Norman Steisel, Traffic-Calming Denier

The Brooklyn Paper has the quote of the day, from Norman Steisel, opponent of the bikeway in front his house his neighborhood and denier of the data showing that the new Prospect Park West is safer:

“We’re skeptical,” said Steisel, whose group is called Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes. “They’ve been opportunistic about the way they’ve used their numbers.”

Steisel said that current Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is so driven by her passion for bicycles that she may be “pushing facts so hard that they don’t paint a proper picture of the truth.”

…said the man whose group inflated its own support by a factor of 50.

  • How many letters of support are there for the bike lane? Using the standard multiplier effect of 50:1 for constituent letters, these letters must represent hundreds of thousands of happy people.

    Or does that bogus term only apply to letters from people who are against safety?

  • Marty Barfowitz

    So when Norman and the NBBLers finally get a hold of the DOT consultant’s raw traffic count sheets and tally it up for themselves and see that the data is accurate will they apologize to Sadik-Khan for this slanderous bullshit?

  • fdr

    How can facts not paint an accurate picture of the truth, no matter how hard they are pushed?

  • Jabir

    Actually Steisel doesn’t even live on PPW.

    He lives way down Garfield Place, almost all the way to 8th Avenue.

  • Lois Carsbad

    Marty, you should know as well as anyone that Norman can’t add.

  • Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes is rather misleading; a better name for the group would be Neighbors against Any Bike Lanes.

  • Ben,

    Thanks so much for lighting up the 5bbc meeting last night, and communing with us after at a bicycle friendly restaurant! Here you are up in lights:
    Will be sure to get the word out about the value of donating to Streetsblog. People who spend tons of money on hardware need to be reminded that it’s of no use unless you can actually ride that hardware. With the current “crackdown”, I should redo this video and see if there’s a lot more action in the bike lanes i.e. cops issuing tickets …


  • Larry Littlefield

    “So when Norman and the NBBLers finally get a hold of the DOT consultant’s raw traffic count sheets and tally it up for themselves and see that the data is accurate will they apologize to Sadik-Khan for this slanderous bullshit?”

    They’d better put anything they release to these folks on line. Otherwise, they might be hit with a claim that the numbers are half, and when they release it online later, be hit with a claim cases were added.

    And they ought to use those hose things — and make damn sure they are tamper proof. And advertise that after a winter without plowing, the bike lane is clear for those who want to use it.

  • What do Steisel et al. at “Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes” hope to get out of this? They do not want a “better”, improved bike lane: what they want is no bike lane on PPW — back to the good old days of highway speed traffic. Why is that so important to them?

    Am I wrong? Are they actually lobbying for a better bike lanes, or for none at all?

  • As far as I can tell, their view is that a better bike lane is one located somewhere else.

  • J

    You dispute facts with facts. NBBL has no facts, other than a crappy bike count at the far end of the bike lane.

    I agree with Larry, though. Let them have all the data to play with. It’s DOT’s data, so any negative findings they create will be inherently admitting to DOT’s positive findings. If they think it’s not accurate data, let them go out and disprove it. Knowing the engineers at DOT, the data is really, really solid. Also, it take a LOT of time and money to conduct this type of thorough evaluation.

  • NiBBLers A Joke

    So because NBBL (who proved they have no transportation expertise by placing their camera for counting in the worst possible spot) got a count about half of what the NYC DOT did…I am wondering if other neighborhoods/people do the same for roads? Can the rest of us then fudge the data then claim a vast conspiracy in the press?

    For example, we all know that the FDR drive carries a lot of cars, every day, morning/noon/night. BUT if you used the “logic” that these NBBL people extol – one could put a camera near where the FDR/highway ends right before the S.I. ferry off ramp, of course you would get a fraction of those that actually use the FDR.

    But using their NBBL “logic” the camera counts there should represent an accurate count, right? Thus we should be able to petition the city that since no one uses the FDR they should demolish the entire thing. I mean I guess no one uses the FDR right?

    Of course not. It’s preposterous. As preposterous as their “logic”.

  • We tried to put our camera somewhere other than in 9 Prospect Park West, but with 57% of the people along the street actually approving of the bike lane, and with support building the farther down PPW you got from Grand Army Plaza, we had a hard time finding somewhere else.

  • StevenF

    If Norm Steisel ran the Sanitation Dept the way he wants the DOT run, NYC would still have pigs eating the garbage in the streets.

    Now that’s restoring the historic way to collect garbage.

  • J

    I imagine this being an editorial cartoon:

    Markowitz is at the wheel of an oversized convertible (labeled ‘political influence’), which is driving down the PPW bike lane causing cyclists to crash and pedestrians to dive out of the way. Marty has his head turned completely around to the passengers, Steisel, Weinshall, and Marcia Kramer, and is screaming “This is a conspiracy!”.


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