A DOT “cozy” with bike advocates? If only…



A DOT “cozy” with bike advocates? If only…

New Yorkers with ties to a former transportation commissioner and Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer’s wife are suing New York City for a bike lane they say decreased safety on a street through a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood. In the lawsuit filed yesterday in the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, the New Yorkers allege that the city’s Transportation Department used “deceptive statistics” about the benefits of the bike lane and ignored environmental reviews and the public input process. They also say the two-way bicycle lane installed last summer along Prospect Park West made the street difficult for cars to maneuver and hindered views of pedestrians. The suit also claims the Department of Transportation was cozy with bike advocates and worked with them to stop community opposition. The lawsuit comes after an escalating battle involving petitions, pamphlets and rallies over the bike path. It was filed by a group that is closely linked to Iris Weinshall, New York City’s transportation commissioner between 2000 and 2007, and Schumer’s wife. Jim Walden, the lawyer who is representing the group, was a contributor to Schumer’s 2010 campaign. Transportation officials yesterday said they had not fully looked at the lawsuit but that the bike lane has been a success. “This project has clearly delivered the benefits the community asked for,” said transportation spokesman Seth Solomonow. “Speeding is down dramatically, crashes are down, injuries are down, and bike ridership has doubled on weekends and tripled on weekdays” (Michael Grynbaum, New York Times, March 7). — AP


  • Labann
    Mar 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    BTW: NYC's Transportation Alternatives lobbied and succeeded in getting police accident records made public. It's nice to know exactly where all your accidents occur, not only for avoidance (by group ride organizers and individuals alike), but to promote safer streets proactively. Of course, general principles still apply. Most accidents occur:

    1. 4-lane, heavily traveled, undivided, streets with no shoulders.

    2. Anywhere distracted shoppers leave stores and merge with traffic flow.

    3. 4-way STOP signs (other guy is going to stop, right?)