The Memorial Ride and Walk is underway and photos are already coming in:
(photo by: bikeseens)
If you can’t make it to the event, you can follow along at twitter. Search for #memride2011.
Congratulations to Crihs for rocking this year’s Monster track 2011, NYC’s track bike holiday.
This Photo by Cycleangelo. More here.
Last night I attended the CB6 hearing on the Prospect Park West bike lane. Once again there was overwhelming support, with hundreds of local residents in attendance to, once again be heard that they like this bike lane and it has improved safety.
Brooklyn resident bicycle blogger: Brooklynspoke has an excellent recap of what went on.
Quick Hits from the CB6 Public Hearing
“Thursday night marked the third Community Board Six meeting Iâ€™ve attended on the subject of the Prospect Park West bike lane and let me offer this quick assessment: members of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, Seniors for Safety, and other unaffiliated critics of this vital traffic calming project were given an amount of time at the microphone disproportionate to their attendance.
By trying to achieve the semblance of balance at the meeting, CB6â€²s decision to alternate between small groups of â€œproâ€ speakers, small groups of â€œconâ€ speakers, and speakers designated with the ambiguous category of â€œotherâ€ left me somewhat dismayed. It gave the early impression that there is some sort of split on this issue, which there is not. Not according to the Brad Lander/Stephen Levin survey which showed around 70% approval for the project, and not tonight; my guess is that the room was split 80/20 into supporters and opponents. As a barometer, Transportation Alternatives says it handed out 350 green and pink pro-cycling and pro-pedestrian stickers in a room of about 450 people, and many supporters were not wearing them. But because of this seeming need for balance, a reporter who covered only the first thirty minutes of public testimony might have gotten the impression that the community was evenly divided. It is not and it never was.”
Read more here.
Bike shop owner Joe Nocella is interviewed in my favorite Park Slope Blog.
Profiles In Courage: Joe Nocella of 718 Cyclery
Nocella’s South Slope shop, 718 Cyclery, is getting all kinds of accolades for its friendly, collaborative bike-building process.
We got him to dish about breeders, bikes, best routes to the city, and Marty Markowitz.
Read the rest F*cked in Park Slope.
Here is a nice article on NYC’s own Bowery Lane Bicycles.
from The Creative Report
Ninety-nine percent of bikes sold in the US are not made in America. Bowery Lane Bicycles is a part of the 1%. Their bicycles are welded, painted, assembled, packed and shipped in New York City. No big assembly lines, no mass production, no robots. Human hands. American Hands. BLB bikes are made with pride by a family owned and operated company that has been making bicycles since 1891.
Read More here.
The lawsuit filled against the Prospect Park West bike lane has had reverberations all over the world.
The UK reports about NYC’s bike lane situation in the Guardian.
“How one New York bike lane could affect the future of cycling worldwide.
Read more here.
Meanwhile, New Yorker’s reporter, John Cassidy, took time out of his busy economics reporter to crap on the bike lanes, with the general theme that we have too many of them and infrastructure like this should go to more important things like driving your Jaguar.
“Rational Irrationality” Find it here.
This seemed to drum up even more response from Adam Sternbergh from the NY Times:
and Aaron Naparstek wrote a blog piece on how irrational this bike lane debate is getting.
“The New York City Bike Lane Backlash is Completely Irrational”
Even the Economist had to pause for second and correct Mr. Cassidy by pointing out that pursuing a motorist agenda is actually bad economics.
“The World is his Parking Spot.” Read here the Economist.
They may take away our bike lanes in Brooklyn, but we might get some new bike maintenance shelters. Where? A former giant landfill in the extremely easy borough to bike to (not) Staten Island.
You can’t put in a bike lane in Brooklyn without causing a borough-wide shouting matches, rivaling op-eds and lawsuits, but in Staten Island’s former dump, future stunning park Freshkills, you can build beautiful solar-powered, lime-green bike maintenance stations and nobody will say a thing.
Architect’s Newspaper’s A/N Blog reports that James Corner Field Operations (designers of the Freshkills masterplan, as well as landscaping on the High Line) have designed the fancy bike maintenance stations and resting areas pictured for the rejuvenated landfill. The galvanized steel forms will feature vending machines for bike maintenance accessories and related equipment (tire pumps, please?) on one side, and benches for cyclists and pedestrians on the other.
read more here.
Here are some news bits from the local bike shops here in NYC:
Best Custom Bikes
* 718 Cyclery, Inc.
“Unless you happen to be a messenger, city bike shops can be intimidating. Enter 718 Cyclery in all its pretension-free glory. The new South Slope store focuses on what the owner Joe Nocella calls â€œcollaborative builds.â€ Customers choose from new and vintage frames (from $750), then select clearly priced components by brands like Surly, Nitto, Chris King, and Bike Thomson. â€œThereâ€™s nothing proprietary about what we do,â€ says Nocella, who invites customers to watch as he assembles their bikes. The shop also offers free weekly classes covering, for example, how to fix a flat or how to build a wheel. Source.
See more images here.
and visit his flickr set.
The big news yesterday was the decision of a small group of neighbors with some big lawyers and powerful politicians backing them, suing over a bike lane on Prospect Park West.
Here is a quick news round up.
“Lawsuit Seeks to Erase Bike Lane in New York City,” New York Times.
“Opponents Sue City Over Prospect Park West Bike Lane” Streetsblog.
“Battle of the Bike Lanes” the New Yorker
“Park Slope Big Shots Sue DOT Over PPW Bike Lane” Gothamist.
followed by a poll of 6 pedestrians who hate the bike lane because cyclists can’t behave, “6 Out of 6 Local Pedestrians Agree: The PPW Bike Lane Stinks” Gothamist.
“Bike Wars-The Evil NBBL Strikes Back” Fucked in Park Slope.
“Prospect Park West bike lanes suit says crashes increased after lanes were installed last year.” NY Post
“The PPW Bike-Lane Lawsuit is a Reality” Brownstoner.
“Landmark Lawsuit Alleges NYC Worked With â€˜Radicalâ€™ Bike Lane Lobbyists” NY1 News
“Residents File Lawsuit To Remove Bike Lane” Transportation Nation.
Meanwhile in a quick response (thank’s for the advance warning–not that I could have been there.) Pro-Bike Lane enthusiast Councilman Brad Lander, held a press conference at City Hall yesterday to praise the bike lane.
More from Streetsblog:
Brad Lander and Park Slope Residents Rally For Prospect Park West Bike Lane
City Council Member Brad Lander and supporters of the Prospect Park West bike lane rallied on the steps of City Hall this afternoon in response to yesterdayâ€™s lawsuit, filed by a group of well-connected Park Slope residents who want to rip the lane out.
â€œA small group of opponents have chosen to bring a baseless lawsuit in an effort to block further safety improvements, to eradicate the lane, to go back to three lanes of traffic on Prospect Park West, the speedway that it was before, and essentially to impose their will on the community through a lawsuit,â€ said Lander.
Read more here.
Now I’m not a huge fan of telling people what to do, like wear a helmet or even use the bike lanes which we all know as cyclists are as @JohnProlly tweeted: ”
However I do feel it is important to fight for safer streets and defend bicycle infrastructure improvements especially from spoiled brat community members who apparently missed all the meetings to install this bike lane and think they can just drum up a few of their old cronies to try and remove it. Not to mention all the time and money this is going to waste fighting this thing in court.
After all in the end, bike lane or not we cyclists will survive…like the bikesnob recently quoted:
“Sure, once all the bike lanes are gone there are plenty of us who will keep riding anyway. After all, we’ve already spent years as the rats on the subway tracks, dodging and parrying as much larger machines bear down upon us, so it won’t be very difficult for us to revert to our survivalist behavior. No, I just feel bad for the regular people with no particular interest in being lifestyle cyclists or becoming part of the “bike culture” who just want to be able to hop on a bike and get stuff done.” Source.
Looks like the inevitable happened. The motorist class, afraid of the loss of their precious parking and infringement of automobile mobility, rallied their out-dated politicians and shunned real sustainable change and safety. They used their political might and got expensive lawyers to work pro bono and are now suing the D.O.T. in Brooklyn’s Supreme court over a bike lane. Funny, that the local citizens have to work through a system and the D.O.T. to make changes. And they say we have a powerful Bicycle lobby?
Here is a recent article in a local Prospect Park Paper on this recent development.
Lawsuit Filed over Prospect Park West Bike Lane
Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety filed suit this afternoon.
The Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit has arrived, inciting a modern-day Battle of Brooklyn on the same grounds that George Washington fought for freedoms of a different kind.
Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, two groups of residents opposing the two-way, parking-protected bike lane on Prospect Park West have filed suit to have the bike lanes removed, according to court documents filed late this afternoon in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
In the suit, the groups refer to the bike lane as â€œan experimental bike laneâ€ and claim that the â€œconfiguration requires pedestrians to walk across inconsistent traffic patterns with limited visibility.â€
Read more in the Park Slope Patch.