Well this month has been extremely busy with video production so there have been less postings.
But here is a bit of what is going on in the bike culture world.
I was interviewed in the Metro newspaper about Critical Mass and Bikeblog. While I was working as a lighting technician on a German television program, Paul Berger of Metro New York and I, talked for a half hour about bicycle related subjects…the article came out in the paper today. Just a quick blurb…but, hey its exposure.
Thursday night, Crumpler bags had an opening night party for their messenger bag auction. People got a chance to see the bags, drink some free beer and hang out in a nice art gallery in Williamsburg. Crumpler USA, which makes nice messenger and laptop bags is hosting an auction where you can bid on one of a kind designed bags. Here are a few photos. Out front of Gallery on Roebling, between South 2nd and South 3rd. The Crowd and Mike Dee points to point of injury. Some of the art bags Luke and Brad (bag to us) from Trackstar More bags on the wall Bikers outside
To watch some nostalgia from last year…the trailer is on line. Film makers Jesse Epstein and Mark Thomas made this cool trailer for the festival of 05 featuring messenger, DJ, Skater and Mashup artist Ted Shred.
Jesse is trying an experiment in on-line distribution. Revver.com, where the trailer is hosted is a video host unlike grouper, Youtube and Google.video. They give the film makers 50% of the profits from advertisers if you click-on the ad at the end of the video. Jesse is trying to see the potential of this new market. So if you want to participate…click the ad. Then she makes a little money and can buy some tape stock to make more cool bike related videos. Really its just an experiment. If these sites are going to make money from advertising to host our videos…Shouldn’t we see a bit of the profits? You decide.
Every year for the past 24 years bike makers gather in Las Vegas for Interbike. This year is the 25th time and I will be attending with a small cadre of bike messengers who are going to tear up the strip…on track bikes which I am affectionately calling: Gear and Loathing in Las Vegas. King Kog will be there along with MessNYC and there will be gold sprints hosted somewhere in town.
Heres what they say about it on their website:
Fuse 1,000+ brands with 10,000+ buyers from around the world and you have Interbike – the ultimate blend of industry leaders with innovative products in the bicycle business. The gathering kicks off with two days of OutDoor Demo in Bootleg Canyon – a world renowned outdoor cycling venue – and continues for three packed days of exhibits, product launches, insightful seminars, meetings and celebrations at Interbike Expo in Las Vegas.
City Hall Promises Major Increase in Bike Lanes on Streets By WILLIAM NEUMAN Published: September 13, 2006
The Bloomberg administration plans to greatly increase the number of bicycle lanes after a city study showed that 225 cyclists died in accidents on city streets over the last 10 years, officials said yesterday.
While some motorists may grumble that bike lanes take up road space and add to congestion, the study suggests that the lanes actually work. Most of the bike deaths involved crashes with cars, trucks or buses, but only one of those involved a cyclist who was in a marked bike lane.
The cityâ€™s transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, said 200 additional miles of bike lanes were planned for the five boroughs over the next three years. The city now has about 220 miles of roadway designated for bikes, including paths set off from vehicle traffic by barriers, lanes painted on the street and routes indicated mainly by street signs.
â€œThe data demonstrates cyclists need more safe places to ride,â€ Ms. Weinshall said.
The highest toll in the last 10 years was 40 in 1999 and the lowest 13 in 2001. Last year 24 cyclists were killed, according to the study, which compiled data from 1996 through 2005 and was conducted by several city agencies.
Despite the cityâ€™s frenetic pace and heavy traffic, the study found that riding a bicycle in New York City did not appear to be significantly more deadly than in the country as a whole.
Based on the cityâ€™s population, there were 2.8 bicycle deaths a year per million residents during the 10 years, slightly more than the 2.7-per-million rate nationwide.
â€œSimply encouraging more people to ride bikes is going to improve the safety of cyclists,â€ said Noah Budnick, a deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, a cycling advocacy group. He called the study and the bike lane expansion â€œunprecedented.â€
â€œThe more people bike, the more drivers become accustomed to looking for cyclists and to driving safely around them,â€ he said.
Nonetheless, there was some disagreement over how extensive the cityâ€™s network of bike lanes really is â€” and will be after the expansion â€” because of how the city calculates the mileage. If both sides of a one-mile strip of a two-way street have bike lanes, for example, the city counts it as two miles of bike lanes. Mr. Budnick said the cityâ€™s claim of 220 miles might be more properly counted as less than half that. The same could be expected to apply, he said, to much of the proposed new mileage.
The study revealed some intriguing trends. Men and boys accounted for 91 percent of the toll, or 199 fatalities. That was similar to data for the country as a whole, where male cyclists make up 89 percent of fatalities.
Thomas R. Frieden, the health commissioner, said the predominance of men and boys among the fatalities might reflect â€œa little bit more risk-taking behavior from males.â€
Crashes with moving vehicles accounted for 207 of the deaths in the study. Among those, nearly a third involved trucks and buses, although they are only about 15 percent of the vehicles on city streets.
The trend was the opposite for taxis. Cyclists accustomed to cursing at cabs as the drivers dart through Midtown traffic might be surprised to learn that taxis accounted for only two of the vehicle-bike deaths, or 1 percent, although cabs make up 2 percent of registered vehicles in the city.
The study also reinforced the importance of wearing a bike helmet. It found that 74 percent of fatal accidents involved head injuries and that, in cases in which records on helmet use were kept, 97 percent of the riders who died were not wearing one.
The study found that cyclistsâ€™ ignoring traffic controls like lights and stop signs was one of the most common factors contributing to fatal accidents. Drivers not paying attention was another common factor.
The city plans to start an advertising campaign next spring to remind drivers and bike riders about safety. ——————————— Photo by: Graham Beck, Transportation Alternatives New York City Department of Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden speaking at yesterday’s event (9/12/06) in Central Park announcing a major new bicycle safety initiative. Behind him, from left to right, are Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and NYPD Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli
Meanwhile streetsblog has been covering the story. Scroll through the last few entrys on this very informative blog and find out things like the city is now treating bicycling as a public health issue…its about time. Bloomberg with his ending of smoking inside and his name being on a major public health school. How many people have to be crushed on their bikes by giant trucks who don’t look before the city wakes up?
With the annoucement of the new plan on bike lanes the city released a press relase which includes facts like this:
Bicycle lanes and helmets may reduce the risk of death.
Almost three-quarters of fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury. Nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet. Helmet use among those bicyclists with serious injuries was low (13%), but it was even lower among bicyclists killed (3%). Only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bike lane
Nearly all bicyclist deaths (92%) occurred as a result of crashes with motor vehicles.
Large vehicles (trucks, buses) were involved in almost one-third (32%) of fatal crashes, but they make up approximately 15% of vehicles on NYC roadways. Most fatal crashes (89%) occurred at or near intersections. Nearly all (94%) fatalities involved human error. All New Yorkers, whether pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists, can help prevent crashes by following traffic signs and signals and respecting other road users
Each year it gets easier to find things on line. It seems like Flickr is the place to store and display pictures because of its community vibe.
I’ve been watching over the past few days how soon people put up pictures and now 4 days after the North American’s there is a ton of photos. Keep up the good work and remember to use the Tags so people can find a subject eaiser.
Erik wrote an artilce about his experience with August’s Brooklyn Critical Mass originally inteded for Dirt Rag Magazine. It didn’t make the print date but they put it up on their website. Dirt Rag Mag encourages people to make submissions.
Feeling Low by Erik Ferguson
A few weeks ago, I rode in the Brooklyn Critical Mass. Unlike the NYC (Manhattan) Mass across the East River, this ride is not only tolerated, but even facilitated by the NYPD. They ride along with a handful of scooters, bicycle officers, and a motor vehicle or two. It was a flashback to CM rides of a few years ago, and a really wonderful vibe on one of the nicest nights of the summer.
The August Critical Mass ride marked a dual anniversary. It was two years after the Republican National Convention ride when 264 cyclists were arrested and it marked a year since Hurricane Katrina wreaked its vengence on the Gulf Coast. Several dozen rides around the country participated in a Critical Mass for Climate Justice ride to commemorate the latter.
The ride came a week after the Police Department announced it would revise planned regulations that would have required groups of two or more cyclists not following traffic laws to obtain a permit. The regulations also would have required groups of 20 or more cyclists or vehicles to get a permit.
Three hundred riders gathered in Union Square as anticonsumerism activist Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping Choir preached of the dangers facing the First Amendment. Using an electric bullhorn to spread his gospel to the farthest reaches of the bike-filled plaza, Billy was eventually approached by two police community affairs officers who reminded him of the prohibition of using amplified sound without a permit. None too pleased, Billy, aka Bill Talen, turned off the megaphone and raised his voice as his choir sang, accompanied by an unamplified but very audible Hungry Marching Band.
Just before 8 p.m., the familiar whoops and yells rose into the late summer air as cyclists began converging on the northwest corner of the park. However, there was at least one false start as the riders warily eyed some police scooters nearby. The ride then started, proceeding west on 17th St. It didnâ€™t get far, before a phalanx of scooter police immediately cut the ride off at Fifth Ave. Though a dozen cyclists managed to get through and raced away down the avenue, the rest of the Mass did a quick 180, with many dismounting as they turned and retreated back toward Union Square. They rode to 14th St. and then west.
Not so lucky were the first six riders stopped and ticketed for â€œfailure to keep right.â€ Among these half-dozen was Reverend Billyâ€™s wife, Savitri D.
â€œI feel annoyed and agitated,â€ she said as an officer wrote out her ticket. â€œI feel itâ€™s a waste of my tax dollars and resources. Weâ€™re not bothering anybody,â€ she added, biting into a piece of fruit as she waited. Reverend Billy also reportedly got a ticket.
Minutes later, a band of 12 cyclists rode east on 12th St, followed by 14 motorcycle police. By now the Mass had splintered and taken several routes throughout the city. Three cyclists were stopped and ticketed on 40th St. near Second Ave. One cyclist, Joe Koenig, an East Villager, was riding a unicycle when he was stopped and ticketed for riding a â€œbicycleâ€ without a bell.
By the end of the night, police reported issuing 65 Class B summonses for moving violations. In addition, 2 Class C summonses, which were issued for serious violations in lieu of arrest, were also handed out. There was one arrest for reckless endangerment.
September 5th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
During the course of the last two years, the New York Police Department and the Mayor’s office have attempted unsuccessfully to thwart the monthly critical mass rides in Manhattan. This circus has cost millions of dollars, countless police man hours, and even a few injuries to both cyclist and officer. As many people know, the crackdown started with the August 2004 ride because of the confusion and proximity with the Republican National Convention.
Interestingly enough another critical mass has emerged in this city over the same time period. On the second Friday of July or August of 2004, Brooklyn saw its first critical mass. The actual date of the first ride will differ with each cyclist to whom you talk. The Brooklyn critical mass riders have seen the NYPD on their rides, starting in October of 2004. The interaction between the officers and the cyclists is extremely different from their counterpart across the East River. The police and the riders have an agreement, similar to the way it was before August of 2004 in Manhattan. When the front of the ride gets to a red light, the cyclists will stop, and if the light changes while the ride is going through, the police will cork the intersection. For those of you not in the know, corking is when a person will situate themselves in front of stopped cars to let them know that there is a ride coming through. By corking, the ride becomes safer, while traffic believe it or not can run smoother.
The relationship between the riders and police has become so friendly that when the cyclists asked the police officers if they would ride their bikes instead of their scooters, the police officers happily obliged. Some have even reported that when a motorist asks “What is going on?” one police officer replied, “It’s Critical Mass, they are riding to demonstrate their right to the road.” The same officer is just as confused as everyone, as to the disparity between the two rides.
Last month (August 11th, 2006), over one hundred cyclists rode out to the Brownsville section of Brooklyn to memorialize Shamar Porter, a ten year old who was killed by a truck, while riding his bike home from his little league game. Alarmingly and coincidentally, another child Jose` Mora, 11, was killed by a car Monday September 4th at 730 pm crossing North Conduit Blvd near Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn Critical Mass may or may not make it out to East New York on Friday September 8th. There is no route, and there are no leaders, but when enough people hear about Jose’s death, momentum will carry the riders there.
NEW YORK — An 11-year-old boy was struck and killed while he was riding his bicycle in Brooklyn.
New York City police say the accident was at 6:30 Monday evening on Conduit Boulevard. Family members told police that Jose Manual Mora was on his way to get a haircut for the first day of school. He was walking his bike across the busy intersection at McKinley Avenue when he was hit by a Honda Accord.
Police say the driver of the car stayed at the scene and was not charged.
The boy was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead — about 90 minutes after the accident.
Relatives say the boy, his mother and younger sister had just moved from Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Neighbors say the street lights in the area have been out for months — making the area dark and dangerous.
September 5th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed