Marty Markowitz Derails Prospect Park West Bike Lane — For How Long?

A city plan designed to make Prospect Park West safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians has not materialized months after its promised delivery date, the Brooklyn Paper reports, and Brooklynites have Marty Markowitz to thank for it.

marty_markovitz__300x300.jpgA safer path to Prospect Park? Fuhgeddaboudit! Photo: New York Post

The borough president last year fired off a letter to DOT about its proposal for a two-way, parking-protected bike lane on the east side of Prospect Park West, calling it an "ill-advised proposal that would cause incredible congestion and reduce the number of available parking spaces in Park Slope." The project garnered the qualified support of Community Board 6 and was set to be built in September.

Eric McClure of Park Slope Neighbors filed a report for Streetsblog last April on the CB 6 committee deliberations, and described the existing conditions on PPW:

At nearly 50 feet wide and with three travel lanes, the street
encourages high speeds and reckless driving, forces pedestrians to make
long crossings, and lacks dedicated cycling space, despite a high
volume of bicycle traffic. Prospect Park West’s existing vehicle
volume, which peaks at about 1,100 cars per hour, can easily be
accommodated by two lanes, [DOT’s Preston] Johnson said.

In field surveys
last month, DOT found that more than 70 percent of the cars on Prospect
Park West were exceeding the 30 mph speed limit, and at least 15
percent were traveling at 40 mph or faster. From 2005 to 2007, there
were 58 reported crashes on Prospect Park West.

The new design, set to include pedestrian refuge islands and Greenstreets
landscaping, is expected to have a minimal impact on parking, with the loss of about two spaces at each signalized intersection. Yet Markowitz has pegged his objection to this negligible reduction, never mind that everyone who takes the bus, the train,
walks or bikes to this side of Prospect Park — a huge majority —
would have an easier and safer path to get there.

Inexplicably, Markowitz also claims that "the bike lane would be especially problematic during the summer surge in foot traffic," according to the Brooklyn Paper. Actually, no. The bike lane, the traffic calming, and the pedestrian improvements are especially necessary during the summer surge in foot traffic. Not that any of this would necessarily register with Mr. Lights and Sirens himself.

Streetsblog has a message in with DOT to find out if there’s still a timeline to build the Prospect Park West bike lane, or if this important safety measure is on indefinite hold.

  • Jerome is obviously trolling. Ben, what do his nonstop insults (“pasty knock-kneed,” etc.) contribute to the discussion here?

    Greg is civil and tries to be constructive, but the whole idea of “you have to be stuck in auto hell because this doesn’t do enough for poor people” is really problematic.

  • Park Sloper

    Hilarious parody on this issue from William Mullin, a comedian in NYC.

    http://williammullin.com/2010/04/22/strollerlane/

  • Allen

    Why waste tax payer dollars building a bike lane next to park, when you can ride in the park. Taking away traffic lanes will backup Flatbush Avenue and having cars circling blocks will cause pollution in the area. hope the bikers choke on the smog their lane creates.

  • steve

    If you’re opposed to the bike lane like I am, let your views be known to:

    Brad Lander, City Council
    lander@council.nyc.gov

    Craig Hammerman, District Manager Community Board 6
    districtmanager@brooklyncb6.org

    There’s a formal evaluation period following implementation, where the City Council, DOT and 78th precinct will evaluate success/failure of the new lane. I’m sure formal evidence, i.e. photos of congested PPW and unused bike lane will help support your views.

    I’m a 25 year resident of Park Slope, a cyclist and a driver and I think the bike lane is terrible idea for the following reasons::

    • there’s already a bike lane in Prospect Park which runs parallel and is only 100 yards away
    • the park is the destination of most cyclists along PPW and those cyclists have an existing safe option in the park
    . in its prior state PPW, was less congested and wider so cycling along PPW was never an issue to begin with
    • on any given day traffic along PPW is noticeably worse while the bike lane is hardly used
    • traffic congestion is further exacerbated by passenger car parallel parking and school bus / FedEx / UPS / construction truck-related double parking
    • the bike lane has made it more hazardous to people crossing PPW as the bike lane provides for two-way traffic while PPW is one-way
    • the bike lane has made it unsafe for drivers attempting to park on PPW as parallel parking is more precarious
    . the lane has made it dangerous for passengers to exit a parked vehicle due to insufficient shoulder clearance, particularly on the passendger side
    • walking along PPW is now like walking along the BQE with associated fumes, honking horns and stressed-out drivers

    I like/make use of the bike lanes on 2nd, 3rd, Smith St and Boerum Place. All are well designed and implemented with limited negative impact. The bike lane on PPW on the other hand, is a bad idea.

  • there’s already a bike lane in Prospect Park which runs parallel and is only 100 yards away

    Will you stop with these lies already?

  • culprit

    Marty Marowitz is an asshole who rides around in a chauffeur-driven SUV. All he cares about is parking for his fat ass and fat-ass car.

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