This Sunday afternoon, traffic safety activists from around the city will gather to commemorate the nearly 300 New Yorkers killed in traffic crashes last year and the 17 killed already this year.
The location will be the South side of Myrtle, at the intersection of Wyckoff & Palmetto. (The L & M trains stops there.) Last year at this time, 23-year-old Ella Bandes was run down by an MTA bus at that intersection.
The vigil will be a chance to honor the memories of those killed, hear from their families and from officials who are trying to tackle this epidemic, and express our own continued commitment to try to change this painful situation.
Our visibility around this issue is mobilizing increased attention around the city, so let’s keep the momentum going.
Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri of the 78th Precinct has long been a friend to the many people who cycle through the community. He’s always welcomed safe streets advocates at Community Council meetings, frequently attends safe streets meetings in Park Slope, and he famously allowed the so-called guerilla bike lane on the short stretch of Bergen Street between 6th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue to become a more or less permanent part of the street, earning him some much deserved praise last year.
Well, Deputy Inspector Ameri has outdone himself, taking to the street to shovel out the bike lane after this week’s big storm. Sanitation snow removal efforts meant that the French barriers had to be moved to the curb, and when the plows came down Bergen they pushed a lot of snow into the bike lane. N Wayne Bailey shot these pictures of officers of the 78th Precinct clearing the bike lane to fix that problem.
It’s not every day you seen NYPD officers taking a literal hands-on approach to bike safety. If you are so inclined, you can call the precinct to thank them for this kind action.
Earlier today, Eric McClure of Park Slope Neighbors tweeted this picture of a new 25 mph speed limit sign above Prospect Park West. My sincerest thanks and gratitude for the concerned community members who advocated for this change and to the DOT for responding. This is a great step toward an eventual 20 mph speed limit throughout the neighborhood and, hopefully, the city.
A couple of months ago, after stumbling upon the website for Drive Like Your Kids Live Here, I purchased two of their signs. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, and then I read about the advocacy group Right of Way’s installation of 20 mph speed limit signs along Prospect Park West. Inspired by their guerrilla activism, I took my two signs and affixed them to posts on the Fourth Avenue median.
Despite a fantastic traffic calming project along most of Fourth Avenue through Park Slope, drivers still treat the boulevard like a highway. The particular stretch where I live, which happens to include the new PS 133 building, received some curb extensions and left-turn bans, but still retains three northbound traffic lanes. This was meant to prevent traffic from backing up to 9th Street and beyond during the morning rush, but it has had the effect of allowing drivers to continue speeding during the 22 other hours of the day. Even when the traffic is congested, drivers constantly block crosswalks, make dangerous u-turns, and otherwise show a general disregard for the people who live on or near Fourth and must cross it on foot.
Signs won’t change much — and these signs might not last long now that I’ve finally posted about them — but in the absence of meaningful police enforcement and with conditions that threaten your children and neighbors every day, what would you do to tell drivers who are just passing through to be more careful?
“Further, the NYPD has been cracking down more on cyclists than motorists, even though no pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in New York City in nearly 5 years.” – Richard Robbins, Huffington Post.
This quick mention on FIPS of the latest chapter in the ongoing saga that is the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit is as good a representation as any when it comes to New York City’s matured relationship with complete streets in a post-bikelash, après-Marty era:
I went back to check through all of our PAST PPW BIKE LANE COVERAGE to try and remind myself what the lawsuit actually hopes to accomplish, but then I realized I just don’t give a fuck. I’ll admit, I was not entirely pro-bike lane when it was first happening. Why have a bike lane when people can ride freely on the road inside the park? Go bike inside the park! But, you know what? I’m cool with the bike lane now. I think it does serve to slow down traffic on PPW, and I don’t think it makes it any harder to cross the street, which seemed to be the main concern of the Seniors for Safety. In fact, you actually have a shorter walk from the median than you would if there was no bike lane.