On Monday, I reported of another meeting of local residents angry with the newly completed Prospect Park West bike lane.
This lead to the creation of a facebook group against the bike lane which you can check out here. (Although you have to join it to find out what its all about, which means its made up of a lot of pro-bike lane people who want to be part of the debate-maybe a flaw with facebook)
Seems like this group wants to argue that the bike lane is bad because it has removed a lane of traffic and then when trucks double park, things like this happen…
That’s kind of like the woman trying to sue McDonald’s for burning her mouth because the coffee was too hot. Hmmmmm…Common Sense vs finding someone to blame?
Then there was an article in Streetsblog about the lane, by Ben Fried-
As PPW Intrigue Mounts, Brooklyn Paper Defends the Completed Street Before I get to the “intrigue” part of this post (it’s juicy), first let me say that if you haven’t checked out the Prospect Park West re-design yet, you owe it to yourself to head on over and take a look. Last time I checked, some of the finishing touches have yet to appear, but it’s already one of the most effective street transformations the city has undertaken.
With two lanes of traffic instead of three, PPW feels like it’s been reclaimed for the neighborhood. I haven’t biked the new two-way path since it opened, but I’ve walked on each side of the new PPW, and it’s a pleasure. The highway speeds and zooming traffic noise are gone, and the calming effect seems to rub off on everybody.
Read more here.
Ben pointed out last weeks op-ed in the Park Slope Courier against the new lane… Here.
and then the Brooklyn Paper’s response in defense of the new lane… here.
This lead to a pro-bike lane facebook group which can be found here.
This group has some valuable information such as if you’d like to write the people who support the new lane and helped put it in place you can email them:
Community Board 6: Info@brooklyncb6.org
Council Member Steve Levin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Brad Lander: http://bradlander.org/contact
Results of my impromptu poll shows: 143 people voted, 11 said have the lane removed at once, 3 wondered why it couldn’t be a regular bike lane, 5 said they were ok with the lane but cyclist need to be more careful and 124 people loved the lane.
That’s right its Tour Time! That other world famous sporting event about to set off July 3rd, besides that thing that’s been going on where people kick a ball around.
Yes the world’s greatest cyclists are gathering in France to battle it out for 2 wheel supremacy.
-By no means am I any expert on professional cycling, but I can’t help but get excited about this internationally famous event, and besides people are sending me things to promote around the tour so I felt a bit obligated to pass along some information.
I’ve been doing a bit of searching on twitter, to get a little preview of this three week cycling extravaganza.
First I found a very short podcast with some commentary form Australia’s own Phil Wrochna, from the triathlon cycling blog: firstoffthebike.com.
I know this is kind of a stretch but it was 11 minutes of commentary that made some good predictions and summarized some of what to expect in this years 2010 Tour.
The race kicks off with a prologue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Friday, July 2nd.
Here is a pretty cool map showing the course:
There will be three stages in the Netherlands including a rather brutal decisive stage 3 in Wanze- Arenberg Porte du Hainaut which will involve 7 cobble stone sectors. This is reminiscent of the famous 1 day cycling event, riddled with difficult roads-the Paris-Roubaix.
Now on to the participants.
Favored to take it all, is last years winner, Alberto Contador (Team Astana) (photo by: Bas Czerwinski/Associated Press)
Known for his all-around abilities including speed and intense hill climbing, the 27 year old Spaniard may have an easy time in this year’s race.
For some other profiles of popular contenders, check out this article in the NY Times.
Well, the LeTour is never without controversy and this year it may stem not for the modifications done to the human body through DRUGS, but rather what’s done to the bikes. Instead of hiding substances in the body, racers are being accused of hiding motors in their bikes.
Thanks to Paige Landsem, from Bicycling Magazine for sending these links to Tour resources.
Also the cycling map app and website Map My Ride, is having a TDF challenge which you can resister for and follow along with tour riders. Find out more Here. (Photo by John Prolly)
Cycling wear company, Rapha has a new store opening up on the Bowery and will be having live tour coverage. Their Grand opening is Saturday, July 3rd.
John Prolly has been all over the stores activity including a press party they held tonight.
A couple of riders in Brooklyn want to train for TA’s NYC Century in September. They also love pizza so they started a new blog called: pedalforpizza.com
They want to have group rides and search for the best pizza in town.
Thanks to my suggestion…they are headed to Coney Island to Totonno’s for their kickoff ride and they want you to come along.
Thursday, July 1st
Here is some info on the ride: Special thanks go to Michael Green of BikeBlogNYC (twitter @BikeBlogNYC)
Not only was he the second person to follow us back, he also banged out an email expressing his interest so fast it made our heads spin. Totonnos is his favorite pizza place, and his suggestion, so credit goes to him for this one, thanks Mike!
From their â€œaboutâ€ page
â€œStill standing, Totonnoâ€™s is the oldest continuously operating pizzeria in the U.S. run by the same family. â€œ
They now have 3 locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan and have been heralded by the likes of Zagat as â€œThe best pizza in New York, possibly the worldâ€ and â€œOnly God makes better pizzaâ€ and Readers Choice as the â€œBest pizza in Manhattanâ€
Weâ€™ll be meeting in front of Ginoâ€™s at 6:30p with a 6:45p departure time
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.
This driver, didnâ€™t blink and hadnâ€™t noticed that parking was moved.
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.
Try telling this to the residents of 9 Prospect Park West.
They are up in arms and pissed off at this new bike lane even though it was approved by the community, painted and in full operation.
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.
(Iris is not the Blonde)
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.
The cyclists decided to have their own meeting about their support for the lane outside the building…everyone was invited.
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.
J. David Goodman has written an excelent article on efforts being done to battle bike theft, including a LoJack style radio transmitter system created by, Baitbike.com
Efforts on Bicycling Also Attract Thieves
By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: June 25, 2010
It has become a kind of mantra for cities looking to encourage cycling through a widening network of bicycle lanes: Build them, and the riders will come.
And, it turns out, the same might be said of bicycle thieves. As cyclists from New York to San Francisco take advantage of new commuting infrastructure, thieves appear to be taking a growing interest in two-wheeled travel as well, riders and advocates report. The response by some cities and local law enforcement agencies has been a kind of high-tech cat-and-mouse game, one involving bait bikes and radio trackers as well as social media Web sites.
In San Francisco, the police are working with advocates to develop a series of stings this summer using hidden transmitters mounted on bikes. â€œItâ€™s a lot like the drug war,â€ said Marc Caswell of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, an advocacy group. â€œWe need to get the higher-ups.â€
Quick note: Congratulations to the winners of this years RUMBLE THRU DA BRONX 7: (Crihs on the right)
(posted by CK on fixed.gr forum)
Overall Top Ten:
4. Kai (1st out of town and 1st fixed)
Crihs wins tickets to this year’s Cycle Messenger World Championships in Guatemala
and for the Ladies:
1. Jenessa-Congratulations, you’re going to Guatemala…see all that pre-course riding paid off.
2. Megan (Boston)
3. Julie (b
This weekend is gay pride. Ride Brooklyn, the bike shop on Bergen St. (468 Bergen St) is celebrating.
Kick Off NYC Pride Weekend With Your Favorite Bike & Board Shop, Ride Brooklyn
Ride Brooklyn is hosting its first annual Gay Pride Celebration. LGBTQ and Straight Allies are invited to come to Ride Brooklyn on Friday, June 25th, 8-9:30pm for a sale, music, bikes and beer. Kick off your Pride weekend with (P)Ride Brooklyn.
Here is a rough schedule:
* 7:30-8:00 pm – Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic
* 8:00-9:30 – Pride Sale (10% off all merchandise and 5% discount on all bikes)
* 8:30 – Raffle of two items from Babeland
* 9:30-10:00 – Informal and optional bike ride in Park Slope
* 10:00-?? – (P)Ride Brooklyn Happy Hour at Pacific Standard
Join the DOB-C on Sunday, June 27th, for the biggest pride parade of the season.
This year we are in Section 1!
Meet Up Time: 11 A.M
Meet Up Location: 40th street between Madison Ave and 5th Ave.
Look for all the bicycles!
Constance Mc Millen
Moments of Silence: 1 p.m and 3 p.m
We suggest you bring:
* Comfy Shoes
Our marshals, Candice and Jill, will have the bathroom passes so you can leave the parade and re-enter. If you donâ€™t have the passes you run the risk of the cops not letting you back in. See them first.
This yearâ€™s pride theme is Liberty and Justice For All. Even though the parade is a lot of fun letâ€™s remember how these parades started 41 years ago. Weâ€™re also here to send a message about our community and the things important to us. We encourage you to make signs that reflect that. They can be queer. They can be environmental. They can be both!
RSVP to email@example.com or at the facebook invite.
Friday, June 25th..
From Mellow Yellow of criticalmasspanic.blogspot.com MANHATTAN “CRITICAL MASS” + DRAG MARCH?!? (aka Revenge of WNBR NYC!) 7pm Union Square North Everyone keeps asking for more naked riding, but we will have to settle for the fact that this month CM coincides with another “un-permitted parade”: The annual NYC Drag March! I will be scantily/sparkly/gender-
bendingly clad myself, and you all should join in the fun! Come early for BODY PAINTING ~5:30pm, as our pro from WNBR can’t get enough either! Police presence will be heavy, so bring lights and bells…our preemptive strike of fabulous skin, wild wigs and sequined-outfits will undo NYPD’s bad motorized mojo.
DRAG DANCE RIDE
10pm Sheridan Square at 7th and Christopher Street
From XsUp web site: “Because forty-one years ago, we learned that nothing says resistance like a street full of queens in six-inch heels. Tonight well have hundreds of them. Plus a sound bike! A festive celebration of bikes, colors, streets and New York’s unique culture of resistance. Drag is what you make it.”
The NY Bike Jumble exhibit called: “Strong Backs, Weak Minds. The Story of the Coney Island Velodrome,” is coming to an end. To celebrate, there is going to be a ride out to the former site of the track…Coney.
Here is more details:
Please join us for a mellow bicycle ride from the Old Stone House to the former site of the Coney Island Velodrome. and then for a reception back at the Old Stone House.
Riders will meet at 1PM, in front of the Old Stone House in JJ Byrne/Washington Park and will return at 4pm. The ride will go along as many Brooklyn Greenways as possible, as a tribute to Brooklyn Greenway, a sponsor of the exhibit. A reception will be held from 4pm to 6pm at which visitor can see the exhibit as well as nibble on the refreshments that will be served.
The Coney Island Velodrome was opened on July 19th 1930, as the world slipped towards Depression and War. Already, the popularity of cycling, having peaked in the early 1920â€™s, was waning and the construction of a 10,000 seat bicycle racing arena was an act of supreme optimism. Regardless, the track soldiered on as the last velodrome in America to offer the thrills and chills of motor paced racing, where the riders would race behind motorcycles to attain speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour.
The exhibit features actual bikes that were raced on the track, as well as photos, programs, tickets and other ephemera, including a special â€˜Stayerâ€™ bike for motor paced racing as well as New York built track bikes from long forgotten builders such as Alvin Drysdale.