This past Sunday was the first of this year’s Brooklyn Summer Streets. That’s when the city closes off a few streets to vehicular traffic and open it up to who the streets belong to…the people.
here is a flyer for the ongoing event:
a report back from Gita: “Summer Streets on Vanderbilt
This past Sunday marked the first Summer Streets on Vanderbilt event. The street was closed to automobile traffic from noon to 5pm for pedestrians and bikers to enjoy the vibrant street scene in the sun. The event featured arts and crafts for kids, live musical acts, a fashion show, badminton, food, shopping, and plenty of relaxing. For this weekâ€™s Summer Streets on Vanderbilt event, more activities are planned. There will be kidsâ€™ yoga, jazz music, a steel drum band, a fashion show, and much more. Come out and enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon on Vanderbilt, and bring your friends, family, neighbors, and pets!
Summer Streets on Vanderbilt hopes to promote a new type of open space where community members can walk, play, bike, relax, socialize, and come together. The event also aims to highlight the many cultural resources and local businesses in the Prospect Heights area. This temporary pedestrian plaza hopes to build on a movement that promotes walkable, livable, and sustainable streets and neighborhoods in New York City. Summer Streets on Vanderbilt is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council in conjunction with NYCDOT.
Photos from this past Sundayâ€™s event can be found here: here.
Saw some folks in the summer of 2007 on a pizza bike tour and thought “hey, I bet I could meet people organizing my own rides.”
Describe the bike scene in Brooklyn?
Hmm. I see all sorts of cyclists in Brooklyn. There are those who do it for the scene, those who bike for fun and commuting, those who do it for work and then there are the Prospect Park pelotons. Whatever the purpose, I love that bike culture is taking off in Brooklyn.
What types of bike culture do you most like to blog about?
I cover most anything culture related on Brooklyn by Bike but particularly enjoy posting about the latest bike trends and cycling advocacy in NYC.
What gets people talking the most?
Readers really enjoyed my post criticizing female specific design in the cycling industry. I know it’s a point of contention for a lot of women who want to be taken seriously. Slapping pink and floral prints all over women’s gear really disempowers us as cyclists.
Who reads your blog?
Everyone! Kidding. People who enjoy bikes, many who live in Brooklyn.
Is biking a political act for you? What about bike politics in NYC, any
observations you’d like to share?
Sure, but I’m going to be honest, I also share a car. If you asked the person I share it with, you’d find that I really dislike using said car and much rather bike or take public transport when possible. I feel like New Yorkers are privileged in that way. The fact that we have have the ability to go almost anywhere for 2 bucks is incredible. Ride your bike and you’ll get there for free.
What’s it like commuting in NYC? What gets you the most angered? Most happy?
I love commuting in NYC. Zipping past cars stuck in traffic is one of the best feelings in the world. What angers me? Oh, I can’t stand when cars park in bike lanes.
How about bike infrastructure issues in NYC, bike lanes, car free zones?
anything working for you? needing improvement?
I think NYC has made great progress implementing miles of new bike lanes. Summer streets are also one of my favorite things but I do think the DOT has left behind lower income communities. There are almost no bike lanes in Eastern Brooklyn and that is a real shame. People commute by bike there too!
You recently made an astute observation, in your posting: “Flowers-not-appreciated,” that the bicycle industry isn’t quite “getting it” with designs for women. Care to elaborate?
Well like I mentioned, gear that is designed for women is often feminized which really doesn’t appeal to the majority of female cyclists. It makes us look silly. Though there are road bikes now designed for a female frame, there are still NO touring and cross models for women. Women have been touring on bikes for what hundreds of years, yet there is nothing made to fit us? Unbelievable. The cycling industry needs to really listen to what female cyclists need and want and they haven’t been doing so yet. Makes me want to start my own bicycle manufacturing shop.
Why do you feel biking is gaining popularity both in ridership and in
I think the country as whole is becoming environmentally aware. Biking it a great way to reduce CO2 emission and it costs a fraction of the price to maintain as compared with a car. Fashion seems to pick up on these trends too. They found fixed gear culture and now market it to the masses. Bikes are now a fashion accessory as well as a practical tool.
What muppet do you most identify with and why?
Haha. I would say the dude with the long snout, Gonzo because he’s weird looking.
Future goals for the blog?
Get more people out to our rides and make the blog more interactive!
The longest running bicycle activist and education group in NYC, Time’s Up, made the news twice in one week for their hard work and dedication.
First to the Daily News with this article on the battle for the Kent Ave. Bike lane.
No more lane excuses Bikes & cars will peacefully co-exist on Kent Ave.
article by: Erin Durkin
Dailynews, Monday June 8th
(photo from Keh of DailyNews)
photo description: Time’s Up!-a Brooklyn based environmental awareness and non-polluting transportation activist group organized an event to warn drivers to steer clear of bike lanes.
article: THE BATTLE between cyclists and motorists for room on Kent Ave. is finally over.
A new city Transportation Department plan makes room for both bike lanes and parking along the street.
When the city put up No Stopping signs and installed bike lanes on both sides of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint thoroughfare last fall, cyclists said it was a much-needed safety improvement.
But many residents and business owners hated the lanes, saying they made parking and deliveries impossible.
also Jefferson Siegel got the cover of the Villager with the Time’s up doggie pedal parade.
and this blurb: Cyclists â€˜pup their ridesâ€™
Laurie Mittelmann got ready to roll with Princess at Sundayâ€™s Doggie Pedal Parade. The ride highlighted bicycles adapted to transport pets and promoted the adoption of homeless animals. Sponsored by Timeâ€™s Up!, the parade started at Tompkins Squareâ€™s dog run, stopping at several animal hospitals and community gardens along the way, before ending at the Washington Square dog run.