Chuck Schumer’s Office Has No Comment on Prospect Park West

U.S. Senator and Prospect Park West resident Chuck Schumer. Photo: Noah Kazis

Streetsblog has contacted Senator Chuck Schumer’s press office twice asking for comment on the Prospect Park West bike lane and received no reply.

Reports have recently surfaced personally tying Schumer to efforts to reverse the Prospect Park West redesign, which enjoys broad popular support according to a web survey of nearly 3,000 Brooklynites.

Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, is a former DOT commissioner and prominent ally of a group looking to remove the bike lane.

David Seifman at the Post reported earlier this month that Schumer has spoken to City Council members about his displeasure with the bike lane.

Jim Walden, an attorney with the high-powered law firm Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, has given his services free of charge to bike lane opponents, who have been threatening to sue the city to remove the lane. Walden is a top Schumer contributor and was on the Senator’s shortlist for a U.S. Attorney nomination in 2009. The anti-bike lane group he’s representing pro bono is based out of 9 Prospect Park West, one of the most exclusive properties in Brooklyn and the same building where Schumer and Weinshall reside.

Schumer, however, has not taken any public position on the redesign and his office has remained silent on the issue.

  • Glenn

    Sounds like it’s time to set-up “Schumer Watch”. Again, I reiterate my offer of $100 to anyone that gets a photo of Schumer riding in the PPW bike lane. He cannot say that he’s an avid cyclist AND does not use the nice protected bike lane in front of his building. A bonus $50 if the photo shows him using the unique contraflow side of the bike lane.

  • fdr

    Someone should go to his Sunday press briefing and ask him. He’s always making some kind of announcement on Sunday, just a matter of finding out where.

  • Steven F

    Iris can’t stand not having her limo double parked in front of the house.
    Her convenience trumps our cyclist safety.
    End of discussion.

  • J

    @Glenn, do one better and get Iris using it. They have a bunch of bikes in the apartment, according to old news stories. If they go anywhere on bike, they almost surely would use the new lanes.

  • J

    New York Magazine has picked up the story, and it doesn’t make NBBL look good:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/02/are_powerful_forces_trying.html

  • Seriously J,
    a photo of Chuck and or Iris using the Prospect Park Bike Lane is worth considerably more than $100. Even a photoshopped version is worth more than that!

    Schumer and Weinshall probably carry their bikes out in the dead of night and toss them in the back of their tinted-glass SUV. The Bicycling Paparazzi would have to spend a fair amount of time hiding in the bushes and behind parked cars along Prospect Park West before they caught those two unaware.

  • rlb

    Is the only thing saying Schumer is against the bike lane still just one measly quote in one measly article?

    He’s not interested in getting involved with this.

  • T.R.

    I just can’t see as this continues to snowball story after story – I know someone also pushing for another follow up story for another paper – that our loves-to-bicycle, League of Conservation Voter (95%), green guy Chuck Schumer continues to sacrifice his reputation – just to come out against livable streets improvements for children, families, and senior citizens with a complete street design that works for all users.

    Keep calling him Streetsblog. Call him every day. Put up what his office says every day and – yes – call it the Schumer Watch! Because more and more people are becoming interested.

  • T.R.

    fdr might be right….find out where his Sunday press conference will be and invite folks to show up with signs every Sunday until he answers these questions.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m inclined to give the Senator a pass on this until I see more evidence.

    After all, health care reform did pass (albeit in a form I wouldn’t have chosen) and he didn’t try to water down financial regulatory reform.

    Bashing Schumer because of his wife’s position doesn’t seem fair, and evidence of his involvement is coming from one quote in the Post. I’d just as soon keep the incentive for him to stay out of this local issue in place.

  • First Chuck Schumer was instrumental in removing crucial banking and finance regulations leading to the financial meltdown.

    Now he is attempting to stop the advance of a modern net-zero transportation system in New York City despite the fact that estimated costs of climate change are in the many $trillions.

    You can’t make this stuff up; kind of provides the feeling that we’ve got front-row seating watching the collapse of civilization.

    – Climate change could contribute as much as 10% to portfolio risk over the next 20 years

    – The cost of impacts on the physical environment, health and food security could exceed $4 trillion.

    – Climate change related policy changes could increase the cost of carbon emissions by as much as $8 trillion.

    “Trillions At Stake From Climate Change Over the Next 20 years,” The Seitch Blog, http://bit.ly/gnPUAp

    “Energy and Global Warming news for February 16: Trillions at stake from climage change by 2030,” Climate Progress, http://bit.ly/hFu3pn

  • EC Herkimer

    Charles Schumer is lobbyist’s dream date. His slippery (apparently silent) attempt at behind the scenes manipulation of NYC politics highlights the intense support of the automobile and petroleum indusrties to his campaigns—and against people who use alternate, clean and cheap transportation.

    Even more ironic is how he peppers in little quality of life outrage issues in his disingenuous press briefings (maybe inspired and assisted by reporter Marcia Kramer). We need fresh blood in politics in Brooklyn and not to stand for the old time political crooks who profit off corporate handouts. For instance, Lincoln Restler would have more ethics and sense in his political work for the citizens of Brooklyn. It is never too early to start organizing to dump the sleazy Schumer and have him riding tricycles around Prospect Park along with his other loud-mouthed political buddy, Marty Markowitz.

  • eveostay

    “I’m inclined to give the Senator a pass on this until I see more evidence.”

    I’m not. If his position was misstated by the Post’s sources he should clear that up publicly.

  • MattTheCommenter

    I emailed the senator to politely let him know that I was unhappy with this report. You can do so to: http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/contactchuck.cfm

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