The crazy and sane parties advocating against and for, respectively, the Prospect Park West bike lane made their cases last night at a public Community Board 6 hearing on the bike lane that was called for a completely different purpose—to decide which proposed improvements to the lane should be recommended to the Department of Transportation. Instead, pro-bike lane attendees came with neon name-tags, adorable speechifying children, and far greater numbers than the annoying rich old people currently suing the city to have the lane removed.
You can read all about what went down at John Jay auditorium last night in the Times, Patch, Brooklyn Paper, or watch the hearing in its epic near-entirety with videos from Brownstoner, Gothamist and NY1, or peruse Brooklyn Spoke’s epic synthesis of all the coverage, but here’s the gist: Bike lane supporters vastly outnumbered the opponents, either four-to-one or eight-to-one depending on whose numbers you trust.
25 supporters of the lane spoke, including a couple kids (awwww!), while 11 opponents voiced their nutty notions. Louis Hainline, president of the erroneously named group Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes told the Park Slope Patch, “What we propose as a compromise tonight, is replacing the protected, [two-way] bike lane, with two sets of [one-way] bike lanes: one on Prospect Park West and one on Eighth Avenue… We don’t want to sue, we didn’t want to sue in the first place. We just couldn’t get a meeting with DOT.”
The Brooklyn Paper reports that Lois Carswell, president of Seniors for Safety, was booed as she took the podium, where she explained that “we would be happy if the lane were moved into the park,” generating more boos, to which she said, “I didn’t ‘boo’ you. I think civility should return to Park Slope.” Carswell’s posse Seniors for Safety, you’ll recall, is the other group (with Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes) suing the city to remove a public amenity that 70 percent of her neighbors like. So, yeah, civility shmivility,
Having heard all this completely tangential testimony, the CB6 will now make its recommendations to the DOT regarding which proposed modifications—including landscaped pedestrian islands, a narrower buffer strip near Grand Army Plaza to make wider lanes for vehicle traffic, and “rumble strips” where the bike lanes approach pedestrian crosswalks—it should implement to make the much-loved lane even lovelier.
And then there’s this, which is a joke, right?