The PPW Bike-Lane Lawsuit is a Reality

ppw-bike-lane-3-2011.jpg
The lawsuit over the Prospect Park West bike lane that’s been threatened for about a month has now been filed, and it asserts that the city acted “arbitrarily” in installing the lane and that it should be removed. Streetsblog, which has a link so you can download the filing in its entirety (PDF here), says the following about the meat and potatoes of the suit: “It argues that DOT acted in an ‘arbitrary and capricious’ manner, with conclusions made irrationally or in bad faith. It argues that the bike lane did not properly go through the necessary processes given the landmarked status of the Park Slope neighborhood and Prospect Park. And finally, it argues that an environmental review was necessary to assess the impact of the lane on the historic character of the area.” The Times’ story on the lawsuit, meanwhile, notes the political connections of the group behind the filing, who have “close ties to Iris Weinshall, the city’s transportation commissioner from 2000 to 2007 and the wife of Senator Charles E. Schumer” and that they’ve “produced e-mail correspondence…[seeking] to portray…an effort by the Transportation Department to coordinate criticism of the lane’s opponents.” A DOT spokesman tells the newspaper that the data it has released on how the lane has made Prospect Park West safer is legit. The lawsuit names the DOT and, separately, its commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, as respondents.
Lawsuit Seeks to Erase Bike Lane in New York City [NY Times]
Opponents Sue City Over Prospect Park West Bike Lane [Streetsblog]
Lawsuit Filed Over Prospect Park West Bike Lane [PS Patch]

0 Comment

  • daveinbedstuy

    “And finally, it argues that an environmental review was necessary to assess the impact of the lane on the historic character of the area.”

    As much as I really don’t care one way or another for bike lanes, this statement epitomizes the NIMBY crap that is all too prevalent.

  • Bunch of selfish jerks who can’t deal with the fact that there was a several-years-long public process where the neighborhood clearly requested this project. Sore losers. Now they’ll make the city pay millions to defend street safety against this ridiculous lawsuit.

  • This lawsuit is beyond the pale and exemplifies why I quit practicing law and why I believe the U.S. legal system should require the losing party to pay the winning party’s costs and legal fees.

    IT’S A BIKE LANE!!!!! It’s not like they installed a waste transfer station along Prospect Park. BIKES!!!!

  • delepp

    A great way to spend our tax money. Historic charecter? Are they saying bikes are a new invention and didn’t exist when this block was built?

  • BoerumHillScott

    The current set up certainly impacts the “historic character of the area.” The DOT should get rid of all bike and car lanes and limit PPW to horses and animal-drawn carts.

  • And I second what dave said about the NIMBYs.

    Typical NIMBY: “NOOOOOO!!!!! Don’t build a park in OUR neighborhood!!!!! Then people will come from outside OUR neighborhood to use it. Think of all the riff raff who will be allowed to come into OUR neighborhood! And it will spoil OUR neighborhood’s historic character!!”

    Sheesh.

    Did I mention IT’S A BIKE LANE?!?!?!

    Double Sheesh.

  • LMAO Scott. God knows the NIMBYs wouldn’t complain about the horse manure!!

  • “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

  • The bike lanes don’t effect me one way or the other, but I saw something recently that made me laugh. Car double parked (driver inside) on 9th Street. Biker comes down the street, gets off bike, squeezes between car and double parked car, gets back on bike, gives driver dirty look and rides off. Come on, I know its 9th street, but just go around the darn car. Sorry, but it cracked me up a little.

  • All PS news should just be reported in the Onion at this point.

  • Wow its great to see that they are pushing to ban all traffic except for horse drawn carts, but maybe they could bring the trollies. Should also bring back the sheep that used to graze on the grass in the park too while they are at it.

  • I know Louise Hainline professionally. I’ve lost A LOT of respect for her. I always thought she was a lot more than just a self-entitled, rich NIMBY with her head up her ass. But I guess not.

  • “Iris Weinshall, the city’s transportation commissioner from 2000 to 2007 and the wife of Senator Charles E. Schumer”

    PPW residents, I believe.

    This bike lane seems to work rather well, although I am not a fan of them in general (5th Ave bike lane in particular is dumb and blocks traffic on a busy street).
    In fact I get irritated when cyclists *don’t* use the PPW one & insist on riding on the western side of PPW, often running lights all the way.

  • Oh, they could even make the road a 4-lane superhighway AND keep the bike lane. I don’t know why the NIMBYs aren’t calling for that! After all, all of the folks involved in the lawsuit have indoor parking. Don’t all of those parked cars ruin the “historic character”?

  • I can not believe that Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher filed this lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs!! I fully expected to find a plaintiff’s firm that I’d never heard of on the pleadings.

  • The fact that a former DOT head is leading the charge shows you what a leap forward Ms. Sidik-Khan’s thinking is. Senator Schumer your wife is a luddite, a philistine, and a loser on this one! You want to live on your own private park move to Gramercy buddy.

  • BoerumHillScott

    I guess I could support trolleys, but only horse drawn ones. Electric lines are out of character for the historic neighborhood.

  • Can the city file a countersuit for this frivolous lawsuit and get back the costs of the DOT and other city agencies to answer this ridiculousness?

  • And I love the plaintiffs: “SENIORS FOR SAFETY” and “NEIGhBORS FOR BETTER BIKE LANEs”.

    You’d think Gibson, Dunn would have proofread the caption to avoid those typos. ^^^

    And you’d think the seniors would be happy to use the bike lane for their scooters.

  • daveinbedstuy

    CGar, from a recent story, one of the partners is one of the NIMBYs and doing it pro bono. There was some discussion about whether this was what pro bono was meant for. It may have all been while you weren’t here for a few days.

  • Also… who are these “Seniors”!? They must just be the crazy ones. Instead of having to race across 3 lanes of traffic with a crossing light that is two short.

    They now have the same time to cross two lanes…. then STOP in the pedestrian buffer… look both ways…. then cross a short distance across a bike lane.

    What is so “unsafe”?!

  • Of course! Thanks, dave. I should have known. That explains why an otherwise reputable law firm would take on this frivolous lawsuit.

  • Yeah — rich whiners ain’t what pro bono was meant for. And shouldn’t the other partners of the firm have put the kibosh on this so their brand wasn’t damaged?

  • ty, I hate to quibble with you, but this is precisely the intent of pro bono work: To protect the entitlements of The Entitled.

  • quote:
    The fact that a former DOT head is leading the charge

    did you seriously just call someone a dot head? :-/

    *rob*

  • CGar, so sad. All this time I thought it was to provide counsel to those that don’t have an estate lawyer on retainer. Herrumph.

  • ‘and it asserts that the city acted “arbitrarily” in installing the lane and that it should be removed’

    translation:

    “Waaaaaah, the city is spending on someone that isn’t me.waaaaaah”

  • A lot of us on PPW support the bike lane. This lawsuit is much ado about nothing. The street is demonstrably safer now.

    And I don’t understand the complaints about aesthetics — I think the street looks grand. If the NIMBYs want historical accuracy they should bring back the streetcars!

  • i have nothing against bike lanes, but that that shade of green they chose is bloody awful. they couldnt have picked a nicer color?

    *rob*

  • *rob*, you sound like Private Benjamin picking out her army uniform. “Excuse me, but is green the only color these come in?”

    (I’d LOL you, but then you’d yell at me.)

  • “i have nothing against bike lanes, but that that shade of green they chose is bloody awful. they couldnt have picked a nicer color?”

    no – it has to be the most abrasive color possible so cars don’t drive in it. remember, an intelligence test isn’t given to be able to get a drivers’ license.

  • At the risk of going way overboard, I hope all those (here and elsewhere) who complain about difficulty of crossing 2-way bike lanes, the minority of bikers who ride dangerously and having to occasionally drive around a car double-parked to drop off passengers realize this is what the culmination is: a lawsuit by those who take all those idiotic statements and act on it.

    People need a dose of tolerance and acceptance of others.

  • i guess i was thinking it would have been nicer had they seperated the bike lane with a long line of cobblestones or something instead of paint. *rob*

  • Arkady

    The places where bike lanes are dangerous are on side streets such as mine where there really isn’t room to comply. If public safety is the issue, get rid of the lanes on tertiary streets, not main thoroughfares.

  • “The places where bike lanes are dangerous are on side streets such as mine where there really isn’t room to comply.”

    yeah – def. but luckily on those side streets cars shouldn’t be going much faster than a bike can, so a bike can just ride in the middle of the lane safely.

    totally not needed on narrow side streets.

  • The NIMBYs are prolly unhappy because their decorators weren’t allow to select the color of the bike lane. Guessing it clashes with their decor and offends their delicate sensibilities whilst looking out their windows.

  • hahah that’s some pretty hardcore cane wagging going on in that picture. this issue is SO annoying, from both sides really. people must have such charmed lives that these are their biggest worries and concerns, must be nice..

    *rob*

  • The “anti-lane lawyers (working pro-bono, by the way) are trying to portray the DOT as a bunch of zealots willing to use any means necessary to shove the bike lane down Park Slope’s throat—even if it means encouraging other people to make comments on the Internet.”

    Comments on the Internet?!?! Heaven forfend!!

  • If you are upset about this lawsuit then complain to its Architect – CHUCK SCHUMER.

    There is no way Jim Walden (former prosecutor and one of the best litigators in NYC BTW) of Gibson Dunn is taking this case against the Bloomberg Administration without huge political cover (which the NYT hints at) – This whole suit is being orchestrated by PS native (and ironically – bike rider) Sen. Charles Schumer. So if the pro bike-lane people want to end this waste of time and money, they need to bring political pressure to Sen Schumer and expose his (likely inapproriate) involvement.

    And for the record I dont like the Bike Lane but I think this lawsuit is totally frivolous.

  • did anyone hear Anthony WEINER’s comment about bike lanes? pretty funny.

  • “By cobblehiller on March 8, 2011 10:14 AM

    “OY”.

    I HEARD that, cobble, even over here on PPW.

  • “This whole suit is being orchestrated by PS native (and ironically – bike rider) Sen. Charles Schumer”

    Prolly because Iris would make his life intolerable otherwise.

  • DH, what did Anthony Weiner say???

  • This bike lane got more review than Atlantic Yards.

  • Is there any beef to the anti-bike lane argument? I don’t get it at all. But clearly some people are worked up about… something. Can anyone say what?

  • i would have thought the PPW’ers would have liked the bike lane slowing down the traffic.

    Regardless of what you think of the bike lanes in general – when the Barclays Arena at Atlantic Center opens what do they think is going to happen to their beloved PPW? Close your eyes and imagine all the sporting events and concerts you’ve attended your whole life, and then imagine unleashing those thoughtful people on park slope on a daily basis.

    I’d love to hear what their 5 year goal is for this lawsuit. Even if you’re against the bike lane, doesn’t it seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    Do NIMBYS really want PPW to become the Atlantic Center Raceway? I’m envisioning a typical 4th ave gridlock after an event spurring the “wait, i have a shortcut” geniuses.

    Am i missing something?

  • quote:
    Close your eyes and imagine all the sporting events and concerts you’ve attended your whole life, and then imagine unleashing those thoughtful people on park slope on a daily basis.

    that’s gonna be fun!!

    *rob*

  • I am neither rich nor politically connected and joined the Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes. I get so frustrated when I see the dialogue on this issue as being pro- or anti-bike lane. I don’t see it that way at all. Cars & bikes were safety issues before the new configuration and remain so – just in different ways.

    The new bike lanes certainly make it easier to ride down PPW – miss the hills up to the picnic house and tennis house area – and at a very good speed. While the risk of getting side swiped by a car has been cut there are plenty of other safety issues that remain in play. My family is happy to use the bike path now but still have to be very careful.

    My main concern has always been the narrowing of the two remaining travel lanes and change in visibility on the thoroughfare. There is not much room for maneuver at any speed – slow or fast. I’ve seen many “incidents” since the new configuration and I’m concerned. I’ve lived on PPW for over 20Yrs and have felt very badly for those who have had the fender benders and mirror sideswipes that I’ve personally seen. I’m not sure if those types of “incidents” were counted as “accidents” in the DOT report (I’ve asked for more clarification) but if so, then I saw a large number of them which seems a bit hard to believe, but I suppose it is possible.

    Another concern I have is about the cyclists at each of the crosswalks – speed bumps may help but I’m really not sure how that will work. I think that cyclists have to do a better job of following rules of the road. (Just as NY pedestrians can do a better job of crossing streets!!)

    My son’s school had a “bike to school” day this fall and that is what you do to build a community of cyclists… They had safety workshops and went over the rules of cycling safely. I hope that they do this regularly (and even a few times a year!) With programs like that we can build a community of cyclists who can really use a safe and sound cycling routes across our city.

    Better Bike Lanes not NO Bike Lanes. Most sincerely.

  • Am i missing something?

    Yes that PPW is approximately a mile away from Atlantic Yards; on its best day AY will have 20K visitors, of which a substantial percentage will not drive, and of those that drive few will come alone, and of those who drive, most will find PPW goes in the wrong direction….

    So yes what you are missing is that AY will have a negligible effect on PPW traffic.

  • “”By cobblehiller on March 8, 2011 10:14 AM
    “OY”.
    I HEARD that, cobble, even over here on PPW.”

    I didn’t even post “OY”.

    But I will now…. OY!

  • I’m pretty sure Weiner was making a joke…

  • “By cobblehiller on March 8, 2011 10:47 AM
    I didn’t even post “OY”.”

    “By cobblehiller on March 8, 2011 10:14 AM
    “Charlie Sheen’s latest rant online is scary”
    Cripes, there’s a new one…OY.”

    Ummmm, cobble, don your reading glasses and check out your 10:14am OT post. ^^^

  • Also… why is the loooooong process including lots and lots of community involvement (in fact it was a Park Slope community board initiative) getting lost in this story? The DOT didn’t just wake up one day an install this bike lane. And THIS is why this is a frivolous lawsuit.

    If it doesn’t get thrown out of court quickly, I’ll lose even more faith in rational humanity.

  • Atlantic Yards has nothing to do with PPW. AY is near every major train & the LIRR. If 2,000 extra people a night drive to games, I would be shocked.

    Secondly, anyone going to South Brooklyn would take Ocean Parkway home and anyone going to East Brooklyn would take Eastern Parkway.

    The only people who would use PPW would be Park Slopers, and then, they’d have to be a bit bonkers to drive a mile to park at Atlantic Yards for a concert or basketball game.

    Doesn’t mean that Schumer and his wife (and Anthony Weiner, who was NOT joking) aren’t fucking assholes.

  • BoerumHill

    22 POST lead over the Open Thread. I’m looking up at a post I haven’t read yet (haven’t read any of them yet, actually), and it ends in “f&*%ing @#$holes”.

    Over/under 200?

  • drove down PPW this weekend. I think the bike lane makes the street ugly. I used to think it had a majestic feel (wide blvd fronting the park). Now it just looks like a congested every street.

  • “Ummmm, cobble, don your reading glasses and check out your 10:14am OT post. ^^^”

    I finally figured out where YOU COPIED that from! : P

    Glasses on, ginko biloba taken!

  • Would someone please post what Anthony Weiner said???

  • “drove down PPW this weekend. I think the bike lane makes the street ugly. I used to think it had a majestic feel (wide blvd fronting the park). Now it just looks like a congested every street.”

    really? i think it looks way better:

    http://gothamist.com/2011/01/20/prospect_park_west_bike_lane_study.php#photo-1

  • bedstuy11216 — Who CARES!?!

    1st of all… it never looked majestic. It hasn’t looked “majestic” for 80 years. It was a 3-lane road lined with parked cars and folks driving 50 mph and honking.

    2nd of all… You should stroll on the sidewalk. Ya know, the way folks would experience the “majesty.” The sidewalk on the park side now has a much wider feel because the parked cars are now another 15 or 20 feet away.

    I would have no problem if they reduced the road to a Bus and Emergency Vehicle lane on one side and a bike lane on the other. Then filled the rest of grass and pavers. It would be an awesome greenspace. And I bet it would look truly majestic!

  • just as Dan Savage ruined Rick Santorum with the “Santorum = the lube & excrement mix after anal sex”; Chuck “Putz” Schumer and Anthony “little” Weiner will be dogged by their stupid take on the PPW bike path.

  • Sorry, the idea that AY will have no effect on traffic is completely and utterly off base.

    It’s not just 20,000 people a few times a week. Initially there were several thousand apartments as well. I know we’ve given Ratner tens of millions to build affordable housing that hasn’t appeared yet, but it’s reasonable to expect at least some of the residential units to appear at some point.

    The Times did a study of the arena traffic several years ago and showed major gridlock for miles in every direction. It doesn’t take a large uptick in total traffic volume to generate problems. It’s very likely that people living on the side streets around AY will see their streets turned into major thoroughfares.

    Case in point – check out State and Clinton Streets every rush hour.

  • dittoburg

    It did previously have more of a feel of grand spaciousness than it does now. You could regain it by banning car parking completely there. After all, no-one seriously expects to be able to find a parking space in Park Slope anyway, so whats the loss?

    BTW, when it somes to Gibson Dunn comparing potential corporate business from connected peeps versus potential corporate business from a shower of flipflopping facebooking cyclists….

  • Actually in most cities in Europe taxis are consider a form of public transport — so in my idea above, taxis and car services would also be able to go down PPW… that should keep these rich NIMBYs happy and offset the idea that a bus (and the people that ride buses) might disgrace their street.

    Hmm… The bus like that used to go down PPW was canceled. Was it do to ridership and the usual MTA calculus, or was there a request by a group called “Neighbors for Better Bus Routes” asking the route to be shut down.

    Logical right?

  • Thanks, ty. Very kind of you considering we quibbled earlier over what constitutes appropriate pro bono work.

  • Tybur6 – you are right that the “traffic calming” initiative came out of the Community Board. My concern is that the design process and the data accumulation pre- and post-configuration has some weaknesses — ie number of bikes (did they count the bikes on the park bike lanes and sidewalks both pre- and post- not clear to me), did they count the speed of bikes on park lanes, sidewalks in the park, sidewalks on the street, what exactly is an “accident” pedestrian or vehicle (car or bike related)… I also have a question about the meaning of a slowing traffic “on average” — true that during congested times the traffic moves more slowly but there are plenty of cars still breaking the rules of speed at other times and now have less room to maneuver when they run into a situation.

    I’m not questioning the underlying goal of this by the Community Board effort at all – I’m just questioning the process that got us to where we are today and would hope that with a bit more time at the table we can reach a solution to better meet that initial goal for all constituents!

  • CGar — I will never forgive you for that, but I have compartmentalized it appropriately.

  • ty, haven’t seen you in the OT lately. Where you been hiding? Also, we’re gathering at Montero’s this Friday if you’d like to join us, and assuming we didn’t scare you off at Sycamore. :-)

  • I don’t go to the OT anymore… I can’t keep up and I’ve been really busy. (Though my posting today may suggest otherwise.) So, if I go there it’s usually progressed by 80 comments since the last time I looked. My little brain can’t handle it.

  • TY – I miss the bus enormously! Better Bus Routes…count me in.

  • I do not think Weiner was making a joke. He was lining up future votes.

  • Crossing PPW is worlds safer now- particularly evenings/early mornings when people used to cruise down at 100MPH. Suggest that the residents of PPW get used to this change. Surely the critical mass folks could think of some funny ways to drive the point home to Marty, Schumer, and others.

  • slopefarm

    “The current set up certainly impacts the “historic character of the area.” The DOT should get rid of all bike and car lanes and limit PPW to horses and animal-drawn carts.”

    Actually, bicycles would be historically consistent with the PPW architecture as long as the men wore suits and bowlers, the women wore big ruffly dresses and easter bonnets, and the bikes had those enormous front wheels.

    Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do . . .

  • greenwoodgeneral – sorry I don’t agree – evenings and early mornings are not heavy congestion periods and cars (and bikes!)are running along at pretty good speeds still in my experience. I go to work at 7AM and walk my dog in the evenings. When crossing PPW at those times I’m still very watchful of speeding vehicles and if anything am more concerned about watching for faster bikes on the path ways that don’t have lights….(still on sidewalks too..not so fast as on the path but that is the same as before).

  • “The Times did a study of the arena traffic several years ago and showed major gridlock for miles in every direction. It doesn’t take a large uptick in total traffic volume to generate problems. ”

    You mean like all the “studies” that said Ikea in Red Hook would cause gridlock, or the Lowes in Gowanus, etc, etc, etc.

    BTW – please link/cite this ‘study’

  • for those of you who spend too much time on blogs and facebook to actually read a newspaper, Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said that the fist thing he would do if elected mayor of NYC would be to demolish the %#&$%# Bloomberg bike lanes.

  • ^^ i read the weiner quote on a blog :-P

  • dh, I heard him on TV. He didn’t seem to be joking.

  • Biff Champion

    Slopey at 11:52…FUNNY!!

  • PPW needs to be a two-way street. This is necessary to reduce traffic throughout the Slope. Right now, the only way to get through GAP from Park Slope is to go on Union Street, which gridlocks 8th Avenue and creates a noisy polluting traffic jam on Union Street every day. DOT has objected to this because it would necessitate an additional cycle in the already complex GAP traffic light regimen. By creating a PPW bike lane, where there are already numerous bike alternatives through the park, the 2-way PPW becomes impossible.

    Also, I agree with those (Weiner?) who argue that the new parking lane interferes with PPW’s visual identity as a grand tree lined boulevard terminating in a triumphal arch. Among the idea of Landmarking a neighborhood is to maintain this kind of unique character, which is affected not only by brick and mortar modification, but by these “softer” changes as well. This is why we don’t have parking in Prospect Park- it would be visually intrusive to a treasured urban landscape. I maintain that visually narrowing PPW is similarly discordant.

  • “dh, I heard him on TV. He didn’t seem to be joking. ”

    oh yeah – he was totally serious.

    even though i’m pro bike lane, weiner seems pretty awesome.

  • Weiner sucks,
    Schmucky Schumer and Weiner both posture endlessly for political gain while letting
    the Gateway National Recreation Area go down the drain.
    Don’t believe me? Go take a look at the condition of
    Riis Park, it’s become a dumping ground.
    What should be a jewel of a recreational area for Brooklyn, right on the Atlantic is falling apart and these two losers couldn’t even get some funding together while the Fed is on a Trillion dollar spending spree.

  • PKSLPMOM:

    It’s pretty clear you’re just a stalking horse for these NIMBY/bike lane hater groups.

    -You’ve been on Brownstoner “since 2011″.
    -Your first-even post was on Feb 25.
    -All your posts are on the bike lane.
    -You write these long, carefully crafted comments in which you spend most of your time spinning the issue by “questioning the process” and trying to slow things down. You talk about how you’re not “against”, you just want things to be “better.”

    Example:

    “I’m not questioning the underlying goal of this by the Community Board effort at all – I’m just questioning the process that got us to where we are today and would hope that with a bit more time at the table we can reach a solution to better meet that initial goal for all constituents!”

    Do you actually write this stuff yourself, or have you been given talking points?

    Also, I have to say your choice a user name (“Park Slope Mom”) seems particularly cynical. How old are your kids? Are they 7 or 27? (Your profile says you”ve lived here since 1983, so I’m guessing closer to 27.) As a “mom”, do you want seven year old kids riding in traffic lanes on PPW? In an unprotected bike lane on 2nd St. or 5th Ave? Running over “senior” on the sidewalk? And how do you get your small kids from 3rd & PPW to Grand Army Plaza and back? Have them ride uphill loops for 3.35 miles through Prospect Park?

    Everything about your posts is contrived. At least you’ve created your account in your own name,so we can Google you.

  • Legion — The National Parks Service and National Forest Service has been decimated in the past decade. Riis is the least of our worries when it comes to public park lands!

  • “Riis is the least of our worries when it comes to public park lands!”

    Well it concerns me alot since it’s the closest real beach to my home.
    Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and what have those two brought home to New Yorkers?

    I think they could fall into a barrel of boobs and come out sucking their thumbs!

  • fuplease: Good job unmasking Astroturf mom.

  • Weiner is a “WEENER”. He sulks when he doesn’t get his way in an interview and talks down on the public like they are all morons and he knows what is best. So we should just listen to him. He must have been beaten up too much when he was a kid and is taking out his pent up aggression now. I don’t know how he gets elected. If he ever becomes mayor NYC is doomed. He’s an idiot.

    Bike Lanes: Leave them there, BUT, I want to see police officers on bikes stopping all the bikers going through red ligths, down the street the wrong way, and riding the sidewalks, and yes clocked rfor speeding (we do have a 25 MPH speed limit and they are not exempt) cited with traffic violations. Watch them cry like a bunch of “WEENERS” when they have to pay up!

  • I hear ya Legion. I’m just sayin’ when it comes to the National Parks, the Gateway Recreation Area is not going to feel irreparable damage (generally speaking). If it falls into total disrepair and a looks like 1980s Coney Island, you can throw some cash at it and it’s fixed (generally speaking).

    But the funding has also been slashed for wildlife preserves and national parks like Yellowstone and Dinosaur National Monument. They’re not getting funding either and can be *permanently* harmed by bad/inadequate stewardship.

    (Of course Gateway also has some very sensitive ecosystems that should be protected — and I honestly hope that’s what the Parks Dept is spending their resources on… )

  • ou812 — as has been said a million times before. Ticket like crazy! ESPECIALLY the bikes going the wrong way…

    But *do not* use police resources to enforce cycling laws when cars are allowed to run amok. The only enforcement I see is a few red light cameras.

  • Dear Park Slope Mom –

    It seems to me your basic position is that the DOT is corrupt — they are lying about their data that shows significant safety improvements on PPW. There’s no other way to understand your continued opposition to this very successful redesign — you think the DOT invented its data.

    But why? Do you really, truly believe that there is a vast conspiracy to build unnecessary, unsafe, unwelcome bike lanes (when in fact, the PPW redesign was done with extensive community input)?

    I guess you must — hence your belief that your own anecdotal observations on the effect of the redesign on safety trump whatever independent consulting firm the DOT hired to study PPW pre and post redesign.

  • Fuplease – I can assure you I am not a “talking point” person and have been (as I noted on my profile) reading brownstoner and enjoying it for years. I work during the day and shouldn’t be blogging but this issue is one I care significantly about and one where I was stunned to see such imbalance in views expressed.

    My kids are 17 and 11. We would never let our kids ride their bikes on PPW nor out of the park until they were over 10yrs old and we were more confident of their ability to pay attention. If they’d go down to 7th ave they’d use unprotected Garfield and come up unprotected 1st st.

    In fact, my older son crashed on his bike at 8th ave and 1st when he was about 12yrs old and narrowly missed being hit by a car. That was it for him and he didn’t ride his bike again out of the park until a year or two ago.

    We would use bikes to go to baseball and soccer games in the park and when returning would use the sidewalks and go against car traffic in the park road back home (breaking the rules)or walking it – thus our support for two-way bike access in our area.

    I stand by my concern about the configuration of the travel lanes finding it to raise a different set of safety issues. I see nothing wrong with addressing those issues to work together with everyone to meet the goals of calmer traffic and better bike lanes. I apologize if I sound like I’m on a soap box – not intended. I was a govt major and care immensely about public policy and building strong communities.

    Why don’t you include your “real name” on your profile… I apologize if you did – may not know how to access it but when I went to your name I didn’t see any details.

  • southbrooklyn: I am not saying that DOT is corrupt at all -I just want them to give more details on the background on the data that they’ve put together to arrive at their conclusion. I think that some information was missed or presented in a way that is not as thorough as it could be.

    I see nothing wrong with policymakers going back to a table if things aren’t working out the way they expected it to, or if their goal was a bit narrowly defined and led to other policy issues coming up that need to be dealt with. WMD search anyone? What a costly policy step we took there.

    I’m not a fan of astroturf myself – but astroturf mom – sounds just fine if that’s what you want to use.

  • South Brooklyn…who knows what motivates these astro turfers. Nothing they say has ever made sense. They just make stuff up.

    Could be that her town car driver can’t double park on PPW in the morning. Or that she’s trying to score points with some politician. Or that she’s paranoid and sees some hipster plot to transform PS into Portland (that horse is out of the barn :-) ). Or that she has some grudge against Bloomberg. Or that she just doesn’t like change.

    Who knows. They_just_don’t_like_it.

    Zinka…thanks for the shout out!

  • “Could be that her town car driver can’t double park on PPW in the morning”

    this is what i’ve always suspected it’s been about all along.

  • Sorry guys…wrong on your interpretation of who I am. No town car for me – subway to and from work every day! We went many years without a car actually – had to get one once our kids were more active in sports.

  • > Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said that the fist thing he would do
    > if elected mayor of NYC would be to demolish the %#&$%#
    > Bloomberg bike lanes.

    That’s unfortunate, because usually I like Weiner.

  • I generally support the efforts of informed citizens to sue autocratic SOB’s like Mayor Bloomberg and his apparently extremely arrogant and grating DOT Commissioner when they believe there is wrongdoing and circumvention of due process. I mean without that, we would be Venezuela.

  • Minard,

    Informed citizens? Do you really think that’s what’s going on here?

    These so-called informed citizens have not offered a shred of data for their claim that the DOT inveted the safety stats on the PPW redesign.

    Absent the “pro bono” services of a highly politically connected law firm, this lawsuit wouldn’t even be taking place.

  • So your point is what? That this group, with this bogus lawsuit, is key to our not becoming *Venezuala*? That’s kind of a stretch, isn’t it?

  • Seems like Norman Steisel is also part of the group against the bike lane.

    I wonder if he is afraid it will limit his access to the hookers he so likes to pick up?

  • PKSLPEMOM:did they count the speed of bikes on park lanes, sidewalks in the park, sidewalks on the street, what exactly is an “accident” pedestrian or vehicle (car or bike related)

    psm, this is ridiculous. What rational person actually thinks that there may be ‘too many bikes’ in these parts? And if so, so what? The bikes will self-police and deal with it, like a congested car artery.

    We’re so hung up on statistics, studies etc that common sense flies out the window. Isn’t it obvious that traffic is slowed and calmed by this change?

    >but there are plenty of cars still breaking the rules of speed at other times and now have less room to maneuver when they run into a situation.

    Insane logic at its finest…the way to deal with ‘unsafe car behavior’ it to give them more lanes and room to do it ?!!!

  • morralkan

    That’s a fantastic idea you have for a greenspace, tybur6,
    Oh wait, they have one there already. It’s called PROSPECT PARK, or did you overlook it?

  • I don’t know what the arguments will be in the suit, but I bet they will be pretty strong. These are not babes in the woods.
    What I meant by not being in Venezuela is that in that country what the president says goes. if a citizen’s group or a journalist disagrees or makes a fuss, they are punished and could even face going to jail. Venezuela was a democracy that is now devolving into an autocracy, which is not a good thing.
    Here in the US we have the right to question government leaders and their deputies. If we believe they have done something wrong, we can take them to court. Believe me, it’s a good thing.

  • It is really hard for me to imagine that with all the serious issues facing the city, state, country, continent, world, solar system, and universe, that anybody actually has time to waste on something as frivolous as the PPW bike lane.

  • more4less

    bike lane thread once again proves to be top ROI subject for this blog

  • morralkan

    There might have been stimulus money to spend on Riis park and other beaches, Legion, but Bloomturd has been spending the stimulus money on bike lanes, medians, and pedestrian malls instead.

    I wanted Wiener to run for mayor against Bloomturd last time and will definitely vote for him this time if he does run.

  • Jaguar, there is nothing frivolous about it. It is an important civic issue. The outcome of the suit could effect many communities as well as the political reputation of high ranking officials. This is grown-up stuff.

  • quote:
    Surely the critical mass folks could think of some funny ways to drive the point home to Marty, Schumer, and others

    no way that will not help the cyclist cause, those critical mass people are total assholes!

    *rob*

  • Minard… it IS frivolous. Not the right to sue, but the SUIT ITSELF. They claim there wasn’t appropriate review or community input — when there was a HUGE AMOUNT. The bike lane didn’t just appear out of nowhere! The simple fact is that these bitchy NIMBYs didn’t get their self-entitled way. The majority of the community got their way! Gaack! God forbid!

  • Morralkan… You do know there is a difference between City government and Federal government, right? The Bloomberg Administration spends money on City things (roads, bike lanes, pedestrian zones, energy infrastructure, sanitation, homeless shelters, etc.) and the Federal Government spends money on Federal things, umm, like Riis Park.

  • OK…when the discussion becomes a dialog between someone giving us a civics lesson on how a bogus lawsuit about bike lanes is saving us from dictatorship, and a retiree who is calling the mayor “Bloomturd”, it’s time for the rest of us to move on.

    Bye now.

  • HEIGHT OF FRIVOLITY!

    CAPS!

    Seriously this is complete BS and I don’t even give a crap – no bike, never over there in the first place – bite me bike scofflaws – but bite me harder you nimby entitled litigious turd gobblers.

  • BoerumHillScott

    Do people really think they are making their argument stronger by using terms like “Bloomturd” and “Emperor Mike?”

    It just seems elementary school to me.

  • The bigger problem is that nobody trusts the way decisions are made in NYC any more. I support bike lanes, but I don’t like the manner that Bloomberg implements a policy without community input. The quotes by DOT officials, true or not, are really unprofessional.

  • Wish they’d put more bike lanes in Manhattan instead of this http://www.34thstreettransitway.org.

  • Tyburg, I wouldn’t throw around words such as “self-entitled” and “bitchy” given the tone of most of the pro-bicycle posts above.
    Do you really believe the majority of the community got its way? Or are you thinking more about your circle of friends?
    I bet an opinion poll of residents on PPW would not remotely show majority support for the bike lanes. Everyone I speak with seems to hate them, but then as everyone knows, I’m no dirty hipster.
    Smart politicians like Weiner would not make such a public statement if “the majority” supports the bike lanes.

  • Minard —

    “Brad Lander, a City Council member whose district overlaps part of the lane, conducted a survey last year that found that more than 70 percent of residents in Park Slope, Brooklyn, supported the lane, although only about half of the residents on Prospect Park West were in favor.”

    It’s in the NYT Article linked above.

    I would also ask you *why* do you and all of your friends hate bike lanes (this one or bike lanes in general). If you answered really honestly, I bet you would arrive at a very narrow-minded, short-sighted, bitchy, self-entitled reason.

    But you’d have to actually answer it honestly.

  • “Do you really believe the majority of the community got its way? ”

    “I bet an opinion poll of residents on PPW would not remotely show majority support for the bike lanes”

    i think you’re confusing the entire “community” with “residents of PPW”

    you realize the majority of the community can be in favor of the bike lane, even if all of PPW residents aren’t, right?

  • BoerumHillScott

    The people I know in Park Slope who I have discussed the issue with, including one family who lives on 8th and has a car, support the bike lane.

  • more4less

    a few more bike threads and we should see some primo bike ads come thru on the google ad banners here

  • East New York

    “Go take a look at the condition of
    Riis Park, it’s become a dumping ground.”

    Yeah, I know. And it’s pissing me off. Someone needs to get on that.

  • Woah. Just read the bit over on Streetsblog about the threat letter sent by one of the NBBL lawyers. Pretty sad.
    In fact I hope it has the reverse effect: Boycott Steve Spirn.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/02/25/gibson-dunn-attorney-jim-walden-blog-comment-%E2%80%9Cpotentially-libelous%E2%80%9D/comment-page-2/#comment-288947

  • I am having a hard time understanding the persistent references to cars, buses, bus routes, taxis, traffic, etc. when arguing for or against a bike lane. One has nothing to do with the other. Slowing the cars down could have been accomplished without ever adding a bike lane. Adding the bike lane will not result in changing bad driving behaviour. The two are mutually exclusive. Keep your statistics to yourself.

    PS.
    Taxis are not a form of mass transit.
    Mass transit will never serve 100% of the maases.
    No one should be self policed.
    Bloomberg is a self proclaimed Car Biggot.
    Wiener is an A-Hole!!!

  • ou812 — If you can’t figure out how one part of the transportation infrastructure may impact all of the others… well, you’re the “A-Hole!!”

  • Thank you TB6. Coming from your self rightous narrow minded point of view that the rest of the world should fit into because it suits you fine else they be branded, I will wear that as a badge of Honor. I hope your tiny little brain can handle that?

  • I don’t say this lightly, but anyone who participates in this lawsuit is a moron.

  • NeoGrec

    I can’t respect Chuck Schumer for consistently neglecting local issues in favor of the national stage — until he and his wife decide their grudge match with Iris’s successor is worthy of a lawsuit, in spite of the weight of public opinion in favor of the bike lane. Let the campaign to chuck Chuck begin. There are plenty of less smug, self-satisfied dems who could fill his boots and then some.

  • What’s a NIMBY?

  • Gemini — Two examples, Louise Hainline and Iris Weinshall.

  • dittoburg

    If this carries on the city wont have the spare cash to erect the marble statue of Sadik-Khan on the north side of Grand Army Plaza as discussed yersterday.

  • Not
    In
    My
    Back
    Yard

  • All of this so that a few self-entitled rich yuppies will have parking spaces?

  • quote:
    All of this so that a few self-entitled rich yuppies will have parking spaces?

    im pretty sure the people opposing the bike lane and behind the lawsuit are yuppies anymore… gruppies yes, yuppies, no.

    *rob*

  • Why are so many people convinced that Bloomberg’s administration dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s for the PPW bike lane, while at the same time that it cut corners to push AY through? Is it really so incredible to think that DOT’s process of creating the bike lane short-circuited applicable legal requirements? The legal issue isn’t “community input,” but whether certain, technical legal requirements apply, and if they apply, whether they were met. I’m not a municipal law expert, so I can’t say whether plaintiffs have a sound case or not — but I’m also pretty sure that no one posting here has that expertise either, so labeling the suit as “frivolous” is itself an ignorant and frivolous position to take (and if there is someone here who knows this area of the law, then I’d welcome that person’s insights).

  • Bloomberg’s administration had nothing to do with the approvals of Atlantic Yards (though it did offer some subsidies). The entire administrative/approval process was done by ESDC, a state agency.

  • ProfRobert…. Here’s a definition:

    friv·o·lous
    adj \ˈfri-və-ləs\

    1
    a : of little weight or importance b : having no sound basis (as in fact or law)
    2
    a : lacking in seriousness b : marked by unbecoming levity

    So, if this lawsuit doesn’t *technically* fulfill the legal definition of “frivolous,” it still certainly fulfills the other three. And it is clearly a waste of my tax dollars to have to defend against these NIMBYs for a community initiated project.

  • NYGuy7

    Wow, over 100 replies to this.

    What amazes me about this debate is the anti-bike lane crowd was no where to be found when this whole thing was being proposed a couple years ago. If this is such a crisis where people are throwing a tantrum over it you’d think they’d have been showing up to CB6 meetings way back when it was being planned.

  • The design is totally fine, it looks fine if not attractive, and it’s easier and safer to cross the street now. I’m not a rabid pro-bicycle type either; I often find them as much a menace to pedestrians as cars. But I call it as I see it and this lawsuit was filed by a few privileged people who live on PPW who are all put out that the bike lane interferes with parking their car. Entirely frivolous.

  • @zinka: I stand corrected, thank you. Substitute in “West Side Stadium” for “Atlantic Yards.”

    @tybur: Well, if you’re going to pick your own definitions, then sure, you can characterize anything in any way you like. But that doesn’t change the fact that “frivolous” has an objectively real definition in the law, specifically (and I’m paraphrasing here), a lawsuit that has no colorable basis in fact or law, or on a reasonable extension of the law. Nothing on the face of the Petition suggests that is the case, but since neither you are nor I am an expert on what the law requires as part of the process of approving something like the PPW bike lane, saying that the suit is or is not frivolous as a matter of law or fact is simply ridiculous. I’m very comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” Own your ignorance!

    What I gather from your post is that you object to a minority attempting to defeat what you perceive as the majority’s desire for the bike lane. That’s a legitimate objection, but what you’re really complaining about is that the landmarks and environmental laws may *permit* a minority of self-interested people to defeat the wishes of the majority of the community. Your issue is with the law, not with the application, so write your Councilmember.

  • ProfRobert — my point was that there is an everyday definition of “frivolous” that these jokers embody. Something can be seriously stupid, but still fulfill the low threshold of the law.