Tag Archives: bike lanes

PPW

Not Quite Copenhagen

I picked up the most recent issue of New York magazine the other day while shopping at Whole Foods when the cover caught my eye.  I’m not one to sporadically buy magazines at the point of purchase for groceries but I couldnt help myself after seeing the words “Bikelash” plastered across the front.  I would think its pretty rare that a bike lane lands a five page story, plus the front cover of any urban magazine, especially one from NY.  The PPW bike lane did just that.

I would encourage anyone interested in the dispute over the PPW lane or just the growth of NYC biking in general to read the article.  Unfortunately it is a little bit one sided, especially at the beginning where the author (although a cyclist) focuses in on the views of anti-bike lane proponents.  It isn’t until the continuation of the article at the back of the magazine (pg. 91) that the good stuff is presented.  One of my favorite quotes, written about the 9th ave bike lane, which was originally met with fierce opposition until tempers slowly dies down was this; “there is something infinitely joyful in putting foot to pedal, something intoxicating about not being bound to the whims of a bus driver or subway conductor or thick tangles of crosstown traffic.  Whipping down the street, completely protected from the cars zooming by just a few feet away, may be the closest any New Yorker comes to flying” (Matthew Shaer). While not presenting anything factual to back up the need for bike lanes in NY, it is certainly an accurate testament to the feelings held by NY cyclists riding in a protected bike lane.  Now imagine a world where those lanes no longer exist.  Not such a pleasant dream when you’ve lost your wings.

Jakie Chan to defend Bikes?

The CitySpoke team will be stuck in class @NYU during Thursdays City Council Meeting @ 9:30.  Nonetheless I wanted to give you all some words of encouragement!  I was looking at some old Jackie Chan footage and came across a couple of classic scenes where he uses bicycles to fight his way through his enemies.  I know we’re all looking for a peaceful settlement to the long running feud between #bikenyc and the pedestrians and drivers that feel the roads are safer without us, but in the event that this all boils down to one grand finale of a battle.. I think we’re best to be prepared 🙂  So enjoy the videos below and take note of a few key moves that Jackie makes, they could be vital to our own success! ** Note: the roads in the first video are clearly not to scale compared to the ones in NY, but you get the point.

Good luck guys!  Keep the tweets up #bikenyc as I’m very sad that I will be missing out on this meeting.

Bike-Share Program Coming to NYC

Another win for NYC bicyclists.  The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally decided to emulate european bike sharing programs like the Velib system in Paris.  A press release announced that DOT will be accepting plans from private companies to make cycling more convenient and accessible to a large number of New Yorkers.  According to the Request for Proposals (RFP), the company will absorb all costs associated with the bike share program, at no expense to taxpayers, and will share the profits with the city during an initial five year period.  A system could be in place as early as Spring of 2012 and will feature bike-share stations every few blocks for users’ convenience. Additionally, the latest bicycle technology, such as GPS equipped bicycles and solar-powered stations will be used throughout the project.  The RFP is calling for approximately 10,000 bicycles and 600 stations to be distributed throughout the boroughs.

The program will most likely operate on a membership system, and customers will be able to pay daily, weekly, monthly, or annual fees.  In Washington D.C., it costs approximately $75 for an annual membership, and we can expect a similar cost structure in NY.  The service stations will be placed every few blocks to provide maximum coverage across the boroughs and will be consistent with the city’s growing bicycle network.  The larger question is how the DOT will make room for these stations.  They may attempt to take up space on the already crowded sidewalks or eliminate more parking spaces.  Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert K. Steel, explained, “A bike sharing program would provide New Yorkers with another transportation option while reducing traffic.”  Eliminating parking spaces will  reduce the amount of traffic coming into the city although this will undoubtedly cause some controversy.  Nonetheless, the bike share program is a great step in the right direction for the city and its residents.

Mapping Your NYC Bike Commute

Check out this great video made by the guys over at Streetfilms.org about the safety features that NYC has to offer in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. It’s really well done!

Mapping Your NYC Bike Commute from Streetfilms on Vimeo.