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Louise Hainline: Kicking Ass & Taking Bike Lanes

November 8, 2011

Louise Hainline isn’t even pretending that she and her fellow neighbors are “for better bike lanes” anymore.  In an article in the Daily News by Erin Durkin, the Brooklyn College dean flat out takes credit for the two-way protected bike lane on Plaza Street being scrapped during the recent Grand Army Plaza redesign.

“If we had not done what we’ve been doing with the bike lanes, they probably would have moved ahead,” said Louise Hainline, president of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes.

Is Louise Hainline going rogue?  I can’t imagine that Linda Gross or any PR professional sanctioning that kind of talking point if you’re trying to convince people that the only bike lane you are against is the one in your front yard.  Then again, when even the Brooklyn Paper says it has had enough and when your personal emails reveal that you think a reputable local journalist is “acting like a middle school newspaper reporter,” maybe it’s just not worth it keep up the façade anymore.  I’d really love a reporter to ask Hainline which on-street, protected bike lane she actually supports.  My guess is she wouldn’t be able to answer.

The more we hear from Louise Hainline the more arrogant she sounds.*  At least Iris Weinshall and Chuck Schumer have so far had the good sense not to make any comments on the subject of bike lanes.

The article, in which I am also quoted, serves up another example of the kind of bike lane Hainline thinks is better: one in which drivers can double park.

“Cars now have trouble getting by when someone is dropping off or picking up, and it would have been impossible (with a two-way lane).”

Isn’t it interesting that the inverse of this is never a concern for those who cynically hang their opposition bike lanes on unfounded claims about safety?  That is, no one ever says, “Bikes have trouble getting by when a driver is dropping off or picking up, and it is very dangerous (without a two-way lane).”  Of course, it’s very telling that such avid motorists never follow up with the obvious solution to this problem: dedicated loading zones.  The issue is that such a solution would mean losing one or two parking spaces every couple of blocks, and because the benefits to the many do not outweigh the privilege of the few in the warped agenda of groups such as NBBL, it is never proposed.  The radical pro-car-lane lobby would never allow it.

*Jim, this is simply my personal opinion and not a statement of fact.

  1. Jerry permalink
    November 9, 2011 2:23 pm

    Whoa. What a terribly selfish person.

  2. Deb Kapell permalink
    November 9, 2011 6:45 pm

    If NBBL’s concern was really traffic congestion they would be far more concerned with 8th Avenue than PPW. 8th Avenue has the same 2 lanes, the same amount of traffic, and houses on both sides of the street instead of 1 like PPW. Double parking, drop-offs, deliveries, should be a problem twice as often on 8th as on PPW. Twice as good isn’t enough. During rush hour PPW actually has 4 lanes- 2 on PPW and 2 in the park. She can’t possibly believe her own line.

  3. November 13, 2011 8:14 pm

    Thanks for this highlighting this important issue. A protected bike lane on Plaza Street will make the street safer for pedestrians, bikers and drivers. The DOT needs to build this immediately. It has already been approved by 2 community boards. There is no excuse for further delays.

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