Would You and Your Kids Bike on PPW Without Physical Separation?


Clarence posted these clips from yesterday’s family ride on Prospect Park West, asking us to imagine the street as bike lane opponents would have it — with only a striped, un-protected lane to separate cyclists from traffic. I can’t really picture families biking on such a street. Can you?

Speaking of yesterday’s ride, the absence of coverage in the major dailies today has been rather stunning. The event attracted about 750 people — pretty significant, no? And yet, no citywide daily picked it up except for the Post, which of course vastly underestimated attendance.

We’ve come to expect that from the Post, so really, I’m looking at you, New York Times. Last December the Times ran a story about bike lane crankiness featuring a “rally” that attracted all of five or six people upset over the new protected bike lanes on the East Side. Gotta wonder why yesterday’s big show of support for new bike infrastructure got snubbed.

Maybe, to the Times, a bike story isn’t a bike story if there’s no obvious conflict, but there’s another journalistic form that fits the Prospect Park West project pretty well: the trend piece. The newsworthy trend happening now is that you have kids as young as ten or eleven years old using this bike lane for transportation — to get to soccer practice in the park, for instance. The emergence of all-ages cycling infrastructure is new and it’s significant, and it could be covered as a recent addition to the city’s transportation network that is finding a foothold.

Instead — and this is a testament to Iris Weinshall, Jim Walden, and the NBBL crew — we have a lot of stories about a frivolous lawsuit.