NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A bike lane battle gets ugly in Brooklyn.
A meeting about concerns over newly installed lanes leads to some pushing and shoving – and lots of screaming in Park Slope.
The bike lanes at the heart of this issue were installed last summer and, though they were intended to protect bicyclists, some in the neighborhood argue they have made things more dangerous overall – especially for pedestrians.
“We need to listen to each other and we need to work together for the common good,” Myra Manning of Citizens Uniting For Safety said.
Those seemed to be the last words of decency before a meeting to address concerns about the 9th Street bike lane in Park Slope descended in to pandemonium.
“You started a public meeting with an incredibly biased presentation that has nothing to do with the topic at hand,” one person claimed.
“One at a time! One at a time!” one official said trying to calm things down.
“If you cannot moderate the meeting fairly, then you should hand it over to someone who can,” one resident declared.
“I’ve been to a lot of public meetings and that was very intense,” a Park Slope resident told CBS2.
“I think honestly, I blame the organizing, the people who put this together clearly had an agenda,” that person claimed.
The town hall was organized by Myra Manning, a Park Slope resident who claims the new 9th Street bike lane is dangerous.
It was installed as part of a safety initiative in 2018 after two children were hit and killed by a car in the area.
Manning says it’s now worse for pedestrians and inhibits the work of emergency response vehicles – something the FDNY union and some of her neighbors agree with.
“It’s made it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the street, to get in and out of taxis, people that get dropped off,” 9th Street resident Jeffrey Raheb said.
“We have street chaos and danger and if people don’t follow the rules and if they happen to be on two wheels, they’re dangerous,” Kimon Retzos added.
Still, some continue to push for even more bikes lanes, alleging the city isn’t safe without them.
“The 9th Street bike lane has made everything safer,” Scott Steinhardt claimed.
“I think in general the city can’t accommodate a growing number of cars and it’s better for everyone, better for the environment to have biking infrastructure,” Maya Edelman said.
Manning collected signatures earlier this year in hopes of getting the bike lanes removed.
This was the second meeting she organized. It’s unclear if she plans to hold another one.