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