Prospect Park West bike lane supporters have gone on the defensive.
Big-time bike lane supporter Councilmember Brad Lander and former Community Board 6 Chairman Richard Bashner today filed a court brief supporting the controversial, two-way bike path, arguing that the lane’s installation last June was ultimately the result of years of public process.
The move comes after lane opponents – Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety – filed a in March arguing for the removal of the lanes.
The groups have argued that the lanes are not only dangerous and “arbitrary,” but that the Department of Transportation skewed statistics in the bike path’s favor.
But Lander and Bashner’s amicus curiae brief states that the community board initiated the path’s installation to enhance safety. They argue that it has been continually supported by the community board, civic institutions, and the majority of local residents – as found in twice in separate independent studies by and .
After an initial community request to have the DOT investigate adding the parking-protected bike lane to Prospect Park West, they say that a long-winded democratic process followed, where locals had plenty of opportunities to make their voices heard at community board meetings, hearings and the like.
Proponents of the lane, including the DOT, have maintained that the lane has improved safety on the pretty boulevard. The DOT has even planned to make further to the lane to enhance lane safety and aesthetic even further – which Community Board 6 also approved, unanimously.
“Thanks to this process, Prospect Park West – the street where I live – is much safer today,” said Bashner in a statement. “Traffic is now much closer to the 30 miles per hour legal speed limit, bicycles and cars are separated, and pedestrians have an easier time crossing the street because they now have to cross only two lanes of car traffic instead of three.”
Lander and Bashner say that they hope to “inform the court of the facts regarding the long history of public participation in the creation of the Prospect Park West bike path.”
“The process surrounding the installation of the Prospect Park West bike path has been inclusive, transparent, collaborative, and democratic,” said Councilmember Brad Lander in a statement. “The vast majority of Park Slope residents support the path, believe it makes the community safer, and want it to remain.”