This Week: Defend the Prospect Park West Bike Lane

It’s an exceptionally busy week on the Streetsblog calendar. The action intensifies on Thursday morning, when supporters of safer Brooklyn streets will gather at Grand Army Plaza to defend the Prospect Park West bike lane from opponents who want to remove it and roll back the traffic-calmed PPW to its former three-lane speedway configuration. Turning out a big, friendly, neighborly crowd should have a big impact on the press coverage that is sure to ensue. To tell the organizers that you plan to attend, email rsvp [at] parkslopeneighbors [dot] org.

Plenty of other events would be headliners any other week:

  • Monday: Manhattan CB 7’s Parks Committee discusses the mandatory dismount policy that was enacted in Riverside Park at 72nd and 67th Streets, impeding access to the Hudson River Greenway. 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: The Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability hosts a “Community Conversation” for Lower Manhattan as part of the lead-up to next year’s update of PlaNYC. Let the city know what’s missing from its sustainability plan and what you think is working well. 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Jay Walder sits down with NYU’s Rudin Center to talk about how he’s balancing the agency’s fiscal woes with the desire to improve service. 8:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: The Prospect Park West bike lane will be the subject of dueling rallies this morning. Print and TV media — including CBS2’s Marcia Kramer — will be there with notepads in hand and cameras rolling. To show your support for safer streets, show up at Grand Army Plaza at 8:00 a.m. (and let the organizers know you’re coming).
  • Also Thursday: Help the DOT develop the perfect route for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway through Greenpoint and Williamsburg at a community workshop. 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday: The Municipal Art Society hosts a two-day conference devoted to the concept of livability. Janette Sadik-Khan gives the first keynote. Begins at 9:00 a.m. each day.

Keep an eye on the calendar for updated listings. Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

  • Pete

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen this mentioned on Streetsblog:

    TAKE THE PPW BIKE LANE SURVEY:

    From the Offices of Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Community Board 6:

    http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2010/10/take-prospect-park-west-bike-lane.html

  • Hildagirl

    I cannot take credit for the following thoughtful comment, but wanted to forward it anyway:

    The fight over protected bike paths is now citywide. A setback on PPW could mean a halt to further extension of protected paths on First, Second, Broadway, Eight, Ninth and Columbus. To protect and build on what we’ve got, cyclists have to demonstrate that we are an active, organized constituency that is larger and more effective than our opponents.

    Personally I am bringing my children to also bike in the bike lane during the rally. The presence of children riding safely on Prospect Park West is the best demonstration of how livable streets make a difference.

    Hope to see you there.

  • brian g

    i grew up at/near ppw and i learned to ride a bike at 15. i rode to school in tribeca a few times but stopped b/c it was too dangerous b/c my teenage mind was mostly thinking about girls and didn’t have enough capacity to dodge the 8 million doors, trucks and other dangers around. In college I started biking full time for transport and since then I’ve used my bike to get around every city I’ve lived in or visited (Atlanta, Sacramento, New Orleans, Baltimore, Paris) and I consider myself pretty expert at riding in traffic. If the streets around ppw were still as bad as when I was 15 I’d have no trouble riding them now. However, if the street safety conditions that exist today were there when I was 15 (10 years ago) I might have biked to school way more often. Removing a bike lane is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. You might as well get rid of salads from restaurants and place twinkie vending machines in every subway station. A$$hole riders who like to hit pedestrians and steal the ROW at red lights from cars, pedestrians or other cyclists need to be taken down a notch tho. If you don’t have any emergent need to be somewhere respect the fact that other ppl on the road have as much right to be there as you.

  • BicyclesOnly

    Amen, Hildagirl and Brian G. The most effective way most people can foster modal shift is as parents encouraging and enabling kids to use bikes for transportation. It’s so much easier than trying to convice adult friends! You barely need to apply any pressure, you just have to make it safe and fun. That’s where the bike lanes and paths come in. Do it right, and they’ll ride the rest of their lives.

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