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The latest from NY Times on PPW bike lane protest

Here is an article from Bicycle Journalist, J. David Goodman from the New York Times:

Dueling Protests Over a Brooklyn Bike Lane
By J. DAVID GOODMAN
October 21, 2010, 12:18 pm
New York Times-City Room Blog

(photo by: C.S. Muncy for The New York Times)
Photo caption: New Yorkers both for and against bike lanes in the city attended dueling rallies at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
Article:

Along Prospect Park West on Thursday morning, there was much ado about a green stripe of paint.

Before most residents had to be at work, dueling protests between supporters and opponents of the boulevard’s new separated bike lane massed in rival camps, hoisting signs and chanting slogans. If it wasn’t quite a merry war — each group was far too polite, and there were far too many cameras blazing — the close proximity of the two parties provided ample theater.

A steady drumbeat of media attention set the stage for what appeared to be the largest gathering of opponents to a bike lane yet. The rally attracted mostly those who lived in the immediate vicinity of the Prospect Park West bike lane, which has been a source of neighborhood controversy since it was installed over the summer. The protest dwarfed a similar one last week in Manhattan over new lanes along First and Second Avenues.

Read the rest of the article here.

PPW protest a success, for the bikers

Not sure the angry residents and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were expecting to be out numbered in their “call to action” against an already created bike lane on Prospect Park West this morning.

According to a number of reports on twitter and one on Streetsblog.org. It seemed like more people came out in support of the bike lane then those against, even with it being at 8:00am in the morning.

Here is a report from Streetsblog’s own Ben Fried, who was on the scene this morning.

Hundreds Rally In Support of Prospect Park West Bike Lane
by Ben Fried on October 21, 2010

Hundreds of Brooklynites gathered this morning at Grand Army Plaza to show their support for the redesigned Prospect Park West. They made a statement that should be hard for elected officials and the press to miss: Most people who live in the neighborhoods near PPW like biking and walking on the new, traffic-calmed street and don’t want to see those changes taken away.

Read more here.
A couple reports off twitter:



NoNeck, who I follow on twitter under the hashtag #bikenyc, put up this quick video:

They’re BACK!

Coming soon.

Protest against PPW bike lane

The madness continues. Now angry residents have turned their sights on the new Prospect Park West bike lane. Their anger to the loss of parking, having to slow down, look both ways when crossing streets and hatred of cyclists riding on sidewalks has been manifested into one big scapegoat, a painted place for cyclists to ride their bikes known as a bike lane. This is a piece of infrastructure that provides space for cyclists to keep off of the sidewalks.

In case you missed the city council meetings when these BIKE LANES GOT APPROVED, come out and be heard way way way way way after the fact. Did I mention the bike lanes have already been put in place?

Here is a message from Transportation Alternatives about tomorrows Anti-Bike lane protest.

Tomorrow a small group of Prospect Park West residents will be gathering to speak out against the new, safer Prospect Park West design. Specifically, they will be protesting the two-way protected bike lane and pedestrian improvements. We know — how can anyone be against improved safety for children, families and park users? We are confident that the supporters of the new and safer Prospect Park West far outnumber those that oppose it, and we’re hoping that you will join us to show this support.

What: Park Slope Neighbors’ Bike Ride and Walk in support of the new Prospect Park West bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements
When: 8AM, Thursday, October 21st
Where: Meet up at Grand Army Plaza

RSVP and share event info here.

Why is the new Prospect Park West important?

It improves safety: Before and after speed surveys show that the new design reduced average speeds by 25%, increased compliance with the speed limit five-fold and reduced the proportion of cars speeding 40 mph or faster from 30% to just 1.4%. This is a result of replacing one of Prospect Park West’s travel lanes with a protected, two-way bike path and pedestrian refuge islands.

The community asked for it: The new Prospect Park West was born out of community concern with unsafe driving and speeding on the corridor. The project’s development and implementation has been supported consistently over several years by Community Board 6, local elected officials, civic organizations and thousands of Park Slope residents and users of Prospect Park. Let’s not let a small group of people who are unhappy with change and unbothered by speeding tell a different — and false — story.

If you care about streets designed for people and safe biking and walking, join us for a demonstration of support for the Prospect Park West redesign. Whether you are on foot or on a bike, join us! We will travel along Prospect Park West together to Carroll Street, and greet the protesters there with smiles and signs of support. It will be an early morning but you can expect to be done and headed to work by 9am.

Spread the word to your friends and neighbors who care about people-friendly streets and believe that the new Prospect Park West design is working better for everyone. Please send around this link to our RSVP page and help us to show that New Yorkers care about safety.

October & Halloween Time’s Up events

Here are the latest Time’s Up events:

Halloween Critical Mass and Halloween Dance Party! Next Friday, October 29th- Mark you calendars!
Also, join us for our first Shark Attack Dance Ride this Thursday- see events calendar for details.
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Come join us for the rides, events and workshops listed below. Details follow the headlines.
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1. SHARK ATTACK DANCE RIDE
Thursday, October 21st, 7 p.m.
Union Square Park South
******************
2. BIKE SHOP HOP
Saturday, October 23rd, 1 p.m.
156 Rivington Street between Suffolk and Clinton Streets in the Lower East Side
******************
3. SPECIAL PEACE RIDE TO STATAN ISLAND
Sunday, October 24th, 10:30 a.m.
Manhattan’s Staten Island Ferry Terminal
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4. HALLOWEEN CRITICAL MASS!!! MANHATTAN
Friday, October 29th, 7 p.m.
Union Square North
******************
5. HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
Friday, October 29th, 8 p.m.
C-Squat, 155 Avenue C between 9th and 10th Streets
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6. RIVERSIDE RIDE
Saturday, October 30th, 10 p.m.
Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park, at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park South 59th Street, and Central Park West)
******************
7. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
** Once again- in both NYC and Brooklyn locations! **
See events listing for details.
******************


BOOKMARK OUR EVENTS CALENDAR!

BECOME A TIME’S UP MEMBER.

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1. SHARK ATTACK DANCE RIDE
Thursday, October 21st, 7 p.m.
Union Square Park South

Dant dant dant dant. Come out dressed as a shark ready to swarm Manhattan restaurants that serve shark fin soup and help raise awareness of the destructive and inhuman act of shark finning.

More info here at wikipedia.org

Facebook event page

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2. BIKE SHOP HOP
Saturday, October 23rd, 1 p.m.
156 Rivington Street between Suffolk and Clinton Streets in the Lower East Side

Come out for an afternoon ride around NYC on a tour of some of the best bike shops in town. Learn about different bicycles (fixies, urban/hybrid bikes, touring bikes, road bikes, bmx, mountain bikes, folding bikes, and bike parts/ accessories). Maybe the shop owners will even let you test ride your dream bike! Suggestions for bike shops to visit are welcome. This is an easy leisurely ride, bring locks for your bike and money for anything you need to buy.

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3. SPECIAL PEACE RIDE TO STATAN ISLAND
Sunday, October 24th, 10:30 a.m.
Manhattan’s Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Peaceful Ride through Staten Island to this gem of a museum committed to promoting the awareness of Tibetan art and culture- www.tibetanmuesum.org
Bring money for museum admission ($5) and bring lunch and/or snacks (or money for food). Dress for the weather!!
We will be taking the 11 a.m. Ferry departure to Staten Island.

More info

times-up.org/index.php?page=peace-ride

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4. HALLOWEEN CRITICAL MASS!!! MANHATTAN
Friday, October 29th, 7 p.m.
Union Square North

Grab your bike or rollerblades, and your scariest costume, and get ready to ride through the streets howling on the annual Halloween Critical Mass ride! Become the positive and spoooooky celebration of what our streets could look like with non-polluting sustainable transportation and community.
Always the best Critical Mass of the year- historically everyone dresses up in costume, don’t be shy!
Critical Mass is a monthly celebration of bicycles and other nonpolluting means of transportation, exercising our right to the road. Critical Mass is a movement, not an organization; no two riders participate for exactly the same reason. New York City’s first Critical Mass was in 1993.

For more information see www.bikeblognyc.com/critical-mass
flickr.com/absinthe 2

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5. HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
Friday, October 29th, 8 p.m.
C-Squat, 155 Avenue C between 9th and 10th Streets

Grab your scariest costume and get ready to dance the night away at the Time’s Up! Halloween Dance Party!

******************
6. RIVERSIDE RIDE
Saturday, October 30th, 10 p.m.
Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park, at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park South 59th Street, and Central Park West)

Come join bicyclists and skaters (and the occasional unicyclist) for a leisurely ride through Central and Riverside Parks. Weather? Our record suggests we only call off these rides when no one in their right mind would have fun. Appropriate for experienced skaters, and bicyclists of just about any skill level. We hope these rides encourage more folks to enjoy the parks at night, without motor vehicles, in a quiet, safe, relaxed setting. The ride is about 12 miles long, and we return to Columbus Circle.

******************
7. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
** In both NYC and Brooklyn locations! **

More info:
here.

*MANHATTAN WORKSHOPS*
156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton Streets in the Lower East Side
**
TUESDAY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOP
Every Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.
1st Tuesday- Basics for Beginners
2nd Tuesday- Brakes and Gears
3rd Tuesday- Cups, Cones, and Bearings
4th Tuesday- Wheels and Spokes

**
THURSDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP
Every Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Bring your bike and share skills with other cyclists while you fix up your own bike.

*BROOKLYN WORKSHOPS*
99 South 6th Street, off Bedford Avenue under the Williamsburg Bridge
**
MONDAY WOMEN AND TRANS BICYCLE REPAIR NIGHT
Every Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.
1st Tuesday- Basics for Beginners
2nd Tuesday- Brakes and Gears
3rd Tuesday- Cups, Cones, and Bearings
4th Tuesday- Wheels and Spokes

**
WEDNESDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP
Every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Bring your bike and share skills with other cyclists while you fix up your own bike.

**
SUNDAY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOP
Every Sunday at 4 p.m.

Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.
1st Tuesday- Basics for Beginners
2nd Tuesday- Brakes and Gears
3rd Tuesday- Cups, Cones, and Bearings
4th Tuesday- Wheels and Spokes

**
SUNDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP
Every Sunday, Open Workshop from 6 p.m.

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****************

Breaking news-critical mass settlement

Looks like we’re not a bunch of anarchist bike riders complaining about police misconduct, after all.

This week a landmark settlement was handed down from the city to pay participants of the monthly critical mass ride for harassment and false arrest.

Read more from the New York Times.

N.Y. / Region Section

Bike Riders in New York Win Settlement
By CATE DOTY
Published: October 18, 2010

The city agreed on Monday to pay nearly $1 million to participants in the monthly Critical Mass bicycle rides who claimed they had been wrongly detained and arrested by police officers.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2007, represented the claims of 83 riders who had been arrested or ticketed by police during the rides from September 2004 to January 2006. The awards to the plaintiffs range from $500 for those who were cited for minor infractions, to $35,000 for a plaintiff who was arrested multiple times and was injured because of the arrests, said David B. Rankin, one of the three lawyers who represented the riders. About half the settlement will go toward legal fees.

Read the entire article here.

The environmental action group Time’s Up, who has often been falsely targeted as organizers of Critical Mass, (a spontaneous event with no
leaders) released this statement about the positive impact this ride has had on the city and the bike community.

The bike ride that helped change the whole city.

In New York City during the 1990’s, bicycling was extremely dangerous. The number one complaint of cyclists was always safety. Group bicycle rides, like the critical mass, were one of the few places where cyclists could ride together and be safe. Besides their safe and fun dynamic, the group rides steadily attracted new riders which in turn built up the confidence in the riders to become everyday commuters.

In early 2000, the New York City critical mass started gaining huge popularity due to it’s celebratory spirit and safe community environment. Bikers of all types would meet the last Friday of every month, as they do in over two hundred cities around the globe, for the monthly critical mass rides. The critical mass ride in New York City has always been a place where new riders could feel safe while building a strong community voice for non polluting transportation.

The cyclists were also fed up with the lack of safe bike infrastructure, and were continuously putting pressure on the City for more bike lanes, bridge access and green infrastructure that most cities around the world already were enjoying.

Some short sighted few in the New York City Police Department attacked the critical mass riders with a vengeance. They tried everything from law suits, tickets, arrests, and harassment, to violence, spying, undercover agitation, divisionary propaganda, and even going to the point of cutting locks and stealing peoples bikes to try and stop the bike movement. However, the bikers were persistent and adopted slogans like ‘Still We Ride!’ despite the harassment.

Eventually, after much persistence and global media embarrassment, the bicycle community got their way and New York City hired a new and bike friendly D.O.T commissioner who had vision. Today, our new greener, safer and bike friendly city is now enjoyed by all. In fact, the very spot in Times Square where each month thousands of cyclists raised their bikes over their heads is now an auto free zone.

Thank you New York City critical mass for this positive sustainable change!

————-

This is a good time to reflect on the critical mass ride. If you have any comments or stories from past experiences with the ride, please share them.

More info about PPW bike lane actions

From the words of writer, professor, activist and all around concerned citizen of Brooklyn: Ben Shepard:

What: Park Slope Neighbors’ Bike Ride and Walk in Support of the new Prospect Park West bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements
When: 8AM, Thursday, October 21st
Where: Meet up at Grand Army Plaza
RSVP and share event info here: transalt.org/events/calendar/4856

This Thursday a small group of Prospect Park West residents will be gathering to speak out against the new, safer Prospect Park West design. Specifically, they will be protesting the two-way protected bike lane and pedestrian improvements. We know – how can anyone be against improved safety for children, families and park users? We are confident that the supporters of the new and safer Prospect Park West far outnumber those that oppose it. Join Park Slope Neighbors and hundreds of Brooklyn residents at a rally to show this support.

What: Bike Ride and Walk Prospect Park West safety improvements
When: 8AM, Thursday, October 21st
Where: Meet up at Grand Army Plaza

Why is the new Prospect Park West important?

It improves safety – Before and after speed surveys show that the new design reduced average speeds by 25%, increased compliance with the speed limit five-fold and reduced the proportion of cars speeding 40 mph or faster from 30% to just 1.4%. This is a result of replacing one of Prospect Park West’s travel lanes with a protected, two-way bike path and pedestrian refuge islands.

The community asked for it – The new Prospect Park West was born out of community concern with unsafe driving and speeding on the corridor. The project’s development and implementation has been supported consistently over several years by Community Board 6, local elected officials, civic organizations and thousands of Park Slope residents and users of Prospect Park. Let’s not let a small group of people who are unhappy with change and unbothered by speeding tell a different–and false—story.

If you care about streets designed for people and safe biking and walking join us for a demonstration of support for the Prospect Park West redesign. Whether you are on foot or on a bike, join us! We will travel along Prospect Park West together to Carroll Street, and greet the protestors there with smiles and signs of support. It will be an early morning but you can expect to be done and headed to work by 9am.

Spread the word to your friends and neighbors who care about people-friendly streets and believe that the new Prospect Park West design is working better for everyone. Please send around this link to our RSVP page and help us to show that New Yorkers care about safety: transalt.org/events/calendar/4856

Bike Lane Protests and survey.

You probably heard, last Friday there was a protest against Mayor Bloomberg’s aggressive campaign of putting in new bike lanes, with a target of the new one on 1st Ave. in Manhattan.

Gothamist covered the action with this story.

(a couple of pro-bike lane supporters, photo by: Zoë Schlanger/Gothamist)

I’m sorry, but of all the things to be upset about…bike lanes? Seems like the number one complaint of the anti-bike lane demonstrators is an old one: “Bike riding on the sidewalk.” Ok, then shouldn’t that be the focus of your protest? Somehow the infrastructure designed to give cyclists a place to ride has become the bad guy.

People like to complain that there is no enforcement of bad cycling behavior. I’d say it’s pretty equal…there is no enforcement of anyone, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. Everyone is NYC is guilty. Let the finger pointing begin.

Our recently married pirate, Chris Ryan was on the scene and produced these two videos at the demonstration that gives some insight into the debate.

Mike Dee, says it best…”Everything in NYC is a compromise.”

Well, there is another anti-bike lane protest coming up.
This time in Brooklyn, against the already established Prospect Park West bike lane.

Find out more at Fuckedinparkslope.com

To sound off on the PPW bike lane, please take a minute to fill out this survey put forward by Community Board 6.

a quote in the NY Times

J. David Goodman of the NY Times, quoted me in his latest bicycle related story. We spoke briefly about the recent filming of Premium Rush, a new Hollywood movie about NYC messenger life. I hadn’t really wrote much on this film, even though I work in that industry, mostly because the reports I got about the script sound like its rather thin on delving into messenger culture and is more of a cookie-cutter “bad cop” Hollywood script. I’m glad to see real messengers like Austin and Squid got some roles in the movie.

Mr. Goodman’s article is more about Dave Jordan who runs a racing team (Jordan/Zephyr) and coaches people on how to ride in the city.

Here is the article, and thanks David for the quote.

Stars Get Lessons in Life Out of the Bike Lane
By J. DAVID GOODMAN
October 16, 2010, 7:30 pm

Flying on my bicycle down the dotted line between lanes on Park Avenue, I had a decision to make. I could follow Dave Jordan as he rode between rows of slow-moving traffic. That would mean bobbing and ducking around rear view mirrors that jutted out from vans like reflective baseball gloves to catch any passing helmeted head. Or I could slow down and go with the flow of traffic.

It is the kind of decision confronted less often by the city’s riders in today’s bike-lane era, in which green swaths of cyclist-only pavement knit neighborhoods together for even the most cautious of two-wheeled beginners.

Read the whole article here.

Halloween bike events

The Halloween bike events are starting to pour in.

Here are a few so far:

In Washington DC:
(from the organizers)

So here’s the nitty-gritty on the race:
WHAT: Dead City Halloween: Halloween alleycat through Washington DC
WHEN: Sat 30 Oct 2010
WHERE: 3:30PM @ Thomas Circle (14th & Mass & M & VT)

We’re trying to pull together sponsors for prizes to give away in categories like First Fixed Gear, First Free-Wheel, First Female, Out-Of-Town, and the like. (Also Skid, Trackstand and Footdown Competitions after the race.) so if you know of anyone that could help us out with any of that, the help would be sooo much appreciated!

For more information/comments/questions/applause/juicy secrets or to just give us a shout — please check out our blog:
deadcityhalloween.blogspot.com
or email me back at dead.city.halloween@gmail.com

In Burlington Vermont,

More info at Culture Cycles

Berlin always represents with their 18th annual alleycat:

More info here.

and in NYC, Austin Horse wanted me to spread the word about a tricks comp.

I know there will be a lot more so stay tuned.

Also, if you have an event you’d like to promote…send it!