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Park Slope Residents Oppose Addition Of Bike Lane

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A growing number of residents are protesting the city’s plan to install a bike lane in Park Slope. NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Bicyclists are not supposed to ride on the sidewalks along Prospect Park, but residents say they still do.

"I think absolutely essential that they get the bicyclists off the streets, off the sidewalks,” said Park Slope resident Cecil Bergen.

Cyclist John Cianciotta says he's guilty of not obeying the rule.

"They hassle you if you ride on the sidewalk, but if you guys built a bike lane, I'd ride in the street,” he said.

Soon, Cianciotta will get his wish. The Department of Transportation plans to install a two-way bicycle lane along the park side of Prospect Park West by June.

While that makes many bikers happy, a growing number of residents oppose the plan.

"New York is a beautiful place and the only way to really enjoy it is on a bike," said cyclist Shahnti O’Neill.

"They should definitely have a bike lane on Prospect Park West because it's dangerous with the three lanes and the traffic comes so fast,” said cyclist Tony Reid.

"We're shocked, we're disturbed, and we're worried," countered resident Denise Walters.

Walters lives on Prospect Park West. She says she just learned about the proposed bicycle lane -- and thinks it's a safety hazard.

"I think pedestrians are going to have a more difficult time crossing the street with their dogs. They'll have to cross the lane of traffic and then they'll have to look both ways in the middle the street to make sure one of the bikes isn't coming from either direction,” she said.

Those who live along Prospect Park West, and those who run the Poly Prep Day School there, say they haven't been included in the decision making process.

"I live right on the park and didn't know anything about it,” said resident Suzanna Douglas.

But the DOT says this has been three years in the making – starting with a request from the local community board. Community Board 6 says there's been plenty of notice about planning meetings.

It says the bike lane will serve as a connection to the one that was recently put in on 9th Street.

Those who oppose the bike lane have started a campaign to try and stop it, handing out flyers over the weekend which pointed out the possible problems and saying cyclists have plenty of park space to ride.

"It seems that this area, at this point, it's just not necessary,” said Arthur Foresta, a resident of Windsor Terrace.

"A lot of people double park, so it might be dangerous people weaving in and out,” added Park Slope resident Allison Clardy.

Community Board 6 says it'll address this issue at a public meeting next Thursday.

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