Prospect Park West bike lane controversy continues
by Daniel Bush
Oct 19, 2010 | 3079 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Prospect Park West bike lane: do you love it or hate it?

Hundreds of people are using an online survey to weigh in on the controversial Park Slope project, which remains a hotly contested issue months after the bike lane opened to the public.

After a lengthy study period that came in response to community traffic concerns the Department of Transportation (DOT) eliminated one lane on Prospect Park West last summer, replacing it with a bike lane and additional parking space.

The change was welcomed by community groups who complained cars drove too fast on the three-lane street, which is popular with bikers and runners alike.

Park Slope Neighbors produced a study which found that the average car speed on the avenue decreased by 25 percent after the bike lane was built. The study also found drivers observing the speed limit rose by an eye-opening 409 percent.

When it was released it was hailed by supporters as evidence of the bike lane's success.

“Prospect Park West has been transformed from a noisy speedway on which nearly every vehicle was speeding to a calmer, quiet neighborhood street,” Park Slope Neighbors' Eric McClure said at the time.

But critics have slammed the bike lane for ruining a once-regal roadway and causing traffic congestion, resulting in dangerous road conditions. The two sides squared off in opposing rallies that took place after this paper went to press.

In the meantime, people are voicing their support- or venting their frustration- about the bike lane in the online survey, launched by Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Community Board Six.

“We thought it would be helpful to collect community data,” said Rachel Goodman, a spokesperson for Lander, in anticipation of DOT's own study of the bike lane, expected to be finished next year.

The survey- which claims to take three to five minutes- has questions about the bike lane, how it is used, and its perceived impact on Prospect Park West.

For more information or to take the survey, visit Brad Lander's website.

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