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Damn Bike Lanes

February 4, 2014

NewYorker

While looking at this week’s Cartoon Caption Contest in The New Yorker, I came to the realization that “Damn Bike Lanes” works perfectly with the above cartoon. (I’ve submitted it, so back off.)

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Boerum Hill Street Safety Forum Tuesday, February 4th

February 3, 2014

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Boerum Hill was among the first neighborhoods in Brooklyn to get a Slow Zone. It hasn’t all been perfect, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. There remains work to be done, and it’s great to see so many committed organizations behind this street safety forum. If you can make it, please consider attending to speak up for safer streets for people on foot, on bikes, and in cars.

Quote of the Day

January 31, 2014

“We are worried that the issues of bicyclists and pedestrian behavior are clouding the major problem at hand,” he said. “While we are all for interventions that get cyclists and walkers to follow the law, the fact is that cyclists and walkers do not kill innocent people who cross the street legally.

“Cars driven by reckless and distracted drivers do,” he added. “Let’s not lose sight of what the urgent public health issue here is.” – Baron Lerner, uncle of 9-year-old Cooper Stock.

Vision Zero Vigil, Sunday, 4:30 PM

January 24, 2014

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Via Hilda Cohen and Make Brooklyn Safer:
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.

For more information and to RSVP, visit Make Brooklyn Safer’s Facebook page.

Shovel Ready

January 23, 2014
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Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri shovels the Bergen Street bikelane. (Picture via N Wayne Bailey)

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.

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Picture via N Wayne Bailey

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Picture via N Wayne Bailey

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Picture via N Wayne Bailey

New speed limit on Prospect Park West

January 17, 2014
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Prospect Park West & President Street. Photo via Park Slope Neighbors.

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.

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here

January 15, 2014
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Fourth Avenue and Baltic Street.

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?

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Fourth Avenue and Butler Street, with PS 133 in the background.

 

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