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Bedford Bike lane protest-Nake Ride?

In response to the bike lane controversy in Bedford Ave, a scantily clad bike ride/protest is scheduled for tomorrow. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Do people have more information about this?

Read the article here in the brooklyn paper.

read this in Gothamist.

Cyclist killed in Greenpoint.

I can’t imagine why we would need bike lanes in Brooklyn? Good thing they removed them on Bedford Ave. This is really tragic and my condolences to the family.

Article form Daily News:

Soulful DJ Solange Raulston is killed after being struck by car while riding bike in Brooklyn
by Mike Mclaughlin, Mark Morales and Oren Yaniv
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Monday, December 14th 2009, 4:00 AM
*Dec 13 - 00:05* Photo caption: “Solange Raulston, a 33-year-old DJ, was struck and killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike on McGuinness Blvd. in Brooklyn.”

A Brooklyn cyclist died Sunday after she was struck by a truck at a busy Greenpoint intersection two blocks from her home, police and witnesses said.

Solange Raulston, 33, a deejay known as Reverend Soul, was riding westbound on Nassau Ave. around noon when a flatbed truck driving in the same direction sideswiped her at the corner of McGuinness Blvd., cops said.

“Her eyes were open but she wasn’t responding,” said Ziggy Cho, 45, who was driving behind the construction truck and said he honked for the driver to stop when he noticed the fatally injured cyclist.

“There were a lot of people helping her” in the pouring rain, he said.

Raulston was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she died.

No summonses were issued to the 47-year-old truckdriver, who had a valid license and remained at the scene, police said.

Read more here.

and this article in the Brookyln Paper.

Great Photos and write up on CMWC in Tokyo 2009

Photographer Jerome Abramovitch,
chapter9__tokyo_CMWC_report_e02__s1
Has this great write up and photos from his experience at the Cycle Messenger World Championships back in September:
chapter9__tokyo_CMWC_report_e01__s1
chapter9__tokyo_CMWC_report_e12__s1
chapter9__tokyo_CMWC_report_e19__s1

Read the whole report on his website Chapter9photography.com

December 20th, Newtown Creek Superfund Awareness Bike Tour

Ryan sent me this:

NAG (Neighbors Against Garbage) presents:

Sunday, December 20, 2009
10:00am – 1:00pm
110 Kent Ave,@ N8 Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn

December 20 2009­­ In lieu of the recent controversy surrounding Newtown Creek’s potential Federal
Superfund status, North Brooklyn activist organization Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) will
host an informational bike tour to better prepare residents and concerned citizens for the vital public
comment period, which ends on December 23, 2009.

The bike tour, written by activist Ryan Kuonen, will focus on the past efforts of North Brooklyn
residents to inspire a clean up of the heavily industrial waterway and the toxic legacy that has haunted it
for the last 100 years. Beginning with the early work of the “Smell Club” from the 1890s up to the
more recent court cases included Greenpoint vs. Exxon Mobil, the bike tour is an outreach effort to
inspire at least a handful of the estimated thousands of effected residents who live within the 1.25 mile
radius of the highly toxic site to encourage Federal action.

Newtown Creek contains at least 30 million gallons of spilled oil alongside runover from New York
City’s raw sewage system. The Superfund status would enable the EPA to sue Newtown Creek’s
biggest polluters. The list will likely include New York City itself. The City has been holding
community meetings in order to raise skepticism of the EPA’s process.

Daily News article on bike lane funeral

Sent to me by photographer and reporter Jefferson Siegel:

article source.

Cyclists give their lost Bedford Ave. bike lane mock funeral in Brooklyn
By: Michael J. Feeney and Jane H. Furse
Daily News Staff Writters
Monday, December 14th 2009, 4:00 AM

Barbara Ross kneels to lay flowers on the street as cyclists take part in a New Orleans-style funeral procession to mourn the loss of a bike lane along Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn bicyclists held a mock funeral Sunday for the Bedford Ave. bike lane in Williamsburg, vowing to continue using the lane now available to drivers.
“It doesn’t make sense on so many levels,” said Monica Hunken, 28, of Bushwick, who dressed in black for the rite.
Geoff Zink, 39, who commutes by bike to midtown from Fort Greene, called on the city to resurrect the lane.
“We’re talking about a public street. It’s for everybody,” he said.
Some pedestrians felt it was time to bury the lane.
“It’s a good thing to have a bike lane,” said Joseph Lepko, 26. “But in this community, we have so many kids. It’s too congested.”

Latest on the contest to give away an Ipod Touch

Here is the latest on the Ipod Touch photo scavenger hunt contest.

Last week I announced the giveaway of an 8 gig Ipod Touch in promotion of a new app called Tall Bike Joust.

More on the game at www.bikeclubgames.com

The contest involves taking photos of a subject (of my choosing) each week and score points. The winner who scores the most points wins the Ipod touch.

So congratulations to our first winner: Brian S Griggs who snapped a nice one here of grinding away on a frame for a tallbike:
tallbikepic
Brian won 1,000 points for his submission and a t-shirt from the movie B.I.K.E.

and now its on to week 2.
This week we are looking for photos of a the most loaded bike. Could be a Cargo bike caring a lot of weight, or a rigged up sound bike with speakers, or some sort of circus family riding with 16 people.

Further rules of the contest can be found Here.

You have until Sunday, December 21st at midnight to send in a photo. Previous winners are eligible and their points carry over.
This week’s prize is a beenie hat from the movie B.I.K.E. to keep you warm in winter and a continued chance to win the ipod touch.

Good Luck.

The Year of Ideas: “Bicycle Highways”, from the NY Times Magazine

Famed Jewish writer and Zionist activist of the early 20th Centrury Theodor Herzl said: “If you will it, It is no dream.” Maybe the Hasidic Community of Williamsburg, should take solace in these words from their elder idea man when thinking about bike lanes and their recent removal on Bedford Ave.

Copenhagen has taken these words to heart with 40 percent of their work force bicycling to work, and willing the idea that 2 wheel non polluting transportation works better when you have the needed infrastructure to comfortably ride. Not just bike lanes…BICYCLE HIGHWAYS.

Today’s New York Times Magazine is the 9th annual Year of Ideas issue, where great forward thinking ideas are presented from A-Z. B is for bicycles and this short article is the idea of Bicycle Highways, which are already being implemented in the ecco-friendly city of Copenhagen. Maybe we need to will these into reality for Brooklyn.
The Article:

Bicycle Highways
WM. FERGUSON
article source

The bicycle highway — no red lights, no cars — is every cyclist’s fantasy. There are now signs that infrastructure is catching up with the dream. In October 2008, an association of U.S. state-highway officials approved the concept of a national Bicycle Routes Corridor Plan — the first step in potential American bike Interstates. But this amounts to little more than a go-ahead for states to put bike-route signs on existing roads.

Copenhagen, however, began last month to create the real thing: a system of as many as 15 extra-wide, segregated bike routes connecting the suburbs to the center of the city. These are not bucolic touring paths; Copenhagen’s bike highways are meant to move traffic. Nearly 40 percent of Copenhagen rides a bike to work. On Norrebrogade, a two-mile street in the center of the city, 36,000 cyclists clog the bike lane every day.

The Bicycle Office of Copenhagen’s design calls for service stations (with air pumps and tools for simple repairs) and plans to employ so-called intelligent transportation systems — not unlike the technology that makes the E-ZPass possible. Using handlebar-mounted RFID or GPS technology, for example, commuters could detect other riders on the routes, helping them to assemble into pelotons or “bike buses.” These groups could in turn emit signals that trip traffic lights in their favor, resulting in a “green wave” of bicycle momentum.

But Jan Gehl, the Danish architect and infrastructure consultant, warns that as appealing as the bike highway seems, it is not the first step in creating a bicycle culture.

The bicycle highway is needed, he stresses, only after a city is comfortable for bike riders, as Copenhagen is. He considers the hundreds of kilometers of protected bike lanes in central Copenhagen to be a kind of bicycle oasis. “Some cities will go for the bicycle highways and let people fend for themselves once they reach the city,” he says. “You get off the highway, and then you’re in the desert. In Copenhagen we have first irrigated the desert, then built the highways.”

Live from the protests in Copenhagen

Live Updates from the massive demonstrations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

More here:

Article on state of bike meessengers in Ottawa

article, again from Joe Hendry of Messmedia.org, on couriers in Ottawa.

Bike couriers cruising through changing times

Centretown News (Ottawa) December 1, 2009
By Mac Christie

It used to be common to see bike messengers flitting in and out of traffic on Centretown streets, but the rise of technology means that sight is getting somewhat rarer.

Increased use of e-mail and document transfer programs such as PDF files have meant that instead of sending small documents with bike messengers, the same files can be sent electronically.

The decline of bicycle couriers in Ottawa also has a lot to do increased security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, says Gary Watson, a bicycle courier in Centretown for 20 years.

“It used to be that couriers could go into any building, onto any floor, meet any government official and deliver a package into their hands,” he says.“Now most government buildings have scanners.”

“Clients quickly discovered that the deliveries were getting bogged down in the mail room and they found different ways of delivering their packages, like e-mail,” he says.

He adds the increased security had a large impact because Ottawa is predominately a government town.

Watson says the number of bicycle couriers have declined since 2001 at a rate of about 10 per cent a year.

Back in the early 1990s, there were thought to be over 100 bike messengers in Ottawa, but now estimates place the number at 20 to 30.

“I was right in the middle of it when it all happened,” Watson says. “I saw the decline immediately.”

However, some messengers say that government contracts still make up a large part of their business.

While there are not as many messengers around these days, Don Gratton, an Ottawa bike messenger for 10 years, says he is still pretty busy.

He says he does a lot of government business, but has had to diversify.

“Now we do deliveries for drug stores,” Gratton says. “I deliver medication for older people who can’t get around as well.”

Watson says he, too, has had to adapt. He got a cargo bike, designed to carry more weight than an average bike or backpack.

“We’re not carrying envelopes anymore,” he says.

“Now, I can carry up to 200 pounds. That has basically kept things alive for me.”

The industry has definitely declined, but there will always be a need for bike couriers, says Maureen McGreavy, an Ottawa bike messenger for 15 years.

“It’s just a matter of how much money you’re going to make at it,” she says.

“My average calls are less than they used to be.”

Mike Buckthought, of Ecology Ottawa, says he thinks that as the price of oil goes up and people become more aware of the impact of cars, they will be encouraged to use bike messengers.

In Ottawa motor vehicles produce 1.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.

“Anything we can do to reduce emissions is great.”

Watson says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the future.

“I couldn’t have predicted what’s going on now. I’d like to think that we’re about as low as we can go.

Op Ed on bike lane removal in Brooklyn

New York Daily News columnist writes about bike lanes being removed in Williamsburg.

Political pressure jeopardizing cyclists as bike lane gets removed in Williamsburg

Erasing a bike lane will not stop nubiles from pedaling down Bedford Ave. and offending our pious Hasidic brethren.
The only difference is the nubiles and their fellow bicyclists will be in greater peril from motorists.
“Use bike lanes when available,” advise the official safety tips from the city Department of Transportation, which installed and then erased the 2-year-old, 14-block bike lane in Williamsburg.
The Hasidim who pressured an election-time City Hall into sandblasting this supposed “safety and religious hazard” had better hope no bicyclists get killed along that stretch.

read the rest of the Op-ed here.