One of the criticisms of the original video showing cars entering the park after it was supposed to be closed was that the Parks Department employees arrived to set up the gates only fifteen minutes late, hardly an amount of time worth whining about in a city where the only thing you can count on is a radio station's promise of "Weather on the 1's."
Another criticism was that if the park opened to traffic fifteen minutes late, a late closing would technically be a "net wash" with no car-free time lost at all. Here's what a commenter named Bligo said on Streetfilms.org about this:
Give me a break. Hey, are you standing at the park in the morning to see whether they OPEN the gates 15 minutes late, thereby giving the bikers extra car-free time in the morning?
Well, I didn't go this morning, but I was on Prospect Park West late this afternoon just as the park was about to re-open to traffic for the evening rush and decided to test this theory. (The park drive is open to traffic on weekdays from 7 AM to 9 AM and from 5 PM to 7 PM.)
I didn't have my video camera, but I did have my digital camera which has a low-quality video setting. Did the park open to traffic on time or is the "net wash" theory correct? Watch the above video to find out, but here's a clue: I was able to come home, download the video from my camera, throw it together on iMovie, and upload the video to YouTube before 5:27 PM.
How many cars enter Prospect Park after it's supposed to be closed to traffic? Watch this video to find out.
UPDATE: The video was picked up by The New York Times' City Room blog.
UPDATED UPDATE: MSNBC's Clicked blog has picked up the story, in a way. The video is used as one of many examples of people turning to the Web to throw the spotlight on a problem.
I like Mike Bloomberg as much as any other anti-smoking, gentrification-loving liberal who couldn't enthusiastically pull the lever for Mark Green or Freddy "The Mustache" Ferrer, but this is much ado about nothing, better framed thusly:
New York-centric media, made up of millionaire Republican New Yorkers--who would be Democrats anywhere else--and who think the world revolves around them and their opinions, goes gaga for billionaire Republican New York mayor--who would be a Democrat anywhere else--who thinks the world revolves around him and his opinions.
As Woody Allen, another short iconoclast who plays better in his hometown than in Peoria, put it: "Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here. "