NYCâ€™s bicycle infrastructure, such as creation of bike lanes, seems to happen in a NY minute. Today I blinked and noticed that 2nd Aveâ€™s more traditional class one bike lane has now become a green painted class 2 where the parked cars have been moved into the street. This is in the section of roadway from 14th St. down to Houston St.
There was even a space available but the oblivious driver choose to stay in the bike lane and pay the muni-meter. Not your average double parking job.
This is proof that no mater how much we try and Amsterdamize the city and make it more bike friendly, its still New York and there is a general lack of respect for this type of change, especially when the police spend way more time enforcing cyclist behavior, then on this.
Iâ€™m trying to be open minded to the new lanes, but drivers like this are making it difficult.
So I headed back to Brooklyn and saw this email that there was another issue with a bike lane.
Speaking of resistance to change:
@critmasspanic alerted me there was a meeting against the new bike lane on Prospect Park West.
In case you didnâ€™t know, there has been a new bike lane put on Prospect Park West that is two way, and again where the parking has been maintained and moved away from the sidewalk.
The new bike lane was designed with the intention to make for safer streets and give cyclists the option to travel from Windsor Terrace to Grand Army plaza which is not an option riding the clockwise loop in Prospect Park. It is also designed as a â€œtraffic calmingâ€ measure and has removed on of the vehicle lanes.
The lane has meet with some resistance stemming from Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz who called the DOT commissioner a Zealot even though this lane was approved by the community board. Martyâ€™s big plan was to just have people ride on the sidewalk even though…its illegal.
Aren’t you supposed to getting naked if they don’t save the pool?
The new lane which has been in operation for only a couple of weeks has meet with some complaints from local Park Slope residents as observed the Brooklyn Paper who called it a bike lane war.
Perhaps this is growing pains associated with the need to make change in making more infrastructure for alternative means of transportation. Turns out the bike lanes in NYC is not random or zealous at all but rather, part of a bicycle master plan from 1997 which designates a certain millage of bike lanes to be created until they reach their goal by 2030.
They called for another meeting, apparently the third to try and reverse the lane and perhaps have a repeat performance of what happened on Bedford Ave. Similarly, the local residents used their political muscle to have the lane removed since the Jewish community of that area is one large voting block. Well 9 PPW has the resident of Senator Charles Schumer and his wife, former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall.
I was alerted of this meeting through email and twitter and rumors were flying pretty fast that Schumer might be present.
I headed over to 9 Prospect Park West and wanted to find out how to attend the meeting and let the residents the bike lane was already built, in case there was some confusion. Maybe they suffered from the same ignorance as the car on 2nd Ave. I heard the meeting was at 7:00pm, so I arrived early.
One of the local resident confronted us and wanted to make it clear she thought the bike lane was dangerous. We told her that it actually increased safety. We also tried to point out that it was approved from the community board. She replied…â€Well I wasnâ€™t informed about this and neither was Charles Schummer who lives here.â€ UH, she most not be in the building much to not know about this lane, which reinforced my urgency to be there. It also puzzled me how this bike lane on the other side of the street directly effected her and the other local residents. Iâ€™m sure with her overwhelming concerns of safety, she will be out there a lot in an orange vest, making sure bikers slow down. I have one if sheâ€™d like to borrow it.
Of all the things to be up in arms about…I can think of some others:
More people started to arrive to support the bike lane and we quickly discovered this was a private meeting of the residents with a list…and you can bet…none of us were on it. However, non-residents were invited including people from Marty Markowitz office who casually strolled into the building, obviously wearing the secret Brooklyn label pin that gets you in. Schumer was a no show and on more important affairs in DC.
So it looks as if Marty is still sore about this lane and is trying to work with the residents of 9 Prospect Park West to get his way. â€¨â€¨If indeed the lane is removed…it will be unprecedented…and a sad lesson that if you have enough powerful rich people living in your building you can reverse much needed bike infrastructure.
Iâ€™d be very curious to know what people think of the new bike lane on Prospect Park West. Please take a few seconds to answer this simple poll.
Also feel free to leave lots of comments on what you think about this in the section below.