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Slush, Studies and Summits.

One thing cyclists love to do is ride their bicycles…well maybe not in the #slushopoclypse that plagued the streets of NYC over the last couple of days.
20140205-191724.jpg
20140205-194726.jpg(Photo by: @ClosestBikeNY )

Even die hard mechanic Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat known for commuting shirtless, (not in this weather) opted for the subway.
20140205-193418.jpg
He did however find a sweet bike for the ride home, incase you were worried. 20140205-193743.jpg(photo by: @khp_art )

Bike blogger, Liz Patek at: bikepeacenyc.wordpress.com wrote about getting around in what she called: “Slush-Apaloza.”

Getting from A to B this morning was a hot slushy mess this morning no matter which mode of transportation you chose.

20140205-204420.jpg

Read more: here.
Continue reading Slush, Studies and Summits.

That’s One Way to Get High, Foster and Partners unveil SkyCycle in London

Whoa, I missed the boat on this one. Lord Norman Foster is a UK architect who has given us such things in NYC as the Hearst Tower and the new elephant house at the Copenhagen Zoo…

He’s also behind the soon to be completed (2016), Two World Trade Center down by the Freedom Tower [...]

Spills and Kills, but no Vision Zero. A round up January events on street safety and traffic violence.

I was taking a bit of a hibernation here in 2014, dodging the “Artic Vortex(s)” and bad road conditions. This had nothing to do with my recent crash. On Monday (1/20/14) I went out for drinks to congratulate my pal Jonathan Beck who you may remember from his bad bike crash in 2010. He has long since been rebuilt with bionics and has replicated a new cycling maniac of the future–a baby girl. Congratulations to him and wife Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud on daughter, 8.5lb Bucklin Solvei Beck, entering planet Earth, 1/4/14. They’ve got Norwegian roots which explains the names and they’ll be using the middle one (Solvei). Speaking of Bucklin…A front basket that I personally improperly installed on one of my bikes dug into my front wheel on the ride home from drinking with Beck. This caused me to do a endo over the front handlebars in a NY minute and land right on my big nose. Luckily the helmet I insist on wearing helped my injuries to be mostly contained to my face. A very nice Park Slope resident, witnessed my face plant and was very helpful in convincing me not to walk to the nearest hospital (Methodist) but rather to take the ambulance he had phoned in. This was a much better decision then trying to walk 10 blocks with a scarf trying to stop the bleeding. The doctors in the ER were helpful, but it did take 6 hours to get a CAT-scan, Motrin and two stitches…but expect NYC ER’s to be overloaded because of all the hospital closings.

So I haven’t updated the blog in a while in my face healing time, it seems like I should put something up on here, seeing as 2014 is my 10th year of writing this thing.

The bike community here in NYC is eagerly waiting to see what will happen with the new progressive Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his recently appointed administration, primarily the police commissioner William Bratton and new Department of Transportation commish, Polly Trottenberg.

We’re definitely off to a rough start with 18 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities since Mayor DeBlasio was sworn in at the start of 2014.
Here is a brief timeline of some of what’s been going on.

The End of 2013:
Once again, Time’s Up did New Year’s Eve right with a mobile dance party bike ride and after party in Central Park at the Belvedere Castle. If you ever get a chance to experience this event, it’s a great way to ring in the New Year. You get to ride past all the stuck people in Time’s Square waiting for Ryan Seacrest to drop the ball. I mean, it’s freezing, but your movin. Here is a quick video:

——-
janette_sadik_khan(photo by Brad Aaron)
Our bike friendly former D.O.T. commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan is out and jumping on board with outgoing Mayor of the rich side of the two cities, Michael Bloomberg’s team. He’s launching a consulting firm called Bloomberg Associates which will tell other cities how to have the largest wealth desperately and not to drink too much soda. Hopelly Janette will get them to ride more bicycles and cars not to see them as road obstacles.

More about the future of Bloomberg Associates from the NY Times.

Incoming D.O.T. commissioner is Polly Trottenberg:
sb_polly_trottenberg-585x450 (photo by: sheepsheadbites.com

A federal transportation policy maker with credentials include working with New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the 1998 federal transportation bill and for Senator Chuck Schumer.

Here is more about her from Ben Fried with Streetsblog.org

——–

January 2nd, 2014

Mayor DeBlasio is sworn in and transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg meets with parents who were on hand to keep the mayor on task about his promise of working towards Vision Zero. They are also victims of recent traffic violence and lost loved ones to reckless drivers. Vision Zero, is a goal adopted by NYC and brought forward by the new mayor to work towards having zero traffic fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists. Although that number may be impossible to obtain, the idea is to treat every traffic violent death as equally significant and even one death is too many. It is also a goal of a city, to work towards making efforts to make these fatalities avoidable through infrastructure, awareness and cracking down on motor vehicle violations. This seems especially important when for the last three years, around this time, the NYPD has chosen to crack down on bad cycling behavior and making no efforts to curb speeding cars and other moving violations that end up killing people, unlike bikes not stopping for lights in Central Park.

The Commissioner wasn’t aware of this particular demonstration on inauguration day, but the site of it caught her attention and she made time to find out what the people holding the vision zero signs had to say:

Trottenberg Meets Parents of Traffic Violence Victims at Inauguration. by Stephen Miller.

Incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller

Mayor DeBlasio introduces the new police commissioner William Bratton at a press conference. Bratton a former NYC police commissioner in NYC (1994-96) has been in Los Angeles, vehemently cracking down on jaw walkers of those few citizens that actually aren’t driving in a car.

Here is a video from Bratton’s press conference:

Continue reading Spills and Kills, but no Vision Zero. A round up January events on street safety and traffic violence.

It’s Electric–boogie woogie woogie, No, It’s illegal.

(photo from: getoffmybikelane.com ) Alright you finally decided to ride in the bike lane and help be another person that is actually using the infrastructure that the city has provided to make biking easier in NYC. After dodging the confused cars turning into them, the pedestrians thinking it’s an extension of their cell phone [...]

Is it OK to Kill Cyclists? How About Pedistrians? People Continue to Die and We’re Left Asking Why?

Since the publishing of the “Is it Ok to Kill Cyclists?” op-ed in the Sunday NY times (11/9/13) by Daniel Duane, there has been a number of responses as the article has made the rounds through bicycle blogs and other related publications.

The main point of Duane’s piece, although not entirely clear (at least not to this blogger) was to illustrate how drivers rarely face criminal charges after hitting and killing cyclists, even when the motorist is at fault. The opinion gave some vague examples but didn’t do a good job of finding details about why motorists aren’t prosecuted or if cyclist fatalities are even investigated.

In fairness to the author, Daniel Duane did appear on a radio program to clarify his position and continue to champion the cause that drivers seem to be getting away with murder.

Here and Now on WBUR.org
Does The Law Go Too Easy On Drivers Who Kill Cyclists?

There was also a well done NPR piece over the weekend that brought up a discussion about whether the bikes should be treated like cars in regards to current traffic laws and how cities are designed, especially with the rise in the popularity of bike sharing programs.

WNYC-Gabfest, aired November 15th, 2013

The Pedaling Revolution Edition -Episode #65

On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss what happens if healthcare.gov doesn’t work by Nov. 30, and whether bikes should be treated like cars.

The radio program used Duane’s piece as an example that it’s NOT, OK to kill cyclists while citing the opposite side of the coin, People who apparently think it’s perfectly fine (to kill cyclists) and uses the old argument that we deserve it because of our blatant violation of traffic laws. (laws designed for motor vehicles) Case in point, Christopher Caldwell from the Weekly Standard.

Drivers Get Rolled
Bicyclists are making unreasonable claims to the road—and winning
November 18th, 2013

Cyclists like the ones in New Hampshire, whose reckless riding and self-righteousness have earned rolled eyes nationwide and the nickname of “Lycra louts” in England, have tested the public’s willingness for compromise. As bicyclists become an ever more powerful lobby, ever more confident in the good they are doing for the environment and public health, they are discovering—to their sincere surprise—that they are provoking mistrust and even hostility among the public.

Read more: here.

Mostly this op-ed is an excuse to continue the defensive gross generalization of cyclists being mostly rich middle age liberals who are not blue collar enough. Caldwell venomously spews:

“They are, to judge from their blogs, more aggrieved by delivery trucks parked in bike lanes than drivers are by delivery trucks parked in car lanes. This may be because proportionately fewer of them have ever met a person who drives a delivery truck.”

He does make a few points that roadways are outdated and don’t include the physical space for bicycles. Also, there are some valid points that biking is healthy for both people and the planet, but most cyclists are just too self righteous and think they own the roadways so therefore it’s Ok to run a few over.

Somehow it seems that if you choose to ride a bicycle as a form of transportation, you’re somehow expected to act like cars and be their equal, but if your hit by one, then your treated like less than equal. In an attempt to reclaim a sense of humanity, that actual lives have been lost, letters to the editor of the NY Times evoke similarities to pedestrians.

In direct response to the Daniel Duane piece…
From the Opinion pages of the NY TIMES

Caution: Danger in the Traffic Lanes
By: David Berman
November 10th, 2013

No, it is not O.K. to kill cyclists with impunity, but neither is it O.K. to kill pedestrians, which happens a couple of hundred times a year in New York City. The problem is not a cultural predisposition against bicyclists; it is that nobody obeys traffic laws anymore, and that’s at least partly because nobody is enforcing them.

Read more opinions: here.

The Duane piece hit especially hard in NYC due the fact that there have been a number of pedestrians killed in the last month, many of which are children 12 and under.

Continue reading Is it OK to Kill Cyclists? How About Pedistrians? People Continue to Die and We’re Left Asking Why?

Ride the Banksys

Did you miss the Banksy craze of the British graffiti artist that turned NYC into his own gallery for the month of October? The anonymous artist was able to drive trucks around town with fake animals in it… Plop down animatronic grim reapers in Noho and place a repainted work of art in Housing [...]

Citibike weddings and meetups

The bike sharing in NYC, now in its fourth month. has created new levels of bicycle acceptability. Like getting married.

From the New York Times: In Sickness and in Health, Long After the Bike Is Due Back By: Matt Flegenheimer October 11th, 2013 After marrying in June, Christie and Sean Hutchinson took the [...]

Cops in bike lanes

Here’s my new favorite tumblr:

copsinbikelanes

Obviously the NYPD concerned about “our safety.”

Who is Chris Horner and Why Should You Care

Chris Horner is an American professional bike racer who just won the Vuelta a Espana, which is a pretentious way of saying the Tour of Spain. This is the first time an American has won this stage race and at 41 years old, Chris becomes the oldest man to accomplish this.

Here [...]

Bike Press-The Good, the Bad and the infiltrated

This week biking in NYC got some love (coverage) in the local rags.

AM NY had a cover story Monday about how the bike sharing program has been inordinately successful and surpassed expectations.

First Summer of Citibike Exceeds Expectations By: Ivan Pereira September 15th, 2013

New Yorkers have certainly done their “share” [...]