Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and opened up their new bikes that Santa delivered.
(Photo’s from bike nashbar’s facebook page)
A few crotchety rich neighbors who would rather put their own personal gripes forward then think about the safety of their neighborhood and overall health of the community were rewarded by Santa for being naughty.
Turns out a lower court of appeals has agreed to cave into the NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard) crowd and try to derail one of the most successful safe streets project in NYC. Yep, we’re talking about the Prospect Park West bike lane. I know, many of you thought this was as dead an issue as that “grandma got ranover song,” nope.
According to the Daily News:
“An appellate panel ruled Wednesday that a lower court improperly tossed a suit brought by irate opponents of the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane trying to force the city to rip out the cyclist path.
They charge that the city lied about figures on the Park Slope lane’s benefits-and improperly plotted with pro-bike groups to stymie opposition.
In a nutshell this group of neighbors don’t necessarily hate the lane itself (cough cough) but rather the way the DOT went about doing the data of traffic safety and the overall implication of the lane. They feel, the bike lane was billed as a trail and therefore temporary.
This is also in total disregard of reality of facts such as:
1) the lane was asked for by the local community residents of community board 6.
2) implemented with traffic data by the DOT which accounted to a years worth of study finding the bike lane to be successful in both cycling usage and traffic calming.
3) found to have a majority of popularity in a number of surveys including one lead by city council member Brad Lander.
4) held several community forums on the lane in which the publics opinions was asked for in order to make changes to the lane.
Now while the rest of the country sees the number of protected bicycle lanes doubled in 2012. (According to Streetsblog.net)
Here in NYC, it’s business as usual…make change and then let influential rich people use political leverage and high priced lawyers to keep things the way they are…so it doesn’t inconvenience they’re parking with some pesky SAFE bike infrastructure.
So the plaintiffs used their big corporate lawyer Jim Walden to make a settlement which agrees to a new independent traffic study of Prospect Park West. Here’s the kicker, If the study proves traffic has not been improved by the protected bike lane…the lane must be removed. Ah progress.
Read more in this article in the New York Observer.
Crash, and Burn: City Dismisses Prospect Park West Bike Lane Foes’ Unusual Settlement Offer
By: Matt Chaban
December 21st, 2012
It is clear by now, if it has not always been, that the opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane do not trust the city’s Department of Tranportation.
They have insisted the project was “trial” with virtually no proof that this was ever the city’s position. They have dismissed city-run studies of traffic data that show the lane has improved traffic flows and reduced injuries. And they have sneered at the considerable majority of their neighbors who have voted time and again in favor of the project. Still, the efforts of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes persist, especially now that their lawsuit against the lane has been returned to court on a technicality. The group’s response has been to offer the city a settlement that essentially amounts to little more than a barroom dare.
Judging by the reader comments of articles published on this subject it seems as if it is once again bringing out hatred towards Mayor Bloomberg and the nerve of him to do things that are healthy for New Yorkers and the planet.
In an age of hot temperatures, stalled climate talks and catastrophic hurricanes its great to see progress made by a bike lane and then attempted to be reversed by a few rich neighbors.
Long live progress.