Bike Lanes Don’t Happen Overnight

Is that a bike or a bulldozer? (Brooklyn Politic)

Yesterday, we brought you the interminable-seeming-even-if-it’s-only-been-a-few-weeks story of the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit. The case essentially revolves around whether or not the lane was built with community consent, and to some extent whether or not it was simply a trial and never meant to be permanent (nevermind all the support for bike lanes, belated or otherwise).

Aaron Naparstek, Streetsblog founder and ardent bike advocate, sent over an email with his rather arch take on these proceedings.

You’d think this would be a pretty easy question to resolve, right? Either a bunch of people from the community were involved in a lengthy and legitimate public process or they weren’t and the Imperial mayor and his transportation Czarina came and dropped a bike lane on their heads. Either the community asked DOT to come and fix speeding, unsafe ped crossings and lack of bike access on PPW or it didn’t.

You’d think that if a community process took place then there’d be a timeline of public events you could point back to and there’d be a record of Community Board meetings and votes. If the community process was ridiculously extensive and public and inclusive there might even be online video of community workshops that you could look at on the Internet! Maybe you’d even find a former Community Board chair and current City Council member willing to vouch for all of this in an affidavit

If you’ve been following along, you know that the City Council member in question is Brad Lander, also a strident defender of the lane, and that the community process Mr. Naparstek refers to is indeed well-documented. The Observer has reached out to Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, the community group that brought the lawsuit against the lane, for a response.

Update: Added links to community input.

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC Bike Lanes Don’t Happen Overnight