Safety with a price…

Its safety enforement time here in the big apple, city designed for and catering primarily to the automobile while the pedestrian and the cyclists continue to play second fiddle.

July 26th, a helmet law went into effect for all those who WORK in nyc on a bicycle. Employees are required to wear a helmet and the employers are required to provide them with helmets.

32 spokes is a blog out of London who gave this report…

from 32 spokes…
“Following up from my previous post on this topic, today the new law, that requires bike messengers in New York City to wear helmets, goes into effect. Apart from this law being absolutely ridiculous, I find it hard to see how it will be enforced. As Carlos Ramirez, a 12 year bike messenger, points out in an article from NY Metro:”

“A lot of people who just commute look like messengers. How are the police going to know who’s a messenger? Now they’re going to search your bag?”

Links to related articles:

Helmet law provided by Gothamist.
The enforcement of this law is mitigated on the streets, by the worker themselves and creating an environment where the police are now profiling, at their discretion, who is a messenger or not.

Does the need for enforcement and making money on ticketing out weigh the need for safety?

I’ve been getting reports from non-couriers that they’ve been profiled as messengers and told by police they need a helmet. They tell police, they are not messengers and the cops say…”Doesn’t matter, you need a helmet anyway.”

Exactly how I predicted. When common sense turns into concrete law, the burden should be on the employers to provide their staff with helmets and to keep them safe. When your employer makes you an independent contracter, absolving the responsibility of paying costly health care benefits, then a $30 helmet should be nothing.

Instead you have the worker, riding his duct taped mountian bike on the sidewalk, carrying your Kung Pao chicken the four blocks you are too lazy to walk for, getting stopped by a cop looking to increase his quota and writing a summons of $30. Safety first.

Then you’ve got a new program being launched…

This comes from streetsblog. Also check out their week in review.

“The city launched its first ever cyclist/motorist safety campaign on Tuesday. Inspired by the 2005 death of cyclist Liz Byrne, ads will appear on bus shelters, buses and taxis encouraging cyclists to “Look” for one another while sharing the road. At the same time, Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Bicycle Coalition — which helped develop the “Look” campaign — called on the city to step up enforcement of driving laws and to implement more effective bike lane designs. Shortly thereafter, in the spirit of tougher enforcement, officers in Central Park began issuing warnings to commuters — bike commuters, that is.”

Again the sugar…with the salt.

Yesterday, (9/21/07) I got a call that the police were harassing people at the base of the Williamsburg bridge, Manhattan side. 2 parking police patrol cars were parked just pass the raised concrete platform stopping cyclists and sometimes trying violently to grab them off their bikes while riding by. Parking police? Now granted this is a crappy job, standing on Delancey St all day breathing in fumes…but you hardly see these guys enforcing anything, expect maybe blocking the box. But with new changes to safety regulations its time to target cyclists. So as a nation we continue to let our dying infustructure crumble in the free market economy gone wild, those who find alternatives…i.e. the cyclist, pay the price.

The Williamsburg bridge is a classic example. One minute it has bumps on it, one minute one side is closed for painting…THAT BRIDGE, never ever seems to be completed. One minute its 4 lanes of traffic coming off the bridge, the next its 6. Although we have won some battles, getting the bumps removed is one of them, that roadway still is largely influx and was never a good set up. So the parking police were trying to stop people from Not stopping and riding right into traffic which at the time was mostly to allow vehicles to exit, because one lane of the bridge…was closed. Why? Another coat of paint? Probably because the infustructure can’t compete with the overpopulation and too many cars. I say, ride a bike.

So be careful out there, wear a helmet if you can, but also watch you back against, police harassment. If your stopped, you can beat the helmet thing (for now) then the cops, feeling embarassed will look immediately to see if you have a bell or two lights…often you can’t win.

Fall Equinox bike ride in Brooklyn

The ride will be a casual late afternoon trek to the Ridgewood Reservoir, an abandoned 19th century water source for Brooklyn. He found a great hill behind the reservoir where we can drink, carouse, and watch the sun set over Manhattan. It will be a great way to officially say goodbye to summer. arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The ride will be easy. Feel free to bring a blanket, some food, and beer. Lots of beer. There will even be a cargo bike present that can be loaded up with supplies.

Saturday, September 22nd

5:30PM Grand Army Plaza
6:00PM Brooklyn side of Williamsburg Bridge

Bike Film Festival in San Francisco this week!!

Bicycle Film Festival is in San Francisco. September 19th-22nd…Tickets on sale now!

Victoria Theatre
2961 16th Street near Mission Street

in collaboration with PUMA
at film screenings

Valet Bicycle Parking provided by SFBC
Sponsored by Kryptonite

Saturday, September 21st is a block party…


Capp Street Between 16th Street and 17th Street
Track Competitions hosted by M.A.S.H. Crew
BMX comp, Cyclecide
Fun Bike Games
Award Ceremony at Program 7


Tomorrow…be safe…

The New York Bike Messenger Foundation will be tabling at Union Square South this Tuesday, September 18 from Noon until 2pm.

We will be handing out NYBMF postcards and also Know Your Rights manuals.

Squid has been working with a lot of different people for two years on this safety campaign for New York City.

The campaign, called LOOK, was developed to raise awareness among drivers and bike riders about cyclists’ right to the road and everyone’s responsibility to drive and ride safely and be aware in traffic. It will run in English and Spanish on bus shelters, buses, taxi tops and phone kiosks this fall, and there will be a website, posters, postcards, t-shirts and other give-aways to promote cyclist safety.

The ads were produced by international ad firm Publicis in consultation with the NYC Bike Coalition, the City Departments of \ Transportation & Health, the NYPD, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate.

The DOT will be handing out free helmets and there will be other giveaways as well!

Please stop by if you can and help us get the word out!

the folks at Chunk666…

Makers of tallbikes, choppers and things like this…

Their based out of Portland Oregon and now have a new blog site:

Chunk 666

check em.

here is their wikipedia description

Wacky bikes

Jacob sent me this website about the craziest bikes out there..

Oobject is a website that creats a billboard chart for gadets…here is a little more about them from their site:

There are dozens of gadget sites on the web, these days. Oobject is a bit different.

Oobject is somewhere between a blog and a directory. We pick topics for lists of gadgets . People then suggest items to go into them by tagging things as Oobject in wists. Visitors then vote on items to create something like ‘Billboard charts for gadgets’, voted by everyone.

Some of the topics we pick will be standard categories such as ‘top digital SLRs’. These will be constantly updated over time, with new items. Other topics will be quirky and fun, one offs, where we find a particularly interesting topic such as ‘retro soviet gadgets’.

Each day, instead of single blog posts, we will feature a single topic which is new or has been newly updated.

So here is their list of crazy-bicycles …my favorite gadget.

Hang out it Zurich and race for 6 days.

What could be more fun then traveling and biking…

Check out the site

picture by Joshua Whitesnake mess nyc

commercial preview of the event on mess nyc

From the site:
A Zurich Bicycle Courier Velodrome Extravaganza Part 2!

Like the year before, this year around New Year’s an army of bicycle messengers
and general bike aficionados from all over the world will be flocking to Zurich.
While the local cycling temple Hallenstadion has the elite of international track
racers competing in the Zurich Sixdays, they will gather to celebrate their own X-Days.
Bicycle messenger don’t just make their mark on the tarmac of the street. They also know
how to look right on the boards that stage the drama of six day racing. Naturally, they
want to see the pros race and they will lend them their vocal support. But the fastest
among the messengers will also race each other in front of the same crowd.
Still, there’s much more to the X-Days! Just like in the early stages of Six Day racing,
an X-day still has 24 hours. Back then, the racers were subjected to around-the-clock hard
labour in smoke-filled venues while the audience gave their best at partying hard. Similarly,
the X-days will bring 7 days full of side events that will test the perseverance of those
partaking, including bike polo, alleycat races, lake jump on ice, fondue BBQ, parties,
a karaoke contest, and to finish things off on a relaxing note, a sauna visit. What more
could a bicycle messenger crave for?

Job opportunity to assist DOT with bike racks and lanes.

Here is a job offer in NYC to assist the DOT with making more bike lanes and bike racks. Hey, but that would encourage people to ride their bikes.
City Planner – Level I – Alternative Modes: Bicycle Program

Job Description:
The New York City Department of Transportation is embarking on an aggressive
campaign to expand the City¹s on-street network of bicycle lanes and routes
to facilitate the use of bicycles as an emission-free mode of
transportation. Coupled with this exciting initiative and the increase in
the number of bicycle racks requested citywide, the Bicycle Program is
seeking a self-motivated person to assist the City Racks Manager in
administering the program. Listed below is a brief description of the
program¹s accomplishments and planned activities:

* To date, over 4,121 bike racks have been installed throughout the five
boroughs; annual installation is 500+ bike racks
* Developing a bike and ride program aimed at improving bicycle parking
at subways stations and bus stops.
* DOT has secured the services of a contractor to install hundreds of
additional bicycle racks, to be completed in the next year.

The responsibilities of the person include processing bike rack requests in
a database; mapping, locations; conducting fieldwork (50% of work) to
investigate and analyze the location of the request; preparing and
submitting correspondence regarding the status of the request; scheduling
the installation of bike racks; conducting follow-up installation
investigation and documentation; preparing reports. The person will also be
responsible for similar type tasks for the bike and ride program. The
candidate may also be requested to perform other duties relevant to the City
Rack program and the Bicycle Program.

Qualification Requirements:
1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and two years of
satisfactory full-time experience in city planning, or

2. A satisfactory combination of education and or experience that is
equivalent to ³1² above. Graduate education in city planning, urban
planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, transportation
engineering, or related fields may be substituted for experience on the
basis of 30 semester credits from an accredited college for one year of
experience. However, all candidates must have a baccalaureate degree.

Note: New York City residency is required within 90 days of appointment.

Special Note: While we appreciate every applicant’s interest, only those
under consideration will be contacted.

Specialized Knowledge: Proficiency in ArcView, Microsoft Word and Excel.

Other Information: This is an excellent opportunity for a person interested
in urban cycling, transportation planning and project implementation.
Experience in cycling a plus.

Salary Range: $49,493 – $62,155. The minimum for employees appointed on or
after 2/1/07 is $43,037.

Job Location: 40 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013, Room 1035

Number of Positions: 1

To Be Considered For This Vacancy:
1) Place the control code listed below in the upper right hand corner of
your resume and on the lower left hand corner of the envelope.
(2) Your resume must include a chronological work history and salary earning
(3) Send two copies of your resume to:
Kim Fowler-Jackson
Traffic Operations/ Administration
NYC Department of Transportation
28-11 Queens Plaza North, 8th Floor
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101

Control Code: # W841/08/CTO-833

Closing Date: 9/21/07

DOT is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Check out Street Games

I shot 3 of these shows…yeah for me.

Bicycle Film Festival in Minneapolis

What do we know about bikes and Minneapolis?

Minneapolis is where Black Label Bike Club started.

It is the home to Surly bikes…

There is a cool bike shop that is hosting after partys and goldsprints…

it is hosting the 7th annual bicycle film festival… September 12-15th.