Frank Bruni has written a public thank-you letter to New York City’s Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in today’s New York Times. Sadik-Khan is a tremendous advocate for cyclists — she has roughly doubled the number of miles of bike lanes in the city since she was appointed in 2007. This article is a great read, thanking Sadik-Khan for what can seem like a thankless job and giving a nice overview of the current state of cycling in New York City. Make sure you don’t miss the graphic on the left, which compares the percentage of workers who commute by bicycle in major American cities. At 0.6%, New York City still has a long way to go.
Here’s a little article about the city’s effort to redesign the Manhattan-side entrance/exit to the Williamsburg bridge. Apparently people are unhappy about the new design. We won’t comment about whether the new layout is an improvement until we’ve ridden it when it’s finished early next year, but what’s there now certainly isn’t great…
Here’s a neat little article from the NY Times about Transportation Alternatives’ Bike Ambassadors program. These folks head out to the streets and try to encourage cyclists to ride responsibly. In the three months that the program has been running, they have convinced around 13,000 cyclists to sign a pledge that they will obey some basic traffic laws. Great work!
On Monday, Slate published a short piece by Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s Transportation Commissioner and a strong proponent of bike lanes. While she doesn’t say anything revolutionary, it’s clear that she believes the streets are a shared space in which motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians all have their place. And she also mentions NYC’s upcoming shared bike program, which of course is something we’re excited about here at Green Cyclists.
Check out this video promoting the BeFitNYC campaign! Philip is featured in a quick interview, and you can see both him and Ben riding. Great stuff.
I’m a NYer for bicycling because bicycling is good for NY.
Are you a New Yorker for bicycling?
Declare yourself a New Yorker for Bicycling:
I pledge my support for the three pillars of safe cycling in New York:
- Responsible riding is safer for everyone.
- Bike lanes keep everyone out of each other’s way and out of harm’s way.
- A robust public bike share program empowers New Yorkers with more transit choices.
I support these principles because more New Yorkers riding bicycles on NYC streets benefits New York as a whole. Bike-friendly enhancements to our streets improve New Yorkers’ health, increase pedestrian safety and bolster a more vibrant business community. As a bicyclist, I vow to ride safely and create a positive street environment. As a pedestrian, transit rider or driver, I support the right to safe travel for New Yorkers who choose bicycling and recognize that we’re all better off when everyone has safe space to travel. In the interest of a greener, greater New York, I call on my elected and appointed officials to do the same.
Join the call for more bicycling by signing on to the New Yorkers for Bicycling Declaration and spread the word to your friends!
Due to the short, concentrated class schedules for our 3 Hour Sunday classes, we have precious little time to learn about the lives of our students outside of their biking history. So I always enjoy reading blogs and posts written by students after their experiences as it not only helps us refine our instruction, but also gives me insight into the personalities that sign up.
This week, I came across a blog post from Laura, who holds the world record for the youngest woman to complete a marathon in all 50 states. Amazing accomplishment, and yet somehow that was never mentioned as we took her through the paces on biking skills and drills. I even gently teased her about the condition of her bike, which has been sitting unused in storage for 5 years – and now I know the reason.
Obviously we love to read positive reviews from students, but more importantly, we love to introduce urban cycling to New Yorker’s across the spectrum. Click through to read Laura’s description of Urban Biking 101 and check out her site http://www.50by25.com/
by IRINA GONZALEZ on MAY 11, 2011
The last time I rode a bicycle was almost a year ago when I visited a friend living in Los Angeles. On one of my last days there, she suggested we rent bikes and take them from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach and back again. And I loved it.
But as much as I loved it, the truth is that I almost never ride a bike. I learned in Russia as a child and had one growing up in Florida, but I can count on one hand how many times I’ve even beennear a bike in the past ten years.
Which is why it’s a surprise to myself as much as others that I took Green Cyclists‘ Urban Cycling Class this past Sunday.
And it was amazing!
A informational sheet used by NYPD offers leaked out over the internet today, and it instructs officers to issue tickets to NYC cyclists for breaking laws that do not apply in New York City. Unbelievable. Check it out for yourself:
To: Interested Parties
From: Howard Wolfson
Subject: Bike Lanes
Date: March 21, 2011
In light of this week’s New York magazine article about bike lanes I thought you might find the below useful.
- The majority of New Yorkers support bike lanes. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of New York City voters say more bike lanes are good “because it’s greener and healthier for people to ride their bicycles,” while 39 percent say bike lanes are bad “because it leaves less room for cars which increases traffic.”
- Major bike lane installations have been approved by the local Community Board, including the bike lanes on Prospect Park West and Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn and on Columbus Avenue and Grand Street in Manhattan. In many cases, the project were specifically requested by the community board, including the four projects mentioned above.
- Over the last four years, bike lane projects were presented to Community Boards at 94 public meetings. There have been over 40 individual committee and full community board votes and/or resolutions supporting bike projects.
- Projects are constantly being changed post-installation, after the community provides input and data about the conditions on the street. For example:
- The bike lane on Columbus Avenue was amended after installation to increase parking at the community’s request.
- Bike lanes on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and on Father Capodanno Blvd. in Staten Island were completely removed after listening to community input and making other network enhancements.
- 255 miles of bike lanes have been added in the last four years. The City has 6,000 miles of streets.
- Bike lanes improve safety. Though cycling in the city has more than doubled in the last four years, the number of fatal cycling crashes and serious injuries has declined due to the safer bike network.
- When protected bike lanes are installed, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists), typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations.
- From 2001 through 2005, four pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents. From 2006 through 2010, while cycling in the city doubled, three pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents.
- 66 percent of the bike lanes installed have had no effects on parking or on the number of moving lanes.