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Cyclists in Central Park get organized

Cyclists organize to fight the ticketing in Central Park. They’ve come up with a plan to change the traffic lights to blinking yellow as to not interrupt the flow of one of the most heavily utilized cycling loops in the city.

Upper East Side Cyclist Fights Central Park Ticket Blitz on Facebook
February 23, 2011 4:06pm
By Amy Zimmer
DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — The ticketing blitz of cyclists in Central Park got Upper East Side triathlete Adrian Bijanada in gear to use Facebook to gather like-minded two-wheelers. They are calling for changes in how the park’s traffic lights are programmed.

His Concerned Cyclists of Central Park group, launched this week — accumulating more than 250 supporters already — is calling for the traffic lights in the 843 acre park to be set to “blinking yellow” during off-peak hours. Traffic in the park has been a major issue, with 35 million visitors each year at war for space on the asphalt.

That would have prevented Bijanada and a friend from getting a $270 ticket three weeks ago on a Saturday around 8 a.m. when they passed a red light at the transverse road at West 72nd Street.

“We did go through the red light,” Bijanada, 31, admitted. “We were being careful as we usually are. Typically, what we do as we approach the lower loop — since we know that’s the most crowded park of the park with tourists renting bikes, roller bladers and pedestrians — we don’t fly though that part.”

Read more: DNAinfo.com.

The facebook group has created an online petition which can be accessed here.

Op-ed on safer streets

Steve Hindy lost his son Sam in 2007, hit on his bike by a motor vehicle. He wrote an op-ed in the daily news about street fatalities should be taken as seriously as a flu epidemic.

Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg have made New York safe: The battle against cars has saved lives
BY STEVE HINDY
Wednesday, February 23rd 2011, 4:00 AM

photo by: DelMundo for News
Photo caption: A New York City cyclist rides his bike on the bike lane that run along 73rd Avenue in Queens.

For a lot of New Yorkers, “safe streets” is just one of those phrases that’s part of the landscape, a political buzzword that gets thrown around when Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan are pushing for more bike lanes or other changes to the flow of traffic.
For me, the idea of safe streets is tragically personal.
I lost my son, Sam Hindy, in a bicycle crash in 2007, something that I hope no other parent will have to endure.

Read more here.

New Shoes from Chrome, now SPD adaptable.

Chrome with stores in San Francisco and NYC, has a whole new line of products coming out for the Spring.

One of which is a stylish and comfortable shoe now with clipless pedal capability.
Introducing the Kursk Pro.

Think this is only for the warmer weather commutes? NYC’s cyclehawk couriers show you differently.

Chrome Kursk Pro from Chrome Bags on Vimeo.

Taking a beating for riding on the sidewalk

If you get caught in Central Park running a red light, you may get a $270.00 ticket by the NYPD as part of their “Operation Safe Cycle.” If you get caught in the Bronx, you might also catch a beating.

From the NY Daily News:
Cops beat me up for riding on the sidewalk: cyclist; Brutal Bronx arrest caught on deli video camera
BY Kerry Wills & Barry Paddock
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Tuesday, February 22nd 2011, 12:52 PM

Nicastro for News
A young Bronx man says he was battered by cops who arrested him for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk.

The arrest was caught on a deli’s security camera, which shows cops slamming Jorge Cartagena, 19, against a wall and pushing him to the floor.

“I’m not a bad kid,” an emotional Cartagena told the Daily News. “I’m a good kid. I just stay home, and ride my bike. What did I do?”

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating, a police spokesman said. Cartagena says he rode his bicycle onto the sidewalk Friday evening to grab a sandwich from a Westchester Square deli. He was confronted by two uniformed cops who threatened to give him a ticket but let him go.

Read more: here.

Video from ABC news.

Article from Gothamist.com

Great compilation for the Bicycle Film Festival

Get psyched for the 2011 Bicycle Film Festival.

Submit entries by April 1st. 2011.

Battle of the Bike Lane, Joel Epstein and more.

Joel Epstein is a reporter who’s covers bike related issues.

Here is his latest article in Huff Post, talking about our local politicians tone-deafness towards real sustainable change and the battle over a bike lane.

The Bike Lane Battle of the Bulge
By: Joel Epstein Communications and public affairs professional and urbanist
Posted: February 18, 2011 06:29 PM

Dear New York:

Watching the bike lane folderol from afar I have to smile at the parallels between the pitched public space and transit battles being fought in frostbitten New York and in my adopted hometown, a sprawling left coast city and county of freeways, mountains, billboards and palm trees. And how appropriate that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is playing the role of Grand Marshall of the Parade of Cars speeding ahead to take back New York’s streets from pedestrians, bike riders, and drivers adhering to the speed limit.

Marty, as everyone in Brooklyn knows, is a man whose tone-deaf sense of political entitlement led him to use his top aide as a lawyer on his house closing, only paying for the service once the ethics police got wise to the deal. He is the beep, a man who could use some physical activity on New York’s bike lanes and whose body and face were made for cartoonists of the Boss Tweed era at Tammany Hall. Only in New York could a character actor this perfect be given the role of lead gunner for the Axis powers in the dead of Winter Bike Lane Battle of the Bulge. You know of course that BEEP really stands for, “Get out of my way before I roll over you in my city-issued SUV.”

Read the entire article here.

Marty better get his house in order if he’s going to be threatening lawsuits on data done from the DOT on a bike lane.

From the NY Post–
Marty faces heat over bias-claim testimony
By RICH CALDER
Last Updated: 5:37 AM, February 22, 2011

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz could find himself in a legal bind over contradictory testimony he and an aide gave in a lawsuit that alleges his office is run like a frat house, The Post has learned.

Markowitz answered “no” when asked whether he knew of complaints of “inappropriate” conduct or discrimination in his office made by Bridget Geary and two other female staffers, according to sworn depositions last year in a sexual-discrimination lawsuit filed by his former communications director, Regina Weiss.

The Beep’s response contradicts the testimony of his longtime ally and former chief of staff, Gregory Atkins, a co-defendant with Markowitz in Weiss’ 2007 suit.

Read more: here.

Meanwhile the angry residents and opponents of safe infrastructure for all citizens are calling for a moratorium on all future bike lanes developments as pointed out here by Transportation specialist reporter, Andrea Bernstein:

Prospect Park opponents support moratorium on all bike lanes.
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes issued a press release yesterday with this headline:

“Groups Applaud City Council Legislative Package That Seeks to Report Bike and Pedestrian Accidents; Support Alternative PPW Bike Lane Route, Suspension of New Bike Lane Installation; Call for DOT Meeting.”

The press release goes on to say:

“Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes (NBBL) and Seniors for Safety today applauded City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca and the entire City Council for passing a package of three bills that will, for the first time, report bike and pedestrian accidents. They also support the moratorium, called for by Speaker [Christine] Quinn and Councilman [James]Vacca, on the imposition of new bike lanes until this background data is available online. This is exactly what both groups say was missing on Prospect Park West.” (full release after the jump)

Read more here.

Revenge of the #bikenyc Nurds

There is a large eclectic group of NYC’s cycling community communicating on Twitter. They have been marking their posts with the hashtag #bikenyc, everything from road condition reports, to group rides and linking related news articles.

@noneck, Lara (@bicyclehabitat) from the bike shop Bicycle Habitat on Lafayette in Manhattan, and I decided it would be a great idea to host a meetup and combine the Tech Nurd community with bike Nurds.
(photo by: Dmitry Gudkov)
Noneck arranged a meeting space at the software development firm Pivotallabs and around 50 tweeters came out to kick ideas around.

More of these meetings are being planned.

Here are two recaps of the event.

Dmitry Gudkov
Last week I attended the inaugural #BikeNYC Tech Meetup, organized by Noel Hidalgo, Lara of Bicycle Habitat, and Michael Green of BikeBlogNYC. The purpose of the meetup was for tech-minded New Yorkers who are also cyclists to meet each other and discuss projects/collaborations to use technology to improve the biking experience in the city. A few of the faces were already familiar to me. Noel, Jonathan, and Scott were previous portrait subjects. A few others I knew from online interactions but had never met in person. Scott has a nice write-up of the proceedings on his CitySpoke blog, so I’ll just share a couple of photos I snapped at the event. The meetup was held at Pivotal Labs near Union Square – a great venue made that much more welcoming by the free beer and snacks.”
(photo by: Dmitry Gudkov)

Read more from Dimitry here.

and from Scott at Cityspoke.wordpress.com:

For those that don’t know, #bikenyc represents a quickly growing twitter group, tweeting and sharing everything bicycle related in New York City. #bikenyc is a combination of petitioners, community builders, bicycle enthusiasts, commuters, bloggers, and if you hadn’t guessed by my title, tech nurds who ride bikes.

Read more here.

New page dedicated to the “Crackdown.”


Over the weekend I developed a separate page on this blog to deal with the NYPD crackdown on cyclists that they are calling, “Operation Safe Cycle.” Kind of like saying, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Yeah right. Not safe for your wallet if you get a $270.00 ticket for failing to stop at one of 46 traffic lights in Central Park.

I created the page as a resource for information and as a timeline of events, articles and to monitor the experiences of cyclists as we work our way through this.

Follow along www.bikeblognyc.com/nypdcrackdownoncyclists

Be part of Bike Month photos

Saw this on the new face book group, Bike the Bronx.

May is Bike Month and there is a call for cyclists to be photographed for the upcoming 2011 ad campaign.

From Craigslist.org

CALLING ALL NYC BIKERS FOR THE 2011 BIKE MONTH NYC CAMPAIGN

Looking for real NYC bikers and cycling enthusiasts to be photographed in a city wide print campaign.

OPEN TO ALL, ESPECIALLY:

Midtown Professionals
- 2 men, ages 20-40, Caucasian, African American
- 2 women, ages 20-40, Caucasian, Asian

Construction Worker
- 1 man, ages 40′s, Caucasian, Hispanic

Fashionable Ladies
- 2-3 women, ages 20-30′s, Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic

Sports/Athletic Guys
- 3-4 men, ages 30-50′s, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, Asian

Local Brunch-Goers
- 3-5 women, ages 40-60′s, African American, Caucasian

Family
- Mom and/or Dad, ages 30′s+, Asian, Hispanic
- 2 Kids, ages 8-11, Asian, Hispanic
- Grandfather or Grandmother, ages 60′s+, Asian, Hispanic

*All participants must have bike and helmet for the shoot.

CLIENT: NYC Department of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives

SHOOT DATE: 1/2 day either February 26th or 27th (weekend)

SHOOT LOCATION: Neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens

RATE: All volunteer, no financial compensation.

USAGE: Ads to appear in subways, bus shelters, and phone kiosks, bike month calendar events and internet. All usage is strictly to promote cycling in New York City only.

WHY: It’s a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness of cycling as a means of transport for commuters by demonstrating that it is fun, safe and easier than ever. Please see last years campaign at: Bikemonthnyc.com.

RESPOND: We are accepting photo submissions now. Respond to this ad and attach a photo of yourself, best if it’s you with your bike and helmet. We will release casting time and location after we receive your submission.

Potholes or Money Pits

Looks like the city is spending more on pothole repair then bike infrastructure. Latest from Gothamist.

Extra Pothole Filling Costs More Than NYC Bike Lane Budget
By John Del Signore on Feb 17, 2011



For drivers, bad potholes are typically more costly than they are dangerous, but for cyclists they can be deadly. And after our extreme winter—which is most definitely over, no doubt about that, right, eh?—many cyclists are returning to the streets to find their commutes pockmarked with new landmines. Thankfully, the DOT is taking the war on potholes seriously, and spending a pretty penny to get the pavement pretty again. Streetsblog crunched the numbers, and you may be surprised to see how much the city is spending compared to, say, bike lanes.

Read the article here.

And check out the latest pothole tumblr.