Hundreds of Brooklynites gathered this morning at Grand Army Plaza to show their support for the redesigned Prospect Park West. They made a statement that should be hard for elected officials and the press to miss: Most people who live in the neighborhoods near PPW like biking and walking on the new, traffic-calmed street and don’t want to see those changes taken away.
I peg the crowd size at about 300 supporters. If you want to count heads, here are two more shots that complete the picture…
The rally was organized by Park Slope Neighbors, the Park Slope Civic Council, and Transportation Alternatives in response to an anti-bike lane demonstration that took place on PPW and Carroll Street. After massing at GAP, most of the pro-bike lane crowd walked down PPW to declare their love for the safer street to the gathering of about 70 or so opponents, while a large contingent rode up and down the two-way bike path.
The defining moment of the morning, I would say, came when Carlo Scissura, chief of staff to Borough President Marty Markowitz, rallied the bike lane opponents by telling them the PPW redesign was the vision of “one person” — Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. The large mass of bike lane supporters were standing just a few feet away when he said it.
Scissura’s remark elicited a hearty round of booing on a morning that otherwise was largely free of overt confrontation.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the tape we used to record interviews during the rally was corrupted, so I don’t have the audio and video that I hoped to show everyone. Here are a few more pictures from what was an impressive display of support for safer, bike-friendly streets. Hats off to the organizers and to everyone who showed up.