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Posts tagged "Alliance for Biking & Walking"

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The Rise of Open Streets: 8 Years of Ciclovia Videos on Streetfilms

A few weeks ago we posted our newest video "The Rise of Open Streets,"  a joint production with The Street Plans Collaborative and the Alliance for Biking & Walking.  We're excited to announce that sometime in March there will be a collection of our open streets films available on DVD for communities to use in public showings and presentations. If you need to get your community psyched that should do it.  But if you can't wait, you can always download ANY of our films FREE now directly via Vimeo by using the download button on individual posts.

Streetfilms journey in to the world of ciclovias all began during the Summer of 2007, when Ethan Kent from the Project for Public Spaces wrote an article about his experience riding the ciclovia on a trip. That got me super curious. So a few months later Gil Penalosa, now the Executive Director of 8-80 Cities, gave us a mammoth tour of - well of everything - which led to a series of great Streetfilms from Bogota.  Until last month, Ciclovia was the most popular Streetfilm of all time!

But there have been many more since. Our greatest contributor/freelancer John Hamilton has done phenomenal coverage over the years.  He's done videos in San Jose, San Francisco, Berkeley, and this latest one (above) from Oakland. He shoots the majority of his footage while rollerblading.  Sometimes it gets me jealous how good it looks.

I've been very fortunate to travel the world and experience many in my work with Streetfilms. I think my favorite - and that is really like saying "What is your favorite pizza?", because there is SO much good pizza - was my 2011 trip to Guadalajara.  The energy on the streets was amazing, nearly undescribable.  And I got to see things I hadn't seen in many other open streets events. For example, kids getting free haircuts!

If you'd like to watch more, please do. Here's an easy link to bring them up. And good luck if you are trying to make an event happen in your city!

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The Rise of Open Streets

Streetfilms has been documenting the open streets movement for over seven years, beginning with our landmark film in 2007 on Bogota's Ciclovia, currently the most viewed Streetfilm of all time.

The next year, Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative decided to get an open streets event going in Miami, which led to his research for The Open Streets Project, a joint project with the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Miami wasn't alone. In 2008, there were new open streets events in more than a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Portland and New York. All told, open streets events have increased tenfold since 2006.

"The Rise of Open Streets" examines the open streets movement from myriad perspectives -- how it began, how events are run, how they shape people's perceptions of their streets, and how creating car-free space, even temporarily, benefits people's lives. And it looks not only at big cities like Los Angeles, but smaller ones like Fargo, Berkeley, and Lexington.

We've interviewed some of the most important people in the movement, including former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and former Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, as well as former Bogota Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa and Enrique Jacoby, from the Pan American Health Organization.

We were proud to partner with The Street Plans Collaborative and the Alliance for Biking & Walking to produce this film, which we hope will encourage even more open streets events throughout the world. Funding for "The Rise of Open Streets" was graciously provided by the Fund for the Environment & Urban Life.

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The Case for Bike Racks on NYC Buses

Over the last ten years (or more) just about every major city in the U.S. has added bike-carrying capacity to their buses. While cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Seattle, Philadelphia, and San Francisco can boast 100% of their bus fleet sporting bike racks, NYC comes in at 0% - the only one in The Alliance for Biking & Walking's 2010 Benchmarking report.

This probably comes as no surprise to any cyclist from NYC who travels an ample amount, but what is shocking is this fact quietly goes unmentioned in NYC. We cannot recall a single news story or push to get bike racks anywhere in the last ten years.

Of course, there are reasonable assumptions one can make why NYC has not tried out some program. First and foremost: the NYC MTA subway system already allows bikes 24 hours a day.  It's an excellent benefit for sure, but there are many regions of the five boroughs that are not easily within reach of a train. If we want to encourage multi-modalism, we need seriously think about that.

Then there is a barrage of others: cyclists will be too slow to load, bikes might fall off the racks, cost, maintenance, etc, but after viewing our Streetfilm you'll see there really isn't a valid excuse not to.

So we think it's time that the MTA and the city to consider a few pilot programs to put some bike racks on some routes. Of course, we are not talking about places like Manhattan or most parts of Brooklyn but we feel there are some great candidates that would yield good results.  Look here:

  • Anywhere in Staten Island.
  • Eastern Queens.
  • Parts of The Bronx.
  • Any buses that cross bridges without cycle paths including the Verrazano-Narrows, The Whitestone and The Throggs Neck bridges.