Brooklyn CB 6 Unanimously Approves DOT Modifications to PPW Bike Lane

In a unanimous voice vote last night, Brooklyn Community Board 6 passed a resolution supporting NYC DOT’s proposed modifications to the Prospect Park West bike lane. The changes include building raised pedestrian islands, adding bike “rumble strips” at crosswalks, and narrowing the buffer between the bike lane and parked cars at the northernmost end of the street. The resolution includes several other requests, asking DOT to search for ways to add on-street parking spots on PPW and side streets, and to monitor safety stats on the redesigned street for the next three years.

The vote was preceded by a public hearing last month where speakers in favor of keeping the current design outnumbered opponents by about eight to one. The board had previously approved the PPW redesign in a May 2009 vote, and had asked DOT to study the implementation of a two-way separated bike lane in June 2007.

Immediately before last night’s meeting, board chair Daniel Kummer and district manager Craig Hammerman were sent this charming letter from Gibson Dunn attorney Jim Walden, on behalf of the groups suing the city to remove the bike lane (the letter also went out to several members of the press).

We’ll walk through all the distortions in this letter later today. For now, here’s some related reading:

  • A Prospect Park West timeline, including a brief history of community efforts to tame speeding and improve bike access on the street, going back to 2006.
  • Independent experts in the field of street safety have reviewed the plaintiffs’ lawsuit and concluded that DOT’s data is solid and well-presented, while the opponents have cherrypicked data points to fit their conclusions.
  • Is Streetsblog editor emeritus Aaron Naparstek (“The Blogger”) a pawn of the nefarious, traffic-calming-obsessed DOT, or is he someone who’s been involved in neighborhood-level advocacy to improve street safety for several years, trying to defend a popular project from the predations of a U.S. Senator, concerted PR attacks, and frivolous litigation? You decide.

Plus one more sidenote: I’m not sure what point is being made by saying that the city’s first two-way, on-street, parking-protected bike lane doesn’t border a public park, but it’s not true. The Kent Avenue bike lane most certainly does border a public park.

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