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Posts from the Bicycles Category

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The NYC Cargo Bike Revolution: More Families take to the Streets!

If you've lived in New York City for a long time, you'll realize there are many more cargo bikes cruising the streets! It used to be rare you'd see one, but the last five years their presence has undoubtedly been on the rise and since Covid-19 hit in 2020 there has been a dramatic uptick for many reasons you will hear.

Back in May I decided while I was out covering other events I would find a way to fit in talking to the many families using cargo bikes in NYC and why. Sometimes it would be a tweet out just to meet me at an event I was already shooting but other times it was a completely random meet up. The comments here are really just the tip of the iceberg as several interviews didn't make the final cut. Propel Bikes, whose founder Chris Nolte we talked to, has done some cool features on Youtube but not much else out there from the NYC universe.

It's not often I do films over 10 minutes, but there is a lot of joy, information and family-fun packed into this Streetfilm and well worth the 13 minute view time. Also: for fairness I will divulge that we are a two-cargo bike family - I have owned a Workcyles FR8 since my son was born and my wife Fatima obtained a Tern bike in 2021. (She previously also had a Taga for a few years for my son's first bike riding experiences.) If you ask either of us we can extoll the many benefits for you and your kid(s) being al fresco commuting, exercising, meeting friends or shopping.

Much thanks to Jeff & Madeleine Novich (she is on Instagram at @Cargobikemomma) for gathering an initial pod meet up for an open street on 103rd Street in Manhattan. A few of these folks also appear in that Streetfilm which you can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixKR1U0sNT8

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Bike Boulevards Debut in NYC: Check out Queens’ 39th Avenue!

Earlier this year the NYC DOT announced it would pilot one bike boulevard in each of the five boroughs. Some were actually on the ambitious side and none more so than in Sunnyside, Queens where 39th Avenue (which was designated an open street during 2020 Covid) was converted to a bike boulevard on an integral connection for bike riders for 8 blocks. The innovative treatments (well for NYC) include a diagonal traffic diverter and frequent lane direction changes as well as swaps for wide protected bike lanes at times. Listen to what supporters had to say!

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Queens Blvd Victory Bike Ride: A Safer Street Over 10 Years in the Making

Over 100 hundred cyclists turned out to see the newly implemented Phase IV of the Queens Boulevard bike and walking paths on the street that once was known as The Boulevard of Death.

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Clarence in Streetfilms 2000-2021 (Montage)

So following my 1,000th Streetfilm I put together a quick montage sample of all the Streetfilms/bikeTV to prepare for some media. I will be joining John Simmerman for his 100th podcast interview and it just seemed the time to let people see what I have been doing over the years.

Just so you know this is only a sample montage. I am sure I have missed some of my best appearances, but this at least gives a look into my work - sometimes skinnier, sometimes younger - but fun to check out my metamorphosis and the places I have been!

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PSA “Secret Mission” with Janette Sadik-Khan

Here is one we really should have released a long time ago!

A few years ago "Streetopia" in NYC was conceived as an idea to get people motivated to take back their streets and change our streets for the better. The event was held at the Museum of the City of New York and Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow along with Clarence Eckerson Jr. were asked to put together this fun PSA we called "Secret Mission" to show to the hundreds of invited guests that night.

It was a huge, hysterical hit. But we never released it to the public even though we fully intended to! I'm sure JSK's fans will love it. I love it. I watch it a few times per year while looking through archives and since we are about to hit 1,000 Streetfilms I have always considered it one of the fun gems I loved to making. You know when you are out giggling and laughing between takes with your subject you are making something special.

 

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Biking Montreal: Montreal’s Newest Bicycling Infrastructure Dazzles!

THIS IS THE 1,000TH STREETFILM OF ALL-TIME!

I was preparing to plan a visit Montreal (and also Paris!) just as Covid-19 halted plans last year. But one benefit of that delay is that my visit last month allowed me to see some of the newest Montreal protected bike lanes in full effect.

And it is impressive. The REV (the Réseau Express Vélo) is the newest one of those which is designed to be the spine of the new network. It and a batch of newer lanes mark a departure from Montreal's bike building of the past: now one-way lanes on either side of the street are the emphasis going forward with 2-way dual lanes on one side of the street, some of which are too narrow, are now used less often.

Most extraordinary is the width some of the new bike infrastructure. You will see the REV for which about half of its length and it is sooooo wide I was laughing. Sometimes cyclists are dwarfed by the lane, which is a good thing. At one point I saw a family ride by three-abreast and someone STILL could pass! Check it out. Really!

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Why Does Montreal Have So Many Beautiful Curb Extensions?

When I visited Montreal last week, I knew I was gonna produce Streetfilms on bicycling and the hugely wonderful pedestrianized streets program.

However, I always have been fascinated the ample and omnipresent curb extensions, neckdowns, gateways (whatever you want to call them) just about everywhere, especially in the neighborhoods. Thankfully, in the middle of filming I asked the CEO of Velo Quebec JR Rheault and he knew the answer how Montreal got so many (and continues to build them!)

Curb extensions/bulb outs/gateways/neckdowns
are vital for a number of reasons:

- They slow down cars
- Allow for better visibility of peds/bikes
- Space to make streets green/water management
- They are really pretty

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George Hahn: How to Ride Your Bike Like a Gentleman (or a Lady)

Actor. Writer. Minor social media legend. Gentleman cyclist.

This week, Streetfilms tagged along with actor George Hahn for a very special episode: “How to Ride Like a Gentleman.”

In this film, we explore the city with Hahn and learn these valuable tips:

“Don’t ride like a dick.” Don’t roll through crosswalks or frighten pedestrians. There’s no reason for that. “It’s just rude,” he says.
Don’t ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.
Don’t ride against traffic. “It’s dangerous…and rude to everyone,” Hahn says.
Don’t buy special clothes. (Hahn has ridden in a tuxedo, but you knew that.)

Of course, Hahn is courteous to make a point: there is a larger danger on our streets. Watching an SUV driver rudely inch into a crosswalk, Hahn observes the most important rule of the road: “Your destination is no more important than anyone else’s,” he says.

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More NYC Teens are Biking to School

Biking is cheap. Biking is fast. Biking promotes independence and exploration. Biking is great exercise. And, biking sure is FUN! What better way for New York City's teens to navigate the city and get themselves to school?

This generation is politically active and solutions-oriented. The last few weeks, we've been interviewing students - some in Queens, some in Manhattan on the Hudson River Greenway, some biking across Central Park. All of them joyful and appreciative of the time away from screens, feeling the wind in their hair and connecting with nature and those around them.

One notable incentive for these students? Schools that provide indoor, secure bike parking (here's looking at you school administrators!). Our goal is for each and every teen to have the option to safely bike, walk, scoot to school. That means we need a connected, protected, low-stress bike lane network in each and every neighborhood in this city. The city's future depends on it - quite literally.

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Manhattan’s 1st Ave Bike Counts Show Bikes Need More Space

A new vehicle count on First Avenue showed that cars and trucks barely outnumbered bikes, despite drivers getting almost 12 times as much space on the uptown roadway — the second East Side roadway whose mode split reveals the need for wider bike lanes and less room for cars.

In the latest count — which follows a similar eye-opener from Second Avenue last week — a crew from Streetfilms set up at the intersection of First Avenue and 60th Street for a total of 42 minutes. The results? There were 698 cars, trucks, vans and such, and 561 bikes and scooters.

That’s basically 1.2 vehicles for every bike or scooter — even though the bike lane is roughly 1/12 the width of the entire roadway. (And the flow of two-wheelers will only grow as the weather gets warmer and as more people head back to offices for work.)

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Jersey City’s Quick Build Bike Network

Last year in Jersey City, NJ we followed some of the meetings, rides, and community outreach around the development of their ambitious Bicycle Master Plan.

A few weeks ago we paid a visit to see how well implementation is going and despite the complications of Covid, the installation of parking protected as well as barrier protected lanes is developing at a rapid pace.

Already then have completed 10 miles of a scheduled 46 miles of protected bike lanes that will allow folks in Jersey City to get where they need to go safely.

This summer saw a 205% increase in bike counts along the Grand Street PBL/ road diet. Also installed are (likely) the first protected intersections in New Jersey.

Their bike lanes also feature stencils of riders with ponytails alternating with the standard "male" glyphs of riders.

One amazing thing to see (that we admit we wished we would have documented more of) is the incredible 5 block stretch along Grove Street, which runs in front of City Hall, which now features a two-way parking protected bike lane on one side and restaurant dining in the street on the other. The street resembles what you might see in some of the best cities in Europe for people. It is so quiet. Jersey City is doing big things!

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In NYC You Can Go By Bike on the Pedestrian Signal!

So with a great "new" law on the books that allows bicycle riders to also legally use pedestrian signals (LPIs) to get a 5 to 10 second head start on drivers in NYC why did it take Streetfilms nearly a year to talk to the two people most responsible for it?

Well when it was passed council last year and slated to begin on December 20, 2019 it was the holiday season and freezing cold, and no one cares about watching videos end of year. We finally had scheduled to film it mid-March, but then Covid-19 prevented that.

I circled back around to the idea early this Fall after riding thru the NYC Summer Bicycle Boom™ explosion where I would frequently come upon LPI intersections where #bikenyc riders were frequently frozen waiting for the green light, ignoring the pedestrian beacon telling them, "Please go forth person on your bike with your walking cousins!"

So it's a good time to re-promote this great law that makes it safer for bike riders. Let those innovative who don't know it's legal to use the signals. Also, there are now so many brand new riders in the city that don't know all the rules of the road that frankly need enlightening. There are more than 4,000 of the lights.

We went to Brooklyn to the corner of Atlantic Ave & Smith Street and talked with Council member Carlos Menchaca and "The War on Cars" co-host Doug Gordon about what the law means and the journey to its realization.

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How to Ride Your Bike Like a Gentleman (or a Lady)

This is a fun video. Some etiquette. Some style. Some advocacy. But all fun!

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Justice Ride V: 1000s bike the StreetRiders NYC “Independence Not”

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Experience the Gov. Mario Cuomo/Tappan Zee Bridge Path