The transportation committee of Brooklyn Community Board 6, of which I’m a member, voted unanimously last night to approve DOT’s traffic calming and bike lane plan for Park Slope’s 9th Street. The approval came with requests that DOT build a bike lane along Prospect Park West, undertake a curbside management study aimed at alleviating double-parking and that the agency monitor the effects of the new street design over the next year.
A crowd of about 65 people were on-hand for DOT’s presentation and the Q&A period that followed. Supporters outnumbered opponents of the plan by a two-to-one margin, at least. And the composition of the crowd highlighted a stark generational divide, with opponents of seemingly all falling into the 45-to-80 age bracket.
I’m Seeing Green has a report on the meeting and the arguments that were put forward in opposition to the bike lane portion of the plan in particular. The blog notes:
What was missing from it all was a feeling that maybe, just maybe, the roads could be for us all… bikes, cars, trucks, buses and
walkers. Being a strong proponent of shared streets, it was sad for me to see so many staking out their personal positions without regard to the larger picture.
Prior to the meeting, Borough President Marty Markowitz weighed in with a letter of support for the 9th Street "Road Diet" plan. "I believe that it incorporates traffic calming measures which are
much desired by the greater Park Slope community," he wrote. "I would
therefore like to indicate my support for the concepts presented in
this proposal." No word on whether Road Diets would become part of the BP’s annual "Lighten Up Brooklyn" public health campaign.
A staffer from Velmanette Montgomery’s office was handing out letters of support from the State Senator at the front door. And Council Member Sara Gonzalez sent a representative to read a strong letter of support at the beginning of the meeting. Council Member Bill de Blasio has, likewise, expressed support for the plan. State Senator Eric Adams and Assembly Member Jim Brennan, both of whom have expressed doubts about the plan, were not present at the meeting.
Along with the more than 350 letters generated by Park Slope Neighbors, Transportation Alternatives and Streetsblog readers, the approval of these elected officials virtually guarantees that DOT has more than enough public support to go forward with its 9th Street plan regardless of how the full Community Board votes on June 13.
So, good work, folks. I would say that this is a win. But stay tuned!