Southern Brooklyn

Video: Markowitz Blasts Bike Lanes In Song And Dance


As if the city’s bike lane battles weren’t serious enough – what with top-less protests, Holocaust comparisons, and misplaced priorities – Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz kicked it up a notch by skewering the city’s bike line obsession, and fanatical proponents, in a song and dance routine. Literally.

Joining the cast of Symphony Space’s political cabaret Thalia Follies during the production’s first Brooklyn performance, Marty Markowitz took to the stage to voice the plight of Brooklyn drivers, besieged by the city’s fast-and-furious implementation of lane alterations citywide. Bus lanes and bike lanes and sidewalk cafe lanes – all given a tribute of sort to the tune of “Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.

“Strollers and schlepers and skaters and joggers,/ Holiday lanes just for all the egg-noggers,/ Let’s not forget cars, it’s getting insane./ Welcome to Brooklyn the borough of lanes,” Markowitz crooned in his Elmer Fudd-like voice.

Markowitz was invited to the April 6 performance at Kingsborough Community College by the show’s Symphony Space director Isaiah Sheffer, who was looking for something special for their first-ever rendition in the city’s most populous borough.

But, being a politician, Markowitz couldn’t go on stage and give a humorous performance mired in political ambiguity. He introduced the song with a three-and-a-half minute spiel making clear his views on bike lanes.

“Beijing is looking more like New York City, and New York City is moving towards Beijing in the 1950s and 60s,” Markowitz said. “I’m not against bike lanes all around New York City, but I do believe you and I as the public have right to have a word and have a say in where bike lanes should go.”

And the bike line advocates? Well, according to the borough president, they need to lay off the Kool-Aid.

“The folks that believe in [bike lanes] are the ones that believe that Moses, Mohammed and Jesus speak to them,” he said. “And therefore, anyone who disagrees with their position obviously is on the take, corrupt, a bum or part of yesterday. Or, with the e-mails that I got, a fat horse who ought to get on a bike and lose that fat forever.”

Comment policy


  1. “The city’s bike lane obsession?”

    The only one here who seems to have a bike lane obsession is this clown Marty Markowitz.

  2. Also not true. The bike lane on PPW has made the street more dangerous not safer. The City lied with the statistics. I saw this on Up Close last month on Channel 7. The attorney against the bike lane stated that before the lanes were introduced accidents on PPW declined from 2005 to 2009. When the bike lane was put in, accidents immediately rose. When the City released statistics they used years before the lane was put in and compared 2007 to 2010 showing a net trend of down. Paul Steely White who represented Transportation Alternatives did not take issue with this statement but changed the subject to something else.

    The City is going to do whatever it has to in order to mislead to continue expansion of the bike lane program. There is a bike lane inside the park one block away which can be easily converted to two-ways. The PPW lane is clearly not needed.

  3. Well, that solves it. One person killed by a bike 2 years ago, but an average of 250 people a year since then. Bikes are definitely the problem.

  4. So are drivers. 54% of New Yorkers don’t own cars. It’s true because I saw it on Up Close on Channel 7. The majority of New Yorkers neither drive cars nor ride bikes. Most walk and take public transit.

  5. Actually, no. Speeding is way down, crossing distances are shorter for peds and little kids can now bike on the street safely. There is simply no question that the street is vastly improved and safer. There is also no question that this project is overwhelmingly supported by the community. These are facts.

    Attorney Jim Walden is being paid to lie to you. His arguments about DOT data falsification are complete bunk. It’s sad that you are buying it. Here are some intelligent people who do transportation analysis for a living talking about what Jim Walden is doing:

    Walden’s entire data falsification argument is designed to distract you from the simple fact of this:

  6. They are when they don’t follow the rules of the road. Who goes through more red lights, cars or bikes? I’ll give you a hint. The answer starts with a “B.”

  7. Don’t get wise. You know what I meant which was that most people are opposed to the way the City is handling the bicycle lane program, i.e. shoving it down people’s throats. Even Park Slope is split down the middle on PPW. It’s not a runaway majority by any means like you would like everyone to believe. In Southern Brooklyn the opposition where more people depend on cars, is much higher.

  8. When you say speeding is way down, I’d like to know what that means. Is the average speed now 15 miles per hour? Speeding could have been curtailed by retiming the traffic lights which were set above the speed limit or the street could have reverted to two-way. The bike lanes were just not necessary.

    I’ll analyze the Streetsblog article when I get the time but I’ve been around long enough to know that you can do anything you want with statistics and Streetsblog isn’t exactly an objective source. They have an agenda and we all know what that is. I’d feel a lot more comfortable if you would have cited more of a mainstream publication. In fact after looking at their site for several months, I stopped because I just couldn’t stand their biases and distortions of facts any more. Every time you try to post an opposing opinion, no one talks to you about the facts, they just all gang up on you and shout you down.

  9. BrooklynBus: while you’re at it, read Streetsblog’s post yesterday about how installing and refining traffic lights were proven to NOT reduce speeding more than 20 years ago. Drivers attempt to make up time by speeding MORE between lights. Are you a traffic engineer? If not, how do you suppose you know better than the ones employed by the DOT?

  10. I see many cars blow through almost every light at every intersection I pass by or am waiting at in this city. Which is more dangerous, a 2 ton car blowing through a red light or 120-200 pound cyclist? I’m not condoning either going through a light, I do not go through red lights myself and I get annoyed when I see other bikes going through, but seriously, they’re mostly only endangering their own dumb asses. I know of a lot of people who have been stopped on their bikes for doing so and have seen it happen, but I have yet to see a cop pull over a car for blowing a red light, and there have been plenty of instances when they were sitting right there when several cars do so in front of them.

  11. Really? You wouldn’t know that by all the surveys and polls that show the majority of people in this city supporting the bike lanes

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised if accidents did go up when the lane first went in. Drivers were driving very aggressively and not adapting to the new conditions. It seems much calmer now, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why it also makes sense to use all of the data available, and why the attorney’s analysis comes off as another lawyerly trick.

    The lane in the park doesn’t go both directions, doesn’t connect to the neighborhood in the same way and doesn’t fulfill the community’s request to calm the motorized traffic on PPW which was the impetus for this project.

    Finally, your accusations against the city don’t add up. They have heeded the people’s request for a safer street that works better for all users. They have no logical motivation to present misleading information unless their actual secret mission is to make it harder to get around and make the streets more dangerous. Is that really what you believe?

  13. Fewer drivers are speeding now. The amount of time it takes to drive from GAP to Bartell Pritchard is the same, but the maximum speeds are down. This means that people are driving steadily with the light timings now and not so likely to speed as quickly as possible to the next red light only to wait.

    I don’t speak for Streetsblog, but their “agenda” seems to be something like safer streets and more transportation choices for the non-driving majority. Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it?

  14. You’re not correct. Poll after poll shows people support bike lanes.

    Two separate polls in Park Slope showed 70% or higher approval for the PPW bike lane.

    Even in Southern Brooklyn where there is indeed higher car dependency, the majority of people still depend on public transit. All of that car traffic holds up a lot of people who depend on the bus.

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

  15. Apparently it is what they believe, but then apparently lawyers would never lie or skew statistics and “facts” to benefit their tooootally unbiased motivations, nor would main stream, commercial media outlets who definitely don’t have any interest in not upsetting their corporate advertisers which definitely don’t include car and gas companies.

  16. And probably 98% of those occur within the first second of the light turning red. The reason is the very short yellows we have in the City which force you to slam on your brakes risking being rear ended and causing unnecessary pollution even if you are going the speed limit or slower. The minimum amber cycle supposed to be three seconds, but I would estimate that about half are two seconds or less because they are never calibrated. I once went through a red light because I blinked on the entire yellow cycle which was less than half a second. I passed this light every day for several years so I know how short it is. (Very few, probably less than 10% flagrantly just ignore a red light.) Now do a survey of cyclists and you will find at least 90% do not stop at red signals and wait until it turns green.

  17. Okay. Slightly more than half, certainly not overwhelming support and that was just one survey. Did any other surveys show people do not support bike lanes or are you just going to cite the one that did? Myself, I support bike lanes where they do not take away a lane from traffic.

  18. I was talking about one way streets. If you set the lights so that you have to maintain a speed of 35 mph in a 30 mph zone, why should you be surprised if cars speed to make the green lights? That is exactly what they were doing on some streets. They say you should go 30, but they really wanted you to go faster.

    I am not a traffic engineer, but what would you say if I told you that just because you have an engineering title at NYCDOT, doesn’t mean you have an engineering degree? I know this for a fact. Some of those people are no more qualified than I am. I remember a long time ago at a meeting, people were asking for a longer green cycle on one street. The person from DOT stated back that if it is a problem during certain times of the day, the drivers are smart enough to “stretch out the signal.” In other words, he was saying that it was okay to go through the red light because everyone knows there are three seconds where both directions have a red signal when the light changes. So tell me why I should have any faith in anything DOT says or does.

  19. I haven’t been there recently so I wouldn’t know.

    Streetsblog’s agenda is also to get rid of all cars by making it as difficult to drive as possible by eliminating parking spots and getting everyone on a bicycle no matter your age, infirmity or the weather. They believe that the mass transit system is just as good in Williamsburg, Park Slope, Chelsea as it is in Fresh Meadows, Hollis and Whitestone which it is not. Cars are just necessary in certain places (where there are no subways and where the MTA is not willing to improve bus service, but rather cut it) and no one at Streetsblog is willing to recognize or admit that. Now that sounds disgusting, doesn’t it?

  20. You haven’t been there, but you know it’s just terrible, eh?

    Get rid of all cars? I must have missed that article. Your credibility is going from bad to worse.

  21. I said the lane in the park could easily be changed to go in both directions.

    If it works better for all users, why are so many people opposed to it?

    They do have a logical motivation to present misleading data when the real data does not fit their agenda. Why was the study area for the Times Square pedestrian area from the East River to 9th Avenue? Wouldn’t logic dictate that it either be from 5th to 9th or river to river? Could it possibly be that many cars were diverted to 10th, 11th Avenues and the West Side Highway slowing traffic there and they wanted to show that other streets were not impacted because it just wouldn’t look good? Do you really think the City is that honest? I’ve seen the MTA skew data, and I wouldn’t put it beyond DOT.

  22. Nor would Transportation Alternatives or Streetsblog because they are just so objective and honest. I’m sure they have their own lawyers. Oh yeah, but their lawyers would never lie or skew statistics.

  23. I didn’t say I know it’s terrible. I’ve heard it’s terrible from the articles I’ve read. I’m sure there are times of the day when it probably works okay, and I would bet that isn’t all times and there are times now when the street is congested.

    Show me one article where Streetsblog said one thing favorable about cars. They are constantly being attacked as if cars and highways are the greatest villain the City has. It’s article after article. Every article is about reclaiming the streets from the cars, or how many people were killed last month by cars, and you say they don’t want to get rid of all cars? Have they ever made the statement that private cars have a place in this City? No. How clear do you want them to spell it out that their ultimate agenda is to get rid of all cars as if that were possible?

    Go ahead attack my credibility if it makes you feel better.

  24. No pedestrian ever injured me going through a light. Crazy drivers are a threat. So are the cyclists, all of whom seem to be crazy because from what I see, exactly none of them obey any traffic rules.

  25. The bike lanes on Neptune Avenue crack me up. They’ve slowed traffic to a crawl. And, I walk Neptune almost every day, and if I see a cycle a week using those bike lanes, it’s a lot.
    It’s the usual waste of govt money thing: find a righteous cause, and even if 3 people benefit, spend all kinds of tax money on it. It’s a righteous cause.

  26. i’d like to know how many injured compared to how many bikes there are. Your statistical attempt is faulty.

  27. Pedestrians often dart out during red lights. To the credit of most drivers they manage to deal with the situation without causing injury to the errant party.

  28. Look, if you don’t WANT to be convinced, that’s okay. You don’t have to like bike lanes. But don’t ask for evidence, see it, realize it doesn’t prove your point of view, and then dismiss it. There are no polls that show a majority of people hating bike lanes, despite what the Post or Daily News claims.

    Again, you don’t have to like bike lanes – no one does – but a lot of people actually do.

  29. Yep, saw that myself. I was at meeting with DOT people that were supposed to be “transportation engineers” but had to have everything broken down to the simplest terms.

    There used to be a certificate program at Cooper Union in transportation engineering. These people most likely didn’t even bother to obtain that.

  30. Right Brooklyn Bus,
    The Community Board in Park Slope, must feel so stupid. After all, they have held hearing after hearing, and keep voting in favor of the bike lane!

    After all, who are they going to believe.. Marty Markowitz or their own lying eyes.

    You truly, have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I seriously suggest you study

    a) the reason the bike lane was put in place

    b) the statistics before and after

    And you -should- read the opponent’s brief, which is a joke, and is going to get laughed out of court.

  31. Eminem,

    Wow, really, you’ve done before and after studies of the traffic volume and thoughput? You mean there was never traffic congestion before the bike lanes were put in? And you sat there over several days doing bike traffic counts? Did you analyze the crash rates before and after? No?

    And if you were actually interested in, you know, facts, you’d have learned that the entire bike lane program cost the City about $2 million in the last 4 years. Compared to everything else the City spends $ on, that’s incredibly tiny. And considering the fact that bike lanes have been shown over and over again to reduce injuries to ALL street users, calm traffic and reduce sidewalk cycling, I’d say that’s a damn good return on investment.

  32. Marty is a total buffoon. Complete embarrassment to Brooklyn and New York. Why he’d sing a song like this at a night with Broadway stars and fun music is beyond me. What a jerk.

  33. “Why are so many people opposed to it.”

    Good question. I think it’s probably because people don’t like change, even when it’s for the better.

    You’re still not making any sense about agendas. Their agenda is clearly to make the streets safer and more useful for as many New Yorkers as possible. Lying about it would do nothing to further that goal.

  34. “I’ve heard it’s terrible from the articles I’ve read.”

    Those articles are lying.

    I still can’t speak for Streetsblog, but there are clearly too many cars. Don’t you find that to be true when you are stuck in traffic or trying to find a parking spot?

    Thinking there are too many cars is not the same thing as saying there are no legitimate uses for cars.

    You’re attacking your own credibility.

    Here’s a pie chart which show how unbalanced the streets still are, despite all the bike lane hysteria:

  35. Show me one article on Streetsblog that has ever suggested they want to “get rid of all cars.” Their mission statement includes “reducing dependence on private automobiles.” You seem like a smart guy… I think you can distinguish between the two. For example, they’ve written many positive articles about car sharing, which certainly doesn’t suggest they want to “get rid of all cars.” They write regularly about parking policy, like pricing parking to increase turnover of spaces to reduce cruising to look for parking, which has a huge net benefit to drivers. Yes, they have an agenda and it’s decidedly in favor of other modes of transit over cars; I won’t deny that. But to say it’s to “get rid of all cars” is disingenuous.

  36. BrooklynBus: I can understand why you have that impression but you should know that there aren’t that many people opposed to the PPW redesign. It’s actually a pretty small group of people. But, unlike most neighobrhood groups, these bike lane opponents on PPW have the resources and political connections to engage a major corporate litigation firm and a public relations shop to press their case. They have a US Senator, a former Deputy Mayor and a former DOT commissioner working the phones. And they have incredible access to citywide media and tabloid editorial boards. In every Community Board meeting, public demonstration, independent survey and even on Facebook we have seen that supporters of this project outnumber opponents by substantial margins. The last two Community Board votes supported the project UNANIMOUSLY. Though, of course, NBBL’s attorney is now trying to de-legitimize the Community Board as well.

  37. Unlike the New York Post, which pretends to be objective and so-called Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, who pretend to support bike lanes, T.A. and Streetsblog are completely honest about their agenda. Both organizations are very upfront in saying they are interested in seeing New York City streets become safer and more hospitable to pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists.

  38. Why don’t you stop babbling nonsense and come on up to Prospect Park West this weekend and take a look at the street for yourself.

  39. The community has, for years, asked DOT to do three things on PPW: Making pedestrian crossings safer, reduce motor vehicle speeding and make the street accessible for bikes. The redesign of PPW did that. Tweaking traffic signals — which was tried a few times — never accomplished these goals.

    Again, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

  40. You’re also ignoring the part about how the community REQUESTED the bike lane be put in as a traffic calming device for PPW. A 2-way lane inside the park does not “work better for all users” since part of the point of the lane is to stop people from speeding down PPW like it’s the BQE.

  41. It doesn’t matter. If you set the lights so that you have to maintain a speed of 30 mph in a 30 mph zone, you’ll still have drivers speed between lights if the street is wider than necessary for its traffic volume and the lanes are excessively wide for a residential street. That’s precisely what the situation was on PPW, especially since there are several blocks between traffic lights.

    And by the way, the average speed on PPW is now 28 mph. I think that’s perfectly reasonable, don’t you?

    Thanks for your anecdote from “a long time ago.” Somehow, you think that one experience is an indication that nobody from NYCDOT is qualified to present any statistical data on traffic safety. You just suggested that your ONE experience – under a different DOT administrator, I imagine – made you lose ALL faith in what the DOT says, even if it comes from a qualified person with an engineering degree. If that’s true, you’re one of the most irrational people I’ve ever come across on the Internet.

    You may not be an expert, but there are trained, qualified experts out there. And it’s interesting that despite the PPW lane’s opponents’ deep pockets, they have not offered any independent study by a traffic engineer, safety expert, or statistician to dispute numbers proving that the street is safer for all users and there was a minimal disruption in traffic. They’ve merely manipulated existing data in a way that flies in the face of what would be deemed statistically accurate.

  42. And nobody at T.A. or Streetsblog is using lawyers to dispute proven statistical analysis by manipulating or skewing data. They are merely reiterating the statistics that are already published by the city.

  43. Sorry, even the New York Post proved you wrong. In their observations in an investigation published on Monday, 24% of cyclists ran red lights. So you’re off by about 66%.

    And before you start to call out my data, consider the source, and their agenda.

  44. Unfortunately, killer drivers in NYC are almost never charged with a crime. If you ever want to murder someone in NYC, hop in your car and run them over on the street. As long as you are sober and properly licensed and insured, the chances are very good that the police and press will write it up as an “accident” and nothing will ever happen to you. You might get a “failure to yield” summons and that’ll be that.

  45. It’s so sad that people like you still have yourselves convinced that the city is “shoving it down people’s throats” when it is very clear that the community has the power. If the community asks for a bike lane and the community board approves it, the city puts it in. If the city proposes that a certain area would be a good spot for a bike like and the board votes it down, no bike lane. No big conspiracy here, just results that you don’t like.

  46. Chris I’m not getting evolved in this discussion and I’m happy to see you voicing your opinion in proper English. I’m not sure if you noticed but our very own BrooklynBus is quiet eloquent in expressing himself in American English and I’m sure he has great grasp of Queen’s English as well.
    I do have one question for you Chris. Are you hipster doofus? Between your love of bicycles, beer and that sweater you are wearing I believe you are. However I don’t have great experience in hipster doofusness since I live in Southern Brooklyn and consider my self a man. However if you are one, I want you to know that I respect who you are even though I’m sure you were not born this way. I accept your life style and hope that you will find a lifelong partner with who you will enjoy all the rights that we all have.

    Blessed be.

  47. What about non-crazy cyclists? Or yet, regular people that happen to be on a bike as opposed to a racer-type, or a messenger, or a bike enthusiast. What about the people who are just going to work, school, the grocery store on a bike? You get on a bike and see what rules you follow. The rules were meant for cars, and wouldn’t exist without cars, which is why I suspect many people don’t follow car traffic rules. A bike isn’t a car, nor is it a pedestrian. It’s nothing like eithere. You see, many of these people on bikes also drive a car at times, walk, ride a bus, a train…It’s human nature that dictates behavior, not whether you’re riding a bike.

  48. There are car drivers who would never run a red light while driving but don’t think it matters when they are on a bike

  49. Very true, but if you only read Streetsblog you would never conclude that. The impression they give is that anyone who drives a car is evil. That’s my problem with that site.

  50. Oy vey. What an embarrassment this sad little man is to himself and Brooklyn. I’m not a bike lane fan and even I think this is the behavior of a child.

  51. So you see one survey by the NY Post and 66% is now gospel. If you would have seen a survey that said that 24% of cyclists stop at red lights, would you have been so quick to quote it or would you just wait for a survey that shows results you support? That is the question people with an agenda such as yourself need to ask themselves.

    And I am not criticizing the Post saying their numbers are wrong. What I am saying is that you will get different results depending where you go. Go stand near Times Square as the Post probably did and you may get that result but is that typical for the whole City? No. Most cyclists who go through red lights do it in areas where there are no cars around and perhaps no pedestrians. In those areas, the figure going through red lights may be more like 99%. With about 9% coming to a full stop then proceeding carefully when they see no one around. Personally I don’t even feel that is a big crime and doesn’t deserve a hefty fine. Maybe $10, not $330 which is ridiculous.

    Just a couple of hours ago I witnessed a car cautiously going through a green light making a turn. There was an impatient cyclist trying to cross right behind on a red light without a helmet. He was yelling and cursing at the driver at the top of his lungs because the guy wasn’t moving any faster. I’d like to read something like that one day on Streetsblog. If I posted this over there, in five minutes 25 cyclists would start yelling at me about all the people who get killed by those evil automobile drivers.

  52. Now where did you get the impression that I don’t like bike lanes? Did I say that? What I said was that I don’t like the way the City is implementing its bike lane program. There is a difference. I said I support bike lanes where they can be installed without taking lanes away from vehicular traffic.

    And what evidence am I dismissing? All I said is that 54% is not an overwhelming majority for someone to conclude that bike lanes are widely supported. And what is the percentage of error, give or take 5% would you say?

    People are equally divided and to say most people support the bike lane program is slightly misleading. You can ask the question slightly differently and get very different results.

  53. So how come in Canarsie, the City announced plans for a bike lane and the community said they didn’t want it, and the City responded that they were going ahead anyway. Then local officials started getting involved and now it is stalled. And by the way I supported that bike lane. It’s not so clear and dry the way you paint it. They wanted to put in a bike lane on Gerritsen Avenue and only backed down when everyone was up in arms about it.

  54. “Again, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    I was speaking from personal experience. I was drivng there once without much traffic around doing 30 mph. I realized that if I didn’t speed up to 35, there was no way I would get to 15th Street on one green light so I sped up. If I could only get green lights by going 20, I would have slowed down to 20. Now you can tell me I am crazy.

  55. Yes, PPW is a residential street, but does that mean it is a local street? No. PPW is an arterial route which is why the lanes are wide. Where do you expect through traffic to go? Typical NIMBY response. I don’t care as long as it’s not on my street. And if Prospect Park is closed to traffic at all times as Park Slope is also proposing, do you think the average speed will stay at 28 mph?

    And if traffic is moving so smoothly as you contend, who are the people who are complaining of double parked trucks causing cars to slow down to a crawl in order to merge into one lane? Are they making that up? Or you just don’t care about them because they aren’t your neighbors and are just passing through? Yeah, they have no right to do that. The nerve of them.

    Every experience I have had with DOT has been negative which is why I have no faith in them. They are proposing a traffic change for Coney Island Avenue and Neptune Avenue making recommendations that would exacerbate a bad situation, not improve anything. The community came up with workable solutions, but DOT refuses to listen.

    Only occasionally do they come up with changes that make sense, like making a dual left turn lane from Emmons Avenue into Shore Blvd. But guess what? I found out last week that the change was suggested to them by someone at the MTA and it took them two years to study the situation and finally make the change. Last year they were arguing with me that the B71 bus shelter on Union Street near PPW would still be used by the B69 after it was rerouted last year. Then they finally admitted they were wrong. They are totally inept. Much worse than the MTA.

  56. No one would be against those goals which are admirable. The question is how inconvenient do you want to make it for other groups in order to accomplish those goals.

  57. Your examples are just proving my point. A bike lane was proposed on Gerritsen Ave but the plan was shelved when “everyone was up in arms about it.” A bike lane was proposed in Canarsie and local officials did their job and conveyed their community’s wishes to the city. If you can give one example where the community/officials fought tooth and nail to keep a bike lane out and it was put in anyway, your “shoving it down our throats” theory might hold some water.

  58. You don’t put in a bike lane to stop speeding. They tried that in Manhattan Beach and as the vast majority of the community will tell you, it hasn’t worked. And incidentally, DOT never consulted with anyone prior to putting in the bike lane. They just did it and the Community board and other groups have been trying unsuccessfully to get it removed for 5 years or just moved to another street, but DOT won’t budge.

  59. Actually the reason traffic has slowed to a crawl on Neptune is not because of the bike lanes but due to the construction work on the Belt Parkway due to rebuilding of the Guider Avenue Bridge. Much traffic has been diverted to Neptune because of that.

  60. One example: Oriental Blvd in Manhattan Beach. Lane put in without any community knowledge or consent. For five years, the Community Board and local groups have unsuccessfully requested the bike lane to be removed. DOT has refused. The bike lane is very lightly used and connects to no other routes. It was put there to curb speeding and it hasn’t worked. One group suggested moving the bike lane one block away to a safer location off the street. Still no response from DOT. Do you think 5 years is enough time to reconsider if it made the correct decision?

  61. There are “too many cars” is a ridiculous statement by itself. What does that even mean? If you are talking about traffic congestion, that is something else. Parking spaces is still another issue. If you are going to take away street space from cars and make it more difficult to drive, you have to make it more convenient to use mass transit. You can’t also be cutting bus service making it impossible to get from places like Windsor terrace to the Brooklyn Museum. If you want to take a train you have to deal with overcrowding even during off-hours. Ride on weekends, you’ve got those annoying subway diversions and suspensions. Sometimes a car is just necessary. So what do you call “too many cars?” Private cars are also often blamed for congestion, when the true causes are double parked trucks, endless utility repairs causing bottlenecks, tons of taxis in midtown, thousands of dollars spent on electronic signage that supposed to provide alternate routes when roads are congested, but instead just say “Buckle Up” or “Fine for Using Handheld Cell Phones,” and not placing traffic agents to override traffic signals when a bottleneck is caused due to closed lanes due to street repairs.

    Again you go with the credibility nonsense just because you don’t agree with me. I’ll tell you what is causing the bike lane hysteria. It’s not so much the routes they’ve already put in. It’s their plans for the future like eliminating a lane of traffic on the already congested Avenue P to install a bike lane. Reduce vehicular capacity by 50% inconveniencing perhaps 10,000 or more cars by adding 15 minutes to their trip while helping a few hundred cyclists. Really makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Also, plans for bike lanes on Avenue J and T. T may not be such a bad idea, but Avenue J is just ridiculous. It is wall to wall cars and buses. No one would even want to ride a bike there. Why would you want to encourage it there? Why pick the worst possible street for a bike lane? And you wonder why I have so little faith in the capabilities of DOT?

  62. I will when I’m in the neighborhood for something else. And I’ll also make sure to look at what is going on on Flatbush Avenue to see how much traffic was diverted over there. When you make a change, you have to look at the whole picture before you draw conclusions.

  63. It didn’t take too long to find “one article”. This one: calls for banning cars from Manhattan.

    So what will your response be? They weren’t endorsing it, but merely reporting on it.

    Check out this comment: “And I was intrigued by his campaign plank of banning private cars from Manhattan — an idea Paul Goodman had floated in a NYT Mag article in 1962.

    Wow, thanks for that, Charles! Here it is:…”

    And what about all the people who liked it. Not even one response against it. Because if someone tried to disagree, there would be 25 responses supporting it.

  64. Typical insane liberal statement. Cars go through red lights and the solution is to extend yellow lights? That’s just great. And let’s give bank robbers the combination to the safe so they don’t break the lock!

  65. I walk the streets every day. I walk a lot, lot of places. And I will tell you that the number of cyclists that stop at lights is very close to zero percent. And my observations are much more extensive than the Post’s, I’m sure. 24% is absolute bunk.

  66. Can someone tell me how many cyclists there are in the city, and how much money has the creation of bicycle lanes cost? I’m sure it would come to like 50 grand per cyclist, or something insane like that. The cost of the bike lane on Neptune Avenue is probably infinity, since I’d be hardpressed to tell you when I last saw a cyclist using the bike lane there.

  67. This has nothing to do with politics. Do you drive a car? You shouldn’t have to slam on the brakes when the light turns yellow in order to stop and then find yourself half way through the crosswalk and have to back up and you don’t have to be speeding to do that.

    When all the yellow lights are inconsistent varying from one to three seconds on streets with a 30 mph speed limit, it becomes very difficult to judge when you should hit the brakes and when you should just continue and go through. The yellow lights need to be calibrated so there isn’t this wide disparity.

    Occasionally going through a red light is unavoidable. Also, occasionally the light is broken, so I suppose you should just sit at the red light for half an hour until someone comes and fixes it. Is that what you would do?

  68. I’ve timed plenty of yellows on 30 mph streets. They have consistently been three seconds long. What are some examples that you’ve found of shorter yellows?

  69. I don’t know. Maybe you should ask Iris Weinshall, who was DOT Commissioner when that lane was installed.

    (Yes, the same Iris Weinshall who is now using her political, media, and legal connections to try to dismantle the popular bike lane on Prospect Park West.)

  70. And drivers run red lights with impunity – except where there are red light cameras, red light runners almost always get away with it. (When was the last time you saw a police officer giving a driver a ticket for running a red light?)

  71. 70% is “slightly more than half”? 70% is between two-thirds and three-quarters!

    And how does “two separate polls” translate to “just one survey”?

  72. 54%? Where did you find 54%?

    Oh. 54% isn’t a poll result. It’s the percentage of NYC households without cars. Do you bother reading the text that goes along with the numbers?

  73. It’s usually at three way intersections where they skimp by a second, which I think may be intentional so they can increase the time to three seconds where it is red for all streets as a safety cushion. I never seem to have a problem when it’s two side streets intersecting. Those always seem to be 3 seconds. It’s usually at the busier ones where it seems to be less. But on streets like Cross Bay Blvd where the limit is 35 mph, even 3 seconds is hardly enough time. I haven’t been there recently but there is one intersection in Queens which I used to regularly pass for five years (Brown Place, Caldwell and 69th Street) where the Brown Place amber was less than one second. One time I happened to blink on a green light and when I opened my eyes it was already red and I was going through. The amber was so quick that I never even saw it although I was looking directly at the light the whole time.

    I think some of the lights may start out as three seconds, but over time it shortens and no one ever checks. They are never calibrated to see if they are working like they should be. There was one amber light on the Shore Pkwy service road at Sheepshead Bay Road that was no longer than a quarter of a second on every third cycle. You could count three cars going through the red every time because there was just no time to stop on time. On the other two cycles, it was about a second. I came back one day with a camera and videotaped it and showed it to my someone at my councilman’s office. They notified DOT and a week later, it was one second on all cycles but that was still too short. Today it is about two seconds long, but definitely not three.

  74. Never. But I’ve seen them hide near stop signs and give a ticket to someone who slows down to two miles an hour without coming to a complete stop.

  75. Second paragraph. What does this say?

    “More than half of registered voters — 54 percent — said they believed the expansion of bicycle lanes had been a positive development for the city.”

    Sounds like a poll result to me.

  76. Weinshall may have created it but Sadik-Khan is the one who is refusing to change it. And you know why Weinshall is against PPW, don’t you? She is Chuck Shumer’s wife and guess where she lives? Prospect Park West. So she should have a better handle how it’s working than other Park Slopers supporting it who live on Seventh Avenue and don’t have drive there everyday. And I certainly wasn’t a fan of her either.

  77. Weinshall may have created it but Sadik-Khan is the one who is refusing to change it. And you know why Weinshall is against PPW, don’t you? She is Chuck Shumer’s wife and guess where she lives? Prospect Park West. So she should have a better handle how it’s working than other Park Slopers supporting it who live on Seventh Avenue and don’t have drive there everyday. And I certainly wasn’t a fan of her either.

  78. Okay, you’ve identified two intersections. The next time I’m in the area of either one, I’ll take a look.

    I was, however, expecting more than two. You did claim that “about half are two seconds or less” – it seems like you’re now saying that short yellows are relatively rare.

  79. Good, since it’s a stop sign, not a slow-down sign. I’ve found that many drivers who can’t be bothered to stop for stop signs also can’t be bothered to look out for pedestrians when they have the legal right of way. Since the police NEVER ticket drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians, this is better than nothing.

  80. Good, since it’s a stop sign, not a slow-down sign. I’ve found that many drivers who can’t be bothered to stop for stop signs also can’t be bothered to look out for pedestrians when they have the legal right of way. Since the police NEVER ticket drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians, this is better than nothing.

  81. I stand corrected.

    But that poll wasn’t referring to PPW specifically. Two polls focusing on the PPW bike lane found 71% and 69% support, respectively.

  82. I stand corrected.

    But that poll wasn’t referring to PPW specifically. Two polls focusing on the PPW bike lane found 71% and 69% support, respectively.

  83. Actually, I sometimes do see cyclists on Neptune Avenue. Not too often but they are there, usually delivery people. It has more usage than Oriental Blvd which has at most 1 cyclist an hour and that is good weather on warm days. Other times which is most of the time, you hardly see anyone using it.

  84. Actually, I sometimes do see cyclists on Neptune Avenue. Not too often but they are there, usually delivery people. It has more usage than Oriental Blvd which has at most 1 cyclist an hour and that is good weather on warm days. Other times which is most of the time, you hardly see anyone using it.

  85. I’m quoting the post that you were responding to, immediately below the City Room link: “Two separate polls in Park Slope showed 70% or higher approval for the PPW bike lane.”

  86. Weinshall put in a bike lane by fiat (if your characterization is accurate). Sadik-Khan put in a bike lane that the community overwhelmingly asked for. So why do you accuse Sadik-Khan of putting in bike lanes by fiat?

    Most PPW residents support the bike lane. Weinshall’s opinion doesn’t count more than anybody else’s, even if she lives at 9 PPW and has access to Marcia Kramer and a fancy lawyer.

  87. I’m sorry it didn’t work in Manhattan Beach. It apparently did work on PPW, unlike previous attempted solutions.

  88. We all know that delivery people are not humans, and are therefore unworthy of bike lanes or other things that might help them as they travel on city streets.

  89. The long-term flaw with aggressive promotion of bike lanes is that it is taking riders out of the subways and busses and killing the revenue stream the transit system needs. The die-hard bicycle people are not giving up their cars because most of them do not own cars. They are sworn to saving the ecology even at the expense of the worlds greatest mass transit system. We have to save the subways. Tear down those bike lanes.

  90. As a subway rider, I’d be thrilled if many of my fellow subway riders found a different way to get to work – then my trains wouldn’t be so crowded anymore.

  91. I can’t remember every intersection where I see a two second amber, but as I said, go to any intersection that has a three-way signal and time the amber. There is a good chance it is less than three seconds. I think they take a second off the yellow so they can add it to the red so everybody has to stand still longer. Guess they feel that since people run the red if all sides are red for longer than one second, say two or three seconds, there will be less accidents. Maybe they are correct, but it also causes more people to go through the red. I’d rather they take the second off the green than the amber. You are correct in saying that it is rare because what would you say 10% of the intersections have a three-way signal + the number that are malfunctioning that should be three seconds, and you still would have less than 25%, but it still is significant.

  92. You are correct but not coming to a full stop if you still are cautious really doesn’t cause accidents. When I did see it enforced, it was always the last day of the month because the police had to meet their quota. Worse yet, it was done at an exit from the Belt Parkway where a stop sign wasn’t even necessary, but only a yield sign since the area used to be striped so that there was no merge, but DOT let the lines wear out and never repainted them. It wasn’t done for safety. It actually made conditions more dangerous causing everyone coming to a complete stop which caused a back up on the Belt Parkway of 50 cars on the days police were present and everyone in the right lane had to come to sudden halt about 100 feet from the exit. Those not exiting would of course try to force their way into one of the other lanes. If it was done for safety, I wouldn’t mind, but it actually made things more dangerous.

  93. One more point I forgot to mention. When I was in college many years ago, our sociology teacher assigned us an experiment to go to anywhere there was a stop sign and count the percentage of cars not coming to a complete stop. We had to discount cars that stopped because pedestrians were crossing or if there was traffic on the cross street forcing them to stop. I stood there for five minutes and according to those parameters what percentage of cars would you say came to a complete stop? The answer was 5%. Others all had similar results. The lesson was that just because a law exists doesn’t mean that people will abide by it.

  94. I didn’t say it did. I didn’t look at those polls but I also heard that of the people just living on Prospect Park West (when you didn’t sample all of Park Slope), they were evenly divided for and against the lane. That must have been another poll.

  95. No. I just made a post where I heard according to a TV reporter that of the people just living on PPW, they were evenly divided.

  96. The reference is from 1962 but the Streetsblog article is from 2007. Why did they bring up something so old if they were not trying to revive it? And if Streetsbloggers disagreed, why is it that no one chose to comment and mention about it being so dated?

  97. Just drive on the Belt Parkway anytime one of the three lanes is closed off and tell me how inconvenient crawling along at 10 miles per hour for 20 or 30 minutes is. Also tell me what my mass transit alternative is unless you want me to bike to Nassau County.

    And on PPW the complaint was that when a delivery truck is double parked and I would imagine that happens all the time, everyone is forced from the two remaining lanes into one lane. People weren’t complaining about two lanes.

  98. So why are people still making waves if everyone is so happy about it? Don’t you think they have better ways to spend their money?

  99. But that is exactly what the MTA wants to happen. The fewer people there are using the subways and buses, the less service they have to provide saving them money since they lose money on every fare paid.

  100. Wrong. If there are fewer riders, the MTA will just reduce service so you will be just as crowded.

  101. I have to correct myself, saying I never saw cyclists using the Neptune Ave bike lanes. I saw THREE this morning. What a surprise.
    That’s the good news. The bad news is that two blew through the intersection at CI Avenue right through the red light. One with a little bit of luck might have been hit (the angry part of me doesn’t know whether to call it good luck or bad luck because this cyclist might hit ME tomorrow).
    I would say 2 out of 3 through the red light is a little less than the real average for cyclists, the NY Post article notwithstanding.

  102. Neptune Avenue is now JAMMED in the daytime. It’s almost gridlock at times. Now some of that is undoubtedly due to the Guider Bridge being out. But hey, i’ve walked Neptune Avenue for 30 years now, and I’m a damned better expert than you on it, that’s for sure. And I’m probably a better expert than some city worker, who probably decided ahead of time that bike lanes on Neptune are the way to go, came by, and fit is facts to fit his (probably liberal) philosophy on the environment, etc.

  103. i admit some of the traffic is due to Guider Bridge being reconstructed. But I doubt that explains the absolute horrendous gridlock that occurs certain hours of the day. There’s also a ghastly traffic light a half block east of CI Avenue. Whatever brainiac put this one up deserves…..deserves…..deserves to take his place in the NY State Legislature, that fine organization.

  104. hmmm, I know this is a radical idea, but, ummm, how about ticketing or arresting people who speed? Sorry, I know it’s against New York philosophy and warped thinking. Sorry I mentioned such an unsustainable and ridiculous idea.
    Building bike lanes to stop speeding. Now I’ve heard it all. Let’s stop pedestrians from being hit by keeping pedestrians off the street too.

  105. I don’t believe your numbers at all sir. My brother in Portland informed me that they have spent almost FIFTY MILLION dollars on bike lanes and they’re not even done. I checked up on my brother’s number and found a source which says approximately the same, +- 10 million. And I would be amazed if New York spent it’s money efficiently, for that would certainly be a first.

  106. Noooo, trust me, they’re not going through the red because they were afraid of slamming on their brakes. It’s more like 5 cars flying through the red at least 6-10 seconds after it’s turned red. I do know the difference. I also drive. It’s going to take a while for a lot of cyclists to stop at reds unfortunately. I’ll admit that I used to only after I stopped at the light, looked both ways and made absolutely sure there were no cars or pedestrians coming at all, then I would go through on my bike, because it really didn’t harm or endanger anyone at that point. But after they started enforcing the law I started waiting the entire time for the green light, regardless if there is any car or foot traffic or not. The only time I will go through right now is if I am waiting at a particular intersection near my house that is notorious for people getting mugged and that my friend was mugged at if there are groups of people just hanging around there. Any cop that wants me to wait around and get mugged at that particular street corner can fuck off, I’m not endangering my own personal safety, I’m not protected by a locked car door.

    And maybe you should come to lower income neighborhoods, it’s more like over 50% who really do flagrantly ignore the red lights. And my point wasn’t that the majority of cyclists stop at red lights. I’m a cyclists, 90% of the trips I make are by bike, I know first hand that almost every person on a bike whizzes by me while I’m waiting at a red light. My point is that the fact that cops will ticket someone on a bike who is not really endangering anyone by going through a red light before they will chase down a speeding car or a car that went through the same red light is kind of bizarre and seems unbalanced.

  107. Because Sadik-Khan was going to go ahead with the Canarsie bike lane according to a 20 year old plan. You can’t assume that the same people are living in a community 20 years later. The community living there now was against it claiming they never were consulted but she said it was going through anyway since the community was once consulted and had no objections. She only backed down after elected officials intervened and I’m still not sure it is dead. And by the way, I supported that bike lane because I can’t see it doing any harm and may do some good.

  108. Exactly. Not only should people who flagrantly speed be ticketed, but I’d like to see aggressive drivers on highways ticketed even more. If the limit is 50 and everyone is going 60, I really don’t see a problem. However, if everyone is going 50 and one jerk is going 70 by making 10 lane changes in 60 seconds, that guy should be ticketed.

    However if the City decides to ticket speeders, they will do it by speeding cameras to raise revenue, not for safety, because revenue is all they care about. Slews of cars will be getting tickets for going 32 mph in a 30 mph zone and the City will be shouting how much safer the streets are now.

  109. What the fuck? Are you gay bashing/suggesting someone is gay and that that would be a negative thing because they are a “hipster doofus” and therefore less of a man and not worthy of respect as a human being? I’m not a fan of hipsters myself, but including what appear to be homophobic comments is completely unnecessary.
    Or is this an inside joke?

  110. I was on Neptune Avenue every day for the past five years. The traffic is bad mostly westbound between the hours of 3 and 7 PM. Eastbound isn’t that bad. The bike lane makes it harder to make right turns, but drivers do it anyway.

    The light you are talking about makes totally no sense and blocks up the intersection. It was designed by the brainiac “engineers” at DOT. If you think that is bad, just look at what they are proposing for Guider and Coney Island Avenue. . It includes a proposal to reverse the direction of traffic on East 11th Street, making that new light installed totally superfluous.

  111. No, it’s Faba. That’s just his sense of humor. My instincts tell me he is definitely not at all the way he portrays himself here. He makes his points satirically.

  112. I am not going to disagree with you. What you say about five cars flying through the red is true. And I’ll tell you why they do it, not saying that it’s right. DOT purposely sets up the lights in some locations that just a soon as the light turns green it turns red at the next intersection while the one following is green. And just as soon as yours turns green, the next one turns red. The result is that it takes you five minutes to go about three blocks when there is hardly any traffic. People know that if they go through one red, the next one will be green and maybe the one after that, and they will save three minutes. I think some of that is by design and some of it is just because the lights are out of sync, because that also is rarely checked.

    But what I said is also true. People don’t want to get rear ended by slamming on the brakes because they can’t be sure id the car behind will also stop. We can argue which occurs more, but in the end it really doesn’t matter. I think we are both correct.

    As far as a cop ticketing a bike before a speeding car, which is easier to ticket? The bike. If they have a quota, they will stop the guy who is easier to stop because it is less work for them.

  113. I know that’s why they’re going after bikes over cars. It doesn’t mean that it’s right to be lazy and choose the easy target over the one that could actually do some serious damage and kill someone. And I know that’s why a lot of people go through reds, but in my neighborhood, especially at the major intersection which is closest to my house, the time between the light turning red and the cars still running it is extremely excessive and there is no other light to catch since the lights on the street are very well timed for cars and the next one is pretty far away, not like the ones where you go through the green, move 50 feet and have to stop again. I realize however, that I’m living in one of the more dangerous neighborhoods. It’s just unfortunate that this intersection is so bad and there’s almost always a cop sitting there that does nothing.

  114. If the intersection is that bad, I hope you let your elected officials and DOT know about it. Do you care to tell the rest of us, so we can be extra careful crossing it.

  115. I should send something to whoever would be in charge of that in this area, but I’m not going to say what intersection since I’m not into the whole telling people on the internet where I live thing. But if you were trying to cross it, you’d know to be careful, it’s complete chaos and insanity.


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