28 October 2010
That's right. In New York City you have to rally to keep bikes lanes!
It was one week ago when the early-morning rally to SAVE Prospect Park West's two-way protected bike lanes took place. The event garnered a lot of media attention and with camera crews/photographers abound it didn't occur to me at the time to take pictures myself and therefore only have the image above to share. The turn out of supporters was really great -- the NYTimes reported 150-200 came to support keeping the bike lane and that 50-70 came to protest it. (This estimate may be low since it took place from 8am-9am which is prime work commute time and many people stopped by in support but seemingly had to leave just as we encountered the group of protesters.) The thought that people would oppose the following effects that the new street design which removed one lane of car traffic in just a few months (illustrated below by StreetFilms.org) baffles me:
IRONICALLY - and I'm not sure how many people heard about this - but DURING the rally there was a terrible car accident around the corner at the intersection of Grand Army Plaza and Flatbush caused by none other then A SPEEDING CAR. The accident sent seven people to the hospital. Terribly sad.
While the saga of the little protected bike lane along Prospect Park West continues... the dreamer in me can't help but picture the day the issue being but to rest. Just imagine everyone respecting for each others safety and following the DOT's advice:
Those bright green (temporary foam core-backed) signs above were placed along Prospect Park West earlier this month in anticipation of thousands of people coming to the park due to a big event. They were are all up for just that one weekend. But due to the education needed to reform people's habits -- perhaps the DOT should make more (more permanent) signs!
Also, if you are a New Yorker take a few minutes and voice your opinion on the Prospect Park West bike lane in THIS SURVEY organized by Brooklyn Community Board , Councilmembers Brad Lander and Councilmember Stephen Levin.