Here it comes. While the rest of us engage in the long process of getting a piece of bicycle infrastructure put onto place, politicians meet in private and then when they realize they don’t like something, the resort to law suits. The Brooklyn Paper reports on the latest developments in the battle for the Prospect Park West bike lane.
Here it comes â€” the inevitable Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit!
BY NATALIE Oâ€™NEILL
The politically connected group that opposes the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane is poised to sue the city â€” at the risk of a marital rift between cycling advocate Sen. Charles Schumer and his lane-hating wife.
Meanwhile the press is continuing to show hate towards cyclists and continuing to tow the party line that some how bike lanes are the cause of traffic problems. Take CBS’s Marcia Kramer who has focused her lens on the Prospect Park Bike lane. (for the third time) Some how the bike lane is the cause of major congestion to the point where emergency vehicles are detained and forced to drive in the bike lane in order to save lives. Sure, I mean it must be all those bicycles blocking traffic and have nothing to do with double parked cars who don’t move when they hear sirens blaring.
Check out the story here on Streetsblog. Oh yeah, you’ll have to sit through a car commercial first before seeing the CBS story.
I mean it’s fair and balanced journalism right? I mean why would Marcia Kramer have any allegiance to any public official who’d be out to do in the bike lane in?
CBS’s Kramer shown here all buddy buddy with Senator Charles Schumer who just happens to live on Prospect Park West and is trying to get the bike lane removed.
Which you can read about in the NY POST. Not in Chuck’s back yard!
February 6, 2011
by David Seifman
Sen. Chuck Schumer may be an avid cyclist, but he’s no fan of the bike lane the city installed along his Prospect Park West street last summer.
Sources said Schumer — who has yet to take a public position on the 19-block bike corridor — shared his feelings privately with some members of the City Council.
“He’s asked legislators what they’re going to do about [this and other] bike lanes,” said one source.
A Schumer spokesman declined comment.
The state’s senior US senator is in a tough position.
He’s a longtime cyclist himself and doesn’t want to come off as the heavy in a battle with green-friendly constituents.
Gothamist’s John Del Signore makes some interesting points about the CBS coverage and this video scapegoating the cyclists.
A couple of things about the video used in this segment. First, because it only shows one camera angle, we have no idea what’s causing this traffic jam. Is there an accident up ahead that the ambulance was trying to get to? Is Marty Markowitz in the middle of the road doing the Truffle Shuffle to the tune of Take This Lane and Shove It? Correlation does not imply causation, and assuming that this traffic is caused by that bike lane is just thatâ€”an assumption. Later in the segment, reporter Marcia Kramer is repeatedly shown alongside a jam-free PPW, so what does that tell you? Secondly, a study has shown that not only is speeding is down on PPW, but there is no discernible difference between pre-bike lane and post-bike lane travel times on PPW.
Instead of moving us forward to the promised land of cycling progress, this hate is having a negative effect including hindering plans for more bike lanes in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Paper reports a community board has dropped the discussion.
Mean Streets Bike lanes â€” the third rail of New York City politics
By Gary Buiso
The Brooklyn Paper
City officials scrubbed a scheduled meeting set for this week on a new pair of bike lanes in Park Slope â€” which some see as evidence that a backlash against cycle paths is having an impact.
Community Board 6â€™s Transportation Committee said last week that its Feb. 17 meeting would include a discussion of new bike lanes on 14th and 15th streets between Third Avenue and Prospect Park West, near the controversial Prospect Park West lane.
Meanwhile a study was released in Montreal which found separated bike lanes reduce risk to cyclists.
Read more in this article:
Cyclists shouldnâ€™t â€˜share the road,â€™ they should have their own
by Elly Blue
14 Feb 2011 10:14 AM
It’s long been the most controversial issue in bicycling:
Should people on bikes ride in traffic with cars, using the same infrastructure and following the same procedures (a style of riding known as “Vehicular Cycling”)?
Should we ride on the sidewalks and off-road paths, with pedestrians?
Or should we have our own place to ride that’s designed specifically for bicycling?
Like Goldilocks, we’ve tried all these options. Riding with faster, heavier cars is hard on us. Riding with slower, roaming pedestrians is hard on them. Only when we have our own place in traffic are things anywhere near just right.
For some strange reason, the bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn’s family friendly neighborhood is still being debated. Even though, it’s been asked for by the community board since 2007 including pleas for traffic calming and to deal with motorists who constantly break the speed limit. Even though it’s been openly and transparently constructed by the DOT with constant civic input. Even though the DOT has completed a year long study of the usage and presented it’s findings to the community. Still need convincing? Here is a comprehensive video from street films. The video asks local residents what they think of the lane from bikers to motorists:
That’s right, the bike lane works, and there still were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Somehow all of these reasons and public opinion isn’t good enough for some local politicians and residents of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz is doing his part in the opposition mocking safety and poking fun at bicycles.
Instead of working with the process and giving input to the DOT on what specifics they’d like changed, local residents are looking for lawsuits.
They want to sue the DOT for false data as shown here in this blog posting by Transportation reporter Andrea Bernstein.
Meanwhile cyclists and pedestrians continue to be run over, illustrated some tragic irony that safety issues aren’t getting any better.
To make matters worse, the local
papers seem to getting the story wrong and taking the side of the motorists.
Aaron Naperstek, creator of Streetsblog, has been doing an excellent job of pointing out the media’s bias. He’s been encouraging such papers as the NY Daily news to get their facts straight and for angry pro bikers to write the editors.
The opposition against bike lanes would love for the general public to believe their is a powerful “bicycle lobby” influencing the DOT and is against motor vehicles. In reality it’s rich and powerful politicians creating frivolous lawsuits and working favors in order to get their way.
Streetsblog’s Ben Fried writes this story about how Prospect Park West resident Senator Chuck Schumer has been plotting in secret meetings to destroy the PPW bike lane.
Oh sure there was this event last night with some football and a bunch of really expensive commercials, but we all know the REAL event is America’s oldest bike courier race in Minneapolis known as the STUPOR BOWL.
Here is a new 25 minute documentary about this great race by Nathaniel Freeman called: Down by the Weep Hole
Another article from messenger media watch dog, Joe Hendry. Taken from the Greek, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.â€ In Ames Iowa, bike courier Jim Gregory knows a thing or two about riding in bad weather.
Blizzard doesnâ€™t stop bike courier (photo by: Nirmalendu Majumdar/The Tribune)
Photo Caption: Jim Gregory makes his way down Kellogg Avenue in Ames on Thursday to deliver books to Iowa State Universityâ€™s Parks Library. Gregory delivers books five days a week between ISUâ€™s Parks Library and Ames Public Library.
Article by Kathy Hanson
Published: Friday, February 4, 2011 9:33 AM CST
Jim Gregory isnâ€™t employed by the U.S. Postal Service, but he adheres to its unofficial motto, adopted from the Greek historian Herodotus, who famously said: â€œNeither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.â€
Gregory, 46, a bike courier in Ames, said he hasnâ€™t missed a day of delivery due to inclement weather since he started delivering books, articles and circulation materials between Ames Public Library and Iowa State Universityâ€™s Parks Library, five days a week, more than two years ago.
While a cyclists lies in ICU in Bellevue hospital after a hit-and-run from a motorist, Brooklyn Borough President and his lawyer pals are trying to figure out how to file a lawsuit to remove a community board approved bike lane along Prospect Park West.
Andrea Bernstein, transportation reporter for NPR has this story:
Big Names Ready a Lawsuit to Remove Brooklyn Bike Lane Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Itâ€™s a whoâ€™s who directory of city government. Iris Weinshall, the former city transportation commissioner and wife of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. A dean at Brooklyn College. Norman Steisel, the former deputy mayor under Edward Koch and David Dinkins. And the other former deputy mayor, Randy Mastro (under Giuliani) who introduced the group to a colleague at his high-powered law firm, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher. And what is all this former government firepower being assembled to do? Remove a bike lane on Prospect Park West, in Brooklyn.
In car culture, “Drill Baby, Drill” cities like NYC…
“You Betchya…” The automobile is sacred and can do no wrong.
Therefore the city has turned it’s sights on law breaking cyclists in the name of “safety.” (photo by @run_rabbit_run)
Here the cops are ticketing cyclists for such heinous infractions like “not riding in the bike lane.”
Meanwhile the motorists are continuing to mow us down and commit felonies like fleeing the scene of the crime (hit and run)
Like we witnessed in Time’s Square last week.
My friend Serena was riding her bike in Williamsburg and was struck at the intersection of South4th and Wythe around 2:26 pm (Friday February 4th, 2011). She was struck by a motorist who, instead of stopping to see if she was okay, fled the scene and left her for dead. We were informed at around 8PM of her condition.
She currently has a punctured lung, broken pelvis, among several other severe injuries and is in the ICU at Bellevue Hospital. She is currently unconscious under heavy sedation.
Please, please reblog/RT if you can. We are looking for witnesses, passers-by, who have any information about the car or the driver, who may have seen the accident. If you have any information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgâ€”your anonymity will be protected if that is your preference.
Hereâ€™s what Serena looks like/what her bike looks like: