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Sean Bell Protest video from Chris Ryan

Here is a video Chris Ryan made from the Sean Bell protests yesterday…

Another Stolen bike.

A friend wanted me to post this:

“My bike was just stolen (afternoon of May 6) outside of 25 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. It’s a 49″ yellow, red, and blue Fuji track bike. It has two front brakes and is operating as a single speed road bike. It has a yellow seat with Alex rims, black tires with red on the sides. Call 347-952-6786 if you have any information.”

good luck.

Bike Month…the love affair continues.

Photo and report from streetsblog.org (doctored by me)

Bike month is officially kicked-off this week…so says NY1 news. For a news agency owned by a gigantic corporation like Time/Warner they sure don’t get much of the budget. They spend a lot of time reading headlines out of other people’s newspapers, thats when you know they’re cheap. Regardless they had a piece on the on-going love affair with Transportation Alternatives head honcho Paul Steely White and D.O.T. commissioner Janet Sadik-Kahn, or as Bikesnob tells us…the Wrath of Sadik-Kahn.

Someday we will have shinny safe bike lanes to ride in and free secure bike parking to deal with all the millions of people fleeing to NYC looking for work. We won’t be able to afford to live here…but that is for another blog. Its amazing how they can destroy Union Square in a matter of days to put in a “New Resturaunt,” but we have to wait until 2011 to have 200 miles of new bike lanes. But who uses bike lanes anyway?

Here is an article from my the New York Times on the battle for bike lanes.

photo by: Robert Stolank for the New York Times
Article published May 4th, 2008
written by: Colin Moynihan.

There is also a nice video here for people too busy to read and too busy to have New York One read to you.

Articles like this have good facts in them like: New York City had the first bike path back in 1894.

But car culture is deeply ingrained in us from the minute we first ride in a car seat home from the hospital or watch our first NASCAR event. This type of journalism drove…(get it) Tim of short-schrift blog to outrage and made a special blog posting about how much this article pissed him off.

oooohhh. You’d think the that photo above of the video would piss anyone off…not only is that person parked in the bike lane, they’re halfway into another lane.

But lets give Tim a chance and see what he has to say:

Tim:
Sunday, May 04, 2008
My Secret Shame

There are so many occasions for spontaneous anger when you live in a city that it is nearly impossible to recall or rank them all or to even remember the reasons for your wrath. But one group of citizens consistently outrages me, all the more so for their moral grandstanding. At times I have to acknowledge that my dislike of them is visceral and perhaps irrational. But it is no less real for that. I’m talking, of course, about bicyclists.

Bikeblog:
Ok, why is this a secret? Do you really wish you could be down with bikers and are slightly ashamed that you are just another mundane schmo who dreams of having rebellious freedom while reducing the impact of global warming on the environment. Thats what all the cool people are doing in Williamsburg. I dunno whats going on in backward Philly.

Tim:
Bicyclists drive me nuts. In Philadelphia, as in cities across this great country, bicyclists routinely flout the law, riding on the sidewalk when it’s convenient and holding up traffic in the street whenever possible. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen a bicyclist at a stop sign or even a red light, or wait behind a car that is correctly stopped at such an intersection. Instead, the man or woman on the bicycle will weave between parked, stopped, and moving cars to gain a fractional advantage. Yet if an automobile so much as grazes a bicycle lane, all hell breaks loose.

Bikeblog:
Bicyclists no more routinely flout the law then every other citizen who…talks on their cell phone while driving (NYC) or jaywalks or has nasty thoughts about George W. Bush, (oh wait, that’s not illegal…yet) This is reality. We break the law, we co-exist…I mean how else do you expect to get your Chinese food? Its not like you’d dare walk to the store and get it. And UH…lets exaggerate a little more. “holding up traffic in the street whenever possible? How does one bike hold up traffic? Bikers never hold up traffic, cars do an excellent job of doing that all on their own.
Philadelphia is not Las Vegas or Miami…its a pretty bike friendly town and most experienced rider use the street. They are probably riding on the sidewalk because some Eagles fan is double parked in his Hummer while stuffing their face with a philly cheese steak from racist Gino’s. Remember to order in English.

Tim:
Yes, I know that an automobile bears greater mass, velocity, and force than a bicycle and that the consequences of a motorist’s mistake almost always outweigh those of a bicyclist’s. But come on. Half of these people on bikes are just jerks. I’m especially bothered as a pedestrian, since half the time my sidewalk winds of becoming an impromptu bicycle lane. If my wife, baby, and I are walking two abreast, or worse, walking with a stroller, we wind up getting clipped or shoved aside by some jerk in a bike helmet who won’t or can’t ride on the street.

Bikeblog:
Do you walk around with a target on your body? Why are bikers always clipping you or coming into physical contact with you? Are you 500lbs wide? How often do you verbally tell bikers to get on the street? Or do you bottle it all up inside and unleash it in your blog. But hey half of us are all jerks anyway.

Tim:
And please, spare me the spasms of virtue. I know it feels good to move around the city under your own power, and to tend and care for a shiny object. And you have your own catalogs with gear and shirts and knee pads or whatever. But there isn’t anything virtuous about what you’re doing. You want virtue? Ride the subway, or the number 13 trolley. D.on’t get all holier-than-thou with people who drive or ride in cars just because they’ve chosen the most technologically advanced form of transportation available to the average citizen. Yes, cars have problems. Yes, parking stinks. Yes, we need to think more about global warming. But you are exactly 2/10 of a nose hair away from the occasional driver in terms of your carbon footprint, so cool your jets, bike boy.

Bikeblog:
Technologically advanced? Why because you spend so much time in traffic? Pollute the planet while you loose time looking for a place to park in spaces that could fit ten times the amount of bikes. And you run on a fuel that is run out and the source of so many conflicts across the globe. Sounds advanced? 2/10th of a nose hair…Bike Boy. Ok Massa. Who are you talking about? Is this someone who specifically keeps bumping into you and your family? Or just half of all us boy-jerks?

Tim:
In case you’re wondering why I’m suddenly dumping on people who ride bikes around the city, the occasion or pretext is this article in the New York Times. Here are some of the outrages:

James Frederick was in Manhattan cycling west in the Prince Street bike lane on a recent morning when a green Ford parked in the lane forced him to swerve into the narrow roadway where cars and vans were rushing past.

“It’s kind of scary because the cars next to you just keep going,” said Mr. Frederick, 49, a messenger who lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “The city just put this lane in a few months ago, but it’s not respected by drivers.”

Feel free, Mr. Frederick, to be angry at the jerk with a green Ford parked in the bike lane. But, if you swerve at full speed into a lane of traffic, don’t be surprised when the automobiles next to you don’t immediately stop to let you through. Did you stop and wait and look for a safe way around when you saw, probably from some distance, that your lane was blocked? No, you didn’t. That’s what the rest of us have to do when somebody double-parks. Which, by the way, happens a lot.

In response, some cyclists have handed out fake but realistic-looking summonses to drivers in bike lanes, leading at times to arguments. Others said they have slapped stickers on cars that look like those pasted on vehicles that fail to make way for the Sanitation Department street sweepers.

Well, we all love vandalism, and impersonating officers. Only a bicyclist would be so impressed with his or her moral superiority that they wouldn’t see a problem with this, or would be so naïve as to be astonished that these practices lead “at times to arguments.” I’m surprised they haven’t resorted to slashing tires, or kicking cars, which has happened to me on three different occasions when I was trying to park in a metered space.

Bikeblog:
HELLO TIM! Parking in the bike lane is ILLEGAL. Stop blaming the victims for problems of the automobile with no efficient infrastructure, because we spend all of our money on clusterbombs instead of fixing 100 year outdated things like bridges, roads and streets. Putting a fake flyer on a car is not vandalism anymore then the hundreds of catalogs I get from companies like L.L.Bean and Victoria Secret every day in my mailbox. It is also not impersonating an officer. Why do you think bicyclists are the source of all your problems? Did you not get that shiny big wheel for Christmas that one year and its scared you for life?

Tim:
Ten years later, Mayor Edward I. Koch became frustrated when bike lanes that he had built on main thoroughfares like Fifth Avenue and Broadway, which were separated from motor vehicles by asphalt islands, were criticized by drivers and pedestrians and, even worse, ignored by many cyclists. As a result, he ordered that the islands be removed.

There may be responsible safe cautious cyclists out there who take as much care with themselves and their machines on the roadways as I do when I’m a pedestrian, a motorist, or a passenger on public transit. But, when push comes to shove, cyclists are just as ready to flout the law and put themselves in danger as anyone else in this crazy-ass city.

Get over yourselves, cyclists. As Stephen Colbert would say, you’re on notice.

P.S.: Welcome, many referred readers. Had I known that so many people would read this post, I would have argued it differently, plugging holes and making needed concessions, but that ship has sailed. I do want to add, though, since there’s been confusion on this point, that I don’t own or regularly drive a car. My frustration with bikes is mostly borne out in my pedestrian experience, but in the war between drivers and cyclists, have about the same mixture of sympathy and frustration with both. (Maybe I’m just jealous.) So, instead of referring to me as “idiot motorist” or “dumbass driver,” if you would call me “that douchebag who walks and rides SEPTA everywhere” I would be much obliged.

Thanks for coming, and if you’re at all interested in anything else I write about, please stick around. Otherwise, in one week, I will write about why I hate puppies.

Bikeblog:
So, I guess your trying to be cute now. Hmmmm. NOt funny.

What in the world is going on with bikes?

As usual…lots. Its bike month so there is no shortage of bike events and fun ways to spend your time showing off your new ride you just got in T-town or dug out of the closet for the 30,000 strong 5 borough bike tour. Don’t forget Al Sharpton is going to be shutting down the city today in protest of the Sean Bell Verdict and there is no better way to get around a crippled city then by bicycle.

This Saturday are two events in NYC.

1) Harlemageddon Alleycat
Uptown.

Saturday, May 10th 2008
Marcus Garvey Park
12:30pm reg.
1:30pm race

Here are the checkpoints in advance…so start studying the maps

155th st underneath riverside dr
grant’s tomb
126 W 139th
Seaman Ave & Cumming St
Highbridge park
Flagpole at cloisters
Underneath the Henry Hudson Bridge
600 E 125th st
Abandoned boat in hudson next to henry hudson parkway (entrance on dykman)
Harlem Meer
Rat pack spot

Here are the prize sponsors:
Prizes from:
Mer Bags
Reload
Mishka
Afinity Bikes
Trackstar
DQM
Cyclehawk
Keirin Culture
Cane Creek
Visitor Design
Taliah Lempert
…and more!

Also on Saturday:

2) the 1st Annual LIC Bike Parade
(Rain or Shine)
11:30am: registration Begins 12pm-3pm Workshops
Decorate your bike with artists from Socrates Sculpture Park, Free Style Arts Association, Materials for the Arts and the Noguchi Museum; ride safety tips and helmet fitting with Bike New York and Transportation Alternatives; bike repairs with Recycle-a-bicycle.

3:00pm-4:00pm THE PARADE
Line up with the Hungry March Band, performers from Circus Amok, City Reliquary and the Civic Riders Bicycle Club and join the parade from Socrates Sculpture Park to Queensbridge Park.

Socrates Sculpture Park is at 32-01 Vernon Blvd. Long Island City, NY 11106

Reverend Billy was in Union Square…I mean in it.

Reverend Billy did a small protest to bring attention to the construction in Union Square that has been halted by a court order.

Events for Bike Month–DAY 2

1) Queens Beer Garden Ride

Friday, May 2, 2008
Bohemian Beer Garden, 24th Ave. at 29th St., Astoria

Join Queens’ riders for a bite to eat (and maybe a drink?) at the Bohemian Beer Garden before heading off to experience the Time’s Up! Central Park Moonlight Ride. We’ll depart from Astoria at about 9pm for the 10pm start at Columbus Circle.
Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Time: 12:00 PM
T.A. Queens Committee
http://transalt.org/takeaction/queens
Email: emiliajocrotty@hotmail.com
Fax: 508 916-7863
Getting there: N, W train to Astoria Blvd.

2) Central Park Moonlight Ride

Friday, May 2, 2008
Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park (SW corner of Central Park, at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park South 59th St., and Central Park West)
Manhattan
A fun, relaxing, auto-free ride through Central Park at the height of the spring bloom. The Moonlight Ride highlight’s the waterways, vistas, and structures in the park at a magical time of night. Now in its 14th year, the Moonlight Ride rolls on the first Fridayof the month year-round.
Start Time: 10:00 PM
End Time: 12:00 PM
TIME’S UP!
http://times-up.org
Email: timesup@panix.com
212-802-8222
Getting there: A, B, C, D, 1, train to 59th St.-Columbus Circle

Bike Month starts…MAY 1st.

Here are the official events for Day 1:

+++Fix Your Own Bike Workshop
Thursday, May 1, 2008
6:30pm
Location:
Time’s Up! (West location) at the Hub Station, 73 Morton St. (Hudson and Greenwich St.) in the West Village, Manhattan.

Open shop–you use our tools and stands to work on your bike. Experienced mechanics will be present to answer questions, but you do the work.
Website:
http://times-up.org
Email:
timesup@panix.com
Phone:
212-802-8222
Getting there:
1 train to Christopher; A, C, E, B, D, F to West 4th St.

+++Emile “RSVP” Wateufel Road Race
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Location:
Woodfern School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
Description:
3 lap handicap road race

Start Time:
6:00 PM-12:00am
Organization:
Century Road Club of America
Website:
http://centuryroadclub.com

+++Hastings-on-Hudson
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Location:
Loeb Boathouse in Central Park or 10:30 AM at Broadway Bridge, Manhattan

Description:
MacEachron Park is located on the Hudson River in the charming historic town of Hastings-on-Hudson. Bring a good working bicycle with tires inflated to the appropriate psi, a bicycle pump, 2 spare inner tubes, a helmet, 2 bottles of water, lunch or moneyfor it.

9:30 AM-4:30PM

Organization:
The Weekday Cyclists in NYC
Website:
http://WeekdayCyclists.org
Email:
TWCinNYC@aol.com
Getting there:
6 train to 77th St.

+++Brooklyn Critical Mass
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Location:
Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park
borough:
Brooklyn
Description:
Brooklyn Critical Mass takes place the second Friday of each month at 7:00 PM, starting from two locations: (1) at the north entrance to Prospect Park, by Grand Army Plaza, and (2) at the Brooklyn end of the Williamsburg, near the statue of George Washington. There are no leaders. Bicyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders and all muscle-powered transportation is welcome.

Start Time:
7:00 PM-11:30pm

Website:
http://scorcher.org
Getting there:
Grand Army Plaza

Bike Punk show Saturday.

Saturday May 3rd.

Get ready for the D.O.T. "sustainable streets"…just in time…for 2030?


I hate to be the ultimate cynic, but its really hard to get excited about the D.O.T’s new plans which are supposed to be finished by 2030. Wow, I’ll be 60 years and in desperate need of bike lanes if not a walker. At least they are doing something over there in the shadow of the congestion pricing defeat.

Just days before bike month the Department of Transportation has unveiled their 72 page plan on how to make the streets safer and create more infrastructure for bikes and public transportation.

Here is the flashy graphic filled plan for, “Sustainable Streets”

and here is a video from streetfilms of Janette Sadik-Kahn, NYC DOT Commissioner, annoucing the plan at the Municipal Art Society.

Here is Brian Lehrer having a love in with Paul Steeley White, executive director Transportation Alternative, on Wednesday’s show, talking about the new sustainable streets plan.

To be fair, the D.O.T. is taking an aggressive role on making positive sustainable changes to NYC for pedestrians and bikers. Hopefully the NYPD will cooperate.

Video that rates your lock up.


Clarence Eckerson, Jr. of Streetfilms recently made a video about two critics who are out to jack your bike. Well, there out to point out how easy, or not it would be to steel your ride or parts of it.

Hal Ruzal, top notch bike mechanic at Bicycle Habitat knows a few things about locking bikes and along with Kerri Martin, founder of the bicycle church, they’re out to see if people have learned a thing or two from the last time they did this in 2003.