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Jim Walden: 50,000,000 Bike Lane Fans Can Be Wrong

April 14, 2011

On Wednesday night, Community Board Six passed a unanimous motion to support DOT’s recommendations for modifications to the Prospect Park West Bike Lane.  It’s yet another example of how truly democratic this years-long community process has been.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Prospect Park West without Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes claiming it wasn’t.  Jim Walden wrote an Open Letter to CB6 on the PPW Bike Lane — “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” it is not — which he requested be read at the meeting.  He was not obliged.

There’s nothing surprising in it, but I was struck by how, in effect, Walden disparages the good people and volunteers who serve on the board, especially in the closing passage:

At some later point, CB6’s actions, and inaction, will be judged against a broader context, including the evident problems with DOT’s data.  We hope the Board makes the right decision tonight by deferring any vote until after a full and meaningful discussion about alternative configurations, which will include more pointed questions for DOT about the various decisions it made to “sell” a dangerous bike lane to your community.

Essentially, the approximately 50 members of Community Board 6, Brad Lander, Lander’s entire staff, independent traffic engineers and urban planners, Howie Wolfson, 54% of New Yorkers, 78% of nearly 3,000 survey respondents, 69% of people in the Brennan poll, over 300 PPW supporters who attended the March 10 public hearing, and 750 people who showed up to Sunday’s family ride are all complete saps, easily duped by Janette Sadik-Khan and her minions at DOT who conspired with local acivists to “sell” the community a dangerous bike lane.  Makes total sense.

But Lois Carswell, who incorrectly linked the MTA’s suspension of B69 bus service along Prospect Park West to the DOT’s installation of a bike lane on the same street?  She knows the truth.

  1. April 14, 2011 7:40 am

    Doug, thanks for showing me the light! Until reading this post, I didn’t realize that I’d been deceiving myself into thinking the PPW bike lane was safe. Phew! Catastrophe narrowly averted.

  2. Lizbon permalink
    April 14, 2011 7:52 am

    My kneejerk reaction to blather like Walden’s is always to point to a pic of one of the many young children whose parents bring them to the PPW lane to learn to ride their bikes. To me, that’s the best argument possible for the lane being a safe (a relative term, always) place to ride.

  3. Jerry permalink
    April 14, 2011 9:28 am

    Go ahead, Jimmy. Sue the community board. That’ll go over well!

  4. Marcus permalink
    April 14, 2011 11:35 am

    How much contempt can this tiny group of people have for the majority of the neighborhood? Watch out. When the lawsuit is tossed they’ll appeal or find other people to sue.

  5. Mark permalink
    April 16, 2011 4:22 pm

    What a jerk. He gives lawyers a bad name.

  6. Fred the Baker permalink
    April 17, 2011 10:55 pm

    In case anyone was wondering what Jim Walden’s “pro bono” work is all about. Here is some speculation…

    Crain’s Insider
    Friday, April 15, 2011
    Schumer-Linked Lawyer Denies DA Bid

    Jim Walden’s spate of high-profile pro bono lawsuits has insiders speculating that he wants to challenge Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes. Walden, a Brooklyn Heights resident and litigator at Gibson Dunn, is battling a development in Dumbo, the Prospect Park West bike lane, judges in Queens who allegedly discriminate against disabled people and discrimination against a transgender employee. But Walden said, “I love Joe Hynes. I will never run against him.” Hynes told the Insider he will run for re-election in 2013. Walden has been on a media blitz reminiscent of Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is thought to have considered pushing him for U.S. attorney in 2009. Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, is a leading opponent of the bike lane.


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