Bike Wars Escalating: Group Plans To Sue Department of Transportation Over Prospect Park West Bike Lane

02/07/2011 2:47 PM |

The Prospect Park West bike lane in happier times.
  • The Prospect Park West bike lane in happier times. JK, it’s actually Copenhagen, where people like safe streets.

As if the Prospect Park West bike lane feud needed any more fuel for its fire (aside from official reports touting its benefits, and objections to those benefits from current and former pols), WNYC reported on Friday that local anti-bike group Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, founded by one of those ex-officials, former Sanitation Commissioner Norman Steisel, is planning to sue the Department of Transportation.

Last week a lawyer working pro bono for the bike lane-haters, one Jim Walden, wrote a letter to the DoT’s commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan asking for the deets on their recent study that seemed to show the benefits of the PPW lane—including less speeding, fewer accidents, fewer cyclists on the sidewalk, and so on. Details of a lawsuit to be filed by the group against the DoT are expected this week.

Walden is donating his time on behalf of a scary cartel of formerly semi-important people, including

Iris Weinshall, the former city transportation commissioner and wife of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. A dean at Brooklyn College. Norman Steisel, the former deputy mayor under Edward Koch and David Dinkins. And the other former deputy mayor, Randy Mastro (under Rudolph Giuliani) who introduced the group to a colleague at his high-powered law firm, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher.

But don’t worry, Louise Hainline, the Brooklyn College dean, tells WNYC: “We’re not saying we don’t want a bike lane in this city.” Phew! You hear that everybody? We can have one! Maybe. (Browntsoner)