Small, Politically Connected Group Suing City Over Prospect Park West Bike Lane

02/15/2011 9:42 AM |

Prospect Park West Bike Lane

As alluded to in yesterday’s story about bicycle ambulances, the group of grumpy Slopers known as Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes (real name Neighbors for No Bike Lanes) is going to sue the city over the Prospect Park West bike lane, which they demand be either reduced to one lane in the same direction as automobile traffic so as not to confuse pedestrians, or be moved into the park, thus rendering it completely redundant. The scary thing is that the group’s political connections might make their suit a serious threat despite only 22 percent of locals surveyed saying they were opposed to the lane.

The Brooklyn Paper‘s Natalie O’Neill writes that the group, which includes former Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall (wife of pro-bike Senator Charles Schumer), and former Sanitation Commissioner Norman Steisel, will argue in their suit that the city’s Department of Transportation installed the two-way bike lane, removing one lane of car traffic, based on faulty research and incorrect information. Originally the plan was for a one-way lane, they claim, but justifications for the expansion to two lanes, one in either direction, were insufficient.

O’Neill points out the additional matter—that is, in addition to a few cranky locals wasting time and money disputing something that most of their neighbors support and that has had a positive impact on pedestrian, cyclist and automobile safety on the street where they live—that the lawyer taking on the case pro-bono is Jim Walden, a long-time colleague of Sen. Schumer’s who contributed $4,800 to his campaign last year. The Schumer-Weinshall household must be mad tense these days.