This Week: One More Chance to Defend the PPW Bike Lane

If you want to relive the excitement of last October’s rally for the redesigned Prospect Park West, when supporters swamped the opposition, or if you couldn’t make the rally and wish you had the chance to stand with other Brooklynites who support safer streets, we have good news. There is one more public forum to support the new PPW, stand up to its opponents, and show your appreciation for NYC DOT’s efforts to calm traffic while creating room for safer biking and walking.

The Prospect Park West bike lane, January 16, 2010.
The Prospect Park West bike lane, January 16, 2011.

This Thursday, DOT will present its final report on the effects of the redesign to the transportation committee of Brooklyn Community Board 6. We know from the preliminary data that the street redesign has curbed dangerous speeding without causing congestion. We know from the survey data collected by the local City Council members that the project enjoys broad public support. Still, a small but well-organized group of bike lane opponents want to go back to the old speedway configuration, and they weren’t shy about speaking up at the last CB meeting on the project.

You can expect more reporters, microphones and cameras to be trained on the event this Thursday when DOT presents its data. Supporters need to pack the room and make a strong demonstration that Brooklynites want their streets to stay safer.

Also on the calendar this week:

  • Wednesday: Manhattan CB 4 discusses the results of DOT’s Safe Streets for Seniors Program, as well as the potential for pop-up cafés in the area. 6:30 p.m.
  • Also Wednesday: NYMTC presents its recommendations for the Canal Street area and hears public input twice on Wednesday. They’ll be downtown at 3:00 p.m. and in Chinatown at 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: The main event. Head down to the Old First Reformed Church (729 Carroll Street at Seventh Avenue) to hear DOT’s findings on the new Prospect Park West and support the redesign. 6:30 p.m.

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

  • da

    Should we wear bike helmets to the CB6 meeting or is that too corny?

  • butters

    Matte black clothing, headphones and no lights.

  • Please come out for this presentation, folks. You can rest assured that opponents will show up, and that they are working relentlessly behind the scenes to have the bike path ripped out and the third travel lane “restored” to PPW.

  • Larry Littlefield

    So where is community board 6?

  • Larry Littlefield

    OK I see it. What are the odds that someone showing up, other than the opponents, will actually be allowed to say something?

  • Have to agree with Eric that NBBL will use whatever strings they can pull to get the PPW redesign ripped out. My impression is that NBBL and other pro-car NIMBYs think they can wait out the Bloomberg administration until someone more friendly and open to their misleading “data” occupies City Hall.

    Supporters of the traffic calming project were outnumbered at the last CB6 meeting. Anyone who follows biking in New York knows that perception often trumps reality. Studies and surveys won’t matter if there isn’t visible support for the new PPW. The only remedy for that is to match the reality with the perception and pack the room. Be polite, of course, and focus on the positive, but pack the room.

  • Larry, at the last meeting many people were given the chance to ask questions and speak. All the more reason why we need lots of supporters there. NBBL and co. took a lot of time questioning Brad Lander’s survey methods and presented quite a few “statistics” of their own.

  • Also, for you e-bikers out there: Wednesday evening, January 19, community board 8 votes on a resolution calling for imposition of registration requirements (license plates) on electric motor powered bicycles. 6:30 at the Ramaz School, 129 East 85th Street Auditorium. Show up at 6:15 to sign up for the right to give 2 minute statement at beginning of meeting.

  • Peter

    Is the PDF linked to in the CB6 calendar the presentation that the DOT will be giving?

    Because that’s a pretty compelling set of statistics that they provide – safer riding, calmer traffic, and yet travel times and volumes are almost completely unaffected.

  • mike


    While the actual facts and stats may be compelling, we are not dealing with rationality here. PPW supporters need to turn out in person, in force.

  • Peter


    Totally understood – great product does not mean great result. Salesmanship is still required, and yes, numbers do count.

  • Moocow

    See you peeps there.

  • Cars against cyclists & pedestrians #urbanism #planning #design #transportation / The Guardian / via @guardian

  • Peter, thats’ the preliminary data release from early December, and yes, it clearly illustrates the success of the PW redesign. This presentation should include additional data, including pre- and post- safety data, as well as recommendations for tweaking the project, perhaps including plans to replace the at-grade pedestrian refuges with concrete islands.

    Larry, the transportation committee, as Doug pointed out above, generally allows questions and comments from the general public, so yes, if you wanted to ask or state something, you should have the opportunity to do that.

  • dporpentine

    I plan on being there. And I plan to haul a very reasonable, open-minded, soft-spoken ferociousness along with me.


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