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Spills and Kills, but no Vision Zero. A round up January events on street safety and traffic violence.

I was taking a bit of a hibernation here in 2014, dodging the “Artic Vortex(s)” and bad road conditions. This had nothing to do with my recent crash. On Monday (1/20/14) I went out for drinks to congratulate my pal Jonathan Beck who you may remember from his bad bike crash in 2010. He has long since been rebuilt with bionics and has replicated a new cycling maniac of the future–a baby girl. Congratulations to him and wife Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud on daughter, 8.5lb Bucklin Solvei Beck, entering planet Earth, 1/4/14. They’ve got Norwegian roots which explains the names and they’ll be using the middle one (Solvei). Speaking of Bucklin…A front basket that I personally improperly installed on one of my bikes dug into my front wheel on the ride home from drinking with Beck. This caused me to do a endo over the front handlebars in a NY minute and land right on my big nose. Luckily the helmet I insist on wearing helped my injuries to be mostly contained to my face. A very nice Park Slope resident, witnessed my face plant and was very helpful in convincing me not to walk to the nearest hospital (Methodist) but rather to take the ambulance he had phoned in. This was a much better decision then trying to walk 10 blocks with a scarf trying to stop the bleeding. The doctors in the ER were helpful, but it did take 6 hours to get a CAT-scan, Motrin and two stitches…but expect NYC ER’s to be overloaded because of all the hospital closings.

So I haven’t updated the blog in a while in my face healing time, it seems like I should put something up on here, seeing as 2014 is my 10th year of writing this thing.

The bike community here in NYC is eagerly waiting to see what will happen with the new progressive Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his recently appointed administration, primarily the police commissioner William Bratton and new Department of Transportation commish, Polly Trottenberg.

We’re definitely off to a rough start with 18 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities since Mayor DeBlasio was sworn in at the start of 2014.
Here is a brief timeline of some of what’s been going on.

The End of 2013:
Once again, Time’s Up did New Year’s Eve right with a mobile dance party bike ride and after party in Central Park at the Belvedere Castle. If you ever get a chance to experience this event, it’s a great way to ring in the New Year. You get to ride past all the stuck people in Time’s Square waiting for Ryan Seacrest to drop the ball. I mean, it’s freezing, but your movin. Here is a quick video:

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janette_sadik_khan(photo by Brad Aaron)
Our bike friendly former D.O.T. commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan is out and jumping on board with outgoing Mayor of the rich side of the two cities, Michael Bloomberg’s team. He’s launching a consulting firm called Bloomberg Associates which will tell other cities how to have the largest wealth desperately and not to drink too much soda. Hopelly Janette will get them to ride more bicycles and cars not to see them as road obstacles.

More about the future of Bloomberg Associates from the NY Times.

Incoming D.O.T. commissioner is Polly Trottenberg:
sb_polly_trottenberg-585x450 (photo by: sheepsheadbites.com

A federal transportation policy maker with credentials include working with New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the 1998 federal transportation bill and for Senator Chuck Schumer.

Here is more about her from Ben Fried with Streetsblog.org

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January 2nd, 2014

Mayor DeBlasio is sworn in and transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg meets with parents who were on hand to keep the mayor on task about his promise of working towards Vision Zero. They are also victims of recent traffic violence and lost loved ones to reckless drivers. Vision Zero, is a goal adopted by NYC and brought forward by the new mayor to work towards having zero traffic fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists. Although that number may be impossible to obtain, the idea is to treat every traffic violent death as equally significant and even one death is too many. It is also a goal of a city, to work towards making efforts to make these fatalities avoidable through infrastructure, awareness and cracking down on motor vehicle violations. This seems especially important when for the last three years, around this time, the NYPD has chosen to crack down on bad cycling behavior and making no efforts to curb speeding cars and other moving violations that end up killing people, unlike bikes not stopping for lights in Central Park.

The Commissioner wasn’t aware of this particular demonstration on inauguration day, but the site of it caught her attention and she made time to find out what the people holding the vision zero signs had to say:

Trottenberg Meets Parents of Traffic Violence Victims at Inauguration. by Stephen Miller.

Incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller

Mayor DeBlasio introduces the new police commissioner William Bratton at a press conference. Bratton a former NYC police commissioner in NYC (1994-96) has been in Los Angeles, vehemently cracking down on jaw walkers of those few citizens that actually aren’t driving in a car.

Here is a video from Bratton’s press conference:

Continue reading Spills and Kills, but no Vision Zero. A round up January events on street safety and traffic violence.

Video Friday-4/12/13

Here we go with some videos for your Friday:

Title: Pure Fix in NYC
Pure Fix cycles makes a durable, affordable urban commuter. They even make bikes that glow in the dark…But let’s talk about the light, it’s starting to warm up here in NYC. More from Pure Fix:
Weather’s warming in New York, and you know what that means…bring out the bikes! The Oscar, X-Ray, and a little custom color cruising through our favorite city east of the Mississipp’. Check it!

Pure Fix in NYC from Pure Fix Cycles on Vimeo.

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Title: Time’s Up! Cyclista #3! Women and Trans Dance Bike Ride!
NYC, Saturday, March 30, 2013 – - A Times-up! Dance Bike Ride for women, transgendered folks and friends!
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Title: The Man Who Cares
Seen on: Urban Velo
A short film from Soigneur Magazine following soigneur Garry Beckett at the Six Days of Rotterdam.

The Man Who Cares from Soigneur on Vimeo.

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Title: Chrome and Crosby Press
Seen on: Urban Velo
It’s not that Chrome needs OUR help, but I really enjoy this interview video and the straightforward, no crap style of Chrome president Steve McCallion. There aren’t too many companies that have been around so long, are so successful, and appeal to such a broad audience, yet have retained the spirit of their humble beginnings. Steve seems to embody the Chrome brand as if it’s an extension of his personality. And we all know they don’t make crappy bags either. I have yet to visit a Chrome storefront, but I’ll certainly make the trip should I be close enough. Or, hey Steve, wanna open one in Indianapolis?

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Title: Red Hook Crit Art Installation
Seen on: Urban Velo
Artist, Eric Corriel, was asked to create an installation for this year’s Red Hook Crit that just went down in Brooklyn. Last year he projected an animation onto a warehouse wall, but this year wanted to combine the projection with the riders themselves. As Corriel describes his piece,

“I was first asked to participate in the Red Hook Crit in 2012 and for that iteration I projected an animated abstraction of a bicycle race onto a warehouse. For 2013 I removed all elements of abstraction and put my art in direct contact with the race participants and projected onto (them and) the track itself. Instead of the art being about its subject, now it’s an inseparable part of it.”

See all of Corriel’s work here.

Light Bikes from Eric Corriel on Vimeo.

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Continue reading Video Friday-4/12/13

Warriors screening Saturday

Yesterday was the second day of festivities for this year’s bicycle film festival which also happens to be the 10 year anniversary of bike movie mayhem. Thursday was the opening of the joy ride art show which is becoming a festival tradition. Artists from around the world show off paintings, photographs and sculpture all [...]