Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CB6 Meeting 1/20: DOT Reports On PPW Bike Lanes

DATE: THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011

TIME: 6:30 PM

PLACE:
OLD FIRST REFORMED CHURCH
729 CARROLL STREET
(CORNER OF 7TH AVENUE)
BROOKLYN, NY 11215

A G E N D A
- Presentation by representatives for the Department of Transportation on their findings and recommendations regarding the Prospect Park West bicycle lanes and traffic calming project installed in Summer 2010.

Thursday night is an important opportunity for PPW bike lane enthusiasts to hear the latest from DOT and show support for the lanes.

There is a small cadre of PPW residents who are implacably opposed to the bike lanes for a variety of parochial reasons.  It is imperative that the people who use and appreciate the bike lanes on PPW come out to relate, with well-reasoned and respectful language, why the bike lanes are important to the community.

I understand that Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes (the curiously named opposition group whose members showed up to heckle at our last meeting to review the Lander/Levin bike lane survey results) will be there to demonstrate their opposition to the lanes.

It's no secret that I'm a supporter of the traffic calming bike lanes that DOT installed on Prospect Park West last year.  I do believe that the lanes can and should get an aesthetic makeover to blend in better with the Park they abut - think West Side Highway where the bike lanes make an attractive component of the riverfront park. 

A small, vocal and well-funded minority wants to scrap the lanes altogether and return PPW to a three-lane speedway.  And we can't let that happen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Despite their very small numbers, I have to think that 'the Neighbors' have so much traction with the press because their spokeswoman is the wife of the senator.

So much for equality before the law and before the government.

gary said...

It's not just Iris, there are a few heavy hitters involved. Let's face it, there are a lot of very wealthy people on PPW, and the wealthy will always have good access to the press.

That said, I think the numbers we see on Thursday will demonstrate the value of the bike lanes for all users of PPW. And that ultimately that value will not be denied.

There are some people who are unhappy with the visuals, and that I can appreciate. One suggestion I heard, which will require some capital expenditure but be well worth it, would be to raise the bike lane and buffer to the same height as the sidewalk. Other examples like this are Hudson River Park and parts of the Brooklyn Greenway.

I think having a medium-term plan for beautifying the bike lanes in that mode would convert some of the opposition into supporters.

There will always be the dead enders who are totally opposed to the bike lanes, but they are a minority, and they will lose.