Category Archives: bikes

PROSPECT PARK WEST BIKE LINE A SUCCESS

From Park Slope Neighbors…

Survey Says… The Redesign of Prospect Park West is an Unequivocal Success

Park Slope Neighbors hails the end of a five-year-long, community-driven process and calls on Marty Markowitz and friends to stop the attacks and start caring about street safety.

PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN, January 20, 2011 – A newly released study by the New York City Department of Transportation shows that the June 2010 redesign of Prospect Park West has achieved its goals and is making this former three-lane speedway into a safer, more inclusive street. DOT’s study shows:

* Dangerous and illegal speeding has been drastically reduced, from 74% of vehicles to 20%.
* Injury-causing crashes are down 63%.
* Weekday bicycling has nearly tripled and weekend cycling has doubled.
* The percentage of cyclists riding on the sidewalk fell from 46% to 3%.
* Automobile travel times have not been impacted at all.

“The data confirms what Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Community Board 6’s detailed community survey already told us,” said Park Slope Neighbors campaign coordinator Aaron Naparstek. “This project is working and the community overwhelmingly supports it – even those living in the blocks between 8th Avenue and the Park.”

After an unprecedented level of community input, the Department of Transportation has also released a set of recommendations to improve the bike lane and traffic-calming project. These include the addition of:

* Raised, landscaped pedestrian islands.
* Rumble strips for cyclists approaching intersections.
* A better design for loading zones at the 9th Street entrance to Prospect Park.

“We applaud the Department of Transportation for listening to the community and working to make our streets safe and inclusive for all users,” said Park Slope Neighbors campaign coordinator Eric McClure. “This project is the result of a five-year-long grassroots-driven process that began at the Park Slope Civic Council’s 2006 transportation forum and continued on to Community Board 6’s formal request for a redesign in 2007, through multiple public meetings in 2009 and 2010. The community has waited long enough. We urge DOT to move quickly to implement a final design.”

January has been a particularly bloody month on Brooklyn’s streets. In the first week of the new year alone, a mother and her 9-month-old twins were run down by a livery cab driver on a Sunset Park sidewalk; a hit-and-run driver plowed into a baby stroller and ran over the stomach of a 3-year-old boy in Williamsburg; and an 83-year-old rabbi was hit by a car and killed in Midwood.

“Innocent people are being run over, maimed and killed on Brooklyn streets on a horrifyingly regular basis. And where is Marty Markowitz?” asks PSN’s Aaron Naparstek. “Marty is busy calling for the elimination of DOT projects that we know make streets safer for Brooklyn’s most vulnerable citizens. Shame on you, Marty. Brooklyn deserves better.”

About Park Slope Neighbors: Park Slope Neighbors is a grassroots neighborhood organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of quality of life in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Follow Park Slope Neighbors on Facebook and Twitter.

Can we please stop fighting about it? There are many other roads in this city that need our attention.

Courtesy Jeff Prant via Gothamist

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your lovely new pet

The designer of this amazing horse bike, Eungi Kim, says “I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care about cycling not only as transportation but also as a lovely pet.”

Now, be careful here. Is your bicycle a pure breed or a mutt? Be sure to get the corresponding animal casing. I don’t want to see any racing bikes in pony outfits, and I certainly don’t want to see a rusty scrap heap on wheels parading around in a thoroughbred suit.

The nice thing about your new Bike Pet is that if you’re not in the mood to actually ride your bike, you can take it for a walk. Parade it through the neighborhood. You can finally use the sidewalks again! Be sure to trip up any pedestrians who don’t have pets. Say sorry.

When you’re done, scoop your Bike Pet into your arms, carry it up the 5 flights of stairs to your apartment, and cuddle, cuddle, cuddle.

Life is so close to perfect… Now if only your bike could do this.

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FLhorridA

I recently returned from a trip to Florida, where my relatives enjoy nothing more than talking about the weather: How the weather in January is better in Florida than in New York. How much ice there must be on the ground in New York. How we are such crazy tourists for wearing shorts when it’s only in the 70s. How chilled to the bone they are when they merely think about the northern states. How happy we must be to see the sun. [Loop this for three days.]

The issues clearly extend beyond the weather, to a weird passive-aggressive family competitiveness that cloaks itself in Fahrenheit-related chit-chat. Florida [WE] is [ARE] better than New York [YOU] because of the weather [???].

So I kept my mouth shut, nodded and smiled, and gestured blandly at my bare knees. What I didn’t yell at them was: BUT THE ROADS! LOOK AT YOUR ROADS! NOT TO MENTION THE STRIP MALLS! GAAK!

An average specimen.

IS there a road in that state with fewer than six lanes? I don’t know. Sometimes there’s a sidewalk, though I’ve rarely seen a human being use one, and never a white one. I have seen lovely birds occupy a spot in a parking lot, though I’m not sure what that proves.

At one point during my trip I spotted a share-this-road-with-bikes sign, but as it was stuck on the side of a fast-moving six-lane road with no marked bike lane, I found it a wee bit difficult to take seriously.

I felt feelings of despair surging through me (especially whenever I slid into the back of our rented sedan for a five minute drive) (also especially when we were waiting to make a left turn across four lanes of cars and I thought my minutes were numbered) about the future of our transportation nation. What can possibly be done to make Florida a more bike and ped friendly state? I couldn’t imagine what simple steps could be taken. The infrastructure just isn’t there.

But there must be something, right?

So. I herein launch my investigation into Floridian transportation. I’m hoping to find out what is being done, what can be done, and what people wish would be done to create alternative methods of transportation. I’ll aim for weekly installments. Feel free to chime in with comments, observations, suggestions, or just to talk about the weather.

*Disclaimer. I’ve only ever been in the Fort Lauderdale region of the state, so please forgive me if I’m making gross generalizations, which I am.

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google bike maps?

or google SWIM maps.

I always take the Brooklyn Bridge to work, but after a frustratingly tourist-soaked commute yesterday, I’m trying to find a good route from the Manhattan Bridge. Well, google maps helped me find one…right up the East River.

It’s beta alright. I’ll stick with ridethecity.com.

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transplat

While I was away, I was still thinking bikes.
Proof:

Wow, I look like an alien. I tried on the cool glasses next, I promise.

In other news, my mother emailed me this link about the future F express. Agurhm. Thanks, mom, but I doubt it. The latest news is that the M.T.A. is $200 million short. Oh, and this took them by surprise. A real confidence builder.

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oh, the gym

IMG_7023
As that sliver above was the only sunlight I saw last weekend, I hauled my bike up the twisty steep & narrow stairs to my apartment, resigned myself to a lot of walking and the F train bus

…and went to the gym.

This was the first time I’d gone to the gym since…the early spring. Oh dear. Of course I’ve been paying lots of money to them every month, but during those summer months I just couldn’t bring myself to go inside that place. I was biking almost every day, plus running outside. It just seemed like enough. (Of course, it probably wasn’t. I think I’m most likely in much worse shape than I was when I started biking to work.)

So, I tried to run on the treadmill. After about 5 minutes I was deadly bored. I can’t imagine anything more opposite from the fun and rush of biking through midtown traffic than running in place staring at the wall. Oh my god was I bored. I tried the stairmaster etc etc, but it was really not the most productive workout, I’ll admit.

Help! Any advice, bikers? How do you stay in shape (and stay interested) when not on the bike? I think I should probably take some of the classes, but do I need to get myself accustomed to the solitary indoor workout again? What do you all do?

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the people who ride bikes (a bit from David Byrne)

I started reading David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries last weekend. (Then quickly got distracted by Wintergirls, which I devoured (ha) in a day, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian–yeah, I just embarked on a YA kick. The Graveyard Book is next.)

Anyway, one of my favorite bits so far:

Bike riding, in many countries, implies poverty. I rode around Las Vegas and was told that the only other people on bikes there were people who had lost everything, probably through gambling. They’d lost their jobs, families, houses, and, I guess–ultimate insult for an American–their cars. All they had left was a bicycle to get around on.

I’ll do a full review when I finish the book.

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