“If it works, I’ll be the first to say I was wrong.”

So, we now have the first batch of solid data showing that the Prospect Park West redesign has drastically reduced motor vehicle speeding and injury-causing crashes. It has tripled the number of cyclists who use PPW on weekends and doubled cycling on weekdays. It has almost completely eliminated bicycling on the sidewalk. And it has not impacted overall motor vehicle travel times in any substantial way. The redesign of PPW is working. No bottlenecks!

We also have the results of a massive community survey by Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Community Board Six. Nearly 3,000 people responded, 78% of them expressing support for the new design of Prospect Park West. Even among residents of the blocks between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West — supposedly the opposition bastion for this “controversial” project — 57% expressed support. Most people, it seems, believe the redesign of PPW has not been an inconvenience. Most people are happy with it.

So, when is Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz going to admit he was wrong?

Back in April, WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein sat down for a lengthy interview with Markowitz. In addition to calling New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan “a zealot” and urging cyclists to ride on the sidewalk, here’s what the Borough President promised:

I think the two-way bicycle lanes will cause a great inconvenience to the residents of Prospect Park West… I hope that the commissioner and the department is right. If they’re right, and in fact it causes no bottlenecks, no inconvenience, and if it works, I’ll be the first to say I was wrong. I would.


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  1. Marty Markowicz
    Posted January 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


  2. Ben from Harlem
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    One thing that’s funny to me is that bike lanes actually make Brooklyn a more appealing place for me to want to live. Yes there are lots of different kinds of people in Brooklyn, but so many of the new young people moving to the borough like to bike and like the bike lanes. I wonder how much of Markowitz’s vendetta against bicycle infrastructure is an old guard vs. new guard kind of thing – like get these kids out of our borough! Except, Marty, those bike riders are not hurting your borough – they pay taxes, they keep property prices boosted, they help to create part of that Brooklyn mystique…
    I am young, I just recently had a baby with my wife, and I would love to move to Brooklyn, partially because it is beautiful and partially because of its nice and growing bike lane network.

  3. Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Ben: You should stop what you’re doing and write Markowitz a letter telling him exactly that. There’s an entire generation of young people across the country who want to move to Brooklyn and live here, in no small part, because it’s one of the only places in America where you get around on a bike. This is something that Marty could take credit for and say: It happened on my watch. Instead, Marty has positioned himself against this phenomenon and against the next generation of Brooklynites.