Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West Bike Lane Sparks Fierce Local Debate

by , 03/24/11

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The disgruntled residents insist that the DOT manipulated data and suppressed criticism to ensure the lane’s approval. To formalize their protesting, they formed a group called Neighbors for Better Bikes Lanes (NBBL), which, along with Seniors for Safety, filed the lawsuit. They are being represented by Jim Walden of the highly-regarded law firm Gibson Dunn, and Park Slope’s councilman Brad Lander is representing the opposition.

One member of NBBL, Louise Hainline, a dean at Brooklyn College, has set up a camera to record activity on the bike lane. She told New York Magazine that she has collected hundreds of hours of footage that prove the DOT inflated figures about the lane’s usage and benefits, which is the basis of their lawsuit.

If the lawsuit succeeds, which many believe it will not, it could effect the future of cycling not only in New York, but around the world. After all, many see New York is the world’s greatest city, looking to it as an example of how urban life should be. It is the template for all other cities. Seaton says it best: “If cycling is pushed back into the margins of that future, rather than promoted, along with efficient mass public transit and safe, pleasant pedestrianism, as a key part of that future, the consequences will be grave and grim.”

Images via PPW Bike Lane Support Group