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The Metamorphosis of NYC Streets

There's nothing more dramatic than looking back five or ten years at Streetfilms footage to see how much the streets of New York City have changed. In this wonderful montage, check out the incredible changes at Times Square, Herald Square, the Brooklyn waterfront, and many other places that outgoing NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and her staff have intrepidly transformed.

We have similarly high hopes for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he takes office, and look forward to what he and new NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg accomplish. Even though so much has changed, the vast majority of our streets still need to be rethought and redesigned. We need more space for efficient modes, slower speed limits, and traffic calming for our most vulnerable citizens. I hope this short gets them excited to top the transportation record of the Bloomberg administration.

Please note: This is but a short sample of the before-and-after footage at our disposal. Seriously, we could have put together a one hour version!

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Kevin Love

    Once again Clarence nails it! A big THANK YOU to him for his inspiring videos.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million. My own beliefs have been profoundly changed by the videos of three people. Clarence is one of them. The other two are David Hembrow and Mark Wagenburr. Their videos of Dutch design engineering standards for transportation infrastructure made me really, really want properly designed streets. And made me really, really dissatisfied with the dangerous, inferior engineering design standards that we are currently tolerating.

    But see for yourself! David Hembrow is at:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com

    And Mark Wagenburr is at:

    http://www.bicycledutch.wordpress.com

    Happy New Year to Clarence. May you continue to make inspiring videos!

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Always love David and Mark. And in fact in 2013 got to meet David and he was in a few videos from the Netherlands. Thanks for the nice words Kevin! :)

  • NuYawka

    I love this video. We've come a long way. I hope we are only able to accomplish more much more quickly in the future. The changes are dramatic, the enhanced quality of life is striking. This is the New York City I love.

  • Sakari Kestinen

    2020: NYC is so walkable and cyclable that it reverts its name back to Nieuw Amsterdam.

  • Adamlaw

    Great job Clarence and Streetsfilm crew!

  • Ed

    We've come a long way babe!

  • Clint Weldon

    Outstanding! Thanks for taking the time and effort to put that together. As a recent transplant to NYC you've totally just sold me on biking the city!

  • PatrickGSR94

    lol why did this just come in on my email yesterday? I got the same email about the post on 1 January.