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backlash and crackdown crackups

Here is the latest on the growing pains of trying to make a car culture obsessed privileged class city a little more bike friendly.

First up, Brooklyn’s own lightning rod of controversy, the Prospect Park West bike lane. (Insert a thunder clap and a frightened horse squel like when mentioning Frau Blucher)

One of the biggest complaints of pedestrians around PPW’s new bike lane is the lack of viability from oncoming cyclists and the audacity for them to have to look both ways, now that there’s a two way lane.

Brooklyn Spoke’s Doug Gordon, investigated these claims and posted two videos from a pedestrians point of view using the crosswalk and trying to get across the bike lane.


As any rational person can observe, there is plenty of viability and time to see approaching bicycles making me think anyone making these accusations are not using the crosswalks and feel entitled to just pop out from any parked car. And the claim of having to look both ways when crossing a street? Isn’t this something you are taught at a very young age?

The safety risk of oncoming cyclists reminds me of this scene in Austin Powers with a steam roller…OH NO-BICYCLES ARE COMING!

Still the anger continues against bike lanes from people so out-of-touch it predates Middle Earth. Gandalf had some pretty harsh words.
*Warning, this video contains some pretty severe language. Those more offended by words then bike lanes should skip this video.

This frothing anger has lead to a group of local residents suing the city in the hopes of getting these evil fascist bike lanes removed.

Today, Streetsblog.org, has an article written by Gary Toth, a transportation engineer and the director of transportation initiatives at Project for Public Spaces. Gary looked over the lawsuit and basically claimed:“It is clear that this is a well-orchestrated smear campaign by the project opponents. By inserting false conclusions about professional transportation practice into a lawsuit, they create the illusion of professional validity, and set up the tabloids to post the conclusions as fact.”

Read more here.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard about a lot of ticketing of cyclists from the 78th precinct around 5th Ave. in Park Slope Brooklyn. This is part of an ongoing ticket blitz by the NYPD. Perhaps they should be more concerned about cars doing 70 m.p.h., especially when they crash into…police cars.

Read more about this in an article in the Brooklyn Paper.

Meanwhile in other ridiculousness…Over 300 people came out to a public meeting held by the division of the Central Park police department on Tuesday, to express their outrage to another ticket blitz in NYC’s most well known park.

Despite the enormous turn out, the NYPD gave no indication they were going to back off from giving people tickets for failing to stop at red lights in Central Park.

Read more from Streetsblog.org.

One more Monster Track video

This one comes from Boda Boda NYC! Their first alleycat video at NYC’s classic race.

MonsterTrack XII from BODABODANYC on Vimeo.

More from 2011 Memorial Ride and Walk

There is really good coverage of this year’s Memorial Ride and Walk on Gothamist.

(photo by: Dmitry Gudkov)

As previously mentioned, the 6th annual Memorial Ride and Walk took place yesterday at locations throughout NYC where cyclists and pedestrians were killed last year. Here are some more photos from the memorial, including a couple of shots sent by a woman who was friends with Bob Bowen, the Hofstra professor and jazz bassist who was run over by a flatbed truck at Second Avenue and 59th Street. Brina Bishop tells us:

We met up at Bob Bowen’s site on 58th and 2nd ave. He was killed on his way to me late on the night of August 26th. There was a woman there today who had survived a terrible bike accident, but who goes to the memorial sites in support of road safety. There was also a radiologist tech who had been working the night Bob was brought in. I was so deeply touched by this ritual.

I included the text of the poem posted below the sign. Bob had written it a year earlier in honor of his uncle Paul’s death. To me, it seems like he was reaching ahead in time to those who mourn him now.

(We’ve included the poem below.) Cyclist and photographer Dmitry Gudkov also participated; he writes, “I joined the north Brooklyn ride, which stopped at street memorials for Diego Rodriguez, Timothy (TJ) Campbell, and Jake McDonough. That third stop was especially sobering, as Jake’s family and friends were in attendance. He was 19 when he was struck by a driver trying to pass a slower car on a city street… It was a solemn procession, as it had to be—but it was heartening to see cyclists of many ages and styles come out for the event—the kind that we all hope will not have to be repeated.”

Read the rest of this posting here.
*****

More coverage and photos from Dmitry here.
*****
Streetsfilms.org posted this video:

From filmmaker Elizabeth Press:
“Yesterday was the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk in NYC.
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010.
Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities.
The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010.”

More can be found here.
*****

A nice photo series by Andrew Hinderaker.

Press round up found on Ghostbikesfilms.com a documentary about the world-wide ghostbike memorial project.

“A Tour of Ghosts on Two Wheels” from the Fort Greene Patch.

“Advocacy Group Honors Cyclists and Pedestrians Killed in Traffic” from the Epoch Times.

“6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk Honoring NYC’s Fallen Bicyclists and Pedestrians” from Treehugger.com

Video from Monster Track 2011

From Tuff City Styles Tattoo in da Bronx, a video from this year’s Monster Track 2011.

As seen on Urban Cyclist Worldwide.

Quick report back: Monster Track 2011

Here is a quick report from Adam Copeland, a Monster Track racer.

There was no cop harassment. Gathered at Grime Bikes. When registering we were given list of all Checkpionts but not told which checkpionts were on which of the 3 manifests (see pic). Then group ride to Skatepark under Manhattan Bridge. This was the Start/Finsh line. You complete a lap/manifest then return to the park to get the next manifest. 100 ppl registered. 68 firsted first manifest. 50 finished second. 25 were allowed to do the third. Heather won women’s (duh, winnning) is got 12th overall.

Monster Track photos part 2

Yesterday I held down one of the first check points along with Ben Gould, Jonathan Beck and Blue, for Monster Track 2011. It was a great time to see old friends like Kurt Boone, the Asphalt Warrior, who is now busy working on a tv show about urban cycling.

Here is a link to my photo set on Flickr.

Another photo from Memorial Ride 2011

From @BklynBiker

Memorial Ride 2011

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.

Monster track 2011

Congratulations to Crihs for rocking this year’s Monster track 2011, NYC’s track bike holiday.

This Photo by Cycleangelo. More here.

Wrap up from last nights CB6 Hearing

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
March 11th, 2011

“Thursday night marked the third Community Board Six meeting I’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, CB6′s decision to alternate between small groups of “pro” speakers, small groups of “con” speakers, and speakers designated with the ambiguous category of “other” 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.