The Real Seniors for Safety
If there’s one part of their spaghetti-on-the-wall strategy that Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes hadn’t fully exploited in the press, it’s the vague claims of ageism. Enter the Park Slope Patch, with this article, “Gray Panthers Call PPW Bike Lane Battle ‘Ageist.'”
“The amount of hateful, snarky, and dismissive ageist remarks that we have seen in the debate about the Prospect Park West bike lane is incredible,” said Jack Kupferman, NYC Network Co-Convenor for the organization…
If you want to prove that there was an “incredible” amount of ageist remarks in the bike lane debate, I’d imagine you’d want to cite more than a handful of comments that mostly appeared on a blog with page view numbers that barely surpass NBBL’s estimates of PPW bike lane ridership. It would kind of be like me claiming there have been an “incredible” amount of lawsuits over the bike lane.
Thankfully, two real seniors for safety, Gene Aronowitz and David Alquist, have logic and reason on their side. Alquist serves up the most intelligent quote on safe streets I’ve read in quite some time, saying that the “previous configuration of Prospect Park West, with three lanes of speeding traffic and no provision for cycling, was inherently ageist by design.” By returning PPW to its previous speedway design, Iris Weinshall, Norman Steisel, Jim Walden, Louise Hainline, and the other members of NBBL would actually do more potential harm to seniors than any blog comment could ever do.
With good weather allowing people to ride in numbers that no one spy camera could possibly count, and with the bike lane a unanimously approved fixture of the neighborhood, most of NBBL’s previous arguments against it simply won’t cut it anymore, not that they ever did. Not used to looking both ways before you cross the street? Just about everyone else is by now.
The Gray Panthers call for “seniors’ right to be heard,” but fails to mention in their statement that the seniors for whom they are speaking will have every right to be heard on June 22nd in Kings Country Supreme Court. Expect to see more negative press of this sort in the coming two weeks.