The Prospect Park West Family Bike Ride
On a grey, chilly Sunday, an estimated 750 people, many of them on training wheels and balance bikes, turned out to ride the Prospect Park West bike lane and show their support for the traffic-calming redesign. Since the two-way, separated bike path debuted last summer, it's become indispensable for many parents who use it to take their children to school and get around the neighborhood. On weekends, the lane is full of families heading to the green market at Grand Army Plaza and kids riding to Prospect Park.
The "We Ride the Lanes" event was the brainchild of Mitch Sonies, who rides the PPW bike lane with his six-year-old daughter and wanted to do something positive to highlight how much people appreciate having a much safer street in their neighborhood. "It was a real celebration of this great, safe bike path," said Mitch. "When I first started kicking around the idea of a family ride, I never imagined so many people would want to take part. It's a real testament to the popularity of the lane."
As you can see, the ride was a hit with families and young children, who filled the entire length of the bike lane for more than 40 minutes as they paraded from Grand Army Plaza to Bartel Pritchard Square. The free cupcakes at the end of the ride didn't last long.
Mitch Sonies: [00:00] So the good news is we got a better turnout than we thought we were going to get and we’re not even actually at the start time. So that’s fantastic. Everybody here at the start will go off in groups of about, let’s say, 20. We’ll leave a buffer of maybe 30 feet, and then the next group will go. And we’ll just keep doing that as long as people are showing.
Paul Steely White: [00:40] My daughter, Hannah, my wife, Zoe, we love the lane, it’s very important to us as advocates and as residents here, so happy to see hundreds of Brooklynites and other New Yorkers out today saying yes to safety and yes to the future of New York City streets.
Brad Lander: [01:22] What I want to see is who can be louder, the kids or the parents. Okay? One, two, three…
All: [01:28] Yield to Pedestrians!
Speaker: [01:31] This is fantastic. The lane is still full of people coming down.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:46] Did you all have fun today?
Speaker: [01:47] Yeah, of course.
Speaker: [01:48] Yeah, it was so much fun.
Speaker: [01:50] It was awesome. Nice ride.
Speaker: [01:53] We love this lane.
Speaker: [01:56] We had an amazing ride, the kids loved it.
Speaker: [01:58] I see all the orange t-shirts going by.
Speaker: [02:00] I ride the lane.
We just wanted to show that it’s not a political issue, it’s that
we love the lane and it’s great for families and it’s essential
for kids and for safety. It’s just good everybody. Let
everybody know that the support for the, you know, the lane is there
and the community and that would be our contribution to the dialogue.