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Bikeblognyc turns 7

Despite all the silliness it takes to ride a bike here in NYC, I’ve been glad to cover it. 20 years on a bike (in NYC) and 7 years of blogging about it.

Today Bikeblognyc turns 7.

Thanks to all who have helped make this happen and to all the amazing people who make up our bike community.

The latest on the PPW bike lane.

For some strange reason, the bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn’s family friendly neighborhood is still being debated. Even though, it’s been asked for by the community board since 2007 including pleas for traffic calming and to deal with motorists who constantly break the speed limit. Even though it’s been openly and transparently constructed by the DOT with constant civic input. Even though the DOT has completed a year long study of the usage and presented it’s findings to the community. Still need convincing? Here is a comprehensive video from street films. The video asks local residents what they think of the lane from bikers to motorists:

That’s right, the bike lane works, and there still were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Somehow all of these reasons and public opinion isn’t good enough for some local politicians and residents of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz is doing his part in the opposition mocking safety and poking fun at bicycles.

Instead of working with the process and giving input to the DOT on what specifics they’d like changed, local residents are looking for lawsuits.

They want to sue the DOT for false data as shown here in this blog posting by Transportation reporter Andrea Bernstein.

Meanwhile cyclists and pedestrians continue to be run over, illustrated some tragic irony that safety issues aren’t getting any better.

To make matters worse, the local
papers seem to getting the story wrong and taking the side of the motorists.

Aaron Naperstek, creator of Streetsblog, has been doing an excellent job of pointing out the media’s bias. He’s been encouraging such papers as the NY Daily news to get their facts straight and for angry pro bikers to write the editors.

The opposition against bike lanes would love for the general public to believe their is a powerful “bicycle lobby” influencing the DOT and is against motor vehicles. In reality it’s rich and powerful politicians creating frivolous lawsuits and working favors in order to get their way.

Streetsblog’s Ben Fried writes this story about how Prospect Park West resident Senator Chuck Schumer has been plotting in secret meetings to destroy the PPW bike lane.

Read more here.

the real Superbowl…Stupor Bowl

Oh sure there was this event last night with some football and a bunch of really expensive commercials, but we all know the REAL event is America’s oldest bike courier race in Minneapolis known as the STUPOR BOWL.

Here is a new 25 minute documentary about this great race by Nathaniel Freeman called: Down by the Weep Hole

DOWN BY THE WEEP HOLE: The story of the Stupor Bowl from Nathaniel H. Freeman on Vimeo.

For more information on this year’s event (which is now over) check out Minneapolis’s best cycling blog bikejerksmpls.blogspot.com

Couriers in the snow

Another article from messenger media watch dog, Joe Hendry. Taken from the Greek, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” In Ames Iowa, bike courier Jim Gregory knows a thing or two about riding in bad weather.

Blizzard doesn’t stop bike courier
(photo by: Nirmalendu Majumdar/The Tribune)
Photo Caption: Jim Gregory makes his way down Kellogg Avenue in Ames on Thursday to deliver books to Iowa State University’s Parks Library. Gregory delivers books five days a week between ISU’s Parks Library and Ames Public Library.

Article by Kathy Hanson
Staff Writer
Published: Friday, February 4, 2011 9:33 AM CST

Jim Gregory isn’t employed by the U.S. Postal Service, but he adheres to its unofficial motto, adopted from the Greek historian Herodotus, who famously said: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Gregory, 46, a bike courier in Ames, said he hasn’t missed a day of delivery due to inclement weather since he started delivering books, articles and circulation materials between Ames Public Library and Iowa State University’s Parks Library, five days a week, more than two years ago.

Read more here.

Earth to Marty…bike lane lawsuit is a waste of time

While a cyclists lies in ICU in Bellevue hospital after a hit-and-run from a motorist, Brooklyn Borough President and his lawyer pals are trying to figure out how to file a lawsuit to remove a community board approved bike lane along Prospect Park West.

Andrea Bernstein, transportation reporter for NPR has this story:

Big Names Ready a Lawsuit to Remove Brooklyn Bike Lane
Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) It’s a who’s who directory of city government. Iris Weinshall, the former city transportation commissioner and wife of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. A dean at Brooklyn College. Norman Steisel, the former deputy mayor under Edward Koch and David Dinkins. And the other former deputy mayor, Randy Mastro (under Giuliani) who introduced the group to a colleague at his high-powered law firm, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher. And what is all this former government firepower being assembled to do? Remove a bike lane on Prospect Park West, in Brooklyn.

read more transportationnation.org.

Hit and Run, again

In civilized cities, who recognize the true culprits of danger, (motorists) as seen here in Copenhagen:

(photo by copenhagenize.com)
The bike cops ticket the cars.

In car culture, “Drill Baby, Drill” cities like NYC…

“You Betchya…” The automobile is sacred and can do no wrong.

Therefore the city has turned it’s sights on law breaking cyclists in the name of “safety.”
(photo by @run_rabbit_run)
Here the cops are ticketing cyclists for such heinous infractions like “not riding in the bike lane.”

Meanwhile the motorists are continuing to mow us down and commit felonies like fleeing the scene of the crime (hit and run)
Like we witnessed in Time’s Square last week.

and now in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

From Jessversus.tumblr.com

February 4th, 2011
attn: #bikenyc, @bikeblognyc

My friend Serena was riding her bike in Williamsburg and was struck at the intersection of South4th and Wythe around 2:26 pm (Friday February 4th, 2011). She was struck by a motorist who, instead of stopping to see if she was okay, fled the scene and left her for dead. We were informed at around 8PM of her condition.

She currently has a punctured lung, broken pelvis, among several other severe injuries and is in the ICU at Bellevue Hospital. She is currently unconscious under heavy sedation.

Please, please reblog/RT if you can. We are looking for witnesses, passers-by, who have any information about the car or the driver, who may have seen the accident. If you have any information, please contact agblakemore@gmail.com—your anonymity will be protected if that is your preference.

Here’s what Serena looks like/what her bike looks like:



Greenpeace is in town, the Artic Sunrise

The Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise, escorted by Greenpeace RHIBs, steams past the Statue of Liberty displaying a quit coal banner in New York harbor February 4, 2011. The ship is visiting New York as part of the Arctic Sunrise “Coal Free Future Tour” traveling up the east coast in January and February, demanding liberty from coal. The Banner reads: “Still Yearning To Breathe Free Quit Coal”.

If you live in New York, please come visit the ship Chelsea Piers (Pier 59 at 17th St.) on Sat. Feb. 5th through Mon. Feb. 7th or Thur. the 10th and Friday the 11th.

Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/usa/coalfreetour

Only in America-poll

Only in America, with our car culture running so deep to the days of Henry Ford and Robert Mosses would our politicians like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz bash bike lanes.

Infrastructure that has already been approved by the city council, local community boards, been painted, constructed and reviewed by the DOT.

Here he comes, so professional. Honestly, do we have a Tahrir Square to occupy in Brooklyn to demand this guy step down and waddle his over weight self out of office?

Here is more of Markowitz acting like such a fool from Gothamist:

Markowitz Rides Tricycle Into Speech Bashing DOT, Bike Lane
(photo by: Kathryn Kirk)

Look at this f–king borough president: Last night inveterate corn dog Marty Markowitz arrived on stage via tricycle for his State of the Borough address in Sunset Park. Wearing a green helmet and toting a basketful of Junior’s famously overrated cheesecake, the Brooklyn Borough President kicked off his 90 minute (!) speech with another swipe against the DOT, which he’s repeatedly criticized for installing a bike lane on Prospect Park West. (For the record, President Obama’s State of the UNION lasted about an hour, including glad-handing.) Are you ready to SLAP YOUR KNEE? Video below:

I’ve created a poll, as WNYC’s Brian Lehrer would say, is completely unscientific to find out what people think should happen with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

What should happen with Marty Markowitz,
Forced to resign
Censured
not be re-elected as Brooklyn Borough President
Ride a bike
Commended for his actions
Ignored
  
pollcode.com free polls

Send in the clowns, Marty our borough president

According to Streetsblog’s Ben Fried,
“Earlier this week, friends and family members of traffic violence victims wrote to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, asking him to stop standing in the way of street improvements to make walking and biking safer. They had lost loved ones and seen lives disrupted by crashes that could have been prevented by better street design. They asked Markowitz to start taking the prevention of traffic injuries and deaths seriously.”

The Borough President disregarded their concerns and chose instead to make a mockery of the city’s bicycle improvements at his recent State of the Borough address.

Here is a video from Team Spider from NY1 this morning.

Really disheartening to see the Brooklyn President ignoring real safety concerns and the steps the city is taking to rectifiy them by continuing his childish out-of-touch grudge against the DOT.

Walmart, get out.

Time’s Up donned the Paul Revere horses and rang out the cry: “Walmart is coming!”

Yesterday was a rally against the mega corporation who is trying to open a store in NYC.

Time’s Up has photos of their bike ride and rally here. Photos taken by Brennan.

There is also a story in Gothamist.

Anti-Walmart Protesters Vastly Outnumber Pro-Walmart Boosters
By Surekha Ratnatunga February 3, 2011 5:32 PM

There was supposed to be a battle of the protests before this afternoon’s twice-postponed City Council hearing on whether New Yorkers should allow Walmart’s corporate wickedness to taint our saintly city, but it ended up being a one-sided fight.

In the blue corner (quite literally, given how cold it was), so many people turned up at the anti-Walmart protest at City Hall, police had to deny entry to a few dozen people waiting in the security line. (Some of those anti-Walmart protesters who couldn’t get in ended up taking ironic refuge from the cold in a Starbucks instead.) Ben Shephard from the cavalier-looking group Time’s Up summarized his views as, “New York is bigger and smarter and richer and cooler than Walmart.”

In the red corner, Pamela Geller and her pro-Walmart/anti-Mosque minions were hardly noticeable. Police officers and City Council ushers didn’t seem to know who she was, let alone where. On the block outside the hearing there was a grand total of three pro-Walmart protesters (who mistook the Time’s Up guys for Tea Partiers thanks to those fetching tri-corner hats). 33% of Geller’s following expressed fears that, “people with pro-terrorists badges were stopping her from getting inside,” but she managed to overcome those obstacles.

Read more
here.