City Council Member Brad Lander and supporters of the Prospect Park West bike lane rallied on the steps of City Hall this afternoon in response to yesterday’s lawsuit, filed by a group of well-connected Park Slope residents who want to rip the lane out.
“A small group of opponents have chosen to bring a baseless lawsuit in an effort to block further safety improvements, to eradicate the lane, to go back to three lanes of traffic on Prospect Park West, the speedway that it was before, and essentially to impose their will on the community through a lawsuit,” said Lander.
The council member, who represents much of Park Slope, called the bike lane “an enormous success” and noted that it not only has been proven to reduce speeding and enhance safety, but also has the strong support of most of the local community. In a survey sponsored by Lander and Council Member Stephen Levin’s offices, which received 3,000 responses, 78 percent of Brooklynites and 71 percent of Park Slope residents said they supported the new design. According to Lander, the idea for such a survey actually came from opponents of the bike lane, who expected the results to go the other way.
The two-way, separated bike lane was the result of a multi-year community process and numerous votes by Community Board 6. “I don’t see how you could have a more extensive process than we had here,” said Lander.
Lander was joined by several Park Slope community leaders, including Park Slope Civic Council president Michael Cairl, Park Slope Neighbors co-founder Eric McClure, and Gary Reilly, the chair of CB 6’s environmental protection committee. After the 73-year-old Gene Aronowitz explained how the Prospect Park West bike lane has enabled him to stay active, Lander quipped, “We have seniors for safety and neighbors for better bike lanes right here at the press conference.”