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Prospect Park West bike lane foes win appeal

The Brooklyn Paper
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Opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane won a last-chance appeal on Wednesday in their fight to remove the controversial cycling route.

A judge erroneously used a technicality to dismiss an August 2011 lawsuit filed by the bike lane foes, a state supreme court appellate panel ruled in a decision that will leave the fate of the path to be decided by the courts.

The panel rejected three of four claims seeking to undermine the divided cycling route by the anti-bike lane group Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, but found that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bert Bunyan made a mistake when he booted the case for missing the statute of limitations without first determining if the lane was installed as a “trial” street fixture, or as a “permanent” piece of infrastructure.

The lane foes missed the deadline to sue the city over a permanent street change, but not a temporary one.

The jurists ordered a new hearing to determine whether the city built the Prospect Park West bike lane as an experiment, or as a enduring roadway redesign.

Opponents of the popular path — which removed one lane of automotive traffic to make space for two-wheelers — called the decision a triumph.

“It’s an enormous victory,” said Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes lawyer Jim Walden, who contests city data indicating the lane has reduced speeding and made the roadway safer. “We will finally get our day in court and we will get to develop the evidence that will show the Department of Transportation has been lying about and manipulating the safety data from the beginning.”

City officials promised bike riders that they have nothing to worry about.

“We’re confident that the Prospect Park West bike lane is here to stay,” said Department of Transportation spokesman Seth Solomonow in a statement.

“We are fully confident that the trial court will decide that there is absolutely no merit to what is left of this case. In the meantime, local residents will continue to enjoy the safety that this community-requested and supported lane has provided every day for the last two and a half years,” he said.

The city has spent more than $140,000 defending the buffered bike lane in court — and cycling boosters say the case against the path is frivolous.

“It’s really quite irrational,” said Park Slope resident and cycling advocate Eric McClure. “They have this obsession with trying to get rid of something that the vast majority of the neighborhood has embraced … it’s a bit perplexing what’s motivating them.”

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

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Reader Feedback

Po from PPW says:
Iris Weinsall, enemy of the people.
Dec. 21, 2012, 9:11 am
Barry from Flatbush says:
These anti-bike lane A-holes should have to refund our tax dollars that go to court costs. Sorry if they don;t like the view of the bike lane from their PPW penthouse apartment.
Dec. 21, 2012, 9:28 am
Tom from Boerum Hill says:
And Jim Walden, flunky cozying up to Schumer (Mr. Iris Weinshall) and anybody else who can further whatever the hell ambitions he may have!

What is wrong with this bunch of bitter old people? They're actually defending their right to pollute the air and have a speeder's paradise highway outside their over-privileged front doors? Begone! Before we take your Social Security and Medicare (which none of you rich cats need, but will never give up!)
Dec. 21, 2012, 9:45 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
What an abuse of our legal system.
Dec. 21, 2012, 9:53 am
Parent from Brooklyn says:
Shame on these people. At a time of extreme need in Staten Island, the Rockaways, and elsewhere I can think of a lot better ways to spend $140,000 than on trying to remove a traffic calming project that just about everyone really loves and that has saved lives.

Shame on Iris Weinshall, Louise Hainline, and Norman Steisel. If they have any shame at all, I suppose.
Dec. 21, 2012, 10:02 am
ty from pps says:
This has been an absurd episode from the start... and this is just beyond comprehension. Louise Hainline and Iris Weinshall must have developed some sort of psychological problem to be experiencing this level of cognitive dissonance.

The question is still supposedly "Permanent" or "Experiment"? Why does that matter? If it was permanent, it's permanent. If it was an experiment, the bike lane has proven VERY SUCCESSFUL. So, we're done.

Why are these Public Employees (i.e., well-compensated CUNY employees) wasting government resources in their absurd NIMBY witch hunt?!
Dec. 21, 2012, 10:28 am
scott from park slope says:
I think the best way to respond to chuck schumer's efforts to take away our bike lane and create a death way between the playgrounds in the park and the children of park slope is to mount a drive to kick him out of the senate. let's show these plutocrats what the people think of their imperial attitudes.
Dec. 21, 2012, 10:30 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
my and your opinion: must of bikers are nut cases big time........
Dec. 21, 2012, 11:17 am
Sean from Park Slope says:
Seriously, these bike lane opponents have to take up a cause that won't make them look like privileged losers they are. Wasting my taxes just because of a few feet of green space where people can ride their bikes? Come come now. Grow up and welcome to the world which has other people in it.
Dec. 21, 2012, 2:43 pm
Mike says:
But what does Tal Barzilai think?
Dec. 21, 2012, 3:15 pm
ty from pps says:
Sean, Here Here!

Louise Hainline is a long-serving faculty member and former dean of Brooklyn College and Iris Weinshall is the Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management at CUNY.

You would think, given their positions, they would try to get fancy lawyers to advocate PRO BONO for something, ya know, that would improve the City of New York... not just to serve their whining.
Dec. 21, 2012, 3:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, the attacks on the bike lane opponents need to stop, because I find a lot of them to be nothing more than childish. Then again, what can I expect from a bunch of bike zealots who want everything whenever they want it? I am glad that their appeal heard and will be reviewed. I find it an irony that some claim that they are wasting money on this when I can say the same thing for the city who is probably spending roughly the same or even more. Quite a double standard here I see. The point is that these people live near the actual bike lane and they see what is going on there all the time. In other words, whatever they are saying is what they are seeing with their own eyes. As much as you believe that bike lanes are popular, I have seen a lot of websites where the exact opposite has been heard, and many of those happen to be neutral, not something as biased as Streetsblog, who probably tells everyone to go over to those websites to tilt them in their favor. Part of the reason why JSK and her bike lanes are so opposed is not just because of the costs, but also the fact that so many cyclists refuse to ever follow the rules like all other vehicles do. It's such an irony to demand for the same treatment as vehicles when many seem to act above all that. BTW, some of the attacks of the opposition to this bike lane are very similar to those who have attacked those opposed to the AY when you can just switch the two, and I have seem some of those statements, and I know how many times poor Daniel Goldstein and Norman Oder have been given personal attacks because of their positions.
Dec. 21, 2012, 4:04 pm
DG from Brooklyn says:
Hey, Brooklyn Paper. What happened to "Enough is Enough"?

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/34/34/34_34_editorial.html
Dec. 21, 2012, 5:07 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal's counter to the popularity of bike lanes is that he sees other irrationally angry people like him post anti-bike lane comments on websites. Forget statistically-significant independent polls that show 60 % support for bike lanes in New York City... there's people on the Internet who don't like them!

Tal, don't ever stop, you lunatic. You're the gift that keeps on giving.
Dec. 21, 2012, 5:37 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I love how you like to share your dumb stream of consciousness... Have you ever taken a moment to think about how to organize your thoughts for others to read? Or do you think everyone is as crazy as you?
Dec. 21, 2012, 5:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I will make a deal with you guys. If the Mayans are right about the world ending, I will support this bike lane and never fight against it again. However, if the Mayans are wrong, I not only get to continue to voice my opinion here, but you guys can no longer gang up on me, and the personal attacks aimed at me or any other individual or group that doesn't share your view must stop. We can all agree to this deal. As for the poll that Chris claims, keep in mind that such a poll could have been fudged and denied certain details.
Dec. 21, 2012, 6:27 pm
ty from pps says:
Yep, Tal. And all of those anti-bike lane comments you read in the paper are probably from people paid by Louise Hainline and Iris Weinshal. Right? That sounds a lot like something you'd say... like all of the people paid by Ratner to post comments? (Still waiting to find out how to sign up to get some of that money)
Dec. 21, 2012, 6:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, just like you were wrong about saying that DDDB paid me to speak out against the AY, nobody from NBBL paid me to speak out against the PPW bike lane, though that would have been nice of them. If they did pay me, I would be able to move out of my parents house by now, but that's not the case. If you could find proof that those who are writing against the bike lanes, I am willing to give you all the benefit of the doubt if you can find me the proof, otherwise I will call you for slander on your part, and I am sure you are all smart enough to know what that word means. Better yet, since some of you are from the area, why don't you ask them yourselves if they have paid anyone to say what they want them to say. Then again, you are probably more afraid of them then they are of you, which is why you stay hidden behind an online message board for the most part.
Dec. 21, 2012, 7:16 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh Lord.
Dec. 21, 2012, 10:53 pm
S from PPW says:
These people lost. They need to stop wasting taxpayer money.
Dec. 22, 2012, 9:06 am
JAY from NYC says:
ok, sure complain about people going to court and costing money, but that is the way we settle disputes in this country, its called rule of law, and it is what sets us apart from other third world countries.
People are entitled to use the legal system, and if you don't like that, then move out of the country to someplace where you can have a dictator run things for you and see if that suits you better. Go move to some country where you simply bribe an official to get your way.
Of course, if you don't like that either, I would be more than happy to revert back to might makes right and rule of the sword, but then you soft-ies would have to learn how to actually take a punch and learn how to fight rather than spend your time dreaming of "ironic" t-shirts and skinny jeans.
Dec. 22, 2012, 11:35 am
ty from pps says:
Jay - Shut the frack up. "if you don't like that, then move out of the country" Uggh.

Yes. These old, whiny idiots have the right to use the court system. They are also public servants who are supposedly committed to improve the City and State and Country... not expressing their selfishness through lawsuits. You'd think they could set aside their irrational privileged biases and act like adults.

However, I do think the NY Bar should look into Jim Walden and the whole of Gibson Dunn as to how they interpret the term pro bono.
Dec. 22, 2012, 12:19 pm
Gene from Park Slope says:
Um TY, were the people who fought against the Barclay's Center whiny too?
Dec. 22, 2012, 3:22 pm
ty from pps says:
Gene -- If you can't differentiate between the installation of a simple bike lane and the overhaul of a huge swath of land... well... I dunno.
Dec. 22, 2012, 5:33 pm
ty from pps says:
(Oh, and well, a lot of them were/are... but many have legitimate concerns.)
Dec. 22, 2012, 5:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
S, care to explain how are the opponents of this bike lane are using taxpayer dollars to fight this when many of them are either no longer or never have been politicians themselves?

Gene, there are more many parallels that can be drawn between the PPW bike lane and AY by simply replacing the names that make them so similar.

Ty, they are both about favoring a particular group or individual and the taxpayer is funding both of them, plus you do need to take a chill pill.

JAY, that is exactly how the process works in this country, but surprisingly, most Americans don't know their own court system and its function.
Dec. 22, 2012, 5:52 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal -- I'll answer your stupid question for S. Did you read the article?

"The city has spent more than $140,000 defending the buffered bike lane in court" THAT is how these dumb NIMBYs are wasting taxpayer's money. City resources have to be used to deal with these irrational douchebags.

Get it?
Dec. 22, 2012, 9:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, none of them work for the city anymore. The amount you are saying is what both Bloomberg and JSK are using, not them. Since JAY already explained how the court system works, I won't have to say it myself, because I will just be be repeating what he already said. Unfortunately, the system isn't free or cheap, so it costs money to use it. Did you really think it was free? This now comes back to my original question that I have asked. If both Bloomberg and JSK have nothing to hide about this bike lane, then why are they refusing to allow for an independent study? Are they afraid it will reveal something that they are hiding from the public in that the data could have actually been fudged? Of course, I know you aren't going to answer that.
Dec. 22, 2012, 9:52 pm
Gene from Park Slope says:
Differentiation is irrelevant here, both are perceived as nuisances irrespective of the magnitude of the project. If people do not find anything wrong with the legal fight against a project as large as Barclays then they should at least be understanding of a court proceeding against the bike lane.
Dec. 22, 2012, 10:31 pm
Gene from Park Slope says:
btw, Im not arguing the merits of either case, merely for the right of those who choose to take the case to court. Don't be critical of one effort but support the other! It is quite hypocritical. This is after all a neighborhood where protest and fighting city hall is a time honored tradition!
Dec. 22, 2012, 10:36 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Ty I will not stfu as you demand, in your usual and typical thug facist fashion, ever, and as usual your "comments"do nothing other than to disgrace yourself. If you had a quarter of a brain you would stop embarassing yourself. People have a right to be heard, that is the law, dont like it, then use the freedom you were blessed with simply because you were lucky to be an american and go somewhere else, like syria where a dictator gets to decide, I really think you would like it because you talk the same way Assad talks.
Dec. 23, 2012, 10:48 am
JAY from NYC says:
Furthermore ty you call the people who bought the law suit old and whinny? That sounds like pure age discrimination. So I guess we should just accept everything you say because young stupid and whinny is so much better?
I really like how you said someone needs to look at the lawfirm and what they do for pro bono, now why do you say that ty, do you have any evidence of wrong doing, or is it just that they are defending a point of veiw that is different than yours and do you think they should be silenced?
The law firm is free to chose to take on what cases they want just like any place of business, but you seem to have a problem with that concept.
You claim these old whinny people should be doing something to make things better, in their veiw Iam sure that is what they a,tually think they are trying to do, and just because some one once worked in a public position does not mean that they now lose their right to go to court and think about this how many people do you think wold decide that if they try to make things better would do so if it means giving up the right to go to court?
again,you really should consider moving to syria.
Dec. 23, 2012, 11:05 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It's unfortunate that some don't understand that democracy works in two ways here. If one group gets to state their view, then so does the other. However, this doesn't extend to personal attacks. One thing I do know is that I am tired of those trying to say they represent everyone when they are really representing only their group or just themselves. When I look at those opposing the bike lanes, they seem to be more homegrown, while those that support the bike lanes seem more like a flash mob that was probably told to be there by either Transportation Alternatives, Streetsblog, or even Critical Mass. What a great way to represent a majority by brings so much of your friends who aren't even from the area to help boost your support! Seriously, not every street needs a bike lane, and most of them go unused, which is why there are seen as a waste of money.
Dec. 23, 2012, 11:12 am
ty from pps says:
Jay -- Oh, Jay. I never said they don't have the "right" -- but I and sooooo many others also have the right to call out these NIMBY idiots. They are sad and pathetic.

Oh, and about Pro Bono.
http://www.nysba.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ForAttorneys/ProBonoInformation/Attorney_Rules_of_Pr.htm

Jim Walden is welcome to provide *free* legal work. However, I certainly hope he is not counting this as the NY Bar requirement for Pro Bono work. "to persons who are financially unable to compensate counsel" and "poor persons" Don't see a whole lot of these types of folks living in Nine Prospect Park West. Lots of poor persons living in penthouses, right?
Dec. 23, 2012, 11:29 am
ty from pps says:
And Tal...
"When I look at those opposing the bike lanes, they seem to be more homegrown"

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!
Dec. 23, 2012, 11:30 am
Tally B from Far far away says:
So if people are "told to be there" and then show up, what does that mean? It means they're motivated and care - nothing more.

If NBBL could rally people to its cause using a big membership list, why wouldn't it? Oh yeah, because not a lot of people support their position!
Dec. 23, 2012, 1:43 pm
JAY from NYC says:
ok TY you have made comments that are clearly age discrimination, and that pretty much sums up what kind of person you are. Whats next, gonna make some discrimination statements about Jews or African-Americans next?
In addition, what you are clearly trying to do is claim that because some people have some cash, that they lose their right to an opinion on a bike lane that is literally right at their front door. Apparently in your world you have to be broke to get a vote.
The reality is that if MORE people took the time to get involved (instead of ranting pathetic and calling people names on a message board all day and contributing nothing to society) with what goes on, things in this country would be a lot better. Its sad that you don't get that.
TY, you do not know everything in the world that there is to know, no one does, that is one of many reasons why we encourage and celebrate and protect people to put out different ideas to see what works best, and what you don't seem to get is that by calling people names and behaving as you do is not "calling out nimby idiots" it just you being a jerk.
How much "Pro Bono" or charity work do you do TY? Huh? How many hours a week do you work for free for poor people? Anything?
And sorry, but the pro bono requirement is only for NEW lawyers who just graduated from law school to be admitted to practice, but nice try, it is NOT for lawyers already in practice.
You clearly are NOT a lawyer, so stop acting like you know anything about them.
You talk a lot about a lot of things that you know nothing about, and you compensate for that by calling people names, and as usual, you bring NOTHING of value to the discussion. Move to Syria.
Dec. 23, 2012, 2:38 pm
S. Brovit from Bklyn says:
"And sorry, but the pro bono requirement is only for NEW lawyers who just graduated from law school to be admitted to practice, but nice try, it is NOT for lawyers already in practice."

Not correct. My firm requires all lawyers regardless of experience or position, to perform a certain amount of pro bono work per year.
Dec. 23, 2012, 3:51 pm
ty from pps says:
I thought Pro Bono was one of Sonny's kids.
Dec. 23, 2012, 4:22 pm
JAY from nyc says:
s brovit, that is a individual firm requirement, NOT a state bar requirement that has force of law behind it, NOT the same thing, thanks for playing.
Dec. 23, 2012, 6:03 pm
ty from pps says:
Jay, exactly which part of the NY State Bar Association guidelines I linked above is only for "new lawyers."

By the way, are you related to Tal?
Dec. 24, 2012, 9:07 am
JAY from NYC says:
ty, I know the rules, you don't. The link you posted is for voluntary pro bono work, NOT mandatory pro bono work BECAUSE there is NO mandatory pro bono requirement for lawyers in the state of New York.
The fact that you seem to think there is a pro bono requirement for currently admitted lawyers in New York demonstrates beyond all doubt that you don't know what you are talking about.
However, recently Chief Justice Lippman (if you even know who that is) required that newly graduated law students complete 50 hours of pro bono work to be admitted to practice in the state of New York.
BUT No currently admitted lawyer is required to do ANY pro bono work , that is the rule, but you clearly do not understand that since you posted, and I quote "I certainly hope he is not counting this as the NY Bar requirement for Pro Bono work."
Your entire post is simply WRONG on its face because there is no such requirement!!!
So, as I said before, you bring nothing to the discussion and you attempt to cover the vast chasm of emptiness that is your current baseline of "knowledge" by calling people names.
Again, you bring nothing to the discussion. For New Years, I suggest trying smarter, rather than trying harder, since trying harder does not seem to be working out so well for you.
Dec. 24, 2012, 1:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry ty, but I don't this JAY person at all, but I do thank him for his comments on this seeing that he seems to know the systems far more than you do.
Dec. 25, 2012, 6:56 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal, How do you know this

"Seriously, not every street needs a bike lane, and most of them go unused, which is why there are seen as a waste of money"

I could say the same about the Taconic Pky. Totaly unnecessary, lets put a park there, nobody uses it.
Dec. 26, 2012, 11:01 am
a mom from PS says:
I live in PS and my family loves biking. I'm pretty neutral with the bike lane in PPW. I can see both sides: We're bikers so pro even though we primarily use the bike paths inside the park. We drive and I do see that it does create a bit of nuisance for parking wise. I have also seen a few bikers zooming down the lane as if they were in a marathon causing a bit of danger for pedestrians especially with kids trying to cross.

This is America and it's great that we all have choices and can say our opinions. However from reading the above, I would have to agree with Jay, a person can't make a strong argument with bashings and name callings.

Well, whatever the result may deem to be I'm sure we can all come to terms with it and eventually adapt...that's just the way of the slopes.
Dec. 26, 2012, 11:13 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"I could say the same about the Taconic Pky. Totaly unnecessary, lets put a park there, nobody uses it."

Compared to the PPW bike lane, the Taconic State Pkwy is used quite frequently, and I live near there and see this a lot.
Dec. 26, 2012, 3:56 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
No Tal, you are wrong. I read in an editorial in a blog that it is very underused. As a taxpayer I am going to sue to have it studied. That road is unnecessary. The New York State Thruway is just as good.

You don't know anything about the transportation network that is near where you live.
Dec. 26, 2012, 8:10 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
How does that feel, Tal?
Dec. 26, 2012, 8:11 pm
JAY from NYC says:
Look the taconic is on the national historical register and it is a designated strategic military road, and the 2nd longest parkway roads, it serves other important purposes other than just people wanting to take a drive with spectacular views to upstate, not the same thing as the bike path at all.
Dec. 26, 2012, 10 pm
JAY from NYC says:
by the way that does NOT mean that I am saying the bike path serves no purpose
Dec. 26, 2012, 10:18 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Jay

You just proved my point.

and that is that I don't know what I am talking about when it comes to suburban parkways. Just as Tal does not know what he is talking about when he talks about the transportation system of Brooklyn
Dec. 27, 2012, 8:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The Taconic State Parkway is used by a lot, especially by those who want to avoid the commercial traffic on the NY Thruway since it's for passenger cars only, which is still used more compared to the PPW bike lane.
Dec. 28, 2012, 1 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Seeing that nobody has answered my question to why Bloomberg and JSK on why they are so opposed to having an independent study on this bike lane is probably for one big reason. That has to be the fact that in independent study will prove their statements to either be completely false or just a hyperbole. I can still remember how Bloomberg tried to be dismissive or even in denial when the IBO found the Barclays Center to be a net money loser, and that to was independent study.
Dec. 28, 2012, 3:56 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

We don't need an independent study because the success of the PPW Bike Lane is self evident. It has met it's goal of making things safer for walkers, bikers AND drivers.

oh

I think YOU should pay for an independent study to prove that the Taconic is necessary.
Dec. 29, 2012, 5:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, thank you for giving me the blanket statement I was expecting from you and other bike zealots. I knew that you were going to act defensive on that. If Bloomberg and JSK refuse to allow for such a study, then I will have to assume that they have something to hide, otherwise they would have no problem with it. The only time it looked like it was heavily used was when Transportation Alternatives had a flash mob of cyclists come there, while looking empty just about any other time. Let's not forget that Bloomberg refused to allow for a referendum on whether or not he could have a third term, because he was probably afraid that many will vote on it. I wouldn't be surprised if this bike lane was done through that, many would be against it, which is why Bloomberg really hates populism and prefers elitism instead, which is why there wasn't even one on the AY. Some of the attacks on NBBL are very similar to those that attacked DDDB. As for editorials, they are not always true, and that one on the Taconic State Parkway feels as if it was done by someone who is anti-car. On a side note, take some decaff especially with a post so early in the morning.
Dec. 29, 2012, 6:30 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Happy New Year Tal,

I made up the editorial about the Taconic.
Dec. 31, 2012, 5:01 pm
phyllis kwalwasser from park slope says:
One half a second sooner and I would not be here writing this comment. A bike rider speeding on the Prospect Park West bike lane just missed me. I was crossing with the light. I'm not against bike lanes. However, bikers should follow traffic rules like cars and pedestrians. Why can't the City put RED LIGHTS on the bike path. A BLINKING YELLOW LIGHT means nothing!!!
April 24, 2013, 3:47 pm

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