soon it will be one year since work began on the bike lane and it was installed. By then, all the newbies in the neighborhood that Ann makes fun of will never have known a Prospect Park West without a bike lane. And guess how upset they'll be when they find out a group of rich people are getting free legal representation to take it away?
March 2, 2011, 2:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Steve, Mark Gorton, who founded Streetsblog and is probably your hero, isn't a common either. The last time I checked, he was at a high position for Limewire, and that is not a position for a common man like him. The only way he will be like us is after he loses the lawsuits for copyright infringement, though I think he should be in jail instead where he belongs.
March 2, 2011, 6:07 pm
Tal Barlizai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That is not me. I have reported this imposter.
March 2, 2011, 7:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That comment at 7:38 PM was done by someone else. I was away from my computer at around 7 PM, and had dinner to about now. I doubt whoever that is using my name has any clue where they were at the time they said, because I know. Just give it Mike, because I know it's you.
March 2, 2011, 8:47 pm
Mike says:
wtf?
March 2, 2011, 10:16 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Wasn't me
March 3, 2011, 7:27 am
art525 from Park slope says:
I think the response to Tal's commentary pretty telling. He presents his side of the argument which I think is well reasoned (whether you agree or not) and the response is to call him a troll (the only attack word that some people seem to know) and by attempts to shut him down. That is representative of an attitude that so many of these bikers have. They often have a sense of arrogance and entitlement. There were flashing yellow lights put on the bike because well, have you ever seen a biker stop for a red light? As represented here the pro bike lane advocates are much more aggressive and I assume that is what Mr Landers is responding to- assuming they will be more likely to get out and vote. So who cares about the (apparent) minority who have issues with the lane. I for one live a half block from the park. I have lived here for 20 years. I now have a new obstacle on my daily walk to the park. While the argument is couched as one between bikes and cars it is the pedestrians who are ignored in the debate. I thought New York was a walking city. So much for that. Now we have to be looking over our shoulders or peering between parked cars. I know you bikers are making the world a greener place but don't pedestrians have some claim to ecological correctness?
March 3, 2011, 9:35 am
Mike says:
Art: Tal has never seen the project. He's a well-known troll who infests lots of blogs and talks about things he doesn't really know about. Even on issues where I agree with his position (e.g. Atlantic Yards), I'm still embarrassed by the poor arguments he uses to represent the position. If you look at almost any of the "facts" or "logic" he presents in detail, you will find them to be lies or at best twisted mistruths.

As for your walk to the park, I don't understand how you can find it more difficult than before. Traffic has clearly been calmed. There are large car-free areas at the crosswalks to provide good visibility between pedestrians and cyclists without "peering between parked cars". Frankly, I have never seen or heard of any issues crossing the street. Bikes are predictable and visible. I would hope you would learn to adjust and find it easier to cross because of the calmed traffic.
March 3, 2011, 9:58 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Art, I am never called Tal a troll, but he is the definition of what a troll is. He has absolutely no stake in the bike lane.

But Art. I walk to the park often and I feel safer. Auto traffic is moving at a reasonable speed and bikes are in a predictable place It is much easier now to see a bike coming when it is in the new bike lane
March 3, 2011, 10:09 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, just hearing what you just said does sound like a personal attack to me. Saying that someone infests blogs or even trolls just for disagreeing is also a personal attack. Again, just because I disagree with you doesn't give any right to have you and your friends gang up on me like that. Why can't I have a place where I can state my view without being attacked like that. Also, some of you sunk to a real low by impersonating me, which really does show how your kind is closed minded. Just because I haven't seen that bike lane in person, doesn't mean that I don't have a say. Bike lanes are not just a local issue, but at a city scale as well, and there is opposition to bike lanes all over, so this one is not alone. Either way, it doesn't take a special insider to know all of this.
March 4, 2011, 8:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To continue my comment due to almost running out of room, I don't mind hearing from the other side, it's those that attack me that I have issues with. You guys really do need to chill sometimes, and I have never forced anyone to agree with me or use personal attacks. BTW, I on not online all the time, and I was away from my computer all day yesterday, because after I was done with my, I went to that event that involved Better Place, and Israeli car company, in the city on the discussion of the future of electric cars, and I would have been very happy if you came there as well just to hear how they are working on cars that will not produce emmissions or rely on fossil fuels.
March 4, 2011, 8:56 pm
Mike says:
Pot, meet kettle. Amazing. He uses personal attacks while decrying personal attacks! Where does he get this stuff? He should consider a career in stand-up comedy.
March 4, 2011, 10:50 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Even I agreed with you I would still call you a troll. Not a personal attack, just a fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

Since you have no real concern in this project your post are only there to "provoke other users into a desired emotional response"

When you walk, ride, or even drive on PPW again you will not be a troll. Till then you are just regurgitating what others say.
March 5, 2011, 8:29 am
Ann from PPW says:
Tal, please come to the meeting on this subject, 3/10, 6:30 PM at John Jay High School on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Until then, please study up on the subject instead of just posting theories from Long Island.
March 5, 2011, 9 am
Mike says:
To be fair to Tal, Pleasantville isn't on Long Island. It's upstate.

Ann, you get a lot of respect for me for not embracing someone's wacky theories and statements just because he has the same general opinion that you do. Throughout this I've found you to be a quite reasonable and respectable commenter, even though our opinions differ. Thanks.
March 5, 2011, 4:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it some of you just can't take criticism when it's not in your favor. If you got to state your views, then why can't I state mine. It's not trolling to just disagree. If anyone is trolling here, it's you guys, because you tend to make personal attacks at those who disagree with you. For the record, I don't make personal attacks at those who disagree with me. Since when is not being in favor of bike lanes considered a personal attack? Just because someone doesn't share your side doesn't mean you have the right to attack them. I apologize if I am making you fanatics so angry and probably want me dead. If you really want to see someone who really uses such language, then go over to Queens Crap, though I think the Crapper really puts your kind in your place with such debunkings.
March 6, 2011, 12:31 pm
Ann from Park slope says:
Mike -- thanks for the shout out, but to be fair, i believe it was prompted by a comment from ann of ppw ( which is not moi). She is undoubtedly a person of sterling character, and her views may be more in line with yours. But i do believe that a robust exchange of opinions does not require insults ( or too much sanctimony). Carry on!
March 6, 2011, 1:16 pm
Mike says:
Oops -- too many Anns and too many Mikes! :)
March 6, 2011, 2:12 pm
Other Ann from PPW says:
"fanatics"

"your kind"

But he doesn't use personal attacks, okay?

Glad that most everyone else can keep things on the level, no matter which "side" they are on. Thanks for keeping it civil!
March 6, 2011, 3:34 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal It is personal to us. WE live here. WE use the bike lane, we cross PPW, WE drive on PPW, WE look out out windows at PPW. WE use the bike lane. We are afraid of the bike lane.

You live far away.

Sure I can take criticism. I learn from it. But you have nothing to add to this conversation.

March 6, 2011, 5:53 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, Please don't take that as a personal attack. I would probably enjoy spending time with you. You have strong opinions and that is a good thing.

It is just that I don't go telling people in suburbia how to paint the the lines in parking lots.
March 6, 2011, 6:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, unfortunately, you and your friends are still a small number according to claims from those who are constantly looking at the bike lanes. Again, it's not just this one, it's all over the city, so don't act as this one is being singled out. The reason why there are so many opposed to bike lanes is because they see it as a waste of money and space to paint lines or make some special routes for something that is only used when its weather permitting let alone less than half of the year. One other thing is that I don't go around demanding censorship to those that don't agree with me, which is what some of you are doing.
March 6, 2011, 7:09 pm
Mike says:
Tal continues to completely not understand -- probably because he hasn't ever even seen it -- that this project isn't just a bike lane. It's a traffic calming project that is intended to (and, from all evidence, has succeeded at) make the street safer for everyone.

Even if no bicyclists ever used the bike path that's included in the project, it would still be a big success, because it has made the street safer for everyone.

Yet another of Tal's mistruths.
March 6, 2011, 8:51 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal,

We can't censor you. We can't stop you.

But this is about TRAFFIC CALMING. Not everybody likes that, because sometimes it slows down traffic. This is not a popularity contest. It is about safety.

I would bet if you let people vote they would remove the speed limit on the Saw Mill River Pky, but that would be wrong wouldn't it.
March 6, 2011, 9:45 pm
murray from Midwood/Mill Basin says:
Councilman Lander:
I admire your scientific, cool headed and logical approach to what has become an emotionally charged backlash against safe streets. I hope other Brooklyn politicians can muster the logic to fight for saving lives and preventing injuries by promoting safe bike and pedestrain friendly streets as well as a better quality of life.
March 7, 2011, 1:07 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I would like to give congrats to Anthony Weiner for standing up to JSK and seeing right through and saying what she really is. If I was living in the city and he was running for mayor, he would win my vote in a heartbeat. I am glad that he saw the bike lanes and pedestrian plazas and islands for what they really are, which is just boondoggles on projects that are hardly used. He should be thanked, not condemned for this. Weiner even showed that the he was a true populist when he proved that congestion pricing was a regressive tax and helped stop from happening. Just like Richard Brodsky, he saw Bloomberg for who he really is and stood up to him. When Bloomberg is no longer mayor, the people will want a real populist, and Weiner seems to fit that. I especially liked his statement on the bike lanes.
March 7, 2011, 5:27 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Yea, I was disappointed in Anthony myself. But when push comes to shove a few of them might go. But first we will have to see if they are really a problem if the double parking rules get enforced.

BTW I just found this summary of how the bike lane is improving safety and has hardly any impact on traffic
March 7, 2011, 6:08 pm

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