More on the backlash

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.
A much more significant story than the future of one bike lane in Brooklyn, a great deal hangs on the lawsuit filed against the city”

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:
“‘I Was A Teenage Cyclist,’ or How Anti-Bike-Lane Arguments Echo the Tea Party” Read more here.

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”
Read the posting here on

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.

Best new bicycle infrastructure? Staten Island of course

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.

L Magazine has more:
New York’s Best Bike Infrastructure Planned in Staten Island
by Benjamin Sutton on Thu, Mar 10, 2011
Former dump gets fancy bike maintenance shelters.

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.

Bike Shop News Round Up

Here are some news bits from the local bike shops here in NYC:
Will be hosting a pre-party for this year’s Monster Track:

Charlie McCorkell, owner of Bicycle Habitat, (which has a sweet new website btw) will be in Washington at the National Bike Summit which starts today. (March 8th)

Find out more about his fight for national bicycle policy here.
Congratulations to 718Cyclery for winning New York Magazine’s Best of:

Best Custom Bikes

* 718 Cyclery, Inc.
461 Seventh Ave., near. 16th St., Park Slope 347-457-5760

“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 “collaborative builds.” Customers choose from new and vintage frames (from $750), then select clearly priced components by brands like Surly, Nitto, Chris King, and Bike Thomson. “There’s nothing proprietary about what we do,” 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.
And John Prolly on a recent trip back to NYC, did a great spread on Manhattan’s Continuum Cycles.

If there is one shop that’s shown an immense growth since I’ve been gone, it’s Continuum Cycles. Jeff and Fritz have expanded their small, cramped space into a sprawling bicycle shop. With three storefronts, it’s easily one of the bigger shops in the East Village. The retail space is filled with some of Jeff’s private collection, along with many vintage and modern frames from around the world. Track, road, rando, it doesn’t matter, chances are they’ve got your future frame or bicycle in stock.

See more images here.

and visit his flickr set.

PPW bike lane lawsuit news roundup

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 ‘Radical’ 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
by Noah Kazis
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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 yesterday’s lawsuit, filed by a group of well-connected Park Slope residents who want to rip the lane out.

“A 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,” 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: ”
#BIKENYC Bike lanes are: NYPD parking, homeless shopping carts, salmon, scooters, chinatown trash, potholes, tourists, strollers. “

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.

F*cked in Park Slope-lawsuit time

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.
By Kristen V. Brown | March 7, 2011

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 “an experimental bike lane” and claim that the “configuration requires pedestrians to walk across inconsistent traffic patterns with limited visibility.”

Read more in the Park Slope Patch.

Stolen Bike-Paul’s Black Tommaso Gold Digger

My good friend Eugene, who has been putting on all kinds of impromptu bike tours, alerted me about a friend of his who just got his bike stolen.

From Paul,
Stolen 3/4/11

A Tommaso gold Digger
(Here is a video of the type of bike that was stolen to give you an idea.)

58cm, Ugly red riser bars, doo dads in the spokes, white Bontrager seat with yellow tape on the front of the seat. Black frame.
The bike was stolen around 3:30pm in front of 55 West 13th St.
Paul says he locked the bike with a crappy cable lock which was cut.

He is currently reviewing surveillance footage in hopes of catching the thief.

If you see this bike on the street or on line, please contact Paul,

Don’t break up a happy home:

The four horsemen, four camera angles.

Last year bicycle shorts director Ken Stanek tried a unique experiment. He mounted four cameras onto New York City’s fastest horsemen, Alley cat racers and then played back the footage on four separate big screens. Saturday they tried this stunt again.

Here are a few photos by JC Ramirez, of

and here’s a little teaser shot by Victor:

Come see all four videos projected on four screens at the next bike shorts.

March 13th, Bowery Stadium 276 Bowery. 8pm.
$5.00 suggested donation.

Winner of the best film takes home $100.00 cash prize.

Brooklyn makes bikes

There are a lot of very talented bike makers here in the NYC area.

Here are a few articles about two of them.

Lynette Chiang writes the blog:

Back at the end of 2010 she did a story on Seth Rosko (shown left) and Johnny Coast (right) two amazing frame builders who share a shop space in Bushwick Brooklyn.

Read more at here.

Here is a video she shot with the perfect opening quote: “You can never have too many bicycles.”

Then in Saturday’s (3/5/11) New York Times Blog, there is a story about John Henkle and his bike building company, Squarebuilt.

From City Room:

The Hands That Steer Are Building the Bikes
By Sean Patrick Farrell
March 5, 2011, 7:00 pm
(photo by: Raymond McCrea Jones/The New York Times)

Like thousands of other New Yorkers, Jason Henkle throws a leg over a bicycle every day and pedals to work. Unlike most of his fellow riders, Mr. Henkle built his understated single-speed bike by hand.

Mr. Henkle is among a small group of dedicated New York cyclists who have begun building their own bicycle frames. Their hand-constructed cycles are often custom made for a tailored fit and sometimes include personal touches like the small metal pi symbol Mr. Henkle affixes to his machines.

“They’re pi-cycles,” said Mr. Henkle, making the kind of pun befitting his job as a high school math teacher. He keeps two of his bikes in his living room and often spends his evenings and weekends in a tight storage room he has converted into a frame building shop in his apartment building in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Read more here.

Bike lanes are not experiments. Lets be heard!

Time to get involved and make our voices heard that we want sustainable, safer infrastructure for bicycles in NYC. This means telling local politicians and our community boards that they should get with the program instead of bringing out their “Big Gun” Lawyers.

Community Board 6 which covers Cobble Hill, Prospect Park and Red Hook Brooklyn is holding a hearing to discuss changes to the Prospect Park West bike lane that has some how caused such a stir.

The when and where:
–Thursday, March 10, 6:30 PM, John Jay High School Auditorium, 237 7th Ave, Between 4th and 5th Streets, Brooklyn. (F train at 7th Avenue is the closest subway stop.)

Find out the agenda of the meeting and how to get more involved at this posting by:

NY Times on JSK

The Wrath of Sadik-Kahn, Chaka Kahn, JSK…she’s got lots of catchy titles and plenty of New Yorkers praising and bitching about the work she’s done. And so it goes for a D.O.T. commissioner who is actually taking pro-active steps to making our streets safer and encouraging people to use non-polluting transportation for getting around. For the haters, is it legitimate anger for railroading changes through in abrupt fashion or a deeply rooted car culture that just doesn’t like seeing street space given to anything but the precious automobile?

The New York Times just released a long article about Janette Sadik-Kahn that takes an in-depth look at NYC’s bike loving transportation commissioner.

For City’s Transportation Chief, Kudos and Criticism
Published: March 4, 2011

(photo by: Randy Harris)

On a balmy night last June, the city’s Congressional delegation gathered for dinner at Gracie Mansion. Representative Anthony D. Weiner, who aspires to live in the mansion someday, knew he would have only a few minutes with the host, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. So he brought up the hottest topic he could think of: bicycle lanes, and the transportation commissioner who had nearly doubled the number of them, Janette Sadik-Khan.

Read the entire article here.