The hearing's format allowed attendees to give 3 minute testimonies and the two groups who have filed a lawsuit against the city to have the street return PPW to a three-lane road without bike lane, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, took there turn to speak. I can't say that every single point they made was not valid but most of it was absurd. (That said the only points I personally agree with is simply better signage and light placements for both peds and cyclists - but more on that later.) Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes feels that "the historic character of the street is being threatened" with the inclusion "historically inaccurate traffic signals and streets signs" and such safety improvements as the white/reflective buffers placed near Grand Army Plaza and pedestrian crossings. Umm, what about the "historic character" of having Fresh Direct trucks parked idling their engines and the fact that we don't ride around on horses anymore -- as their flyer at the event depicts. Don't get me wrong, how lovely would it be to have cobblestone streets without cars all together - but is not a city a constantly evolving and growing nebulous of people and activity? Supports cited how bike lanes improve the liveablity and quality of life for all residents while the fantastic NYC Councilmember Brad Lander made the point of how the bike lanes "extends the park". And what a wonderful addition that is indeed.
|Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes flyer at hearing|
- click to enlarge -
I found it impossible not to notice was how many young families (with babies and kids in tow - esp. during an evening time slot) showed up in support of the lanes. This might very well be a sign of Park Slope's youthful renaissance.