The two groups suing the city to have the Prospect Park West protected two-way bike lane that everybody loves removed seem to have, at the end of the day, one major beef with the thing: that while car traffic along PPW goes in only one direction (south-bound) bicycle traffic goes in both, which confuses them, and means they have to look both ways while cross the now much less dangerous street, and that is just not okay. Their solution: move the north-bound half of the bike lane over one block to Eighth Avenue.
The Brooklyn Paper files an update on Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes’ proposal, which would see the PPW bike lane reduced to one south-bound lane, and the floating lane of parking—which currently provides a buffer between motorists and cyclists—moved back to the curb so that cyclists have to watch not only for speeding vehicles but also people opening their car doors. Meanwhile Eighth Avenue, one block west, would inherit the excised north-bound lane. There, the group says car lanes could be narrowed to accommodate the bike lane, while PPW would stay at only two car lanes (rather than adding back the third), though they’d be widened to make it easier to maneuver around double-parked cars.
Anyone who cycles through the Slope at all regularly will tell you that most of the north-south avenues are just too narrow to safely accommodate bike lanes, which is why the Prospect Park West lanes make so much sense, and why this solution makes none. Louise Hainline, president of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, tells the BP that making the vehicle lanes wider in order to accommodate motorists swerving out from behind double-parked cars “will make crossing the street easier and safer for pedestrians,” when in fact it will do exactly the opposite. This “compromise” only makes sense to magical-thinking NIMBYs.