Streams

Defining Bike Lanes

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Howard Wolfson, NYC deputy mayor for Government Affairs and Communications, and former communications director for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, counters charges that the city has gone too far in installing bike lanes.

Guests:

Howard Wolfson

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Comments [70]

oscar from ny

horrible freaking bike lanes,..i see lyke 1 or 2 ppl in like whole avenues,..where is the mta president? oh i know, wasting his paycheck, why is he not doing nothing?, bloomberg and frens shouldve tought better, why not invest all that money time effort laws etc etc to make the train and bus system better?...

Mar. 31 2011 12:15 AM
Mike

I think you should have to pass a course and provide a document that you know how to use quotation marks and capital letters properly before being allowed to comment on a blog.

Mar. 26 2011 08:42 PM

I agree somewhat with Seth from the Village there is a problem with cyclist in the city. I lived in NYC for 22 years and used to bike race for 10 and continue to cycle. The problem is "education". Everyone forgets the golden rule to bikes - they are just like a car! They subscribe to rules like a car (traffic signals must be obeyed, they need to follow the direction and flow of traffic they are "NEVER" to be ridden on the "SIDE WALK". You should have to pass a course and provide a document you passed a general Ed class and present it to the bike shop before purchase. I know this will upset a lot of people who want less gov, less rules, less oversight and don't want to discuss the cost associated with implementing this type of policy but it is one way to ensure safety for everyone (pedestrians, cyclist, and drivers). The cyclist who join in the mass bike "surges" to protect their cycling rights are guilty of not following the rules of cycling that "ARE" in existence but either they ignore the rules or are ignorant of them. Bike messengers and food delivery personel should step up to the plate and follow the rules.

Mar. 26 2011 07:29 AM
JB from South Slope

Art, I think I live down the hill from you, are you free today? Want to meet up by the lane?

Mar. 25 2011 01:35 PM
Seth from East Village

I’m an avid biker of 30 years, who has resided in the LES of NYC for about 20. It’s time that bikers acknowledged that there is a sizable minority of bike riders who are reckless in the way that they ride. It's not the fast bikers, but the reckless riding that promotes a lot of ill will. These reckless behaviors include riding outside of bike lanes, riding against traffic and riding in the evening without lights (what I call “stealth”). If we could get this minority of bikers to stop this obnoxious behavior, it would go a long way to solving this bikers vs. pedestrian vs. drivers bad blood. And here's the solution! Let's do what they do in Amsterdam where there are many more bikers per capita. In Amsterdam, bikers are ticketed and bikes are confiscated when bikers break these laws. It's not the speed of bikes that is the big issue but the stealth riding and gong against traffic that is the real problem. NYC adopts such a policy and it will get the reckless riders off the street and promote good and safe riding for all.

Mar. 25 2011 12:42 AM
wkgreen from Park Slope

art525-
There's no crosswalk at 12th St. It's dangerous to cross there anyway - it always was - and probably illegal. Try 11th St. or 14th St. What does that look like?

Mar. 24 2011 06:21 PM
Gary from PPW

Sorry Art525 but after the testimony at the community board meeting, I went out and took a photo at 11th street and submitted it the community board to show that the view of the bike lane is excellent from the cross walks in South Slope too.
I invite anyone who has any doubt to stand at the "look" marker and take look. You have a clear view of the bike lane for blocks in either direction.

Mar. 24 2011 05:24 PM
art525 from Park Slope

Hi JB from South Slope- It's nice to hear a reasonable and open voice in these discussions. I do remember our conversation. It would be interesting to meet and to demonstrate what my concerns are. And to exchange views with someone with an open mind.

Mar. 24 2011 05:18 PM
art525 from Partk Slope

@Peter from Park Slope- ah well if I lived down at Carroll Street it looks like I might feel more comfortable crossing the street. But that's a long walk from 12th street. Try there. It makes a convincing argument when you cherry pick.

Mar. 24 2011 05:10 PM
Joan

@Anon from BKLYN
"Can bikers pay their fair share either through licensing or insurance or some other means of providing for these bike lanes?"

My taxes pay for these city streets, too, my friend. MORE than a "fair share", in fact. I don't own a car, but I still subsidize your ability to drive and park all over the city. It amazes me that drivers, especially being a minority in New York, display such a brazen sense of entitlement to the street!
I don't imagine I will ever see my fair share of the street painted into a bike lanes, but that's okay. I'll still pay my taxes and be happy with the construction of a nice, big, safe network of bike lanes.
I really hope they install the East River bridge tolls so drivers can start paying THEIR "fair share".

Mar. 24 2011 04:29 PM
Dtorres from Nathan Strauss Projects

I like the bike lanes, because it makes
crossing the street easier for me.

Police give out tickets, because it
makes money for the city.

Mar. 24 2011 02:37 PM
Rob

The bike lanes and all the road changes that have safeguarded pedestrians are wonderful. Fatalities are the lowest in history!

Vulnerable people like kids and seniors, who are more likely to be killed by cars at 30+ mph than middle-aged adults, are now protected by the DOT.

On behalf of my kids and aging parents, I say "THANK YOU!"

Mar. 24 2011 12:47 PM
David from Manhattan

@Susan, you would lose that bet. Almost every day, on my relatively short bike commute, I see at least two drivers flagrantly run lights that are clearly already red, and several questionable red light runs, often within view of cops. I even log it every day on my Twitter account, lest people don't believe it (such as the person who "would bet" that drivers get tickted like they should).

Mar. 24 2011 12:45 PM
JB from South Slope

Art, we went back and forth a bit on Gothamist and seemed to understand each other. I commented as Twowheel. If you want, I would could to meet you at PPW, I could shoot what you are saying on video. I think you have valid complaints, the rhetoric on some sites is awful, but those are online insults, compared to actual safety, like not dying, not being maimed or scared out of your wits. This lane is being fought for to keep those safety enhancements. Show me what you mean by the danger in crossing, because I have stood on the "Look" decal on the street, and can't see the problem.
Thanks

Mar. 24 2011 12:02 PM
wkgreen from Park Slope

@statistician
Statistically the number of fatalities per cyclist on the street is going down by more than double. They are not MY statistics. And statistically how do you measure bumps and bruises, which is what most cyclist on pedestrian injuries mostly are? Motor vehicles are deadly. A typical SUV going 20 MPH delivers about 50 times the force of a cyclist at 20 MPH and provides a much larger target. Anecdotally, in the 33 years as a pedestrian, since I moved here, I’ve never felt threatened by a cyclist even once, and I’ve never been yelled at by one in that capacity. By the noise people are making it seems that some are on a daily basis.

I agree that rules should be enforced. My problems with boneheaded cyclists are as a cyclist, but let’s put this in perspective, mishandled bicycles are mostly just annoying. Motor vehicles kill people.

Mar. 24 2011 11:44 AM
statistician

@wkgreen from Park Slope
Your statistics on fatalities are seriously flawed unless you control for bike-miles per year vs. car-miles per year. Similarly, fatality is only one ( if the most dire) outcome measure; collisions should also be measured.

Mar. 24 2011 11:19 AM
Susan

@wkgreen from Park Slope:
I am willing to bet that any car/truck driving on the sidewalk, going the wrong way on a one-way street, or blowing through red lights is ticketed. I have frequently had cyclists yell at me to get out of the way on the SIDEWALK! As I said, I am actually not anti-bike lane, I would just prefer that I, and especially my dog, not be menaced.

Mar. 24 2011 11:12 AM
John from Manhattan

This is issue is about this Administration's transparency. Community Boards are advisory. The Mayor pick's and chooses which Community Board decisions suite his purpose. Once again the bully pulpit has decided what is best for New Yorkers. Complaints are rarely heeded.

The average person on the street rarely is advised of these decisions until they walk out of their homes and sees these lanes on their block. When Columbus Circle was redesigned by DOT temporary lanes were established so the public could comment. Why not in this instance? May be there was a rush to use federal funding?

While this radio segment has focused on the Prospect Park law suit, there have been complaints by business owners and citizens throughout the city (e.g. Columbus Avenue)

Finally, bikers who now enjoy the benefits of these lanes should bear some of the costs and responsibilities. License riders and register bikes and those fees could be used to maintain and expand the bike lanes and keep us safe.

Mar. 24 2011 11:09 AM
wkgreen from Park Slope

@Deborag from Manhattan-
The city doesn't collect stats on biker on pedestrian accidents?

Read this memorandum from Wolfson. There is, on average, slightly less than 1 fatality per year between 2001 and 2010. While cycling has doubled that rate has stayed about the same. On the other hand, there are about 200 pedestrian fatalities and 25 cyclist fatalities caused by motor vehicles each year.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/bike_lanes_memo.pdf

Mar. 24 2011 11:05 AM
Ruth from Brooklyn

By arguing that motorists do the same illegal things is not a valid argument again bikers doing illegal things (pointing fingers does not exonerate bikers' actions). We need to enforce fines on anyone who does not obey traffic rules. You are not helping the biking cause by not following the rules. There needs to be work on both sides.

Mar. 24 2011 10:56 AM
Gary from PPW

The NBBL proposal for a one-way lane on PPW makes no sense. They want to put PPW back to 3 lanes of traffic without a floating parking lane. That would restore PPW to a speedway and would squeeze the bicycle lane in between speed traffic and the parked cars-in the door zone. It would do nothing to calm traffic and putg cyclist in a hostile environment without a reasonable Northbound route with access to the park and its environs. Cars will speed and bicyclists would return to the sidewalks. And 8th Avenue is too narrow to support a usable Northbound lane.

Also the park loop has too few access point to the street grid to be useful for transportation purposes.

PPW is ideally suited to a two-way lane because it has no through-streets on the Eastern Side of the Street along the park.

Mar. 24 2011 10:55 AM
Ruth from Brooklyn

Just wanted to add that I have seen numerous bikers run red lights when there are oncoming cars. Yes, of course, this being NY I have seen motorists do this as well, but not nearly to the same extent as bikers.

Mar. 24 2011 10:53 AM
wkgreen from Park Slope

@Susan from NYC
It’s true that some cyclists are jerks, but you should have been with me on my commute from Brooklyn into Manhattan last week when a large delivery truck swerved dangerously well into my fully designated bike lane on Smith St. while I was in it. As I maneuvered around to scream at him I noticed that he was illegally talking on a cell phone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to serve out of the way of pedestrians crossing at mid block or against the light or dodge open doors.

Even with the growing number of people riding bicycles, cycling in this city is still a game of survival. The problem is that no one in this city behaves, and it is unfair to enforce the laws against one group without enforcing with ALL of them.

Mar. 24 2011 10:52 AM
Deborag from Manhattan

But...how can the DOT say that streets are safer for pedestrians when they DO NOT COLLECT stats for bike-on-walker accidents?

Bike lanes don't hit people: Bikers hit people. And unless I can't trust my eyes, bikers are riding at me through red lights, riding on sidewalks, barreling at me invisibly at night (no light to warn me, though that's an offense with a $130 fine)...all, up to now, with impunity. Cyclists are getting indignant that they might be ticketed for traffic violations. Summons away, NYPD. Please!

Mar. 24 2011 10:51 AM
Chris Hinkle from Brooklyn

I haven't heard a valid argument from the bike lane opposition. I've heard complaints about cyclists sharing the road in general. If I were to characterize the opposition, I see a NY's old guard busily honking their horns and frustratedly searching for a parking space. They shake their tired fists at the next generation of NYs taking charge of their future and moving past Robert Moses's ill-concieved and out-moded influence on this great city.

Mar. 24 2011 10:51 AM
L Springs from Brooklyn day and night

To the opposing caller. Lack of a bike lane does not equal people using the road in the correct way. i.e. with or without the lane SOME people, will ride on the sidewalk- big pet peeve of mine- and ride in the opposite direction (my goodness really?! i have never seen this on grand but eh?). period. sorry that in my opinion is a poor reason of why not to have the lane for those who do use them correctly.

Mar. 24 2011 10:50 AM
Peter from Park Slope

Art525 -

You asked for the news media to come out and show how dangerous it is to cross the Prospect Park West bike lane.

Here's a video someone took:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFJ1WaC6eiI

Happy?

Mar. 24 2011 10:50 AM
Molly from Brooklyn

Grand street bike lane - cyclists probably go the wrong direction because there is no direct route from west to east down in that part of the city. It's unsafe. On the other hand - nobody seems to complain when cars back up half-way down a street to get a parking spot that suddenly became available. OR when they make a U -TURN in the middle of the street - cutting off all traffic, including the bike lane, while they make their 3+ point turns to get a parking spot.

Among other things. Nobody really follows all of the rules. I am a complete proponent of following rules - but it seems unfair when even the cops try to protect drivers, then pedestrians and in rare instances, cyclists. We're people too.

Mar. 24 2011 10:48 AM
art525 from park slope

Well that was pretty flippant of Mr Wolfson to be so dismissive of pedestrians concerns about crossing against two directions of traffic.

Mar. 24 2011 10:48 AM
Ruth from Brooklyn

The issue for me is not the bike lanes. Bike lanes should be in place as the first step to traffic safety. There will be bikers whether there are lanes or not. Why not make it safer? My number one concern is getting traffic safety rules out to both bikers and motorists. While motorists have to be very careful because their mistakes can cause fatalities, bikers must also adhere to traffic safety as it is their lives on the line. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen bikers NOT wearing helmets, riding in the opposite direction or making illegal and unsafe turns. I have also witnessed serious bike/auto collisions because of the bikers' ignorance of these rules. Following the rules save lives. Bikers should not take the lanes for granted. They need to obey traffic laws as well.

Mar. 24 2011 10:48 AM
Ellen from Park Slope

I live on Prospect Park West, I do not currently own a bike and I strongly favor the bike lanes. As a pedestrian, I feel safer on the street (where I was once hit by a bicyclist going the wrong way) and on the sidewalk, since the bike lanes have virtually eliminated bikes on the sidewalks. The intersections are very clearly marked, and the streets are easier to cross now that the traffic is slower due to the bike lanes and loss of a car lane. Yes, the lanes were quite a change at first, but I myself am 60 and feel I am safer now.
However, the B69 bus is sorely missed.

Mar. 24 2011 10:47 AM
SP

Did I just hear this guy say it's up to pedestrians to look out for bikes disobeying the laws? This whole administration has become a bad joke.

Mar. 24 2011 10:46 AM
marcel from Manhattan

Ha ha. An opponent of bike lanes calls in to say that bicyclists ride the wrong way on the Grand Street lane! Maybe we should consider getting rid of roads then. I seem to recall seeing some cars breaking traffic rules.

Mar. 24 2011 10:46 AM

should cars also be ban if too many people get killed at certain intersections

Mar. 24 2011 10:45 AM
Abi

Why aren't they cracking down on peds and vehicles who put themselves and cyclists at risk by walking/parking in bike lanes? Those are both breeches of traffic regulations, but only the cyclists are getting punished. Seems a little unfair and overly punative. Also, why are all accidents involving bikes automatically the fault of cyclists. No one's talking about the number of bike/ped accidents that are actually the fault of peds and cars.

Mar. 24 2011 10:45 AM
rainer from new york

ask why there are only bike lanes in the rich parts of the city
and nothing abvoe 42nd street

Mar. 24 2011 10:45 AM
Bob McClure from Brooklyn

I use a bike, am a pedestrian, and drive a commercial vehicle for my business. If a rule is going to be applied for bicyclists to obey traffic signals, speeds, etc., (and they should) then rules should be put in place for pedestrians and jaywalking. A rule should be across the board. A bicycle, a car, etc, aren't what injure other people on the road....people injure other people.

Mar. 24 2011 10:44 AM
Evan

I love the Grand St. bike lane! I use it everyday, going the right way (east) and it makes my commute much safer. Thank you!

Mar. 24 2011 10:43 AM
Ken from Upper West Side

The question about the NYPD crackdown on cyclists has to do with the allocation of scarce resources. Why is the NYPD repeatedly ticketing cyclists for violations that endanger no one?

Mar. 24 2011 10:41 AM
Erika from Times Square

You are NOT more at risk of being hit by a car than a bike. You are more at risk of being killed by a car than a bike.

Mar. 24 2011 10:40 AM
art525 from park slope

Mr Wolfson if it is necessary for bikers to follow the same laws as drivers why don't you have the same traffic lights installed for bikers on the bike lane.

Mar. 24 2011 10:40 AM
Robert from NYC

The problem isn't the bike lanes, the problem is people. People seem to be too, oh what, stupid to adapt to something that is a good idea and that's been proven in European cities. The stupid people are both pedestrians and bikers alike. Once the laws are established as for motor vehicular traffic and once people follow those rules or laws--both bikers and pedestrians--it will all smooth out. I'm really sick of bikers on the sidewalks at top speed and I'm tired of seeing pedestrians just walking nonchalantly in front of on coming bikers who have the light!!! There will always be the idiots but in general let's get the show on the road and get the rules up and everyone trained, as it were. It will be good for all of us.

Mar. 24 2011 10:40 AM
Anon from BKLYN

Can bikers pay their fair share either through licensing or insurance or some other means of providing for these bike lanes?

Mar. 24 2011 10:40 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

I ride everyday on York Ave. and I don't feel safe without a bike lane. I hope you install one on every avenue in Manhattan

Mar. 24 2011 10:39 AM
Adele Cohen from Brighton Beach

I can hardly believe that Community Boards in the outer boroughs are wildly in favor of bike lanes. He just made that up.

Tell me that Community Board 13 in Brooklyn enthusiastically and knowingly approved the unused bike lanes on Neptune Avenue?

Mar. 24 2011 10:39 AM

bike lanes have stopped some of the car weaving that makes the city so dangerous

Mar. 24 2011 10:39 AM
RLewis from the bowery

The addition of bike lanes changed the rules of the road, so why was there no education campaign to help people to better deal with this new way of crossing the street???

Mar. 24 2011 10:39 AM
art525 from park slope

David from Manhattan- I wonder if you have ever come over to PPW and crossed the street on foot. I have a feeling you haven't. Because if you did then you might have a sense of what it is that we are talking about.

Mar. 24 2011 10:38 AM
westchestery


Bike lanes are great! But as bike use expands there is bound to be friction. Riders and lane supporters need to do more education. There are many new riders who aren't that good or safe--either going to fast or not having reasonable control. Riders need to accept like drivers that pedestrians ALWAYS have priority. I ride, I love to ride and support the lane expansion, but we bikers and supporters need to be responsible.

Mar. 24 2011 10:37 AM
maya from nyc

so there are people OPPOSED to bike lanes?? oh brother, only in America....

Mar. 24 2011 10:37 AM
Matt

Weiner pretty much lost my support with that. Sadik Khan is in a man's man's world, unfortunately. People like Chris Christie get praised for talking tough and being hardheaded. She just gets a lot of flak.

Mar. 24 2011 10:37 AM
Susan from NYC

My neighborhood (the Village) is laced with bike lanes. Nonetheless, I frequently see bikers on the sidewalk right next to the bike lanes, which are empty and unobstructed. When they do use the bike lanes, they blow through the red lights, often the wrong way, putting pedestrians at risk. I have an elderly, rather slow dog, who is offered no quarter by these self-entitled bikers. I am not against bike lanes, but would like to see the traffic laws actually enforced, which would require licensing both bikes and riders, much as cars and drivers are licensed, to provide accountability.

Mar. 24 2011 10:37 AM
Brad from BK

PLEASE BRIAN... try and get to the bottom of WHO these opposition groups REALLY are and what are their motivations??? The cognitive dissonance of 'safety for seniors' is making my head explode.

Mar. 24 2011 10:36 AM
art525 from Park SLope

I wish someone from the news media would come to PPW and using a video camera cross the street and see if our concerns about the safety of crossing are unfounded.

Mar. 24 2011 10:35 AM
wkgreen from Park Slope

@ art525 from Park Slope-
You are correct that the bike lane in the park idea has been dismissed, but you are wrong that it has been ignored. It won’t work.

The simple explanation is that park loop is primarily recreational while PPW is for transportation. Its position makes it so. The park loop is directly accessible to cyclists from PPW at only 3 points along 19 blocks. This does little for cyclists trying to get somewhere who would need to ride in the street for some distance anyway to get to or from the inner roadway. If going south that means having to fight PPW traffic. If going north, that means going the wrong way in the street, using the sidewalk, or going a ways out of the way. In fact one of the major destinations of anyone riding along PPW is the park itself. I suspect that most will return to using the sidewalk, which negates one of the big advantages to pedestrians of having a 2 way PPW bike path of separating them from cyclists. AND, the lane in the park does nothing to calm traffic on PPW, which presumably would go back to being a 3 lane speedway. The lane in the park idea works for no one but speeding motorists.

I’ve read a number of your comments in several places. Is there some selective comprehension going on? There seems to be a tendency with some on this issue to glean only that which supports a position and to grossly distort or ignore any argument that is counter to it, no matter how overwhelming.

Mar. 24 2011 10:34 AM
art525 from Park Slope

@David- I gave specific examples of uncivil comments. You have made vague accusations that the Better Bike Lane people have made with no examples. It just illustrates what I have been saying. And also you say that the comments by the pro bike people have been for the most part reasonable and civil. I don't think anyone without a dog in this fight would agree and again I suggest if anyone doubts my assertions you should go back to yesterday's comments and judge for yourself. And finally if Mr Warden is making vicious accusations what better place than in court to address that? What are you afraid of? I would think you would be happy to have a court support your assertions.

Mar. 24 2011 10:33 AM
Randall from Astoria

I certainly don't drive in the city, and I also don't ride a bike. BUT if there were more bike lanes, I would certainly ride (because it would be safer). I would never drive.

There are plenty of options for drivers, and only few for cyclists. Shouldn't we try to be egalitarian?

Mar. 24 2011 10:33 AM
David from Park Slope

art525 from Park Slope:

I think the comments and questions that supporters are raising here and elsewhere are, for the most part, quite reasonable and civil.

What I find unreasonable and un-civil is these folks who call themselves Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes suing their own community rather than participating in community process. This is the behavior of a bully and a thug.

I find it quite vile, actually, that attorney Jim Walden got himself on WNYC yesterday and called for a DOT employee to be placed on administrative leave along with telling quite a few other lies.

So, if you want to talk about lack of civility, demonization and impropriety, you should probably start with the NBBL people. A mean comment on a blog post is a whole lot less serious than Jim Walden's vicious untruths on public radio and in Kings County Supreme Court.

Mar. 24 2011 10:05 AM
David from Manhattan

Repeating yesterday's comment about the PPW lawsuit:
The plaintiffs’ main argument relies entirely on an assumption that's wrong: that cyclists going in the “unexpected” direction simply have no ability or will to try to avoid crashes. It assumes that northbound cyclists–but not southbound cyclists–are magically subject to some immutable physical force propelling them forward. It’s one of the weakest arguments I’ve ever heard.

Mar. 24 2011 10:04 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Yesterday I made a comment that Clyde Haberman's comment about delegitimizing your opponents was easily applicable to the bike lane discussion and the comments posted here proved that assertion. Opponents are called rich and indulged as well as old and intolerant. Their motives are questioned whether it is Mz Weinshall's presumed bitterness or the corruption of Mr Warden's law firm. Even down to him being referred to as "a hater". And the comments posted here are tame compared to the ones you'll find in response to articles on New York magazine's website, The Brooklyn Patch, The Brooklyn Paper and worst of all The Gothamist. In the Gothamist the feeling was expressed that the old people who opposed the lane should be in nursing homes or dead. And it was also suggested that if you don't like the lane you should move to North Carolina, a comment that well illustrated Mr Haberman's discussion about the love it or leave it mentality. There was only one pro bike lane advocate who addressed the concerns of those of us who aren't happy with the situation. That was Christopher Kelly who suggested that traffic lights that sync with the car lane traffic lights be installed. (That's apparently an unacceptable suggestion). Other than that the voices of those who are on the other side were totally ignored or dismissed. And if bikers did respond at all it was to call their opponents motives into question. See for yourself, read the postings. Is it a great leap to assume that the same arrogant bullying and unyielding attitude they display on your pages here wouldn't be displayed in their behavior on the road?And again I reiterate, if the statistics on which the success of the bike lane are solid why wouldn't the pro bike lane people be in favor of validating them in a court of law?
And on another note why was a suggestion yesterday that cars be banned from the park and a two way bike lane be installed there so completely ignored and dismissed. I would think it would be a much more appealing "prospect" for the riders to ride through such a pastoral landscape on their daily commutes.

Mar. 24 2011 09:51 AM
Peter from Park Slope

Can Brian *please* correct the false assertion made yesterday by Lois Carswell of Seniors for Safety that the PPW bike lane triggered the removal of the B69 bus?

The B69 bus was lost in the last round of MTA cutbacks when the state decided to expropriate funds intended for the MTA - the DOT was not involved in that decision. It is an unfortunate coincidence, nothing more.

Mar. 24 2011 09:39 AM
steve from PPW

Howie, many critics have said that bike lanes have been jammed down communities' throats. Can you explain that the DOT has had dozens and dozens of meetings with community boards and other groups before each project?

The PPW bike lane dates back to proposals that originated with the community in 2006 and 2007. Why are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claiming that there was no public process?

Mar. 24 2011 09:32 AM
Jack from Midtown from Manhattan

A few questions for Mr. Wolfson:

Will the Mayor support Council Member Brewer's proposal to keep cars out of Central and Prospect Parks?

Also: what's the mayor's position on the targeting of cyclists in Central Park, especially in light of this week's "speeding" ticket blitz, for which the NYPD had to apologize? Will the mayor's office admit that the Central Park precinct has crossed the line between 'enforcement' and harassment? And finally: why hasn't the Central Park precinct devoted similar resources to cracking down on speeding cars, HOV lane violators on the park drives and to jaywalkers on the loop? Isn't the focus on cyclists selective enforcement?

thanks

Mar. 24 2011 09:21 AM
Jacob from Clinton Hill

What does Mr. Wolfson think about the PPW lawsuit? Does it stand a chance in court, or is this simply a publicity stunt to generate controversy so the anti-bike lanes group can get airtime on programs like this, while the taxpayers are stuck with the legal bills?

Mar. 24 2011 09:18 AM

Hi Howie, hi Brian, thanks for taking my question. How can New Yorkers who want these kinds of bike lanes in our neighborhoods, not just in Park Slope, make this happen?

Mar. 24 2011 09:17 AM
David from Park Slope

It has been noted that the fight on Prospect Park West is really all about Bloomberg's previous DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall -- who lives on Prospect Park West -- feeling jealous or "repudiated" by the sweeping improvements, dramatic success and enormous amount of attention being paid to her successor Janette Sadik-Khan.

Does Wolfson think that there is a personal dimension to Weinshall's opposition to the Prospect Park West redesign?

Does Wolfson think it is appropriate for the former DOT commissioner, Iris Weinshall, to criticize and lobby against her successor like this?

Mar. 24 2011 09:10 AM
David from Park Slope

Anthony Weiner told Mayor Bloomberg that when he is elected mayor he is going to rip out all of the [expletive] bike lanes. Howard Wolfson is a politics guy.

Is it good politics to run against bike lanes? Or is Weiner miscalculating?

Mar. 24 2011 09:07 AM
David from Park Slope

What is it about bike lanes that stir up so much controversy anyway? The vast majority of NYC's streets are untouched by bike lanes and we know from the latest Q-Poll that most New Yorkers like bike lanes. Could it just be that NYC's political class -- our City Council members, press and municipal employees are much more car-oriented and have a much stronger sense of "windshield perspective" than the population as a whole?

Mar. 24 2011 09:05 AM
Charles Geiger from Poughkeepsie

Even though the bike lanes are a retro-fit, they soften the edges of a city historically built for function. Hard core New Yorkers too often negatively equate humanization of the city with gentrification and Europeanization.

Mar. 24 2011 09:04 AM

only people who buy foreign oil should have rights

Mar. 24 2011 09:03 AM

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