The big news last week was New York City is going to be the next American city to begin a bike sharing program. 10,000 bikes will be placed on the street at 600 solar powered stations. This is another effort by the incredibly bike friendly D.O.T. to give more space to bicycles and increase ridership of the average city dwelling commuter.
Here is an article from the UK’s independent newspaper.
New York City bike share system gets a green light.
published: September 19th, 2011
“New York City authorities confirmed last week that the Big Apple’s first bikeshare scheme will begin next summer. The New York City Bike Share scheme, operated by the NYC Department of Transport (DOT), is set to put America’s most popular destination on a par with rivals such as London and Paris.
In the informative NYC cycling blog, Brooklynspoke, a recent article, THE HEAT IS ON, illustrates through the use of a heat map, the areas where the public has expressed the most interest in bike sharing stations.
This weekend: New York City’s premiere bike swap meet.
NY Bike Jumble.
Here is an article in the Brooklyn Paper.
Deals on Wheels! The Bike Jumble is coming this Saturday.
by: Alfred Ng
published: September 19, 2011
New York’s only exclusive bike flea market returns to the epicenter of cycling, that’s Park Slope, baby! Offering cheap two-wheelers, parts and accessories in an all-day celebration of all things cycling called the Bike Jumble.
This two-wheeling flea market has kept on growing since the first Jumble in 2009.
The success speaks to the need in New York to have affordable and logical transportation, said Jumble founder Harry Schwartzman.
Another cyclist death, this time on Delancey Street in Manhattan. Reporter Jefferson Siegel reports in the Villager:
Latest biker death puts Delancey St. danger in spotlight
(photo by: Sam Costanza)
Photo caption: Emergency Service Unit officers responding to last Thursday’s fatal bike accident on Delancey St. looked at the gruesome scene behind a sheet. The cyclist’s quick-release front wheel had been removed and put on the truck.
By Jefferson Siegel
Last Thursday afternoon Jeffrey Axelrod, 52, of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, was bicycling south on Chrystie St. and turned right onto Delancey St. when he fell under the rear wheels of a cement truck and was killed.
After making the turn, Axelrod found himself wedged between the truck traveling west on Delancey St. and a parked car. He reportedly wobbled momentarily before falling under the right rear wheels of the truck.
Another cyclist who witnessed the accident, Jose Martinez, said the chain on Axelrod’s bike appeared to have fallen off the sprockets. Reports said Axelrod, who was wearing a helmet, ran a red light before the collision. Police said because Axelrod ran the light and the driver was unaware of the collision, no criminality was involved and the driver would not be charged. The driver remained at the scene.
Police from Emergency Services Unit Truck 1 arrived on the scene shortly after the collision. They slid a pneumatic mat under the rear wheel of the cement tractor-trailer to raise it off the cyclist, whose red, white and gray helmet was visible under the truck wheel.
There have been several deaths of cyclists in NYC in recent months.
Gothamist reported early in September:
Cyclist Struck In Williamsburg Is 10th To Die This Year
Witnesses to the cycling accident that killed Nicolas Djandji say that he was following his friend on a black racing bike when he was struck by the Toyota Highlander. “His friend was screaming,” a witness tells the Daily News, “He didn’t want to see his friend like that.” It’s still unclear whether Djandji was wearing a helmet or if he was riding in the bike lane on Rodney Street, and while no charges have been filed against the driver, the investigation is ongoing. According to Transportation Alternatives Djandji is the tenth cyclist this year to be killed in the city.
Djandji was an artist who was born in Alexandria, Egypt and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Transportation Alternatives’ Director Paul Steely While says that the past decade has seen the number of cyclists double, and “injuries have decreased over that period, it’s definitely getting safer.” While local pols have demanded safety improvements for hazardous road conditions, such as the intersection of Essex and Delancey on the Lower East Side, they have been to improve safety for pedestrians, not cyclists.
Unsafe road conditions and inefficient designs have promoted the D.O.T. to redesign their infrastructure including the Williamsburg Bridge off ramp in Manhattan. Again Gothamist:
Here’s The New Williamsburg Bridge Bike / Pedestrian Entrance
“Things are going to be very different for cyclists blazing down the Williamsburg Bridge onto Delancey in about five months, when the DOT finishes a dramatic new redesign at the entrance/exit to the bridge’s bike and pedestrian path. Three foot high concrete concrete barriers at the base of the bridge will force Manhattan-bound cyclists to come to a full stop, and there will be a curved fence steering northbound bikers toward Clinton Street. The project will significantly change the way some 4,000 New Yorkers a day use the city’s most bike-heavy bridge… And there are some differences of opinion about it!
“Itâ€™s not clear what problem the DOT is trying to solve with their fence,” Transportation Alternatives Joseph Ferris tells us. “In our opinion, the big problem on the Manhattan-side of the Williamsburg Bridge is the traffic on Delancey Streetâ€”itâ€™s one of the most dangerous streets in New York City. This spring and summer at least one pedestrian and one cyclist have been killed on Delancey, and between 2008 and 2010, 134 walkers and bicyclists were struck.
“Assembly Speaker Silver, State Senator Squadron, Council Member Chin and Borough President Stringer have all asked for safety fixes. The Williamsburg Bridge is the most heavily-cycled bridge in North America, depositing thousands of cyclists a day onto Delancey Street, and whether you bike, walk, drive or take the train there, you know that crossing Delancey isnâ€™t a love story, itâ€™s a horror.”
Cyclist and environmental activist Bill Di Paola of Time’s Up! has also criticized the changes, which he guesses are one third of the way complete. In an interview with The Villager, he says, “D.O.T. forgets itâ€™s an exit and an entrance. But itâ€™s more important for exiters, since theyâ€™re coming off at high speed.” Once the changes are complete, Di Paola predicts, “Youâ€™ll see a lot of near injuries, people hitting into each other, especially the skateboarders â€” they canâ€™t stop. Itâ€™s going to be chaos.”
Di Paola and Time’s Up! have come up with an alternative, which the DOT is not consideringâ€”a pity because it’s pretty appealing. (It would also, unfortunately, be expensive.) The Time’s Up alternative would create a new ramp that would start about 75 feet up the bridge on the Manhattan side and reach ground level at Delancey Street, where a bike path would run through a new parkway for several blocks. Here’s a rendering:
Seems like the new tactic of global protest, exasperated by the perils of the planet becoming unlivable due to the climate and economic crisis, is to occupy physical space. We saw this demonstrated in the plazas out side of Greece’s parliament against newly established austerity measures. Tahrir square in Cairo was a crucial space during the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt. Israel’s “Camp out” rent protests in Israel have been an decisive focal point for economic reform. Last month over 1,000 people were arrested outside of the White House in a two week encampment to draw attention to the Tar Sands pipeline being proposed, which would increase carbon pollution to alarming levels.
People across the planet have become increasingly frustrated, angry with living wages continuing to go down, while banks are increasingly bailed out and the richest 1% continue to make record profits. One of the main tactics to fighting this growing economic crisis it to gather in public places and refuse to leave until real sustainable change is implemented or current leadership is removed.
The latest development is a massive protest in New York’s financial district being called: #occupywallstreet.
The original call was spearheaded by the culture jamming magazine out of Tornoto called, adbusters, known for their satirical slant on corporate dominance and creative campaigns to decrease inflated consumer habits.
The loose idea was to call for major protests on Wall Street and to retain an occupying force of non-violent civil disobedience for an indefinite time period, in the spirit of Tunisia, Lybia, Israel, Yemin, and Syria.
The main focus has been a park formally known as Zuccotti Park, now renamed Liberty Park.
I relieved a communique from Mellow Yellow, who has been volunteering bike support to the demonstration:
A number of NYC and Brooklyn Critical Mass cyclists, along with volunteers from Time’s Up and other #BikeNYC community members have been supporting the ongoing Occupation of Wall Street which began Saturday. There is currently an encampment at Broadway and Liberty Street, just a stone’s throw from the police-barricaded financial center. New York City cyclists have been providing support in a diversity of ways under the banner of “Bike Bloc”.
We have been patrolling and scouting to keep the newly re-named “Liberty Square” occupiers safe from the ever-present and increasingly violent NYPD, especially during vulnerable early morning hours. We have provided transportation for essential supplies, including bedding and tarps. Bike Bloc participants typically join the spirited marches and vigils that have approached Wall Street, by occupying the road space as we are legally required to do. Cyclists are mobile and able to get views of the action otherwise unavailable to the sidewalk-restricted marchers. Time’s Up has joined the media-making efforts to circumvent the attempted blackout of this event.
The situation as of this morning has become more desperate as the NYPD begins a concerted effort to evict us. Anyone with a bike or not who is available to go to the Broadway and Liberty should do so ASAP. If you are specifically interested in the bike-bloc, follow hashtags #occupywallstreet #bikebloc and @critmasspanic for updates or call 408-506-4948.
Thank you, I hope to see you in the streets! Our Streets!
Occupy Wall Street!
Day 4 arrests.
You can also see a live stream broadcasting from downtown: Livestream.com search for, globalrevolution.
To say the city of Los Angeles is dependent on the automobile is a big understatement. Back in July, local LA residents waited with baited breathe when they heard a 10 mile stretch of their precious 405 freeway was going to be shut down for a weekend. I remember getting lots of raised eyebrows and shocked reactions when I told people about our family vacation to LA planned right in the middle of what was being labeled as Carmageddon. Fortunately there is a thriving bicycle culture throughout the vast landscape of cities like Santa Monica, Ventura, Pasadena and Long Beach. One renegade group of racers known as the Wolfpack Hustle seized the opportunity during this weekend by challenging the airline of Jet blue to race, bicycle vs airplane.
The pack easily won the 38 mile race which was mostly hyped up on twitter and meanwhile the 405 project was completed early and under budget, leaving nobody inconvenienced. The race probably didn’t convert anyone to ditch their automobile, but the media stunt did draw attention to the social network of bikers in LA as well envoke some serious discussions about car dependency and how people move about.
I randomly meet Don “Roadblock” Ward on twitter, (@wolfpackhustle) when I found out the wolfpack crew was heading over to compete in Austin Horse’s multi-city East Coast Messenger Stage Race. Don was the organizer of the Jetblue race and was willing to answer some questions about bike culture in LA, the wolfpack and plans to race down the East Coast in a very unique stage race. (photo of Don Roadblock-by: Mikeywally)
â€¢Name, age, what your riding these days and how long you’ve been riding in LA.
Mi nombre es Don “Roadblock” Ward and I’ve been riding in LA most of my life which is itself getting fearfully close to the 4 decade mark. Born in LA gonna die in KAUAI.
â€¢What’s the alleycat scene like in LA?
Alley cats happen pretty frequently, espeically in the summer. DTLA’s Finest throws some of the best. They usually have a summer series downtown and the racing goes off.
â€¢What is the wolfpack hustle, what events do you put on? Who comes out?
Wolfpack Hustle is an all-city ride concept that goes down every Monday night. It has been chugging along for almost 6 years now. The ride starts and ends at Tang’s Donut in Silverlake, is anywhere from 40-70 miles and has different routes every week. We ride no matter the weather or holidays. All kinds of people come out. We get everyone from the track bike fixed gear kids to BMX pros to the CAT1’s to just plain and simple commuters who want to get to know the city better. We also get travelers from time to time… people who’ve heard about our ride from other countries who see it as a way to take in some of the sights and sounds of LA. we give them a good survey of LA for sure.
â€¢What lead to the jetblue race?
I woke up one morning 2 days before “Carmagedon” was going to end the world as we know it to a tweet that mentioned @WolfpackHustle and how we could beat JetBlue’s “Carmagedon Flight” from Burbank to Long Beach. I instantly accepted the challenge. Bikes vs. Jet was just too good to pass up. From that tweet forward it was a whirlwind of action. I grabbed the laptop and sprinted over to my favorite breakfast spot and spent the next 8 hours on Facebook, twitter and email rallying to organize the race, assemble Wolfpack A the team, and working with prominent bike bloggers like @garyridesbikes, (garryridesbikes.blogspot.com) and @ohaijoe (www.bikecommutenews.com) to identify a passenger, set up the rules for the race and make it happen. 24 hours later I was getting non stop phone calls from the local and international media. It was insane. I was doing radio interviews on the BBC, Korean state media, Germany, China… I have to give a shout to Gary’s wife Meghan Kavanaugh for handling the press releases. Her newsroom experience really helped push this. The most bizarre of interview was for some conservative AM radio show. I was on hold and the host was ranting about public transportation in Ohio and how stupid it was… I wanted to hang up or just blow off the Bikes vs Jet interview and school him about the benefits of public transit…
â€¢It got a lot of hype on twitter and the web, did you expect such a big reaction?
Honestly I was so caught up in making it happen I didn’t care what the reaction from the outside world was going to be. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to race a freeking JET! But initially I didn’t think it was going to be big because in our team strategy meeting we were originally going to have the team race airport to airport. That’s 40 miles and do-able, but once I realized how many non-bike people were watching I ran it by a few transit advocates and Sean Bonner about whether it could still be considered a legit race if we made it about destinations. The one thing I didn’t want to do was put pressure on Wolfpack A to have to ride outside of the law. If we made it about destinations that kind of pressure and thus public criticism could be safely avoided. Considering the time it takes to drive to the airport, arrive early and then drive to the passenger’s destination – the Long Beach Aquarium – the pace could be relaxed for the riders and all the usual bike haters that complain of unruly cyclists would be silenced. In the end I think it was a fair choice. This was about transportation options.
But in the aftermath I am pretty amazed. You kind of see these “twitter buzz events” happen from the sidelines and then there I was right in the middle of one. It was really cool. Days later I found myself still checking twitter like a crack fiend hitting refresh like the hype was never going to end. But of course the chatter eventually faded away though there is still one last hurrah as the LA city council body will be honoring us for our achievement in October. Totally stoked about that.
â€¢What was jetblues’s reaction?
JetBlue has been coy about the whole thing. They helped facilitate it by giving @ohaiJoe a ticket to follow the passenger @ezrahorne on his journey but they didn’t want to come out and fully endorse the race. Airliners never sponsor races for fear that a crash will lead to bad publicity. None the less, the CEO of JetBlue announced on board the flight “Now if we can just beat the cyclists.” They also gave us free round trip tickets anywhere we want.
â€¢I was in LA at the time of the 405 closure and a lot of my friends and family said we were crazy for going at that time. What do you think of the perception of car culture in LA and did this come into play when organizing the race?
The perception is that car culture is the only way in LA. Obviously that perception is false and we are proving it everyday. When this flight was announced I knew it was a publicity stunt but at the same time it was the last straw. I was already disgusted with the Carmagedon coverage in the news and having a chance to change the narrative even just a little bit was absolutely awesome.
â€¢Who came to race?
For every race we put together a team of our best Monday night riders which is called Wolfpack A. This time around was no different. The team was as follows: Captain John “The Roadie” Gabriel, Aram Dellalian, Fabian Vazquez, Jon Budinoff, Stephan Andranian, and Evan Stade. All have ridden on countless Monday nights and all could be trusted to handle themselves in a potential chaos of Carmagedon traffic. In fact we really weren’t sure if it was possible so we had a team meeting to go over the route and make sure everything was covered.
On race day, a rollerskater showed up and @garyridesbikes and his wife decided they would do the race as pedestrians using public transit. Everyone won.
â€¢What were the racers biggest challenge?
Resisting the urge to blow stop signs and lights.
â€¢What happened in the race? Who won?
The race went perfect. There was practically no traffic. People had apparently heeded the Carmagedon hype and cowered in their homes. I wish Carmagedon would happen every day.
â€¢Did this give you the bug to organize more distance racing?
Honestly no, but it gave me the bug to do Austin Horse’s East Coast Stage Race!
â€¢What’s this I hear about East coast messenger stage race? U coming out? Ever raced in NYC? Ever done this kind of thing (it’s fine to pretend my audience doesn’t know Austin or about this race)
Our brother from NYC is throwing a 500+ mile messenger race from Boston to DC. We are using JetBlue’s ticket offer to fly out and do it. Last year Austin came out to race the Marathon Crash race we throw here in LA and we’ve kept in touch through twitter ever since. I’ve never raced in NYC but myself and the Midnight Ridazz came out in 08 to participate in Black Label’s Bike Kill event. we were there for a week so I got a chance to ride Mahattan, Brooklyn, Queens… I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated about ruthless traffic in NYC. But once I got there I realized one thing. YOU GOT TO RIDE MIDDLE and then it makes complete sense. I noticed right away that while NYC traffic is ruthless, it is also sensible in that you know drivers, especially cab drivers dont give a fuck about you but they will respect you if you ride right. After nearly getting right and left hooked 10 times for the first mile I just got in the middle and blasted. Compared to LA I actually felt safer. Our drivers here in LA are some of the most distracted irrational brain dead people in America. They are barley aware of their surroundings and they definitely aren’t looking for someone on a bike they are too busy on the cell phone making a u-turn for the botox clinic.
â€¢What challenges do you expect? what bike will you race?
The biggest challenge in my mind is routing. None of us know shit about east coast routes. The terrain is pretty flat which is to our advantage since we are used to riding hills and mountains here in LA. We are also used to covering long distances on the regular since our city is so big so hopefully that will help us. Personally I’m not expecting to place or even come close. I’m just going to ride. I’m leaving the race part to Wolfpack A. I’m going to be Wolfpack B.
“Are you politically involved in getting bike infrastructure in LA. ”
The older I’m getting the more I am realizing that politics DO matter. It’s just difficult to see change when as a youth your perception of time is days and hours vs being an adult and realizing that change happens in glacial terms but it indeed happens. For years now I’ve seen LA slowly warm up to cycling as a real alternative to the car and I’m proud to be a part of this shift. Last year I was awarded Advocate of the Year by Streetsblog and this year I’ve been working to earn that title by participating in local government – I’m a neighborhood councilman – and by rubbing elbows with the right people in city hall and just remaining focused on the safe streets message. Our LADOT has been traditionally hostile to providing pedestrian safety through traffic calming and infrastructure. In fact, our LADOT actively removes crosswalks and seemed to be foiling bike lane proposals…. It was getting conspiratorial actually. But now that the bike community here has been engaged and pressuring City Council for so long, the change is starting to happen. It’s an exciting time in Los Angeles. If we can make the streets safe for people to choose active transportation instead of mindlessly getting in a car to make 2 miles trips… we could have a healthier, less polluted world.
There’s been some good bike coverage in the New York Times.
On Saturday, Op-Ed Columnist Frank Bruni wrote about his recent ride with D.O.T. commissioner, Janette Sadik-Kahn. They talked about her critics, vision and inevitable legacy.
by: Frank Bruni
published: September 10, 2011
(graphic by: Christopher Brand)
“Something lovely and all too rare happened to Janette Sadik-Khan, New York Cityâ€™s frequently demonized transportation commissioner, as she and I rode our bikes down Park Avenue South one morning last month: Sadik-Khan got unsolicited, unfettered praise.
It came from a young cyclist who happened to pull up beside us, glanced over at her and suddenly beamed.
â€œOh, itâ€™s you!â€ he stammered, then mentioned that he owned a bicycle shop and had recently placed a newspaper ad publicly thanking her for her cycling advocacy. â€œYouâ€™re going to leave a legacy, you know.â€
Women With Wrenches
by: Jed Lipinski
published: September 11th, 2011
(photo by: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times Repair Artist: K. T. Higgins, founder of the Bushwick Bike Shop in Brooklyn, with her daughter, Kacey Canales.)
“On most days, Katlyn Hershman can be found smeared with grease, plying her skills as a mechanic at Bike Works NYC, a shop on the Lower East Side. When she answers the store phone, though, all that toil and expertise can suddenly seem invisible.
â€œGuys automatically ask for the mechanic,â€ she said. â€œBut I donâ€™t really take it personally.â€
Ms. Hershman, 25, has a loyal clientele of cyclists, both men and women. And she has the satisfaction of being one of a small but growing number of New York women making their mark in a trade that was a men-only preserve not so long ago.
Interbike 2011 is in full swing out in the desert world of glitz known as Las Vegas. This is the USA’s premiere bike convention where manufactures, makers and cyclists come from all over the world to see the latest in technology, fashion, innovations and of course, sexy ass bicycles. The festivities always kick off with a dirt demo where participants can try out the latest in off road bicycles on sick single track terrain.
Here is Jeff Kerkove from Ergon, bike ergonomics, riding with friends and a helmet cam at this year’s demo.
â€œSaturday September 24, 2011
Old Stone House at Washington/JJ Byrne Park
336 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Join us on September 24, 2011 from 10AM to 4PM at The Old Stone House at Washington Park for New Yorkâ€™s only bi-annual cycling flea market.
Small parts, bicycles, frames and forks, clothing, wheels, energy food etc, etc, have been for sale at past Jumbles.
This year, Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) technicians will be on hand to provide free estimates to help buyers and sellers make informed decisions. If you have a bike youâ€™re looking to sell, bring your bike down to the Jumble and RAB technicians will provide an inspection and diagnosis and an approximate appraisal to help you price your bike fairly. For those looking to purchase a bicycle, RAB technicians will provide an inspection and diagnosis to help you have a clearer idea of necessary repairs to make the bike road-ready.
Recycle-A-Bicycle will also host a bike collection at the Jumble. A donation of a bike to Recycle-A-Bicycle is tax deductible.