For the most part, there’s nothing extraordinary about the opposition to the Prospect Park West bike lane. New Yorkers are always arguing over how best to use the finite amount of space that constitutes their physical city.
Whether its unions upset over a big-box store, 9/11 survivors (well, some of them) opposed to an Islamic center, homeowners annoyed at a planned high-rise development or someone who doesn’t want a transfer station, filtration plant, homeless shelter, sports arena or university lab on site X, opposition to real estate and planning decisions is ubiquitous.
But not every debate sees the kind of mismatch between target (a bike lane than appears to be improving safety) and the weapons being hurled at it (lawsuits, protests, nasty editorial cartoons) as the Prospect Park West battle has displayed.
Nor does every debate see a former city commissioner criticizing the woman who succeeded her, nor the wife of a bike-fanatic U.S. senator looking to erase new biking infrastructure–even if in recent months, her opposition has grown less public.
In this video, our Jake Mooney gives the backstory to the role of former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall in the bike lane brouhaha:
Don Mathisen interviews Jake Mooney