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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, rudysdogwalk@gmail.com

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 urbancyclistworldwide.com


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: galfromdownunder.blogspot.com.

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: BrooklynSpoke.wordpress.com.

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
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
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.

Freedom ride postponed

Time’s Up Freedom Ride for tomorrow has been postponed.

More info here.

Radio is Revolution



Time’s Up, NYC’s most beloved bike activist group is on the air. Radio is Revolution!

Hosts Keegan and Geoff are commanding the airwaves with a weekly radio show Sunday nights from 10pm-11pm.

The show is streamed at Radiohive.org and all shows will be archived here.

From the site:
The Time’s Up! Radio Hour will keep you abreast of Time’s Up!’s current campaigns and introduce you to the volunteers who are spearheading those campaigns, update you on past victories, and inform you of upcoming events and ways you can get involved. Come listen to our radio show, join our bike rides, and volunteer to save the planet!

The show will also be a platform to discuss the latest in bike and environmental issues, locally in NYC and globally.

This Sunday, your’s truly, will be interviewing Streetsblog creator Aaron Naparstek about the recent NYPD crackdown and local politician backlash to bikes and get his perspective on the anti-bike media bias. Is this just about safety or is there more behind this negative political climate?

Tune in to find out.

Ding Dong the Bill is Dead.

Whew. How about a fee for every time local politicians waste our time with stupid ideas?

From the Village Voice:

New York Bike License Bill Is Dead
By Joe Coscarelli
Thursday, March 3rd


​The New York bike bill backed by Queens Democrat Michael G. DenDekker, which we told you yesterday probably wouldn’t pass, has already been withdrawn after DenDekker was “flooded with complaints from people who lived outside the city that they were being taxed and regulated to address concerns about unsafe cycling that existed largely in New York City.” We’ve tried to get the message across: don’t mess with cyclists.

Read more http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/03/new_york_bike_license_bill.php here.