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Markowitz Calls Prospect Park West Bike Lane a ‘Disaster’

At a New York City Council hearing, Markowitz continued to speak out against the Prospect Park bike lane

When it comes to bike lanes, Borough President Marty Markowitz is no cheerleader.

Earlier today, the New York City Council Transportation Committee and Chairman James Vacca (D-Bronx) heard testimony on the city's growing bicycle network.

As usual, the was a topic of fierce debate.

Markowitz, who has several times expressed a loud disapproval of the parking-protected, two-way bike lane, called the bike lane a "disaster."

"It increases congestion on the roadway and ruins the aesthetics of one of our city's grandest boulevards," Markowitz testified.

He complained that the lane takes away parking from "parking-starved" Park Slope and that cyclists often fail to yield to pedestrians. Markowitz questioned why Central Park West in Manhattan has received a traditional bike lane, and Prospect Park West had not. He urged that the Borough President's office and affected communities have a greater voice in proposed road changes.

"The DOT claims their policies foster public safety," said Markowitz. "But with all due respect, this isn't about safety—it's about ideology. It's about an ideology whose ultimate goal is to force people out of their cars."

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman also testified before the committee, though perhaps less passionately. He applauded DOT efforts to engage the community, but urged that the planning process needs to be improved even more.

A recent survey released earlier this week by CB6, Council Member Brad Lander and Council Member Steve Levin showed that while three quarters of Brooklynites polled support the Prospect Park West bike lane, only half of those living on or near the boulevard agree.

gregory pelletteri December 10, 2010 at 01:13 AM
it is a joke no more bike lanes
Sandra December 10, 2010 at 06:49 PM
I've lived in Park Slope for over 40 years. The two car lanes on Prospect Park West is not enough for all the traffic. Especially when their is always double parked cars, delivery trucks, ambulettes and Access a Rides double parked. It's an accident waiting to happen. Gives us back our three lanes.
Robert Olson December 12, 2010 at 03:11 AM
I have to agree that this bike lane is a horrendous idea. Its ruined traffic flow due to hoards of double parking by ambulettes, livery cabs , and fresh direct/ delivery trucks. In addition there is a wonderful bike lane that runs through the park that has ample exits for those who only want to travel partway along the west park side. Unfortunately this mayor who thinks hes godlike and his subordinate DOT commissioner who is a complete idiot has implemented his czar like policies and until we get rid of the current administration , it looks like we will have these continued poor decisions rammed down our throats
Alex Cox December 13, 2010 at 01:33 AM
Hey Markowitz, what, is a lane of car-traffic more beautiful somehow? I love the way it looks, I think it's a huge improvement. I'm moving to PPW next month, and the bike lane is one of the most attractive features of the area for me. In addition to making the whole area more pleasant to walk or bike in, it means I can ride without fearing for my life for a change. And Sandra, how about enforcing the double-parking laws rather than putting more lanes for people to double park in? It seems like that's where our priorities should be.
Hambone December 13, 2010 at 05:28 PM
I love the logic that says, "Automobiles are not following the rules of the road so we shouldn't have a bike lane." That is just not a good argument. I'm a big fan of bike lanes in general but I wonder about this one. We need a better (safer) lane further west (3rd of 4th Ave?) This one seems to be redundant with the loop in the park.
Berryl Schiffer December 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM
Now that it's snowing with a vengeance (as it's bound to do at least once a season) how's this going to work with an emergency route with seriously diminished effectiveness of a two lane road. Windswept snow will compromise traffic flow by the now two sets of east and west sides on a single street. Are cars going to be snowed in on two sides? Are cyclists going to continue riding blithly as if drivers and pedestrians should yield to bikers? As a resident on Prospect Park West I'm witness to the accident waiting to happen theory and fear that congestion will worsen, emergency vehicles will be unable to get through, and accidents will surely happen.
Robert Olson December 27, 2010 at 03:50 PM
i think the bike lane automatically becomes a cross country skiiing lane in the snow....and as to the dumb hipster that tries biking in this, he deserves whatever he gets...a college education does not mean that he has one ounce of common sense
Neil Zwillinger August 20, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Markowitz will sway in whatever direction his financial support comes from. Come on Marty. Get on your bike and enjoy the bike lane. Wouldn't be bad for your health.
Lisa R August 20, 2011 at 11:36 PM
walking anyone? a credit for walking? hang up the bike, and ditch the car.. then what would people then whine about?
junc August 21, 2011 at 05:37 AM
Hey Mayor MIke, your TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER SADIK-KHAN stinks as much as that education woman Black. Why don't you fire her too? Or she's your buddy as well? Stupid. Just don't run for the 4th term and save us some grief. You money people know nothing about what regular guys need. Making the city more beautiful is not the same as making the city work. Learn how to shovel the snow first, Mayor!
parkslopeluv May 16, 2012 at 08:53 PM
You got a park where you can ride until you collapse but no that was not enough so you demanded and got a stupid bike lane.These people forget that they are living in a crowded city.I ride a bike but the bike lane on PPW is a dumb and selfish idea.

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