“There has been a tremendous and unfortunate amount of vitriol and name calling,” she told the crowd. “Some of you demonized us. Some of you have called us nasty names. We are not your enemy.” A couple of jeers bounced off the high ceilings of the auditorium. Hainline grew flushed. “We can’t keep this up,” she said. “We’re going to get tired. You’re going to get tired. We need to take a deep breath.”
Before that night, the members of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes had been insisting on the complete removal of the Prospect Park West lane. But now, as the audience looked on in befuddlement, Hainline offered a compromise. Her group, she said, would be willing to accept a single unprotected bike lane, along with a two-way bike lane in the park. “We will move the cars back to the curb,” Hainline said. She said something else, too, but by then the auditorium had erupted in boos and cries of “Sit down!” and her voice was drowned out completely.