Prospect Park West pedestrian islands cost lots

The Brooklyn Paper
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Painting the Prospect Park West bike lane isn’t the only part of the controversial project that took a lot of green.

The city will spend $880,000 finishing up the Prospect Park West bike lane by constructing raised concrete islands at intersections — more than quadrupling the initial cost of installing the controversial path.

Including the cost of building the lane, the price of the new pedestrian islands, and $140,000 in legal fees spent defending the two-way cycling route from lawsuits, the park-side path has racked up a bill totaling $1.2 million.

That’s more than five times the cost of the country’s average bike lane, transportation experts say.

The raised cement islands — intended to make it easier for pedestrians to cross Prospect Park West at nine intersections — carry such a high price tag in part because Community Board 6 asked the city to make the bike lane tweaks match the neighborhood’s street-scape, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

“[The board] requested that materials such as granite curbing, which are historically consistent,” she said.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) also allocated $200,000 toward the islands.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Patrick from Red Hook says:
To be fair, the $140,000 in legal fees were spent defending a completely frivolous lawsuit.
May 14, 2012, 10:56 am
Transportation Expert from Brooklyn says:
Natalie might have noted that $880K is a trivial drop-in-the-bucket compared to the vast oceans of money that are poured into New York City's motor vehicle infrastructure. NYC spent $195,000,000 last year on pothole repairs alone. The $740,000 spent on PPW (not including the law suit) is equal to about one day's worth of NYC pothole filling.

Everyone must also realize that this project could have been done much more cheaply but it had to be done with granite curbs at maximum expense because of Louise Hainline, Iris Weinshall, Lois Carswell and Norman Steisel's law suit. That being said, I'm glad Council member Lander, the Community Board and the City went the extra mile to make the redesigned street look nice with granite curbs and new trees.
May 14, 2012, 3:25 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
and if only people did not store their cars there we would not need them
May 14, 2012, 5:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Thank you Natalie for covering this. Once again, you expose the bike zealots agenda for what it really is than bow down to them. Besides, the city has more important places where such money could be spent for such as helping keeping schools and hospitals open rather than something so unnecessary such as bike lanes, which are probably not even used as much. As for those that continue to make personal attacks on NBBL, I say shame one you. Also, some of them are very similar to those that attacked the lawsuits that DDDB had against the AY.
May 14, 2012, 9:42 pm
ty from pps says:
oh, Tal.
May 14, 2012, 9:55 pm
jay from pslope says:
well you know what they say, a few hundred thousand here a few hundred thousand there and soon its real money.
Having said that, the city could easily make all that money back and then some by having the po-po simply enforce traffic laws that are violated by bicyclists everyday, all day, like they are supposed to do, instead of leaning up against a post in the park pretending they don't see anything.
So not sure really that the money is a big deal here. Think that the Brooklyn paper is just stirring the pot a bit, instead of maybe looking at what Marty Markowitz did with his so called discretionary funds and who is getting money?
On a separate note, anyone know what the deal is with all these electric bikes that are all over the place, they are not legal and I see them dong all sorts of crazy stuff.
May 14, 2012, 10:36 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Yea, The City could have made/saved money by ticketing the cars that parked where they are building the raised islands now.
May 15, 2012, 4:56 am
mike from GP says:
Meanwhile, the City is spending over $400 million to widen ramps on the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a non-story.
May 15, 2012, 7:25 am
Sean from Brooklyn Crossing says:
Motor vehicles pay MILLIONS in motor vehicle fess and taxes, plus gas taxes. Millions upon millions!

Cyclists pay NOTHING, but demand the world.

I grew up in Bklyn without any bike lanes. We all did, until sissy newcomers demanded the same safety and security that they were used to growing up in their suburban cul-de-sacs, wanting to change NYC into some small-town dream they have.

Want bike lanes? Fine, let's license ALL wheeled vehicles and charge bike registration fees to pay for the whims of the whiners.
May 15, 2012, 7:47 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Sean, people who bike everywhere tend to be fit and muscular, which is the exact opposite of "sissy." And in case you've gotten confused about where you live, because you seem to be laboring under the mistaken impression that it's a small, narrow-minded post-industrial city in the Mid-West that nobody would ever want to move to, New York is a city that is constantly changing. Huge swaths of its residents were not born here, or will not die here. New people come, people like you move to the Jersey Shore or Florida to get away from the new people. Change is the rule here.

As a driver, I like the protected bike lanes. I don't have to worry about hitting anybody or cutting them off. And the more people who bike instead of drive, the better traffic is for me. I wish there were a way to get more people to give up driving for biking. Imagine getting from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side in the 20 minutes it ought to take instead of the 40-50 minutes it does!
May 15, 2012, 8:31 am
Steve from Carroll St. from Park Slope says:
Yes, I'm a Park Sloper. And an avid bike rider. I'm glad they are spending tax money on bicycle lane improvements.

While it's hard to admit it in oh-so-liberal Park Slope, I live on a prestigious block, in a beautiful brownstone, and pay big bucks in taxes every year ( $500,000). And proudly, I am the 1%!!!!

I'm glad my money is going for something other than welfare and education, the two black holes of City tax levy dollars. Did you say $40 Billion in next year's NYC Budget.

But who's counting...or picking our pockets...
May 15, 2012, 12:34 pm
sean from brooklyn crossing says:
First, My apologies to Bklyn Paper. I pushed the abuse button accidentally. Perhaps the editor will remove my error.

However, Scott, you labor under some misconceptions. I intend to live and die in NY and your snide comment about moving to Florida is futilely inane.

Further, you comments make no sense. Having people ride bikes has never been proved to mean these cyclists will then stop using their cars. Apples, oranges.

Moreover, you completely failed to address my point: motor vehicles pay millions in taxes, bikes pay nothing, and demand the world.

Additionally, your hackneyed comment, "New York is a city that is constantly changing":
No kidding, Sherlock!

Such a weary and trite remark could only come from someone who read a book about NY and was so enthralled that he/she decided to move here.

Finally, your bankrupt thought process is clearly highlighted with "I wish there were a way to get more people to give up driving for biking."

Gee, why not sell your car? Practice what you preach!!

(Btw, I don't own a car, unlike you. I walk or bike. I just don't need sissy bike lanes intended to soothe terrified newbies to the city, who think the city should accommodate them, instead of them accommodating the city)
May 15, 2012, 1:55 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I own a car. I will probably always owe a car. Many cyclists own cars. Even if one does not own a car we all pay taxes.

I also lived my whole life in Brooklyn and am glad to see it change. A system of bike lanes makes it safer to drive and ride.


People who support more bike lanes in Brooklyn are not sissy newcomers. We are Brooklynites who want things to get better.

Anyway, there are bike lanes at the Jersey Shore and in Florida too. Just deal with it.
May 15, 2012, 2:18 pm
norman from Park Slope says:
The bicycle lands are a legitimate part of the City's infrastructure. Get used to it.
May 15, 2012, 2:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To all you bike zealots here, nobody is trying to get you off the road nor does anyone (myself included) happens to be against those who want to ride a bicycle. Enough with this us vs them, because that's what makes the enemies in the first place, and some places like Streetsblog sure makes a lot of them with their blacklisting practices. I thank both sean and jay for their statements because they are true. Perhaps I should share how much I pay for my fees and services, and we will see who is paying more. Seriously, if you want respect, then start earning it rather than demanding it. In the words of Confucius, "Respect is something one must earn, not demand." Ironically, you guys want everything but not the responsibilities that come with it.
May 15, 2012, 5:42 pm
Person who is actually from Brooklyn, unlike Tal says:
"To all you bike zealots... Enough with the us vs. them."

Ya gotta love it.
May 15, 2012, 9:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Thank you for proving that you are nothing but a coward with nothing but a cheap shot, Mr. Idon'tuseaconsistantnamebutIamprobablythatverysameperson.
May 16, 2012, 2:56 pm
Mike says:
Tal, the least respected commenter on this site, quoting "Respect is something one must earn, not demand"? Priceless.
May 16, 2012, 6:24 pm
mike from GP says:
Meanwhile, the widening of the Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramps is costing us over $400 million. All to accommodate too many untolled drivers.
May 16, 2012, 10:58 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

YOU are the one making this an US vs YOU.

WE are working together to make OUR transportation infrastructure better.

Go Away
May 17, 2012, 7:58 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Meanwhile, the widening of the Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramps is costing us over $400 million. All to accommodate too many untolled drivers."

Actually that ramp is used much more constantly that all the city bike lanes combined, so it's worth it.
May 17, 2012, 9:45 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Really Tal

The costs of these bike lanes so small compared to the Brooklyn Bridge Ramp. So they are worth it. Thanks for making the the point of the "bike zealots".
May 18, 2012, 5:22 am

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