Sunday, March 25, 2007

Park Slope Wrong Way

I think Forest Hills has Park Slope licked on a lot of things, but when it comes to community activism, they absolutely kick our ass.

Their Community Board has a sick website. Ours has none. Type in "Park Slope Community Group" and you'll get Southslope.com, ParkSlopeParents.com, Parkslopeneighbors.com, a bunch of stuff on Atlantic Yards, Parkslopeciviccoucil.com, and a bunch of others - all updated frequently. Barbara Stuchinski has nothing. Then you got the Streetsblog/Transportation Alternatives always doing reports from there. Park Slope's a media monster and I have no idea how they have the time to fight as much as they do.

Recently, the Department of Transportation announced they wanted to switch 6th and 7th Aves from two way to one way. All the above groups went berserk. 'We've got to mobilize immediately' said a couple of commenters on one of the many Park Slope boards. I would love Forest Hills to mobilize for something. Better bagels, less Eastern European hair salons, something.

Anyway, so they fought the DOT and won. I couldn't believe how much the DOT kissed their ass, but I guess that's what you get when you mobilize. Problem is, those streets should be one-way and I think they fought just to fight.

I've been wanting Austin St. (our 7th Ave.) to be one-way for years and I know it'll never happen. Park Slope's argument was that it would make those streets more speedy and dangerous for small children. As a parent of a toddler, I totally understand that. But I'll trade a few MPH for the safety of knowing from what direction the cars are coming. Plus, you eliminate the SOB's making mid-block u-turns, and the morons who double-park waiting for a spot to open up (a one-way street, cars can pass them - or police can move them along). And, if a person wants to parallel park, he won't completely stop traffic behind him. All this adds up to less traffic and less honking. The car stereos from Briarwood don't get stuck behind double parked SUVs and you've got the street to yourself again.

Also, with the DOT so subservient to Park Slopers, they probably could have bargained more. Instead of just 'no!', maybe say ' We'll do it, but give pedestrians 30 seconds before the light goes green.' Or 'We'll do it, but we need parking permits for all residents. Otherwise, go screw yourself and your one-way plan.' It sounded like the DOT was willing to deal, but we'll never know.

Park Slope, I admire your power, but I think it went to your head this time.