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But Some of My Best Friends are Bike Lanes, Pt. II

June 16, 2011

The hits just keep on coming.  Via a reader, here’s Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes member Seniors for Safety president Lois Carswell giving a statement that makes even the best anti-bike-lane doublespeak seem amateurish in comparison.

Despite the feelings of the biking community that our organizations are opposed to bike lanes, we are not opposed to bike lanes.  We are advocates for what our name states, better bike lanes.  While we are opposed to this bike lane, we would like to propose a solution which would satisfy everyone.  This solution was proposed to us by two quite avid bikers and their reasoning was this: that they would be perfectly happy to bike in the park, go back to biking in the park, if there was only a safe way for them to get into the park other than biking on the sidewalk which was the situation before the bike lane went in.   Therefore we propose removal of the present controversial and unsafe class I lane with its floating lane of cars – it’s really very unsafe, if you live close to it and experience it every day it’s awful.  It should be replaced by a class II, one-way lane on the east, park side of Prospect Park West, plus a two-way bike lane in Prospect Park.  Two lanes instead of one.  With this configuration, bikers trying to enter the park will have a safe way to travel to one of the bike friendly entrances into the park where they could switch to a two-way lane.  Prospect Park West would revert to three lanes of traffic with speeds controlled as on every other street in New York City with signalization and the addition of radar guns, signs posting speed limit and the other devices DOT utilizes throughout the city.  And civility could return to Park Slope.

Shorter Carswell: We’re not against bike lanes, just this bike lane, which should be replaced with a bike lane that makes the street look exactly the way it was before there was a bike lane.  The fact that she even mentions “two quite avid bikers” gives Carswell the distinction of almost literally saying, “But some of my best friends are bikers!

  1. June 17, 2011 9:20 am

    Like Lois, I struggle with my own negative feelings towards “quite avid bikers”, in general. Why on earth should two of them they get to speak for New York’s hundreds of thousands of daily cyclists? We just want get where we’re going without having to ride a half mile out of the way to avoid stressful and sometimes life-ending conflicts with automobiles.

    Anyway, with the DOT’s “it’s not for those jerk cyclists” strategy there is no reason to care what quite avid bikers (or regular cyclists) think. The evidence shows that “speed control” gizmos as they have been done elsewhere in the city do not work at all. The police do not use their mythical radar guns enough to make a difference, and red lights are just an excuse to show off the automotive horsepower that someone spent an extra ten grand to achieve. Street design changes are a vastly cheaper and more effective way to curb dangerous driving behaviors. If Carswell wants to prove me wrong, how about she sends the NYPD troops under her command to Adams Street, which runs in front of my home, to somehow permanently slow the reckless speeding auto traffic here as much as a mere bicycle lane has done in front of hers?

  2. jason permalink
    June 17, 2011 9:49 am

    There have to be about 6 speed limit signs on 8th Avenue between my apartment and Flatbush Avenue and drivers do a great job of ignoring every one.

  3. ICDB permalink
    June 17, 2011 10:29 am

    Is it just me or does anyone else pick up an extraordinary sense of arrogance and know-it-all, superiority combined with complete and utter ignorance of how streets, bike lanes, traffic, transportation and urban planning actually works?

    • June 18, 2011 1:35 pm

      No, what it is is desperation, trying to hide behind a facade of reasonableness.

  4. jason permalink
    June 17, 2011 10:43 am

    It is not just you. Nathan’s example is dead-on right. NBBL has two avid bikers who came up with a compromise and that somehow supersedes the expertise, work, and time of traffic engineers, CB members, council members, and neighborhood volunteers. It’s the definition of arrogance. It’s almost Palin-esque – they’ve had tons of time to immerse themselves in traffic planning theory but instead prefer to rely on scare tactics and anecdotes.

  5. ICDB permalink
    June 17, 2011 2:50 pm

    Hainline, Steisel and Carswell have to be some of the most patronizing human beings who have ever graced a Community Board microphone. Every time they open their mouths. They have no idea, either.

  6. June 18, 2011 1:03 pm

    They’re not just bikers, mind you…they’re -avid- bikers!

  7. June 19, 2011 12:16 am

    Another for you.

    “We are not against bike lanes. We think the one on PPW is a mistake.”

    Louise Hainline, Dean, B

  8. June 19, 2011 12:17 am

    Dean, Brooklyn College.

    • June 19, 2011 12:18 am

      Wasn’t it also the dean, who said at the meeting back in January, “I disagree with your logic.”?

  9. Gary permalink
    June 20, 2011 7:03 am

    That was Lois Carswell…

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