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SoHo Car Owners Mobilizing to Save Parking, Fight Bike Lanes

11:58 AM EDT on April 18, 2007

The SoHo Alliance is at it again. The neighborhood organization that specializes in persecuting street vendors and artists rather than helping to figure out ways to carve out a bit of street space for them and all of the people over-spilling SoHo's sidewalks, is now mobilizing against the City's plan to install new bike lanes along Prince and Bleecker Streets.

Their goal? Prevent "reckless cyclists" from "speeding down busy Prince in their own private lane,
running red lights, and hitting unwitting tourists and residents." They also want to preserve the 126 car parking spaces that currently hog up a whole lot more of the space on Prince Street than those evil street artists. Sound familiar?

Livable Streets advocates will need to show up in force at the full meeting of Manhattan's Community Board 2 to make sure that the full board supports the transportation committee's recommendation to install bike lanes. Find the meeting details in this e-mail from the SoHo Alliance:

Subject: Emergency: Community Board Meeting ThursdayFrom: Sean Sweeney, SoHo Alliance Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 18:12:48 -0400

Hi,

In August, the SoHo Alliance proposed a dedicated, protected bike lane as part of the reconstruction on Houston Street.  This was supported by the Community Board and by all our elected officials.  

D.O.T. rejected Houston and offered us Prince & Bleecker Streets instead.  DOT said Prince Street was safer, without offering any documentation or statistics.  In fact, DOT wants to turn Houston Street into a high-speed traffic corridor.

Last week the SoHo Alliance sent out emails and flyers to our members along Prince - from the Bowery to Sixth Avenue and from Spring to Houston - seeking comments on this counter-proposal from DOT.

91% of the respondents to last week's survey insisted on Houston over Prince.  Unfortunately, the traffic sub-committee of the community board acquiesced to the DOT and voted for a Prince bike lane.  

This proposal will cost us almost 200 parking spaces to provide for this special bike lane.  126 of these parking spots will be lost on Prince alone.

In addition, there are obvious congestion and safety problems created by some reckless cyclists speeding down busy Prince in their own private lane, running red lights, and hitting unwitting tourists and residents.  

We did not start this project to exchange cyclists injuries for pedestrian injuries.

I am organizing SoHo people to attend the Full Community Board meeting to speak out against this cockamamie and dangerous proposal.  We need to overturn the committee's report.

It is very important for SoHo.   Bodies Count!  

Thursday, April 19th, St Vincent's Hospital, West 12th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues (closer to 7th), Cronin Auditorium, 10th floor.

It starts at 6:30.  You must sign a "speaker's  card" to register your opinion and to speak.  Be sure to write "No Prince Street Bike Lane" on the card.  Arrive no later than 6:50.  It should be over by 8:00.

Please email this to friends and neighbors.

Regards,Sean Sweeney

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