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Could a bike lane in Brooklyn affect cycling worldwide?

You have to go to The Guardian to find out how.
So how does one disputed bike lane fit in to the big picture?

As the Times reports, nearly three-quarters of Park Slope residents surveyed approve the Prospect Park West bike lane; but that figure falls to only about half of residents when you ask those who actually live on the road itself, which, having the park view, are, of course, those with the most valuable real estate but fewer parking places than they used to have. Among these disaffected residents is, by coincidence, Sadik-Khan's predecessor as the city's transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, whose tenure is not recalled for its visionary overhaul of city planning and traffic management. Weinshall happens to be married to Charles (Chuck) E Schumer, Democratic senator for New York.

Taking on the lawsuit, pro bono, is a high-flying corporate lawyer, Jim Walden. The website for Gibson Dunn, where he is a partner, boasts that, among other notable litigation successes, Walden got a multinational chemical company's department of justice fine reduced by $70m; helped a global financial services firm dodge a New York stock exchange investigation; and got an energy company off the hook of a criminal investigation for insider dealing. Walden was a contributor to Schumer's 2010 re-election campaign. I'm sure City Hall has a fine and admirable legal department, but $70m says this guy doesn't like to lose.

Powerful interests and very good connections are at work here...
And maybe here too.