Here is a story by Sarah Goodyear for Atlantic Cities about her recent trip with a bike convoy of donations (from Bicycle Habitat) to the Rockaways.
The Power of Bicycles in Disaster Recovery
We rolled out from the Bicycle Habitat store on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn just after 10 in the morning on Tuesday, an admittedly ragtag assortment of about 40 people on bicycles loaded down with donations headed for Far Rockaway in Queens. We were pedaling panniers full of flashlights, backpacks jam-packed with diapers and wipes, and bike boxes stuffed with blankets and coats, all of them collected at the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations of the store over the previous week.
First up Core77 talks about how handy the bike sharing program would have been, plus in depth reports on Casey Neistat’s amazing bike footage and the status of a couple of Red Hook bicycle businesses. Hurricane Sandy vs NYC Cyclists
Hurricane Sandy was unimaginable in almost every way, beyond the scope of half a weekend’s worth of preparedness, and New York City is still dusting itself off from the storm even as another system dusts the city with a fresh coat of miserable weather. As the major media duly noted during the days following the storm, the hurricane made an emphatic case for alternative transportation, but I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that New York City was supposed to get a shiny new fleet of public bikes by this past summer, only to see the scheduled launch pushed back to fall and now March 2013. An August press release cites technical issues as the culprit (Streetsblog posted additional clarification from Mayor Bloomberg):
Bicycle Habitat in SoHo did brisk business during the aftermath of Sandy, even without electricity. (Photo by Alex Goldmark)
When Sandy’s storm surge flooded New York’s subway and split the city into its island parts, normal commutes were washed away. City-mandated restrictions prevented cars with fewer than three people from entering Manhattan to try to limit vehicle traffic. So New Yorkers took to new modes to get around. HopStop, the transit trip planning website, reported a 1,300 percent spike in searches for bus travel in NYC and an 800 percent jump in non-train searches compared to the previous week.
And then there were bikes.
On Thursday, the NYC DOT counted 30,000 cyclists riding across the East River bridges, more than double the normal 13,000. Though there’s no official count for within Manhattan while the power was still out downtown and subways were halted, this audio postcard of a ride around town shows how Sandy created a mini-bike boom — and a pop-up culture of cycling harmony.
Red Hook is a waterfront area in Brooklyn with a lot of character. It has a nautical themed pioneer flavor with a real sense of local, especially since there is limited public transportation. It is also the home of David August Trimble’s unique track bike race, Red Hook Crit.
This area was hit hard by hurricane Sandy and a few bike companies like Castelli Cycling and Gage & Desoto have gotten together for a cycling jersey fundraiser to help rebuild the area.
Here is the details from Gage & Desoto:
WHAT HAPPENED? Our neigborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn has been left flooded and in shambles following Hurricane Sandy. Countless homes, shops, artist studios, restaurants, bars, and workshops have been devastated. Despite this recent hardship, the heart of this vibrant community cannot be washed away. While our own storefront office flooded, the losses are minimal compared to the dire situation in the neighborhood.
WHAT’S NEXT? Castelli Cycling has generously stepped up to produce a pair of special benefit jerseys with us to help raise funds for Red Hook’s recovery. Designed by Jonah Birns, the jerseys will be pre-sold exclusively here on our site until December 1st. After production is complete, we will be shipping these in mid-January.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: All profits from these jerseys will be split between the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) and Restore Red Hook (RRH). The RHI–an established community center–is operating as the critical organizer of relief efforts. Since then, Restore Red Hook has also been set up to help the many devastated small businesses of Red Hook reopen their doors as soon as possible.
Available in race weight short sleeve (also in Women’s sizes) or thermal long sleeve (Men’s only) | Please select size and style before you check out | Sizing chart | Worldwide shipping
Time’s Up is at it again, delivering food and badly needed supplies to Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas of NYC.
Here is a press release of upcoming bike related actions this weekend.
TIME’S UP! WILL DELIVER FOOD, BLANKETS, BIKE-POWERED CHARGING STATIONS, AND MOBILE BIKE REPAIR TO NEIGHBORHOODS DEVASTATED BY SANDY
WHAT: Time’s Up will lead Fossil Fuel Disaster Relief bike rides to deliver food, blankets, bike-powered charging stations, and mobile bike repair units to neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
WHEN: Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th, meeting at 9am
WHERE: Saturday, 99 S 6th St, Brooklyn, between Bedford and Berry
Sunday, 156 Rivington St, Manhattan, between Clinton and Suffolk
NEW YORK, NY (November 7, 2012) — On Saturday and Sunday, November 10th and 11th, Time’s Up will lead group bike rides to neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Sandy. They will use their fleet of bike-trailers and cargo-bikes to deliver food and blankets from Occupy Sandy and their own bicycle-powered phone-charging station and mobile bicycle repair units to hard to reach areas, where they will set-up distribution centers with free bike-powered charging stations and free bicycle repair – sustainable solutions to the devastation caused by climate changed from the burning of fossil fuels.
“The idea is to offer relief to people who are cold and hungry today and to address the root cause of this disaster at the same time so that fewer people will go through this in the future,” notes volunteer coordinator Keegan Stephan. “All this devastation is the direct result of burning fossil fuels. We should not ignore that while trying to help those who have been devastated. That is why Time’s Up is offering sustainable alternatives to energy-production and transportation as well as delivering food and blankets.”
Time’s Up volunteers have already been working with Occupy Sandy to transport food and blankets to Coney Island, Rockaway Beach, and Staten Island with their bike trailers and cargo bikes. Time’s Up deployed their bicycle-powered charging stations in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and East Village all three days that those neighborhoods were out of power, charging hundreds of cell phones per day.
The exact location of the distribution centers will be announced on their twitter feed Friday night @nyctimesup
Click here for photos of Time’s Up relief efforts.
Film production traditionally gives their cast and crew a present at the end of a job, especially a long tv show. This is known in the film/TV world as a “wrap gift.” Look at what the crew of the latest season of Boardwalk Empire got.
Custom folding bikes by Dahon. All I ever get is a t-shirt.
Brooklyn Machine Works has donated bike stands to Time’s Up to assist in their construction of pedal powered generators.
These were quintessential for charging cell phones in the East Village during the week of power outages caused by hurricane Sandy. They will soon have 10 of these human powered contraptions to be able to assist the hurricane relief effort in the Rockaways and Staten Island, still crippled without power. No gas lines necessary for these “energy bikes,” just the volunteers needed to pedal them.
There are other bike related relief efforts going on throughout the city. Here are a few:
—Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan was open dispute power to help with the influx of bike commuters seeking an alternative to bus and gas lines.
Their Brooklyn location has accepted tons of donations and delivered them by bike to the hard hit Rockaways.
–Doug’s been leading bike trains (group rides) to work and assisting in supply deliveries to Red Hook.
–Last Sunday (11/4/12) Affinity Cycles lead an over 100 cyclist brigade out to the Rockaways and their heading out there again this weekend.
Here is a report back: ROCKAWAY RELIEF EFFORT GROUP RIDE
Thanks a million to those who donated to the Affinity Rockaway Relief effort, and to the 100+ who made the group ride out to the Rockaway Surf Club on beach 87th. When we arrived at the surf club I was overwhelmed by the devastation on Rockaway, but was also thrilled to see how a communal effort was able to quickly organize and begin immediate relief.
Sid’s Bike with two manhattan locations is having a donation drive as well.
We all suffer the effects of the storm. While many of us have recovered, many of us still have not. To provide help to those in need, Sid’s Bikes will be holding a food drive. Starting this week, we will be collecting non-perishable food at both of our store locations. Many of our own staff members live and commute in from Staten Island and various parts of Queens and Brooklyn. And just as bike commuters, we will be loading the food into empty bike boxes, and loading those boxes on a special big hauling bike…pictured below. Please do your small part by bringing in food donations to our 19th St location or our 34th St location during normal business hours. All donations will be delivered by this bike to local food banks and relief center drop off locations throughout the city.
New York City is starting to slowly recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, a week after ripping into the Eastern coast.
flooded streets on Ave C right near the hard hit Con Edison power plant-East Village, Manhattan
Damage ranges from minor disruptions in school and work loss to horrific destruction to neighborhoods closest to the tidal effects of the storms rising waters.
Casey Neistat of hilarious bike theft and bike lane video fame spent four hours in the height of the storm on bicycle, capturing incredible footage of lower Manhattan.
He received $500 for his footage from an Al Gore project and used themoney to buy clothing for hurricane victims on Staten Island. He documented the experience and gave us a glimpse of the forgotten borough and how destroyed it was.
There has been a huge outpouring of donations and volunteering especially in Red Hook Brooklyn and the Rockaways.
Many people were able to donate their time and arrive in decimated areas by bicycle.
Here is just one of many crews who rode out to the Rockaways over the weekend.
Meanwhile after closed subways, long gas lines and things like this:
Many New Yorkers discovered the best way to get around:
Bike paths and bridges were flooded with bike commuters who hopefully people found it a fast and safe way to get to work.
Need a bike of your own? Time’s Up has a whole fleet of recycled bikes ready to go for around $160.
There kept at their Brooklyn space at 99 South 6th St.
Here is an article:
Your Commute Post-Sandy – Courtesy of Time’s Up!
Worrying about what Monday morning commute will look like tomorrow? Many New Yorkers are – but not Time’s Up!
“Time’s Up! will open their Williamsburg space at 7am Monday & Tuesday with affordable Dutch-style bikes ready for the morning commute”
What does this mean for NYC, we will let them tell you:
“Volunteers from Time’s Up!, a non-profit Environmental Group, are working day & night fixing recycled affordable Dutch-style bikes ($140 & up) to have available for stranded commuters getting to work Monday morning.
WHEN: Monday, 11/5 and Tuesday 11/6, 7:00 am – 10:00 am
WHERE: 99 South 6th Street, Williamsburg, around the corner from the pedestrian entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge
Meanwhile, Time’s Up was providing power in the East Village by homemade bike powered generators and were able to charge thousands of local residents cell phones.
Here is the story:
Lower Manhattan Power Outage Brought Community Together To Help Needy Residents
Time’s Up New York
“I built these bikes for the Occupy Wall Street protests,” bicycle mechanic and Time’s Up New York volunteer Keegan Stephans said. The bicycle-powered generators he built were originally used to bring power to people in Zuccotti Park. After police broke up the protests, Stephens wasn’t sure the bikes would ever be used again, but kept them in the back of his Rivington Street bicycle repair shop next to ABC No Rio.
After the storm, the bikes were back and generating pedal power courtesy of Time’s Up New York. The “direct action environmental group” set up two stations in Lower Manhattan, one on Rivington Street and another at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. Volunteers pedalled to power 20 or 25 cellphones at a time for local residents badly in need of a way to communicate.
Imagine this scenario. A devastating hurricane rocks the Eastern seaboard causing major damage, flooding subway tunnels and knocking out power to thousands of NYC residents. You have to get to work and there are no trains. Buses are free, but have massive lines and delays. Take a car? Even more lines and hundreds of angry motorists line up for hours for gas. What to do?
Don’t worry you’re not alone.
Here is a video from the Streetfilms.org crew of Clarence Eckerson, Elizabeth Press, and Robin Urban Smith, who stationed themselves at the entrance to the Ed Koch bridge (59th St.) to document some alternative modes of transportation.
There are no subways into Manhattan from Brooklyn so shuttle buses have been set up to ferry people across…except that their aren’t enough of them.
Need more convincing? How about this photo from Gothamist showing a huge lineup at Barclay’s Center where a bus station has been established to get people from Brooklyn to Manhattan for work and school.
More on this story here.
Ok, what about driving? Let’s say you can offer a ride share or carpool with others? Hope you have gas. Gas stations are running on short supply due to high demand. Don’t forget there are a lot of people who drive in from New Jersey and much of the state has no power…which means…No gas and they have a higher demand since a lot of people are relying on portable generators. 80% of New Jersey’s gas stations are closed according to CNBC’s Amanda Drury.
Brookylnspoke.com recently filled this report of his own building super trying to help out directing traffic on 4th Ave in Brooklyn and a massively cued up gas station.
Don’t forget, if you are lucky enough to have gas and can make it into Manhattan…there is NO POWER from 42nd street on down, which means no traffic lights and every intersection is a guessing game with stressed out, non-courteous drivers.
That’s why, I suggest…bike riding! Oh yeah, and Mayor Bloomberg announced “it’s the best way to get around the city.” Then he went and endorsed President Obama because he felt he was the better candidate for dealing with our planets changing climate…Gasp.
So come on New Yorkers, get on your bicycles.
Here is an article from the NY Times:
One Way Around the Traffic Muddle in Brooklyn: Riding a Bicycle
By: Kate Taylor
November 1st, 2012 (Photo by: Benjamin Norman-NY Times)
In post-storm New York, the bike is having a moment of sorts. With subways still not running under the East River or between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, traffic snarled in many places and lines for buses stretching for blocks, many people in Brooklyn took to bicycles on Thursday to get where they had to go.
“I’m extremely glad I have a bike right now — it’s one of the best assets you can have,” said James Emery, 22, who was riding on Thursday afternoon from Williamsburg to Red Hook to help a friend whose screen-printing business had been flooded.
Looking to rent a bike from an individual? Why not use the new social networking bike rental Liquid which you may remember as Spinlister (they changed their name)
They are now offering coupons for a FREE bike rental (up to $25.00) for hurricane Sandy relief. Find out more here.
How about riding in a group which have become known as “bike trains.” Blogger Doug Gordon, of Brooklyn Spoke, will be leading a train tomorrow (11/2/12) meeting at Gorilla Coffee (97 Fifth Ave-Brooklyn) at 8:15am.
And for one more bonus story, here is a real life account of one cyclists journey into a blackened Manhattan, post Sandy.
Even McDonalds is Closed: One Biker’s Post-Sandy Journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan
Today is November 1, 2012, three (give or take) days since Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City. Duty called on the Upper East Side of Manhattan today, so I decided to bike from Crown Heights, over the Manhattan Bridge, and up the east side of Manhattan to Grand Central. And back. The following is a photo essay of the ride:
Then onto the survival of Saturday’s post apocalyptic cacophony of mutated bicycles, known as BIKE KILL.. (photo from DJ Dirtyfinger)
My favorite bike there: Big Bird
With the disclaimer: (photo’s by: Jonathan Beck AKA @BklynBiker)
Then it was on to this thing called Sandy, which some ditzy meterologist on the idiot box described as a historic event we’re not likely to see for a long time. Seems to me, based on data and empirical fact from just about every climate scientist in the world…that due to man made Climate Change, this massive storm is only the beginning of what will see.
That’s why I appreciated the work of a few brave environmentalists from 350.org who held this banner in Time’s Square on Sunday evening.
I didn’t venture out to much except for my storm chaser crew who went for a few walks around the block and the occasion view of the nearby Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
My neighborhood of Park Slope wasn’t hit too bad except for a few smashed storefronts and knocked over trees, we got lucky.
I did finally venture out on Tuesday with a few friends on bike. We took a quick trip down to Red hook and saw the effects of flooding.
My heart goes out to all those who have experienced loss and are coping with the effects of hurricane Sandy. Rebuilding lives should be the number one priority. When the the water recedes, I hope this can be a wake up call to begin real discussions about the reality of climate change and what’s in store for the future of our planet.