From our sister publication — disgust for Slope bikers!

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The problem with the Prospect Park West bike lane is not the lane, but the bikes.

Generally speaking, the Department of Transportation should be commended for taking an aggressive approach to calming traffic, creating pedestrian plazas, adding bike lanes to spur green commuting and being far more responsive than it has been in years past. But in creating a two-way bike lane on one-way Prospect Park West, the city has caused more problems than it has solved.

In other words, look out for that speeding cyclist!

The city has laid down plenty of bike lanes all over town, and many of them — we’re talking about the ones on Sands Street in Downtown or Kent Avenue in Williamsburg — do a great job of keeping cyclists, cars and pedestrians off each others’ backs.

But in Park Slope, the city removed a lane of car traffic to free up space to give cyclists a protected, two-way lane. The goal, the city said, was not only to give cyclists a break, but to slow down cars.

That hasn’t happened. And, worse, the line of parked cars that protects the cyclists in their lane has tricked the two-wheelers into thinking that they now own the road.

Indeed, cyclists get only a blinking yellow light at crosswalks — meaning that pedestrians crossing Prospect Park West may have the “Walk” sign, but they still have to stop and look both ways for cyclists.

That’s a prescription for disaster on a one-way street where pedestrians are accustomed to looking in only one direction.

Worse, over-empowering cyclists makes them, frankly, rude. We have spent the last few days on the bike lane and simply can’t believe how much venom some speeding cyclists are hurling at pedestrians who have the temerity to cross when they have the light.

Park users are long accustomed to pedal-pushing jerks in their fancy Spandex uniforms who scream at everyone during their weekly “bike races.” But now the city has given these gearheads free reign outside the park, too.

We say, enough. Either bikers get civil, or something bad is going to happen.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
Nice, typically enlightened fare. Someone please cite for me all the "disasters" that have happened on the Hudson River Greenway.

And either the speeding cars on Prospect Park West have been slowed down, or they haven't. Your editorial claims "that hasn’t happened," while anonymous-flyer-distributing opponents claim that the redesign has created unbearable congestion. You all should get your stories straight.
June 24, 2010, 12:14 pm
Jabir ibn Hayyan from Park Slope says:
The usual windshield perspective from the Courier.

Where's the outrage over over-empowered, rude drivers???
June 24, 2010, 1:48 pm
paco from cobble hill says:
isn't it much nicer to pause for two seconds while a bike passes rather than run across 4 lanes of traffic with 50mph cars barreling down at you?

cyclists don't now feel like they 'own the road.' they feel like they're allowed to simply share it, which is something many car drivers refuse to do.
June 24, 2010, 1:53 pm
tracy collins from prospect heights says:
i gotta stop my wasting time by reading these rags...
June 24, 2010, 2:35 pm
Chris from East Village says:
"Or something bad is going to happen."

Is that a threat? How mature.
June 24, 2010, 3:45 pm
Jooltman from Park Slope says:
It takes a day to learn to look both ways when crossing a two-way bike lane. It is much harder to learn to walk again after being hit by a speeding car...if you are one of the lucky ones.
June 24, 2010, 4:16 pm
pedestrian from bay ridge says:
Bike riders who blow through those intersections should be ticketed, just like speeding drivers should have been on PPW.

BTW, the "threat" is that bike riders are going to have to be insured, just like the other menaces of the roads.
June 24, 2010, 8:34 pm
Mike from GP says:
"pedestrian" ... I agree with you that there needs to be some ticketing of bad bike behavior, but you need a serious reality check if you think people who ride bikes are as much as of a threat as car drivers! Come on, really!
June 24, 2010, 9:11 pm
Chris from East Village says:
Okay, fine, pedestrian... let's make it fair for all menaces of the road: pedestrians should be ticketed for jaywalking and have to carry insurance if they cross the street.
June 25, 2010, 8:26 am
Robert from from Park Slope says:
The bike riders have been habitually rude and agressive while they have been using the Park sidewalks... it is time that ALL vehicle be given the word : PEDESTRIAN HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, ALWAYS!!! run into a pedestrian and you will get your day IN COURT. PERIOD.
June 25, 2010, 11:29 am
pedestrian from bay ridge says:
@Mike: As much of a threat? No. My uncle was killed by a hit-run driver in Bay Ridge. I also have a friend who had 6 broken ribs after getting plowed over by a bike messenger on 5th Ave in the city. So a bike is a lesser threat, but still a threat.

@Chris: Your rant that pedestrians should be required to carry insurance is silly. I'll assume that you are just venting, and not take it seriously. My friend with the broken ribs also had no insurance, and would be homeless if not for family and friends. Is that right?
June 25, 2010, 12:15 pm
Chris from East Village says:
No, pedestrian, I am serious. Your argument is that users of our streets should have to be insured as they may be found liable in an accident. Jaywalking pedestrians can also injure cyclists - especially when they cross into or near the path of a cyclist, resulting in a cyclist losing control or dodging into traffic. What happens when a pedestrian is responsible for an accident and the cyclist doesn't have insurance? It's a slippery slope.

And honestly, I've had many brushes with this precise situation: I've had the right of way, but have been forced to swiftly change my path because of someone crossing the street against the signal.
June 25, 2010, 3:26 pm
Chris from East Village says:
Robert: Pedestrians do not "always have the right of way." If you are crossing outside of a crosswalk or against a signal, you do not have the right of way, you're breaking the law. Even if you're just creeping into the street from the curb while the light is still red, you're breaking the law.

People are perfectly willing to criticize the cyclists who break traffic laws, but are ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of pedestrians in New York also break traffic laws.
June 25, 2010, 3:36 pm
E from Park Slope says:
This whole argument is pedestrian. We're all guilty of jaywalking and going against lights; when no one's in front of you, you want to go go go. We're all in a hurry to go sit in our living rooms and watch reality TV, I know. It seems those of you arguing against cyclists want to live in blissful ignorance of the fact that they exist and just not look for them when you're crossing a street. In that, yes, a cyclist is a danger to someone being a, for lack of a better term, really, f***ing idiot. Just because you have a mouth and breath from it, doesn't mean you should use it to protest against something that benefits the community/planet.

With that, being an avid cyclist/commuter and having ridden in the Five Borough Bike Tour, I do think it is a good idea to have at least a cycling box to check on your driver's license if not a full blown cycling license. It a) contributes revenue to the state and b) ensures that the law is followed and some sort of etiquette of the road is adhered to. I, personally, can't stand people riding in the wrong direction on one way streets. Discuss.
July 2, 2010, 7:34 am
Shastine from Park Slope says:
Thank you and I want to reiterate what was already posted:

"Jabir ibn Hayyan from Park Slope says:

Where's the outrage over over-empowered, rude drivers??? "

Cars kill and pollute. Do bikes?
July 8, 2010, 9:28 am
Steve F from Park Slope says:
Speeding? Speeding bikes?
What speeding bikes?

The NYC speed limit is 30 MPH, and it applies to bicycles and also to cars.

If we have that many bicyclists exceeding 30 MPH on PPW, they should be given tickets to the US Olympic Cycling Team, not traffic tickets.

Get real, most of the cyclists on the PPW path are schlepping along at 10-12 MPH, not 35 .

Maybe your mind's eye is playing tricks on your speed perception. The PPW two way bike path is only 8 feet wide, just 4 feet for cyclists in each direction. This compares to roadways of 10-12 feet per each car lane. A cyclist is less than 2 feet wide, a third of a 6 foot wide car.

So from the corner of your eye, you see an approaching cyclist and your mind "sees a car in a lane" approaching from what appears to be 3 times further away. A bike at 50 feet seems to be 150 feet away, but arrives "too soon." The bike is moving 12 MPH, but since it comes three times sooner on this narrow path, you think it's moving 30 MPH - hence it's "Speeding!"

If you can, do the math. 30 MPH is 44 feet per second, while 12 MPH is about 18 feet per second, and 10 MPH is under 15 feet per second. Sit on a PPW bench, pace off a distance and time some cars and some bikes going by. I think you will find the bikes going at 1/3 the NYC speed limit and less than 1/3 the speed of the cars.
Jan. 14, 2011, 4:13 pm
Terrified pedestrian from Bensonhurst says:
Someone should write an article on the dangerous bikers on the promenade along south Brooklyn. It starts at Bay Parkway and continues around through Bay Ridge and up the western Brooklyn coastline. Whenever I walk there I am regularly endangered by the bikers. In the portions where there is a bike lane, they don't use it. And in the portions where there is no separate lane, they have an assigned section of the strip to ride on, clearly labeled with a bike symbol, and they don't stay on it either. I can't even count the number of times a biker has scared me half to death whizzing by from behind me, far too close to me for comfort. One of these days they are going to hit me or someone else, and at the speeds those bikers are traveling at, it could easily be fatal.
Feb. 21, 2012, 2:27 pm

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