Photos: Bicycle-Riding Clowns Defend PPW Bike Lane
March 21, 2011
By John Del Signore
The annual Time’s Up! Pies of March bike ride rolled through Park Slope Saturday, where a merry tribe of jesters parodied the ongoing conflict between the DOT and those locals who want the Prospect Park West bike lane erased. “Back in 1950s, when Robert Moses was around, you would have never had support for people riding bikes around Brooklyn. Those were the days,” a man with a Marty Markowitz mask declared. “Today, everyone wants to ride bikes. Oy ve.” The funny thing is, the real Markowitz is such a clown that this hardly sounds like satire.
According to Time’s Up! photographer Adrian Kinloch, an effigy of DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan rode alongside Markowitz’s “SUV” and later, outside the Prospect Park West home of Senator Chuck Schumer and Iris Weinshall, she gave “a beautiful soliloquy on cycling in NYC.” But her speech was cut short by a crowd of hecklers dressed as bike lane opponents, “including one dressed as Raymond Kelly, who is allocating scarce city resources toward discouraging cycling.” “Markowitz” threw a pie at “Sadik-Khan,” sparking a bigger pie fight, and so the activists proved once and for all that bike lanes are an essential improvement to Prospect Park West.
“Politics are too funny to be left to the politicians and comedy is too serious to be left to the professional funny-men,” explains Time’s Up! volunteer Ben Shepard, who played the part of Markowitz. “That’s why we brought out the pies. These guys are trying to take away something the community board unanimously supports, something that saves lives. They do not deserve to be taken seriously.”