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Democratic Candidates for Mayor Weigh In on Prospect Park West Bike Lane

Pedal politics: hizzoner hopefuls blast process behind Prospect Park West bike lane — but not the lane itself

The Brooklyn Paper
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Overall, it was a case of the means justifying the end.

Democratic mayoral candidates agree: the city failed to do enough outreach before installing the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane — but making a section of the street for cyclists only was probably a good idea anyway.

The consensus of true-blue hizzoner hopefuls at a May 6 forum in Park Slope was that the city should have gone further in getting neighborhood feedback before converting a lane of the thoroughfare into a two-way route for bikes. The change bred bitter hostility among many residents and provoked several lawsuits.

City Comptroller John Liu claimed that the Department of Transportation falsely boasted of having gotten community backing for the lane — despite moderator Andrea Bernstein’s points that the agency got the approval of the local community board and that polling indicated most neighborhood residents backed the plan. Still, Liu admitted he might have installed the pedal path himself if he were mayor.

“Maybe I would have done it if I had determined it was something the community wanted,” said Liu.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson also condemned the city’s process without condemning the lane itself.

“You need an inclusive process where you talk to the community boards and talk to the merchants,” the Bedford-Stuyvesant native said.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn blasted the outreach effort while praising the Bloomberg Administra­tion’s pro-cyclist stances.

“Those communities that said there wasn’t enough community input, they were right,” said Quinn. “But the expansion of bike lanes throughout the city has been a good thing.”

Public Advocate — and Park Slope resident — Bill DeBlasio said he felt left out of the community approval process and disliked the bike lane at first, but had since decided it was ultimately an improvement.

“I think it worked in the end. It’s better than bikes on the sidewalk.”

Former Bay Ridge councilman Sal Albanese was the only unqualified supporter of the pedal path — and vowed that there would be plenty more like it under his administration.

“Bikes are the way to go,” said Albanese.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
It's for your own good Comrades!

Forward!
May 9, 2013, 6:32 am
diehipster from Slapping Sals says:
Today I saw Sal Albanese, the nasally kale eating fixie-riding trustafarian transient transplant saying "like yah, bikes are the way to go" to impress a room full of other parentally-funded Park Slope pussifiers. So I ran him down with a Boars Head Truck. End of story.
May 9, 2013, 7:07 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Wow, except for Albanese, these candidates are willfully ignorant.
May 9, 2013, 7:09 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I guess I'm voting for Albanese then. Let the other 4 squabble over the ignorant vote.
May 9, 2013, 7:38 am
ty from pps says:
So, a process that (a) emerged from a community want, (b) included several YEARS of public forums and community input is still not enough to make a decision?!?! What, exactly, would an "adequate" public process look like?

Oh, right. One that keeps the litigious NIMBYs happy... so the *opposite* of community input. I see.

Let's be REALLY CLEAR -- the Prospect Park Bike lane is *not* controversial in any rational sense of the word. We're not talking a 60/40 split here - or anything close. We are talking WIDE COMMUNITY SUPPORT vs. about a dozen or so well-connected individuals in 9 PPW and the neighboring buildings.
May 9, 2013, 8 am
Primary Voter from Park Slope says:
So according to these cowardly politicians, the "community" doesn't equal 80% of the neighborhood, multiple CB6 meetings, hundreds of families who rode in a "We Ride the Lanes" ride two years ago, or the thousands of people who use this lane every day and were involved with the process.

"Community" = wealthy donors like Iris Weinshall and Louise Hainline.

Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn are most certainly not getting this community member's vote. Thankfully, Liu doesn't stand a chance.
May 9, 2013, 8:12 am
Primary Voter from Park Slope says:
So according to these cowardly politicians, the "community" doesn't equal 80% of the neighborhood, multiple CB6 meetings, hundreds of families who rode in a "We Ride the Lanes" ride two years ago, or the thousands of people who use this lane every day and were involved with the process.

"Community" = wealthy donors like Iris Weinshall and Louise Hainline.

Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn are most certainly not getting this community member's vote. Thankfully, Liu doesn't stand a chance.
May 9, 2013, 8:12 am
manposeur from brokeland says:
Yes mroe bike lanes and less chance of people getting run over my savages.
May 9, 2013, 8:15 am
Brian Van from Gramercy says:
The community outreach process is very well designed, and the DOT stuck to it even before it was required of them by law thanks to Christine Quinn (who has grandstanded on a platform of "NOT ENOUGH WAS DONE")

Rather, the issue is that people are not aware of the legislative or community board process. The blame is shared - most citizens consider political involvement to be very low priority until it's their turn to be outraged/inconvenienced, the news seems really dedicated to telling us about car accidents on highways and shootings in housing projects (but not much else), and the community boards do only the bare minimum in making their business known to the world at large.

Still, the process is sensible and it's accessible to everyone. Someone needs to take responsibility for so many people claiming they were outside the process... either by communicating better with the public on a case-by-case basis or by refuting the claims of people who act as if decisions they didn't like were handled in a closed-door process.

Keep in mind the people who say (the loudest) they "weren't consulted" about bicycle infrastructure are the people with irrational ideas about how street spaces NEED to be used.
May 9, 2013, 8:21 am
Brian Van from Gramercy says:
The community outreach process is very well designed, and the DOT stuck to it even before it was required of them by law thanks to Christine Quinn (who has grandstanded on a platform of "NOT ENOUGH WAS DONE")

Rather, the issue is that people are not aware of the legislative or community board process. The blame is shared - most citizens consider political involvement to be very low priority until it's their turn to be outraged/inconvenienced, the news seems really dedicated to telling us about car accidents on highways and shootings in housing projects (but not much else), and the community boards do only the bare minimum in making their business known to the world at large.

Still, the process is sensible and it's accessible to everyone. Someone needs to take responsibility for so many people claiming they were outside the process... either by communicating better with the public on a case-by-case basis or by refuting the claims of people who act as if decisions they didn't like were handled in a closed-door process.

Keep in mind the people who say (the loudest) they "weren't consulted" about bicycle infrastructure are the people with irrational ideas about how street spaces NEED to be used.
May 9, 2013, 8:21 am
T from PPW says:
No way was Bill de Blasio left out of the process. Why, he had secret meetings with the main opponents! I encourage you not to vote for this man.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/12/20/the-nbbl-files-ppw-foes-pursued-connections-to-reverse-public-process/
May 9, 2013, 8:22 am
ADN from Park Slope says:
Sigh. Congrats, Brooklyn Paper, on allowing this fiction to continue on as fact.

The redesign of PPW was the result of *years* of grassroots, neighborhood-driven community process. We were talking about the problems on PPW back in 1999 during the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project. Speeding and lack of bike/ped safety on PPW was highlighted as a major problem at the Park Slope Civic Council annual forum in 2005 in a survey of 400 residents. The Grand Army Plaza Coalition ran a massive design competition that included many ideas for fixing PPW. The PPW redesign was requested and consistently approved of by CB6 in unanimous and near-unanimous votes over a period of years.

The Brooklyn Paper reported on all of this community process. It's in the archives here.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/04/14/brooklyn-cb-6-unanimously-approves-dot-modifications-to-ppw-bike-lane/
May 9, 2013, 8:23 am
Alan from Crown Heights says:
I use the PPW bike lane every day, and certainly don't plan on voting for anyone who doesn't support it.
May 9, 2013, 10:19 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
So where was DeBlasio on the night of 4/16/2009 when CB6 held a public hearing to discuss the PPW lane that did not get implemented for another 18 months? He was the councilman for that area at that time. As the record shows, in an otherwise enthusiastic crowd of “about three dozen people”, according to a Streetsblog article from 4/17/2009, there was exactly one voice that spoke out against it, and it wasn't his. He should not be allowed to stand up now and say that he was “left out of the community approval process”. He was either in favor of it then, or he was asleep at the switch and should not be mayor for that reason alone.

The Brooklyn Paper should know since they were at that meeting. Shame on them for letting him off the hook!

http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/04/17/two-way-protected-bike-path-sails-through-cb6-committee/

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/15/32_15_bm_bike_lane_web.html
May 9, 2013, 12:12 pm
Albert from Works in Park Slope says:
I know for a fact that all the motor vehicle lanes in this city were *not* jammed through our neighborhoods until massive outreach was done with communities and approval received from community boards.

Not.
May 9, 2013, 1:33 pm
ChrisC from Park Slope says:
Notice to Mayoral hopefuls: Fear the wrath of the single-issue cycling voter.
May 9, 2013, 2:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Seriously, any of these mayoral candidates can win without having the cyclist vote. They are not a big number, and they are probably not big enough for a swing vote. If anyone still claims that it's used frequently, then I suggest paying a visit to Louise Haineline to show you what she recorded, because she is looking at that a lot has the footage to back up the claim that it's not used that much. On a side note, the attacks on NBBL for where they stand on this bike lane are low even for some of you, and are almost similar to those who attacked DDDB for their stance on the Atlantic Yards just by simply substituting the words, and you will understand why I said that.
May 9, 2013, 4:02 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Have you seen Louise Hainline's videos? And why would she magically see the absence of bikes when everyone else sees bikes? Hmm.... She does live in the Penthouse of 9 PPW, so everything is much smaller from up there.
May 9, 2013, 6:01 pm
Paul from Ft Greene says:
I'm so happy that Tal is a Louise Hainline fan. It just proves how totally irrelevant and out of touch with reality she is. Guilt by association
May 9, 2013, 10:32 pm
Carmela Persico from Park Slope says:
Awww poor lil' PPW white people lost a few parking spots... Couldn't happen to a more pathetic bunch of frauds, except maybe the phony "conservatives" of Bay Ridge, natch.
May 9, 2013, 11:30 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
What a joke. Traffic is 100% worse since this bike lane was put in. Way to go politicians...yo guys suck.
May 10, 2013, 12:15 am
ty from pps says:
"Traffic is 100% worse since this bike lane was put in."

Reality doesn't exist in your world, huh, Mike?
May 10, 2013, 9:34 am
Other Mike from Park Slope says:
Ty,

Just because you and few other bike hipsters use the "bike path" sometimes doesn't mean it is justified. And yes look at the streets blog archive. It references the item sailing through CB6. Where was the public review or debate. Admit it. A few insiders like Eric McClure worked the system to get what they wanted using a bogus online survey in which no one can prove whether the supporters came from Park Slope or DesMoines and no one can say if people (bike advocates?) voted more than once. So you won. Good for you. But stop telling the community what it thinks. The bike lane installation was an abuse of power by DOT plan and simple. Maybe thats politics. Your politics. Your insiders. Cut the crap. Or, oh I'm sorry, you're saving the world.
May 11, 2013, 9:22 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
Other Mike:
The CB system is the process that is in place for public review. The first stripe was laid on the new bike lanes in June 2010, more than a year after the CB6 meeting in April. Furthermore that meeting on 4/16/3009 was preceded by others going back to March 2007 about what to do with speeding and safety on PPW. After the fact, there was the CB6 meeting held in March 2011 where John Jay auditorium was filled with about 300 people and almost everyone there was in favor of the lane.

These are sour grapes on your part. The neighborhood got the bike lanes on PPW because they needed it and they asked for it, and they have been overwhelming popular ever since. If you don't believe me then try going there on a nice weekend afternoon. You'll probably see a traffic jamb of bikes on the lane.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/prospectparkwest.shtml

http://parkslope.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/big-biker-turnout-at-bike-lane-hearing
May 11, 2013, 11:08 am
ty from pps says:
Wow, Other Mike, you're like a NIMBY's wet dream... equal measures self-righteous, self-serving and self-deluded.
May 11, 2013, 7:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
What do some of you have against Louise Haineline so much? Did you get dumped her, and are saying hate comments in response? Either way, she is looking at that lane all the time and has evidence to back the group's claim. Also, I thank Other Mike for telling the true story here. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the bike zealots that flooded many of the hearings and surveys especially when they were linked from such fanatical websites such as Streetsblog. As for ty, I tend to look at that last comment as more of a reflection in the mirror, because I find all those statement to be describing the bike zealots that the so-called NIMBY, which is nothing more than a cheap shot taken at the opposition just to boost themselves.
May 12, 2013, 10:57 am
ty from pps says:
Tal --
Where is this evidence?! NO ONE has seen it. No one. Absolutely no one other than Louise Hainline.

You know what is better evidence than a whiny NIMBY in her penthouse apartment? Taking a look at the reality of Prospect Park West -- both before and after the installation of the bike lane.

And, as for you Tal, you're a total nutjob idiot that lives in PLEASANTVILLE, NY.
May 12, 2013, 12:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, they do have evidence, but you only like to hear what when you want to hear, and see what you want to see. I could prove to you that the world is round, but you will still think it's flat despite that. Those that opposed the bike lanes are the ones that are looking at them all the time, and they know what is there. I am sorry that Louise Haineline dumped you, but that doesn't give you a right to attack her. Seriously, you have to stop with the name calling and personal attacks, which does more harm than good for you.
May 12, 2013, 8:42 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal - Please, oh wise one, tell me who has seen this evidence? NO ONE other than Louise. No one. Evidence that no one sees is not evidence.

If there was clear video evidence supporting their case, why have they become so shy? In fact, I'd say they have a moral obligation to show how the PPW bike lane has destroyed the neighborhood and caused what can only be described as a major cover-up.... right? But why are they not showing this evidence to ANYONE?

Could it be that it doesn't support their specious argument?

Could it be that, you Tal, love to hear what you want to hear... including making up things to fill in the gaps?

Tal, how many golf balls have you been hit by?
May 13, 2013, 9:08 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about the number of times some people have almost got hit by the bicycles, especially by those going the opposite way of the street? Honestly, I find it a bad idea to place a two way bike lane on a street that only goes one way. Then again, most of you bike zealots always feel that they are above everything. As for the candidates, you will probably be voting for Quinn anyway despite what she says about this, because you probably won't find anyone better. On a side note, how much of that Haterade have you been drinking to say such personal attacks?
May 13, 2013, 5:58 pm
ty from pps says:
That's gotta be a fake "Tal" right?
May 13, 2013, 7:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That was actually said by me.
May 14, 2013, 6:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Well, that's unfortunate.
May 14, 2013, 11:35 pm
Other Michale from Park Slope says:
Tal

I am not really sorry that you feel personally attacked. But you continually comment on issues that clearly do not affect you and you do no understand.

Furthermore, these issues affect me in a real way. They are about my safety and the safety of my family. So too bad if you feel attacked. GO AWAY.
May 16, 2013, 5:11 am

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