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Commuting with the Commissioner on NYC’s Bike to Work Day

Between 2007 and 2008 bicycling in NYC leapt an amazing 35%.  And, looking at the streets it's easy to see why: bike lanes, racks & other amenities are popping up everywhere; it's practically a renaissance. There are now 185,000 daily riders on the streets.

Today, NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan was one of them, leading a commuter ride from Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza to City Hall. Along the way there was a brief stop on the Brooklyn Bridge for a Transportation Alternatives Bike Breakfast and then a press conference at City Hall to meet up with Councilmember David Yassky, co-sponsor of the Bicycle Access Bill (Intro 871) and is anticipating its passage later this year.

Streetfilms was able to talk with many cyclists, a few who were inspired enough to be riding to work for the first time ever.  Hear what they have to say, just press play.

[music]
Dani Simons: [0:10] This is the National Bike to Work Day, and it involves the local Bike to Work Day here in New York City. We're here at Grand Army Plaza with a bunch of folks ready to commute.
Hayes Lord: [0:18] We just want to enjoy the ride and have fun. We also use hand signals. So, whenever you see me make a hand signal, please follow so everybody knows.
Speaker: [0:34] I ride thirty four miles per day.
Speaker: [00:36] I bike to work because well, you get fresh air, for one. But, I can actually get here faster on my bike than I can on the subway. It's 45 minutes or an hour sometimes on the subway. And I can get here in 35 minutes on my bike, and that's eight miles. That's pretty good coming from Brooklyn.
Speaker: [0:54] I think biking's awesome, best way to get around the city.

[shouting, music]

Speaker: [1:11] I've only been here six months, so it's a really good way to explore our cities and find out where you're living.

[Cheering from crowd]

Speaker: [1:30] Thank you for everything.
Janette Sadik-Khan: [1:33] We had a fantastic day. Started our day at Grand Army Plaza and biked over one of the icons of New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge, which is fantastic and one of our great bridges. We have some 1800 cyclists coming over this bridge on a daily basis, and it is very exciting.

[1:50] We've got a 35 percent increase in bike commuting from 2007 and 2008. I think part of that is due to the fact that we've got some 200 additional land miles of bike routes that we've put out over the last three years.

David Yassky: [2:06] I'm just reflecting, commissioner, on the quiet revolution that we really are in the middle of in biking in New York City. 200 miles of bike lanes, that's an astonishing figure.
Speaker: [2:18] I came from Yankee Stadium. I'm going down to the Broadway Registry. [indecipherable 02:23] I've made one of two or three stops. Now, I'm on my way to work, but this is fun. I'd do it again.
Paul Steely White: [2:28] There are now 185, 000 daily riders in New York City. That's a huge number, and it's up to us to start cleaning up our own act. We need to ride responsibly so we can show all New Yorkers that biking is something for everyone to do, not just the intrepid or the aggressive but really for mainstream people to get out there and respect pedestrians. That's truly the most important thing. So today we are launching biking rules, on a new street code with New York City cyclists.

[music]



Elizabeth Press is a Filmmaker for Streetfilms. She joined Streetfilms in 2007 to focus her video work on advocating for better biking, walking and mass transit.

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  • Gargamel Tralfaz

    Really nice work! Hooray for bicycling in NYC!!

  • microzen

    Is there a pdf version of the "Biking Rulez" available?

  • http://www.soonsorchards.com sharon s

    Amazing what can be accomplished when you have a leader like Mike B, and not a jerk like Rudy G.!

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/IanD Ian Dutton

    More props for the Commish - and StreetFilms!

    Re: #2 -- See http://www.bikingrules.org