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Posts tagged "Randy Cohen"

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Biking on Amsterdam Avenue in NYC — Now More Like Biking in Amsterdam!

Getting a protected bike lane on NYC's Amsterdam Avenue was an epic struggle. This year, safe streets finally won.

Amsterdam Avenue is a neighborhood street on the Upper West Side, but it was designed like a highway with several lanes of one-way motor vehicle traffic. Local residents campaigned for nearly ten years to repurpose one of those lanes to make way for a parking-protected bike lane and pedestrian islands. They kept butting up against a few stubborn opponents of the street redesign on Community Board 7 (for viewers outside NYC, community boards are appointed bodies that weigh in on street redesigns, among other neighborhood changes).

Fed up with the dangerous conditions on Amsterdam, residents ramped up the activism. They staged silent protests and neighborhood actions to publicly shame the community board members stalling the redesign. Their efforts were rewarded earlier this year when CB 7 voted in favor of DOT's plan for a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd Street to 110th Street. Although not fully built yet -- 14 more blocks above 96th Street are still to come -- the project has changed the feel of the street dramatically.

It was a hard-earned victory, and yesterday people who fought for a safer Amsterdam celebrated with a ride down the new bike lane. Here's a look at the ride -- a sight we should see many times again as advocates organize for more space for safe biking and walking throughout NYC.

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NYC Bike Month Montage (2010)

Wanna see a slice of the glorious NYC bike month that was?  There were dozens of great May events from Bike to Work Day in the Bronx to the David Bowie Dance Ride in Manhattan to Bike to School Day at MS51 in Brooklyn. Of course we couldn't get to all of them, but we managed to drop by quite a few extravaganzas.

In this funky montage wrap-up you'll see many special guest stars including Hal Ruzal, Randy "The Ethicist" Cohen, Mary Beth Kelly, and Eben "Bike Snob" Weiss, just to pick out some of the dozens of faces.  But none so special as an appearance by our very good purple friend - Zozo, who you'll get to see out scooting on his bike!

And for heaven's sake, don't miss the "bike rockstar montage" near the end.  We certainly have a lot of hip cyclists in NYC.

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Biking around town with Randy “The Ethicist” Cohen

A few years back, Randy Cohen, writer of the NY Times Magazine "The Ethicist" column, visited the Streetfilms set for a unprecedented interview with Mark Gorton about "Transportation Ethics.".  Well we wanted to talk more, so this time we got out of the studio to take a two-wheeled jaunt around New York City and visit many of his favorite spots and take in the alfresco enchantment of the capital of the world.

As you'll see during our ten mile journey, Mr. Cohen offered up some very decisive opinions about car-free Central Park, weighed in on the ethics of  "bike salmoning" (riding wrong way in bike lanes), whether he stops for red lights (you might be surprised by his answer), and comments on how transformative our streets have become for pedestrians and cyclists.

He also doesn't hide the fact he has a massive "policy crush" on NYC DOT chief Janette Sadik-Khan.

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Transportation Ethics

Who knew that Randy Cohen, a guy who spends most of his day analyzing right and wrong as the New York Times Magazine's acclaimed "Ethicist," turns out to be one of New York City's most captivating and articulate voices for Livable Streets.

The Open Planning Project's Executive Director Mark Gorton recently interviewed Mr. Cohen on the ethics of urban automobility. The result has been condensed here into a 9 minute talk that touches on a multitude of topics ranging from Congestion Pricing to Parking Policy.

StreetFilms hopes this inspires even more debate as we approach these issues from the angle of personal responsibility. We think you'll enjoy this.