Prospect Park West Bike Lane Back in the News!

The inevitable backlash to last week’s report from the DOT that the Prospect Park West bike lane is a big success has finally arrived. That there video above from CBS2 shows Borough Prez Marty Markowitz disputing the DOT’s claims; Streetsblog fires back: “Marty seems to have either lost the ability to distinguish truth from fiction, or his stubbornness is just all-consuming and he’s ceased to care about his public credibility.” Gothamist, meanwhile, has a quote from Markowitz in which the BP says that “we need an outside study—not one conducted by the DOT but perhaps by the NYPD—to get an impartial analysis of the Prospect Park West reconfiguration.” And, last but not least, the Brooklyn Paper is quick to print claims about how a conspiracy theory not imagined by Markowitz may be afoot: “One day after the Department of Transportation announced last week that the lane has improved safety for drivers and cyclists, two members of the city’s old guard — former Sanitation Commissioner Norman Steisel and former Transportation boss Iris Weinshall — struck back, claiming that the agency fudged numbers to make the lane appear more successful than it is.”
Markowitz on PPW Data: It’s a Vast Biking Conspiracy [Streetsblog]
Markowitz Says Activist Cyclists Distorted PPW Study [Gothamist]
Former Officials Slam City for Lying on Prospect Park West [BK Paper]

0 Comment

  • Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  • I’m not reading any of the linked articles.
    Anyone want to play cards? Uno?

  • These people are like birthers. No matter how much evidence you show them, no matter how sensible the truth is, they insist that there must be some way that Barack Obama was born overseas, or that the PPW bike path is somehow causing horrible problems. You can’t reason with them. Back in the real world, the project is a huge success, and it’s hard to understand what these people have against it.

  • Not everything’s a conspiracy theory, zinka. Get some more foil for your windows.

  • what is a birther? and in truth 99% of people out in the real world dont give a crap one way or the other about these bikes lanes. it’s almost as if the people who yap about them non stop both have crazy persecurtoray delusions (on both sides) and cyclists are claiming some kind of strange martyrdom. newsflash: no one gives a shit.
    as a non motor vehiclist and as a non cyclists all i care is that they stay the hell out of my way when im crossing the street. just make sure that whatever you are riding you are alert, cuz like most pedestrians, im generally not looking both ways.

    *rob*

  • Exactly, rob. At least the cars don’t go zooming down the street the wrong way and barrelling through the red lights in between other cars.

  • “Exactly, rob. At least the cars don’t go zooming down the street the wrong way and barrelling through the red lights in between other cars.”

    you’re a dope

  • DIBS, I’m not the one seeing a conspiracy theory. Markowitz, Steisel and Weinshall are. I’m saying that there isn’t a big conspiracy, and that the project is simply a clear success.

  • I’m just relating the actual experiences I’ve had, dh.

    Because you believe the DOT, zinka.

  • I am not so sure the numbers can’t be fudged. Look at the evidence for “traffic calming” and Broadway. The DOT was surprised that evidence for the plazas in Time Square wasn’t showing the expected positive impact on area traffic patterns. Because city officials didn’t like the evidence, they didn’t change the plazas back after the “test period”.

    I feel unequal about these questions. As a NYC resident, I would rarely take my car into Times Square, preferring mass transit. I like the plazas.

    But as a Brooklyner, my day to day errands are run in a roughly 5 mile radius area that encompasses PPW as well as Tribeca. I frequently drive 2.5 miles into Manhattan to Whole Foods on Greenwich Ave., and my kid attended High School on Chambers St. I consider downtown Manhattan my own turf. East River crossing fees are a great idea – except I live here.

    I run errands using Vanderbilt to PPW. I’d say I could easily take another route, but they’ve made it impossible to make a left on Flatbush from any street in Ft. Greene to go to other parts of Brooklyn. PPW is an important path.

    I am nearly 60 years old, and I’m not traveling from Clinton Hill to Key Food on Fifth Avenue with a cargo bike, or visit my chiropractor in Bay Ridge on on the R train either.

    On the other hand, my daughter would bike to any of these locations. I like that access for her.

    So I have conflicting views. I do agree that bicyclists have many options near Prospect Park, including a HUGE sidewalk which could have been utilized for the bike lane.

    Cars aren’t necessarily evil and many bike lane/traffic conflicts could be solved in better, more creative ways.

  • dave, who has never been to park slope and never learned to ride a bike, should just stfu for once in his life.

  • DIBS, the pre- and post- PPW are completely different streets. You don’t need numbers to see that speeding is way down without much congestion, and that it’s now safe to ride a bike and safer to cross the street.

    And yes, I believe the numbers. Why don’t you? Why do you think they’re false, when they square with reality?

  • Good morning, Clyde. we’ve missed your intelligent conversation and wit. Got any more anagrams for us, dumbass???

  • ET, I’m up for Uno.

    It has to beat another bike lane debate.

  • Stonergut, from your comment, you’d think they’d closed PPW to cars entirely.

    But they didn’t. At all. It still handles the same number of cars. Yeah, they move a little slower. That’s a good thing, to have drivers obey the law. It makes the street safer.

    So what’s the tradeoff here? This is one of the most creative and successful projects that DOT has done. It kills two birds with one stone: traffic calming and bike accessibility. There are still plenty of driving lanes and even more parking spots than before (because of the decommissioned former bus stops, unrelated but happened around the same time).

  • Zinka, I’m not sure that’s what I did say.

    I do know on DeKalb, the bike lane has resulted in traffic speeding faster than it ever did during the AM rush hour. Cars pass at speeds approaching 50 MPH on the right side within inches of pedestrians.

    While I like our bike lane, I’d like less traffic.

    My questioning isn’t about the bike lane, it’s about OTHER traffic changes, resulting in PPW being the only path out of here.

  • Both sides should be heard, zinka. Problems with that????

  • “what is a birther?”

    is brownstoner the only news you read? the birther movement believes that Obama was born in kenya or indonesia and therefore not eligible to be president….and they continue to believe this in the face of FACTS that PROVE Obama is a citizen.

    “Exactly, rob. At least the cars don’t go zooming down the street the wrong way and barrelling through the red lights in between other cars.”

    yeah, but they do go barrelling down the street, swerving around other cars INTO THE BIKE LANE without looking, make turns ACROSS THE BIKE LANE without signaling or looking to see if someone is coming, run red lights, make illegal U turns…..NEED I CONTINUE???

    i will say it yet again on yet another bike thread……CARS KILL PEOPLE BIKE DON’T.

  • zinka, DIBS does not need to consider reality. He’s never been to PPW – just likes to dump on park slope and bike lanes at any opportunity. And he never learned to ride a bike. Tough kids stole his before he took the training wheels off. He’s just whining and maligning.

  • how more of these threads before we see some bike AD banners?

  • I have read that before the redesign, 3 out of 4 drivers exceeded the speed limit. Now, only 1 in 5 drivers does. The average speeds have declined from about 34 mph to about 27 mph. (And of course because we are talking about a street of about 1 mile in length, this has had a negligible effect on how long it takes to get to Bartel Pritchard Square from Grand Army.)

    When you consider that those are AVERAGE speeds, you realize that before the redesign, plenty of drivers were topping 40 mph. Did the DOT really fake these numbers? The only charge from Markowitz (that clown) and the rest is that the stats on bike usage were inflated.

    But the redesign was not intended primarily to create a bike lane. It was done in order to make the street safer for everyone.

    Nothing improves road safety in pedestrian-heavy areas than reductions in automobile speed. Cars traveling 40 mph are extremely deadly to pedestrians. Cars traveling 20 mph are not.

    “In 2006, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, accounting for over 13,000 lives lost. The severity of an automobile crash roughly doubles for every 10 miles per hour increase in speed at impact. A pedestrian struck by a car traveling 20 mph has a 5 percent chance of dying. If the car is traveling at 40mph, that pedestrian’s odds of dying are 95 percent.”

    http://www.cglaw-auto-accident-lawyers.com/causes.html

    And in spite of the hysterics of the anti-bike crowd, there has not been a single injury to a pedestrian by a bicycle on this road in the six months since the introduction of the bike lane. Indeed, prior to the bike lane, 50% of riders along PPW rode on the sidewalk, where they posed a greater danger to pedestrians than they do in the bike lane. Now, only 3% do.

  • Hard to take Marty seriously without his clown nose and makeup.

  • I want to propose a compromise- SPEED BUMPS!!! that would really piss off drivers is they removed the bike lane but put in 2 huge ass speed bumps per block for the entire length of the park. then maybe drivers will STFU and realize it could be worse than bike lanes.

  • think bike lanes is a nice distraction for politicians – so they dont have to discuss / deal with the bigger more pressing issues.

  • stonergut — The point you raise about the Broadway plaza projects actually supports the PPW findings — the DOT had a pet project there, but actually reported numbers that fell far short of the expectations for traffic movement. Obviously the agency is willing to report the numbers.

    Of course, DOT stayed with the plaza format because they recorded other benefits for pedestrians from the change (and also because the traffic movement wasn’t any worse than before, at least on Broadway itself).

    I am also with you on the left hand turns into Ft. Greene, but I like that they have limited the left turns into Prospect Heights.

  • I think Clyde was used as a speed bump as a kid. The moronic attempt at snark can only be explained by multiple head injuries. Now he thinks he’s a basketball star.

  • yawn…..same discussion….same meanies.

  • So, DIBS, are you saying you don’t believe the DOT’s numbers on reduction in speeding along PPW? Or are you saying you don’t think that’s important? Or what?

  • Exactly, rob. At least the cars don’t go zooming down the street the wrong way and barrelling through the red lights in between other cars.”

    How naive you are.

  • DIBS, “both sides should be heard” is an argument usually used by a side that can’t put together a coherent argument because it has lost on the evidence. For example, creationists. “Teach the controversy!”

  • i am not sure why anyone (myself included) even tries to engage rob or DIBS. they stroll around here with carte blanche, perfect in their views and never wrong about anything, and have the majority of the PLUSA fanboy base to back them up.

  • What’s your point, NYGuy????

    zinka, if you believe the bullshit that you spout, I feel sorry for you. Equating listening to the other point of view with teaching creationism is, well, representative of a closed minded imbecilic lack of logical thinking.

  • randolph, you couldn’t engage anyone in an intelligent conversation if you had a book of instructions as to how to do it. Like you said a few weeks ago, you and Clyde are the trolls.

  • wrong and wrong.

    you are the one that decided i am mental and therefore everything i say is worthless. and when did i ever say i am a troll? i actually said the opposite, that i am done with my trolling ways.

    back to the matter at hand, i just for once want to hear you admit that the real problem is cars and the way they are driven and that bikes and pedestrians are the unfortunate victims of said cars.

  • Zinka;

    Did your hear that Mayor Bloomberg and his DOT rep almost got booed off the stage last night at a meeting in Far Rockaway, due to the bike lane issue there?

    I think your help is needed. Please go to the next Far Rockaway town hall meeting and inform these people that they are just ignorant because they don’t agree with you. That’s the way to do it.

  • Statistics bear this out….far more people are killed, injured and simply inconvenie­nced for the sake of the all mighty automobile­.

  • Is there a law on the books that states cyclists have the right of way when behind a car that is making a turn across a bike lane? Unless someone can provide that law, I think the car has the right of way in both right and left turn situations when ahead of the cyclist.

    As far as fudging numbers, it is more that possible. Have numbers been fudged in the name of global warming, health care costs, cfl energy consumption?

    posted this about statistics on another thread. I’m cutting and pasting.

    “agree with you about blanket statements but… people are too quick to provide “stats” as their proof that their opinion is correct. Statistics, in their pure (un political-bias funded) form, are very easy to manipulate depending on the wishful intended result.

    Global warming, healthcare, cfl bulbs, cyclists accidents… . All topics supported by statistics. Except, more and more we are learning they (the statistics) are not complete or have been manipulated, blah, blah blah….

    point being, don’t be so quick to assume statistics are correct, especially when they go along with your opinion”

  • I agree that cars are a problem. I never said they were not. Bicyclists are an increasing problem as their numbers expand more rapidly than cars.

    The bullshit about a car will do more damage to you than a bike is just for imbeciles that get hit by cars. Really, if you are not totally drunk it takes a lot to get hit by a car. A bike on the other hand, riding between cars stopped at a light and through an intersection, or going the wrong way on a one-way street is going to be a problem for more pedestrians.

    I’m not sure why NYGuy thinks that is naive. maybe he doesn’t know the definition of naive.

  • Welcome the ticket crackdown btw.

    “Bikes and pedestrians are the unfortunate victims of said cars”

    I think there are more than a few pedestrians that would disagree. Hell, I rode a bike while living in Manhattan for about 15 years. Never had an accident, never felt like a victim.

    Really sick of cyclist entitlement and whining!

  • pig three….here it is:

    …no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a
    designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and
    passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.

    Here is the whole thing…..

    4-12
    (o) Use of roadways.
    (1) Pedestrians, horses, bicycles and limited use vehicles prohibited. In
    order to provide for the maximum safe use of the expressways, drives, highways,
    interstate routes, bridges and thruways set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these
    rules and to preserve life and limb thereon, the use of such highways by
    pedestrians, riders of horses and operators of limited use vehicles and bicycles is
    prohibited, unless signs permit such use.
    (2) Flat tires. No operator shall stop on the improved or paved roadway of any
    of the arteries set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these rules, for the purpose of
    removing or replacing a flat tire. No person shall remove or replace a flat tire
    unless the vehicle is completely off the improved or paved roadway so that no
    part of the vehicle or person is exposed to passing vehicles.
    (p) Bicycles
    (1) Bicycle riders to use bicycle lanes. Whenever a usable path or lane for
    bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane only except
    under any of the following situations:
    (i) When preparing for a turn at an intersection or into a private road or
    driveway.
    (ii) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including but not
    limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians,
    pushcarts, animals, surface hazards) that make it unsafe to continue
    within such bicycle path or lane.
    (2) Driving on or across bicycle lanes prohibited. No person shall drive a
    vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and
    necessary:
    (i) to enter or leave a driveway; or
    (ii) to enter or leave a legal curbside parking space; or
    Section 4-12
    53
    (iii) to cross an intersection; or
    (iv) to make a turn within an intersection; or
    (v) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other
    person authorized to enforce this rule; or
    (vi) to avoid an obstacle which leaves fewer than ten feet available for
    the free movement of vehicular traffic.
    Notwithstanding any other rule, no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a
    designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and
    passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.

  • Isn’t it obvious? Cars go blowing through red lights every. single. day. In fact the city has cameras set up at specific intersections taking pictures because it’s a huge problem.

  • “Really sick of cyclist entitlement and whining!”

    Really sick of seeing those white bikes and hearing stories of bikers killed by asshole drivers!

  • southbrooklyn — nice try, but information like that doesn’t change that fact that it is now INTOLERABLE that it take an extra 37 seconds to drive the length of PPW.

    You would get just as far if you tried to convince these awesome drivers that turning right from the INNER lane of the Bartel Pritchard traffic circle is dangerous and illegal and wrong. They’d somehow blame bicycles for almost T-boning my car from the left side.

  • Philadelphia addresses the bike lanes and the ability for cars to turn differently. The lane is only designated by a dotted line at the point just before the intersection where a car may need to make a turn onto that perpendicular street. The bikes yield.

    I think that is the proper option. Of course Philadelphia has fewer fanatical bike riders than NYC and, in particular, Brooklyn, have.

  • NYGuy…you still misss the point. Iknow cars go through intersections. Most people can avoid them. But when cars are STOPPED at an intersection, you don’t really expect a bike coming through in between them. Once the car traffic is stopped, people get careless (IT’S NOT THE PED’s FAULT) and don’t expect a bike to be coming through.

    Understand now?????

  • “Really, if you are not totally drunk it takes a lot to get hit by a car. ”

    This kid must have been totally loaded:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/APa2840a0a2fe940f18808e8832d8ad00b.html

  • The irony is that Marty was bestowed his 3rd term because he supported Bloomberg, who somehow got to get a 3rd term as well. Poor Marty- now he has to suffer under Bloomberg’s agenda, which includes bike lanes.

  • i agree DIBS, and the reality is that for survival’s sake you have to yeild to cars because they will hit you. my point is about legality- if we are talking about following the law is has to be across the board and it seems like part of the problem is everyone A not really knowing what the laws are and B finger pointing.

    welcome to the state of our union.

  • “Driving on or across bicycle lanes prohibited. No person shall drive a
    vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and
    necessary:”

    ‘to make a turn within an intersection; or”

    see, my point exactly. You see only what you think makes you correct. those other excerpts provide grey area for interpretation. Baring being drunk, a driver will not be considered at fault if making a turn ahead of a cyclist. Thats what lawyers are for I guess

  • Everything that randolph said.

  • “….Notwithstanding any other rule, no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a
    designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and
    passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.”

    i think the key word is NOTWITHSTANDING, meaning in spite of all this other stuff, you can’t turn into a bike lane if there is an approaching biker….

    right??? i am not a lawyer.

  • MONSEY, NY???????? Come on NYGuy, even you can do better than that. That’s as bad as vinka and her creationism argument from Texas.

    ROTFLMMFAO

  • Then randi, you will agree that bicyclists should get ticketed for every infraction, not just cars, tight???? Or is there a double standard in applying the law????

  • Yes, randolph. You are correct. But take a look at pig_three’s history of commenting. It’s belligerent and lacking much logical thought processes (though, there are, perhaps, one or two points of light) It’s not worth engaging pig_three.

  • There is also this:

    “Driving on or across bicycle lanes prohibited. No person shall drive a
    vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and
    necessary:

    “to avoid an obstacle which leaves fewer than ten feet available for
    the free movement of vehicular traffic.”

    so, if a cyclist is behind a car and a car cannot pass in the vehicle lane, it can cross into the bike path legally to continue free movement.

    read the whole thing Randolph

  • DIBS, YES- there can’t be any grey area in the law.

    At the same time i feel like if i am on my bike, stop at a red light to wait for cars to pass, then from a stop go through the intersection before the light changes to green (just like a person on foot would and at a similar speed) that should not be worthy of getting a ticket.

  • but the last part is the NOTWITHSTANDING clause, which negates everything above it.

    whatever, i’m not getting into this with you.

  • city is broke. dead broke. we should even be careful with jay walking as cops likely itching to ticket that – ie every penny counts.

  • I can speak of several white bikes where the cyclist was negligent, not the driver. Should the driver be able to sue the killed cyclist estate for pain and suffering because of the negligent cyclist?

  • Tybur6,

    You are a whiney little dick without the ability for abstract thought.

  • “whatever, i’m not getting into this with you.”

    14 year old girl response.

  • pig_three — Above you’ve shown several times your inability for *concrete* thought… so there. Not to mention you have a terrible potty mouth.

  • tybur6,

    the longer you live in NY the thicker your skin gets. There might be hope for you yet.

  • Apparently, you also get dumber and more belligerent….

  • I’m also thinking you had to google the definition of “abstract thought” bahaha.

  • UNO! As in Pizzeria Uno????? Man that pizza is really shit. Anyone who has ever lived in Chicago and has had a real deep dish pizza knows that.

  • all i meant was that i’m not qualified to try to explain legal speak to anyone so i’m just gonna shut up.

  • shoot ET, you won again!

  • Wow, DIBS, you just convinced me that you are really and truly a complete idiot.

    How did you accomplish this, you ask?

    By writing the following: “The bullshit about a car will do more damage to you than a bike is just for imbeciles that get hit by cars. Really, if you are not totally drunk it takes a lot to get hit by a car.”

    Tell that to the woman and her twin 9 month old babies who were nearly killed ON THE SIDEWALK due to a speeding car, just a few blocks from my house. Or to any of the other daily victims of speeding cars and unlicensed drivers all over NYC.

    You really are a jerk. “It takes a lot to get hit by a car.” If that isn’t one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read in my entire life. Wow.

  • Wild Draw 4
    Red

  • Uno is a very addictive card game. Let’s play at the next Brownstoner gathering.

  • This whole ‘discussion’ is silly.
    It’s really all so simple.
    Bike lanes are here. Cyclists will/should use them.
    As a driver if you can’t obey the rules, then you shouldn’t have a license. If you’re a cyclist and you can’t obey the rules (yes, there are rules for cyclists), then you shouldn’t be riding a bike.
    End of discussion.
    Where’s COTD and HOTD?

  • dibs:The bullshit about a car will do more damage to you than a bike is just for imbeciles that get hit by cars. Really, if you are not totally drunk it takes a lot to get hit by a car. A bike on the other hand, riding between cars stopped at a light and through an intersection….

    Well, since you used the word, dibs, the bs is supplied entirely by you…what a crock that non-drunk peds cannot be hit by a car. In what universe?

    And since there are probably 100x more car-ped accidents than bike-ped, your alarmist views have no basis. If you can’t avoid a bicycle you probably should not be walking about.

  • “If you can’t avoid a bicycle you probably should not be walking about.”

    I guess all the old people should just stay home. and people who look in the direction of travel on one way street then get hit by a cyclist going the wrong way. and…

    I guess it would be equally stupid to say if you cannot avoid a pedestrian you should not be riding a bike?

  • dibs has shown he’s just not worth arguing with, with that asinine comment about people who get hit by cars having it coming. Ludicrous.

  • I will not post on the bike lane thread… I will not post on the bike lane thread… I will not.. DOH! Suckered AGAIN!

  • and, here is a great example of statistic misuse:

    “And since there are probably 100x more car-ped accidents than bike-ped”

    we would need to have a control area and know how many cars there are at a given time and how many bikes and pedestrians as well. Then the worthy outcome would be in percentage form.

    just stating there are more car/peds accidents is just the law of averages. more cars than bikes, of corse more chance for accidents. Not necessarily more law breakers.

    If the numbers were equal, I’d put money on more bike/ped accidents.

  • We also know that many bike/ped accidents go unreported.

  • Did I read the thread too quickly or has no-one commented on the reason for Marty’s bias? He lives very close to PPW (on 8th Ave I believe) and has a fleet of super-sized black SUVs at his beck and call to take him wherever whenever. You can see these monsters any day blocking the sidewalk at Borough Hall and in front of the court bldg. No doubt he’s ticked off that his drivers can’t do 50mph any more on PPW as he heads home from yet another vital-to-the-welfare-of-his-constituents social function.

  • > the reason for Marty’s bias?

    Because his ample tuckus hasn’t graced a bicycle seat since he was twelve years old?

  • Fat Marty whines
    “why do they want to make Brooklyn more like Amsterdam?”

    Has he ever been there? The only thinks that make Brooklyn tolerable are precisely those “European” qualities like decent coffee, and yes, the ability to get around on a bicycle. Otherwise it would be just another grim, SUV infested, corn fed sh*thole of a US city.

    and by the way…as both an avid cyclist and a car owner, I can tell you that car drivers commit 1000x more egregious, life-threatening infractions than the most out of control cyclists ever could.

  • I swore when I saw this thread this morning that I would not read, but here I am, late to the mudfight. DIBS, you’ve conflated Zinka with me. I assume it was a typo, but if not: I’ve never served with Zinka, I don’t know Zinka, Zinka’s not a friend of mine, I am not Zinka (…and, neither you, I, nor Zinka are Jack Kennedy).

    I support the bike lanes. I support them not because I’m a cyclist (which I am, on occasion), but because this city should continue its efforts to be usable and used by all its citizens: pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, public transport users, able- and other-than-able-bodied (a class that includes many elderly, veterans, some driveby victims, people who are injured or ill, distracted, drunk…the list goes on and on).

    Two of my immediate family members were killed while driving, crushed by the car of a new driver without proper skills. My family members were not drunk, and neither was the young driver. The stupidest thing in all these Brownstoner bicycle threads is the refusal of all parties using the same road to yield; the ridiculous assertion that only one class of users should be blamed in any given accident or that some favorite class is more deserving of use, access, right-of-way, etc. than another; the self-righteous unwillingness to share the road. Beyond that, I refuse to get drawn into this thread—so completely sick of the ‘dialogue’ that pervades the Brownstoner site.

  • I’m quite certain that my IQ is far higher than all of you calling me an idiot. Most of you don’t take the time to read properly or are capable of really understanding what I wrote. I think most of you suffer from a form of attention deficit in your reading skills.

    zinka (no, not vinca) has shown us today that she can’t put together any sort of argument based on anything other than what she herself believes. southbrooklyn and cmu don’t get the jist of how difficult it is to really get hit by a car if YOU ARE ACTUALLY PAYING ATTENTION.

    I think the discussion here proves that arguing any point with most of you is stooping to an intellectual level that I really don’t want to bother with anymore.

    I actually have no skin in this ridiculous discussion. My cars are not in NYC and I don’t ride a bike. I take car service or a subway. I’m above bike riding and driving yourself from place to place in NYC is really stupid given the time you all waste on parking.

    What really shows though is that too many of you lead simple, argumentative lives and can be pushed over the edge by even the smallest of issues. Get a life.

  • “I’m above bike riding ”

    lol

  • I was hoping that would be caught, dh.

    It should be good for another 40 posts.

  • Um, wow. It seems to me that the onus is on the people who are completely ignoring all the data about how well this project is working.

    DIBS, I have personally observed the new PPW on a number of occasions, and it is perfectly consistent with the data. You’re the one who seems to somehow deny that 2 + 2 might equal something between 3.9 and 4.1.

  • Since you have such a poor opinion of American cities, jan van flac, why oh why do you reside here instead of in your dear, drug-infested Amsterdam? I doubt that all the visitors, both American and foreign, are flocking to NYC and Brooklyn to have coffee and ride bikes here. As to that “1000x worse,” perhaps you are engaging in just a wee bit of hyperbole.

    While I am hardly a Marty supporter and was totally against his ass-kissing of Bloomberg as it related to the overriding of term limits and endorsement of Atlantic Yards, I’m sure also that any and all stats the various Bloomberg departments promulgate are suspect. In the case of the Manhattan malls, Sadik-Khan admitted that there were some slight slowdowns with traffic, but totally overlooked the much larger slowdowns that resulted on other, slightly removed crosstown streets because they did not agree with her prejudice toward these malls. (And I’m sure they’ve been VERY useful these past few months.) In the case of NYC schools, Bloomberg and Klein touted superb progress on standardized tests. Yet, they were falling all over themselves to explain away the relatively minimal progress once the state re-normed the exams. National Assessment tests, for which NYC students were NOT prepped, showed very little progress during Klein’s tenure.

    In the case of the PPW bike lanes, DOT says that the reason that the opposition’s stats diverge from their own is that they cover a different stretch or were taken at different times of the day. As posters (in favor of the bike lanes) have pointed out here, PPW is a rather short stretch, so there should be little difference in bike usage or traffic speeds from one section to another. An independent evaluation of usage, speed, accidents, etc would seem to be a reasonable request. DOT will promise one thing and then do quite another. Why are they suddenly trustworthy in this particular case?

  • DIBS is off his meds today, he’s not usually so weird (well..)

  • zinka there’s a reason that anecdotal observation is called “anecdotal.” A stopped clock is correct twice a day. But of course the numbers that you choose to believe have to be the correct ones, without any further discussion or validation.

    You denseness becomes more amazing with each post.

  • If I’m correct, dibs, all that stuff you’re spouting is anecdotal too, and from a distance. Or is there a study you’re getting this from? lay off zinka, you’re not on the same page. And falling further behind with every post.

  • morralkan — “I doubt that all the visitors, both American and foreign, are flocking to NYC and Brooklyn to have coffee and ride bikes here.”

    NO, they’re coming here to VISIT. This isn’t an issue of what makes fucking tourists happy. It’s an issue of what makes OUR city livable, pleasant (and sustainably so) for the LONG-TERM.

    And the “If you don’t like it the way it is, why don’t you leave” attitude is fucking bullshit. We should all be concerned with making the city better… and not just for your own selfish interests. NYC of the 80s isn’t exactly something we want to return to, right? Where cesspools like old school Alphabet City were the norm. Why isn’t the city still like that? What was wrong with it? Is it bad that the city got better? Or should the residents of the city have said, “If you don’t like it, go live in Mayberry!”

  • “Since you have such a poor opinion of American cities, jan van flac, why oh why do you reside here instead of in your dear, drug-infested Amsterdam?”

    After graduate school I tried to stay in another northern European city but couldn’t get a work visa. Now i have a family, own property, have a business. Believe me, on balance the quality of life is better there than in here. But that’s another discussion…

    Yes, 1000x is hyperbole. But EVERY SINGLE TIME i drive my car I see someone do something egregious….speeding down a residential street…..running red lights…making left turns from the right lane….making right turns from the left lane….turning around in the middle of the block without looking…..slamming on the brakes when someone sees a parking spot behind them without regard to who is behind them. the list goes on. Every one of these could easily – and all too often does – result in the death or serious injury of a pedestrian or cyclist.

    Of all the things that one can worry about in New York City – muggers, bedbugs, getting hit by a car, terrorism – getting hurt by a bicycle (!) has got to be the silliest. There is an irrational hatred for people who ride bicycles…maybe it’s political, maybe it’s rooted in envy (judging by the physical condition of anti-bike politicians like Markowitz), I don’t know what it is…but it is stupid and reactionary and deserves to be met with organized resistance.

  • >Since you have such a poor opinion of American cities, jan van flac, why oh why do you reside here instead of in your dear, drug-infested Amsterdam?

    Ah, Godwin’s Law, revised…”why don’t you go back to where you came from?”. Good going, mkan.

    WHat you and anti-bike-lane people don’t get is that *it does not matter what the stats say*, bike lanes are a greater good: improve the streetscape and calm traffic to boot. The only way they’re bad is if you think roads are for the exclusive use of motorized traffic. If we had to “prove” every change via stats, we’d wind up like the suburbs, wide streets, no sidewalks and no cycles.

  • And guess what, tourist from all around the world aren’t driving a damn car here either!

    (P.S. Why wouldn’t we want to promote tourists riding bikes in the city? In fact there are several companies that do this in Manhattan with quite a bit of success… it’s actually a really awesome way to take in the sights!)

  • just for the record, i’m not anti bike lane.

    anti extremist, anti entitlement, anti whining, anti union, anti just two party representation, and …

  • And, for the record…bike riders in places like Amsterdam generally do obey traffic signals.
    Maybe because respect is a two way street, no pun intended.

  • cmu — not to mention a HUGELY important stat is a long-term one… how many folks are riding bikes! We’ve already seen enormous increase in bike riding in the city. Both commuting and leisure.

    Is there are direct causal relationship between this and bike lanes and other traffic-related measures? Perhaps, but you can’t “prove” it. But you can be pretty damn certain because those were the only new variables!

  • >There is an irrational hatred for people who ride bicycles…maybe it’s political, maybe it’s rooted in envy (judging by the physical condition of anti-bike politicians like Markowitz), I don’t know what it is…but it is stupid and reactionary and deserves to be met with organized resistance

    Absolutely. But I think it’s also fueled by when the only cyclists you saw were messengers/delivery boys (lower class, scary) and spandex speeders who yell ‘on your left’ at you (weird looking, not my type, scary). “Regular” people were not cyclists, not even kids in 99% of this country. It’s changing slowly, but until we see cycling as “normal” and an everyday activity, that hatred will continue.

  • I think it’s also fueled by when the only cyclists you saw were messengers/delivery boys (lower class, scary) and spandex speeders who yell ‘on your left’ at you (weird looking, not my type, scary).

    This is certainly true. Most of them are mentally unbalanced and probably have criminal records!!!!!

  • Thank you dibs…if that was not meant in irony !!

  • ” and spandex speeders who yell ‘on your left’ at you (weird looking, not my type, scary).”

    again, in europe, bicycle racing is second only to soccer. It’s huge there and getting bigger here too. I agree that a lot of this is cultural. Most Americans believe that it’s more appropriate for an adult to move 4000 lbs of metal less than a mile than to go under your own power. It’s selfish and shortsighted.

  • “Most Americans believe that it’s more appropriate for an adult to move 4000 lbs of metal less than a mile than to go under your own power. It’s selfish and shortsighted.”

    Oh Christ, not this crap now. You just lost any credibility you had.

  • “Most Americans believe that it’s more appropriate for an adult to move 4000 lbs of metal less than a mile than to go under your own power. It’s selfish and shortsighted.”

    In addition, most of us prefer not to smell like many Europeans.

  • In addition, most of us prefer not to smell like many Europeans.

    You just lost any credibility you might have had. What an idiotic statement.

  • No it’s not. I don’t want to smell of sweat after biking to work. Nor do I want any of my colleagues to smell either.

  • You seem to prove my point, jan van flac: you really dislike this country and think that your own is vastly superior, So again, why not stay there? Maybe your own country, unlike this one, is a wonderfully boring one with great coffee and bike lanes, but little business sense and opportunity.

    DIBS, let’s not go too low here. The smell of (western) Europeans is LARGELY a thing of the past. I definitely experienced it as a student in Hamburg in the late 60′s, though. :-)

    Are you saying, cmu , that stats are unimportant and worthless? Interesting argument you’re making there. As to improving the streetscape, PPW is far less attractive with parking lanes in the middle of the street. And if the speed of cars really bothers you, why not spend more time in Victorian Flatbush where traffic is often glacially slow and backed up? Just asking.

    Finally, tybur6, resorting to cursing merely undermines your argument. I have no idea how bicycle lanes did away with Alphabet City. Perhaps you could enlighten me? Just because you and a large number of cyclists (I’ll admit there are many) think that putting bike lanes all over the place improves the city, there are MANY other inhabitants of NYC who strongly disagree. I guess your opinions are the only ones that matter.

    By the way, I don’t drive, though I will admit to occasionally being a passenger in a car. For that, I expect to be flogged. I do ride a bicycle and have done so for that past 40+ years in Brooklyn. I’ve done it almost all that time without benefit of a bike lane. I really can’t imagine how I managed to survive all that time. Still, I know that I will not be able to use my bike as a major form of transportation for that many years longer and will probably need to avail myself of a car more frequently in the future. Do you think that will be permitted?

  • Morralkan.

    You lose points on reading comprehension. Europe isn’t “my country”. I just like it there. Cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen really are nice. You might want to visit sometime to get over your bias.

    And yes, i think the US style model of building everything around the private automobile and the parking thereof above all else (especially in urban areas but also in the suburbs) is inferior to a well thought out public transportation/cycling/and pedestrian infrastructure.

    No one, except possibly our oil overlords from the middle east, is about to take away the car any time soon.

    So all you anti bike-lane reactionaries can stop hyperventilating. They have been proven to reduce injuries not only to cyclists but also to pedestrians. They are a public good, and for goofballs like Marty Markowitz to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

  • “Maybe your own country, unlike this one, is a wonderfully boring one with great coffee and bike lanes, but little business sense and opportunity.”

    Denmark, which is probably the most cycling friendly country in the world, is at the cutting edge of biomedical research and of renewable energy technology and is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, not to mention having the longest life expectancy (probably because people are so healthy from all the cycling :-). Similar things could be said about most of its neighbors in Europe. Another example of your complete ignorance.

  • morralkan, why are you surprised that a bike count at one extreme end of PPW (where the NIMBYs counted) would find different numbers than a bike count at the middle of the path (where DOT counted)? would you expect to see the same number of people on a subway car at the middle of the line as one station from the end?

    And even if the bike count is wrong (and it was conducted by an independent third party, not by DOT), the street is still calmer and safer by every other metric. So it’s not like casting doubt on this one measurement is especially meaningful.

  • Morralkan — OBVIOUSLY I was talking about improving quality of life in the city, not bike lanes decreasing crime in Alphabet city… don’t be a dink.

    And second — I love how you’ve now accomplished combining “Go back to where you came from if you don’t like it!” with “If I can do it, I don’t see the problem!” Combining selfish with self-righteous. Beautiful.

    Why do they spend all of this damn money on guardrails, I’ve been driving over this mountain pass for 40 years and I never needed ‘em!

    THOUSANDS of people are now riding bikes on the city streets that never did before. Obviously something has changed. What do you think it is? Chats with crusty folks like you?

    Ugggh!

  • I’m sure homes are much smaller in Denmark. Cutting edge of biotech??? Ever heard of Genentech, Amgen and a few others????

    I will admit to not ever having been to Denmark. I guess I’ve missed out on the world-renowned Danish food, wine and other wonderful things.

    They did invent Legos though.

  • Umm… DIBS, how does the fact that the United States is *also* successful in biotech take away from Denmark?

    The point above was that Denmark is not a backwater. And lets not worry about Danish cinema, literature, sport stars, etc. etc.

  • DIBS – forgot to add… don’t be a dink.

  • Yes, tyburg. I apologize. It’s truly a global powerhouse. He held it up as a comparison to the US. The valid comparison would be with someplace like Minnesota!!!! Don’t be a douche.

  • Yes, Denmark is absolutely remarkable. Loved the apple cake I had there once. What in the world makes you think I haven’t traveled to Europe many times? Perhaps Denmark and Amsterdam are not exactly backwaters, but the US, and NYC in particular are still the most popular western destinations for immigration. Anyway, Jan, most of the European cities are not nearly as spread out as we in NYC are. Do you really think that commuting between sections of Queens and Bay Ridge, for example, will easily be accomplished by public transport? Do you think the city/state/feds will build some sort of rapid transit between places such as these anytime in your lifetime? (My life expectancy is likely considerably shorter, so I won’t use it as an example.) By the way, please forgive me for assuming you were Dutch; your name and your obvious preference for Europe led me to believe you were. I’m sure if you keep applying for a work visa to one of those wonderful European countries, they will surely jump at the chance to welcome you.

  • No, tybur6, it was NOT obvious what you were talking about since your logic was so screwy. Your cursing was exceptionally clear, however. I do appreciate, though, that you were able to restrain yourself and call me a dink. I don’t think it is terrible to suggest that people actually go to live in cities which are more in tune with their preferred lifestyles. I hear they do a lot of cycling in Denver. Also in Portland, Oregon. Went there for a few days once. Boring as hell unless you love drinking nightly and long, dirty hair. But it was pretty.

    What I object to is a mentality that people need to foist their preferred lifestyle down the throats of everyone else. There was certainly no need to make a southbound bike lane on PPW since it was wide enough to accommodate both vehicular and bike traffic before the recent desecration. I know; I probably rode down it more times than you have. And northbound? I believe there are one or two avenues heading that way in PS and most of them are reasonably wide also. Done that too. I’m sure you are in agreement with Emperor Bloomberg and his nanny state mentality.

  • The reason I’m surprised, zinka, is that this pair of bike lanes are being highly touted as aiding people who use them to commute. Since PPW is really not all that long, exactly where are the “commuting” to? Fifteenth St. to Twelfth St? And if the cyclists are using the paths for short trips, would there randomly tend to be short trips all along the stretch of PPW, not only in the sections that DOT is monitoring? What’s so special about the middle section? Just asking. (That subway car argument is specious since subway lines are designed to bring people from the extremities to some central point.)

    If you only care about CALM streets, however, I hear they have some very calm ones in Kansas City. This is New York and life is a bit different here. Or does it just upset you that anyone can drive over 30 MPH? Again, my point is that the DOT issues metrics that prove their point. The DOT (and city) do their very best to issue data which support their point of view. Have you no doubt that the “independent” party can be influenced by the desires of the agency which hires them? Decisions have to be made about when, where, and how to make measurements and these decisions can easily skew results. But I guess that is fine with you, as long as it gives you the results you prefer.

  • “What I object to is a mentality that people need to foist their preferred lifestyle down the throats of everyone else. ”

    This, right here, is the heart of the matter. For most, cycling isn’t a “lifestyle”. It’s a mode of transportation. A practical, environmentally sound, healthy, efficient, and, despite the best efforts of Marty Markowitz, an increasingly safe one.

  • Jan, cycling is a lifestyle. We have buses and trains, both rather energy efficient ways of moving people around in this city, so choosing to cycle, especially in extremely inclement weather is definitely a choice.

    Cycling is mode of transportation I use very often, weather permitting and I agree it is environmentally sound and healthy. Not so much practical and efficient, though. And you can cycle without bike lanes. If you think I am incorrect about “not foisting their preferred lifestyle down the throats of everyone else,” why aren’t you riding your bike INSIDE Prospect Park? Plenty of room there.

  • I DO ride inside Prospect Park….but only when I go there specifically to ride, as don’t live in the Slope.

    You can’t tell me with a straight face that buses and the subway are an efficient way to get around Brooklyn. Maybe if you have hours to waste if the weather is really bad it’s ok. Otherwise biking or driving is a better bet. And if you are fit, you can commute to Manhattan in the same time, maybe faster, than you can taking the subway. And it’s free, if you already have a bike.

    No you don’t “need” bike lanes to ride a bike. However, since the city started putting in bike lanes the number of bicycle commuters has doubled while the total number of deaths and injuries has remained the same. In other words cycling has become twice as safe (or half as dangerous). 97% of bike fatalities happen outside of bike lanes.

    So in light of that, if you are still opposed to bike lanes (on aesthetic grounds) you are in favor of more cyclists being killed, or just anti-cycling, or maybe just not very bright.

  • No one has ever said that bike paths are only useful for commuting to work. These, in particular, are great for trips within the neighborhood. You see a whole lot of kids and families in them — the old PPW was barely usable by experienced cyclists because of the high-speed traffic, and then only in one direction. The new PPW is a safe bike route for everyone.

    We should not be settling for out-of-control drivers who kill and maim people in our neighborhoods because “this is New York City”. Streets with too many lanes for the amount of traffic inevitably lead to out-of-control speeding. This is not controversial. It’s just the way it is. 40mph traffic has no place dividing a dense residential neighborhood from Brooklyn’s greatest park.

    Even if the space on the street that’s now the bike path were just closed off with cement barriers, this would still be a successful project because of how well it has reduced the previously out-of-control speeding on this street. Three lanes were just too many.

  • What I don’t understand, jan van flac, is why you can’t ride through the park when you are commuting also. The roadway is there and its use doesn’t interfere with vehicular traffic. If the weather is really bad, there are many fewer cyclists using the bikes to get around Brooklyn. Why would anyone, except out of necessity or fanaticism, choose to take his bike out on streets where icy spots are everywhere, risking his life and perhaps the lives of motorists and pedestrians? In any event, Jan, I am not anti-cycling since I also cycle a lot, though obviously not as much as you. There’s just no need to destroy the aesthetics of PPW for people to cycle. And I’m virtually certain that my intellect far exceeds yours. I’ll match my brain against yours anyday.

    As for you, Zinka, I never claimed that PPW was only useful for commuting, though that is clearly what jan van flac advocates. Three lanes of traffic along PPW were hardly too many. As I pointed out before, I’ve cycled along PPW many times, at all times of day, and the speed of the traffic was mostly reasonable and I never ever felt unsafe riding along there. Mostly it was a very pleasant trip and drivers did not threaten me with their cars. You can’t be a very experienced cyclist if you found the old PPW “barely usable.” If you MUST travel in a northerly direction for local stops, what’s wrong with using the other, neighboring avenues? If families with kids want to ride slow and in a protected setting, that’s the one of the purposes of parks. One is right there, in case you have forgotten. The traffic doesn’t divide the neighborhood from the park; there are traffic lights and parents should probably teach their kids to obey them.

  • morralkan:

    Prior to the redesign of PPW, it was a speedway, with 75% of drivers exceeding the (generous) NYC speed limit. With the redesign, injury causing crashes have gone down over 60%. No, at 40mph, the speed of the traffic was NOT reasonable. That’s why the road was redesigned. There was excess road capacity on that road, enticing drivers to go at high speeds, to weave in and out for advantage, etc.

    The bike lane, which has turned out to be quite popular, was a side benefit of the decision to remove a lane of traffic from PPW, for safety reasons.

    Before the redesign, between 7th ave and the Park, there were six lanes of parking, six sidewalks, and seven lanes of traffic. Now there are six lanes of parking, six lanes of parking, six lanes of traffic, and one bike lane. Why is this so objectionable to you???

    But I guess you fine the “aesthetics” more important than neighborhood safety and the creation of a protected bike lane.

  • PPW was hardly a speedway though some cars did indeed exceed then speed limit. They do everywhere unless it is so congested that they idle and spew out exhaust fumes. Nobody really wants that, right? I’m not sure what you would consider a reasonable speed limit. Perhaps 10 or 15 mph?

    The bike lane is popular with some, less so with others, obviously, or there would be no discussion here. I do think the aesthetics of our borough are important and an important consideration. Perhaps they aren’t to Philistines, but there are some of us around here who actually like to see beautiful things. As I’ve said before, the park has several bike lanes, protected almost all hours of the day, and it’s exceedingly close by. There’s no reason to screw up PPW in order to provide biking/anti-car fanatics a way to impose their world vision on everyone else.

  • those are some statistics southbrooklyn! Where did you get them?

  • “PPW was hardly a speedway”

    Ha ha ha. People drove like complete maniacs on that street.

    “I’m not sure what you would consider a reasonable speed limit. Perhaps 10 or 15 mph?”

    Straw man, anyone? I’d much rather have cars driving 25-30mph than 40mph in a dense residential area. Can you seriously argue the opposite?

    “there are some of us around here who actually like to see beautiful things”

    Five lanes of asphalt aren’t beautiful. Safety is beautiful.

  • Oh yeah, and re “screw up PPW”: In what universe can you argue that PPW is now screwed up? Traffic moves smoothly, there’s a safe place to bike… sounds like a pretty much ideal street to me!