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Fans & Advocates Select their favorite Streetfilms!

For the end of this year, Streetfilms decided to do something fun: ask some of the most influential livable streets advocates, personalities, journalists and web folk which of the 90 films we produced this year impacted them most.  Since we hit our millionth visitor this week and have recorded close to 2.5 million videos plays - hurrah! - it was a way to pat ourselves on the back, but also a unique way to review the year that was 2009 and let new fans know what they may have missed.

The choices were extremely diverse (only a few films got multiple mentions) which frankly surprised us. It would seem the popularity of some films, didn't necessarily make them the most popular in the minds of our voters.  Thanks to all the picks.  Hopefully we can make lots more in 2010, have a Happy New Year!

Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC DOT Commissioner): "It’s so hard, like choosing what to pick at my favorite chocolate store!  I'd select: The Search for the Zozo, Walk21, and Sands Street."

Brian Lehrer & Derek Tutschulte (The Brian Lehrer Show):  "The High Bridge gave us all a unique behind the scenes view of a New York treasure that few people ever get to see."

Jeff Mapes (author, Pedaling Revolution): "I like Rush Hour on the Hawthorne Bridge the best.  You so nicely captured the feel of something I know a lot about, having biked over that bridge in rush hour literally hundreds of times."

Laura Flanders (GRITtv): "For best series, the Brazil trilogy (ASCOBIKE, Curitiba's BRT, Jaime Lerner) was wonderful, [but] best one off: Scraper Bikes: Bike 4 Life Ride. Kids creating positive subculture, biking, and hip hop?  This was just great."

Mikael Colville-Andersen (Copenhagen Cycle Chic):  Carmageddon Averted in Herald Square.  "This film is great because of the enormity of the transformation and the visionary thoughts behind doing it."

Donald Shoup (professor, author "The High Cost of Free Parking"): "I vote for Bicycle Boulevards for NYC.  They seem like the most cost effective way for cities to make cycling easier, safer, and more enjoyable."

Diana Lind (Editor-in-chief, Next American City): "The video of a snowy Highline...it is real reminder of the New York that once was - and potential for any urban space to be reimaganied."

Gil Peñalosa (Executive Director, Walk & Bike for Life): "If an image is worth a thousand words, the Streetfilms site is worth billions. NYC DOT Explains Bike Lanes in the Big Apple shows that one size does not fit all [when it comes to bike facilities]."

Christine Berthet (über activist, Hell's Kitchen): "Veronica Moss in Times Square. She's just too much!"

Michael Graham Richard (editor Cars & TransportationTreeghugger): "Copenhagen's Climate-Friendly, Bike-Friendly Streets.  The bike capital of the world can teach us a lot about how we can make our cities much better for people and the environment. Let's pay attention."

Kerri Martin (founder, Second Life Bikes): "I love that Streetfilms takes us to places like  The High Bridge: a gem of a walkway in our corner of the world that most of us have never been on but can dream for its opening and help work towards that possibility."

Elly Blue (Managing Editor, BikePortland): "My favorite shows Mark Gorton wading out into embattled crosswalks yelling 'How rude! Can you believe these people?' Way to point out that the 300lb moonwalking bear in the room has no clothes."

Eric Britton (and the World Streets team): "Ahem. Let me open the envelope here....the Gold goes to: Meet Veronica Moss, A.U.T.O. Lobbyist.  For sheer thoughtfulness and political daring, the Silver goes to: Jaime Lerner on Making Curitiba's First Pedestrian Street.  And on the grounds that no one but no one can resist him: Enrique Peñalosa Brings Inspiration to Boston gets the Bronze.

Carla Saulter (columnist, Bus Chick, Transit Authority): "Scraper Bikes. I have a secret weakness for macked out cars--candy paint, big wheels, hydraulics, the whole nine - and I love seeing this same energy directed at a form of travel I can actually respect.

Ben Fried (Editor, NYC Streetsblog): "Hudson River Crossings: Improving Bus Capacity. Captivating animation and stellar narration bring an under-appreciated congestion busting solution to life."

Jackie Douglas (Director, Livable Streets Alliance (Boston): "The Search for the Zozo. Creative, funny, and an exceptional cast of people working to create more livable streets around the world."

Shin-pei Tsay (Deputy Director, Transportation Alternatives) "There's no better way to see how far we've come in such a short time than to witness people, let alone the founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Earl Blumenauer, happily and safely bike around NYC."

Clarence Eckerson Jr. (Director, Streetfilms): "The Transformation of Madison Square.  I really didn't want to pick one of my own, but I so loved being there on a balmy February. I tried hard to translate that energy."

Robin Urban Smith (Associate, Streetfilms): "Seattle's Bus Chick. I love the personal and charming story of this bus enthusiast. I'm also a sucker for the bus graphics!

If you want to leave your own personal pick for favorite Streetfilm of 2009 please do so in the comments field.  And if you have suggestions for places we should visit or subjects to tackle next year, feel free to start a list.

5 Comments
  • Biking Boulevard

    The winner: both Veronica Moss videos, hands down.

  • David_K

    Mr. Blumenauer Goes to New York: an excellent summary of livable street progress in NYC. Plus the interviews with Congressman Blumenauer were excellent.

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/thornley Andy Thornley

    Oh, man, so many treasures, how to choose? I'll pick two for special recognition:

    "Hudson River Crossings: Improving Bus Capacity" takes a deadly dull topic and presents it in a completely engaging, accessible way, in the tradition of another Elizabeth Press classic, "Illustrating Parking Reform with Dr. Shoup." The animation is charming and elegant and the casemaking is powerful and entertaining, a perfect advovcacy tool.

    "Rush Hour Bike Traffic on SF's Market Street" is a 45-second prose poem on what may be the United States' bicycling-est street as it looks on an average drizzly winter day in 2009. It's a great document of ordinary everyday bicycle traffic in San Francisco, and it'll be all the more precious in a few years when Market Street will be carrying three times as many cyclists competing with far fewer motor vehicles!

  • http://www.uppergreenside.org Glenn

    I like the recent Copenhagen bike one. Love the expert interviews and of course the funny Veronica Moss and Zozo videos (we have to get those two on film together!)

    I wish there were more videos that highlighted individuals/small groups of advocates making a difference in local neighborhoods to inspire more grassroots advocacy. Maybe like a "how-to" for local advocates.

  • http://www.parisar.org Sujit Patwardhan

    The best is undoubtedly what Ms Janette Sadik-Khan has achieved (in the US and in NYC??? Wow!!!.

    We aren't surprised by Amsterdam and Copenhagen, or even Paris and London, but NYC? That's a REAL achievement) and this comes through well in the video "Transforming NYC Streets: A Conversation with JSK" by Clarence Ec kerson.

    Also loved "NYC Summer Streets 2009" and "Copenhagen's Climate-Friendly-Bike-Friendly Streets".

    Of course there are many more and StreetFilms is a great resource as well as an inspiration for other cities struggling to free themselves from the bondage of the auto-mobile (for third world countries it is not just the motor cars, but the auto two wheelers as well).

    Keep up the good work StreetFilms.

    Sujit Patwardhan, Pune, India