Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bike Pool


People entering the bridge in Brookyln.

What it's like out there? Bike Utopia comes to mind. Today was the first day of the citywide Transit Worker's Union Strike in NYC. We had a small bike-pool to work this morning that left promptly at 8:00am from the base of the Williamsburg Bridge. The idea was to promote cycling as an option for getting to work despite the lack of buses and subways due to this labor despute. It was freezing cold but people were already walking and riding to work. Some got rides to the base of the bridge and walked it, while other cars had to maintain a 4 person occupancy. Both bike paths of the bridge were open, novel concept, the one on South 5th and the one on Bedford, under the bridge. There was room on the Williamsburg Bridge for all walkers and bikers, thanks to both sides being available. It was so nice to see so many people out where normally this commute is pretty empty.





At the Manhattan side was a 15 passenger NYPD van parked in the middle of the island telling people they had to move there bike because it was blocking the way...hmmm. Also, the Red Cross was there handing out hot chocolate in case that crisis of having to walk across the bridge was too traumatic for people. I guess people were traumatized because they might not be able to complete their holiday shopping. Manhattan was a dream to ride a bike in.

The bike lanes were marked with cones all the way up Lafayette and 6th Ave. Car traffic was minimal. People seemed like they were making the best of it and one woman even smiled at us and said, "Yeah bikers." We rode up to Central Park and 2 people went off to work. If you have a bike and need to get to work...use it. It really is safe and quiet out there except for an occasional Con Edison Van that tried to run me over on 5th Ave. even though there was nobody in the 5 lanes of the street. Transportation Alternatives is in Herald Square offering free bike parking for those shopping.
5th Ave. was clear and a joy for biking:



****Here is a little message from Times Up:

STRIKE ... WE RIDE!:
Bike the strike! Now is the ideal time for you to demonstrate to NYC what Time's Up! Members have known all along... the best, funniest; fastest way to get around our city streets any time of year is by bike. Turn the transit strike into to a positive series of events to celebrate the bicycle! Ask your work building management to support indoor bike parking permanently, not just during the transit strike. Now get on your bike, and enjoy the fresh air, free ride, and exercise!


or support your local pedi-cab


Here is a site from NYC on alternative transportation tips:

NYC Gov site

There are other bike-pools planned.

Tonight (ride home) 6:00pm at Columbus Circle, hitting all 5 boroughs.

Tomorrow:

Meet at the Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn Side) 9:00am More details to come.

4 Comments:

Anonymous pennyfarthing said...

man, why can't the damn city ALWAYS impose a 4 passenger limit on cars entering manhattan.... maybe even the whole #$#%#%#in' city!! i mean, d-uh!!!!!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous fergie said...

ck out my pro-bike, pro-strike story in the Village Voice

snip:

Transit Strike Is a Bike Rider's Dream

By Sarah Ferguson | December 20, 2005

New York City's Transit strike may have inconvenienced millions of bus, subway and car commuters. But from a biker’s perspective, it made the city a dream. (Click for a halcyon slideshow .)

There were no hooting horns and buses plowing you into the sidewalk. No cabs and delivery vehicles jamming up the bike lanes.

The Bloomberg administration's overkill restriction on cars—each had to have four people to get into Manhattan—was intended to ensure that emergency vehicles weren’t hampered during the strike by a traffic jam, but it instead made traffic in many places lighter than on most Sundays.

For people like me, who’ve made bikes our primary mode of transportation in the city, yet who now find the streets ever more cluttered with trucks, limos and oversized SUV’s, the strike was a chance to test our fantasy of riding in a car-free Manhattan. For once, we weren't second-class commuters.


for rest, go here:
http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/powerplays/archives/002211.php


with some photos here:

http://villagevoice.com/gallery 0551,strike2,71183,30.html

5:37 PM  
Blogger Jym said...

=v= More of these rides are currently listed on the TIME'S UP! website:

http://www.times-up.org/

Morning and evening. Rock a strike!

1:11 AM  
Anonymous elana said...

Over at DMIblog Amanda Hickman mentions in her post full of bike commuting suggestions aimed at newbies that she saw cars not helping hitchikers on the way back across the bridge. All those cars that had stoped for pedestrians so they could get into the city were leaving folks walking on the way back.

As the walkers trudge home I wonder if more of them will be stopping by to buy a bike in time for tomorrow.

Some day let's find stats for bike sales.
http://www.dmiblog.net/archives/2005/12/bike_the_strike_1.html#comments

(btw "Bike the Strike" is just so euphonius it looks like everyone is using it)

6:15 PM  

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