Like all bike lanes in this crazy town, the battle rages on against the Prospect Park West bike lane, which took away a lane of traffic from the notoriously high-speed avenue in Park Slope and added a path for bikes, separated by a row of parked cars. High-profile opponents like Chuck Schumer's wife—former NYC DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall—and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz say the redesign has snarled traffic and endangered pedestrians. But a new report from a group that pushed hard for the change suggests that the bike lane has, at the very least, stymied speeders on PPW.
According to a report from community group Park Slope Neighbors, before the bike lane 85 percent of drivers were exceeding the 30 mph speed limit. A follow-up last month showed the new street design, with two traffic lanes instead of three, has increased compliance with the speed limit five-fold, and average speeds are down about 25 percent. Streetsblog is hosting a pdf of the full report.
Of course, you can't just wave some facts about safety improvements and expect a bike lane war to magically disappear. When asked about the study, Markowitz told Brooklyn Paper, "Double-parking is still commonplace and the result is more noise from car-honking, more pollution from traffic jams and more frustration to residents and visitors alike." Let's join Streetsblog's Ben Fried and "just appreciate this line of thought for a moment: Motorists double-park and spew fumes, so let's go back to the bad old days when they could double-park, spew fumes, and speed unchecked."