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Posts tagged "Bikes"

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See the Crazy Counts of Riders in NYC’s 2nd Ave Bike Lane (And not ONE went the wrong way in 30 minutes!)

I've been meaning to get back to doing some counts of bike and micro-mobility users on some of New York's most popular bike lanes. 2nd Avenue is certainly one of those.

So I set up the camera to record for two half hours in separate locations yesterday and present a condensed video of my results. As usual despite many cranks & drivers stating that bikes barely ever use bike lanes, selective anecdotes are not facts. Every time I've done these during rush hours the results are even better than I expected. In fact during this 30 minute taping from 5-530pm on Monday, April 3rd a very shocking thing emerged I was unprepared for: not one rider in the video rides the wrong way. Not one! I'm a New Yorker of course, and even I admit to seeing a percentage of salmoning (that's going the wrong way in a bike lane) but to witness this result was cool.

I think I have a theory: in NYC the best and most popular bike lanes don't have many wrong-way riders, or very few. Why? They are busy. They are safe. And there are safe options nearby to travel. The pairs on 1st Ave and 2nd Ave are a perfect example. Among NYC's most crowded. At rush hours it's a constant steady stream. You don't want to face dodging a dozen bikes per block. It's dangerous. I actually did a taping near this spot almost in 2021. (See here: In 21 minutes there were 171 bikes, 323 vehicles and 11 buses. And with bikes only having one lane versus the four for other vehicles (which includes a partial BUS ONLY lane) it proves that the bike lane not only is worth it - but we need to think about making them wider since they are getting real crowded in Manhattan!

You'll have to watch the video to find out, but it's a better count than 2021 and this time proportionally the results were even better for bikes. One note: the "range" for vehicle numbers is due to me having to do a manual count on paper due to the angle of the camera placement. Thus a paper count I got 545 vehicles (and 8 buses) versus later using just the straight video which I could only come up with 525, but the parked cars can shield a few here or there. So let's say I was even massively off and it was 600 - it still proves spatially bikes are a great deal for NYC.

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“Maps Can Be Redrawn”: Open Plans PSA

Last week our first-annual Open Plans Public Space Awards was an inspirational crowd-pleaser attended by many in the transportation world. At the event we also debuted our brand new Open Plans PSA explaining our core mission. We’re calling it “Maps Can Be Redrawn” which features nearly 90 shots of the streets of the city. It was scripted by Open Plans’ Events Associate Eric Parker and voiced by Yael Rizowy.

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See The Dramatic Street Changes Happening in Hoboken & Jersey City (See the Vision Zero Cities Bike Tour)

At Transportation Alternatives' Vision Zero Cites Conference in October, some session attendees opted to see some of the transformative progress going on just over the Hudson River in the cities of Hoboken & Jersey City. The bike tour drew am overflow crowd and what they got to see were ample treatments & policies in both cities - a few of which you will see here.

In Hoboken, now into its 5th year of no traffic deaths of any kind (pedestrian, bike or motorist), conference riders got to see the significantly safe streets - much of which is attributable to the process of daylighting, not allowing car parking at the intersections of streets to make people more visible.

New Jersey State Law prohibits parking in or on a crosswalk, between a safety zone for pedestrians and adjacent to the curb or within 20 feet of the safety zone’s end. 25 feet from an intersection.

In Jersey City (which Streetfilms has paid many visits to) they have continued to roll out protected bike lanes continued at a great pace since 2019 using various types of protection for riders. That not only includes armadillos and jersey barriers but in some instances concrete barrels. Both cities are also using a type of green paint product called endurablend which provides cyclists with more friction and lasts longer than traditional paint.

Please enjoy the filmed tour which comes with Streetfilms exclusive, dramatic BEFORE footage showing how much the streets have changed in spots.

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NYC Needs a Central Harlem Bikeway on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd

On Saturday Transportation Alternatives held a bike rally asking for protected bike lanes for the residents of Harlem, the neighborhood with the least amount of protected bike lanes in all of Manhattan.

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Pittsburgh: The Steel Bicycling City

Recently, Streetfilms returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since 2014 just to see what is going on and any cool stuff that has happened since. Didn't really plan anything out, just met up with a few folks to ride and did a lot of rolling on POGOH e-bike share for majority of the days.

Saw a lot in the span of 60 hours (and also flipped over the handlebars on a bike thanks to a badly placed parking concrete curb, healing up) Here's a list of some of the cool things you'll see in this Streetfilm!

- Celebration of Bike PGH 20 Year Anniversary

- Pittsburgh's Bigelow Blvd Might Be the Most Complete Street in the USA

- POGOH Bike Share Relaunches with E-bikes, Stations do the recharging

- Montage: Riding Most of Pittsburgh Downtown Bridges

- Serpentine Drive....Now ONLY for Bikes & Peds!

- Pittsburgh's "Steps": 800 Public Staircases

- Won't You Be My Neighborway? (Cool Bicycle Routes Through Alleys & Low-Traffic Streets the Mister Rogers would love)

- Asphalt Mural in Friendship Calms Traffic at 5-Way Intersection

- Hazelwood Green: Planning Bike Infrastructure for the Future


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Kid Wheel Power: Barcelona Bici Bus is Magic!

Last month I had a chance encounter with Rosa Suriñach on the United Nations Bike Ride (link here: when we both realized we were winners of the 2022 World Bicycle Day recognition.

We got to talking while riding and I learned she was heavily involved in Barcelona's Bicibús Eixample (Bikebus) which I had seen so many cool Tweeted videos of in the past year. So at the end of the ride I was able to pull her aside and grab a really quick interview about the general idea. (some competition with noise and traffic, but still perfectly useable)

She and some contributors were able to get me some wonderful footage and stellar photos to tell the story. Combined with previous footage I shot in Barcelona in 2018 it makes for a really nice short showing the power of children and their families which are staging a mini-revolution in the streets of Barcelona and encouraging cities worldwide to follow them.

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Check out the newest 2022 Citi Bike E-bikes (Exclusive kickoff ride with Streetfilms)

When friends heard the release of the new Citi Bike e-bikes into the wild was imminent, many wanted to me give them a review ASAP. Little did I know I would get invited to the first public unveiling where we had a huge geek out over and getting to ride with Citi Bike staff and members of the NYCHA riders program. As you will see we had a great time!

The new bikes feature a different color scheme. But they go farther (now nearly 60 miles on a charge), they accelerate faster, they have new cool safety lighting schemes, the seat is so easily adjustable that your wrists will want to kiss the stem, it has an actual battery-life indicator right on the screen and plenty of other fun features!

So take a look at our sort of exclusive video of the Queens kickoff ride (Streetfilms was the only camera crew at the launch!) One thing I have to mention is that I have covered a lot of group rides. I arrived via my large and heavy Workcycle and the new Citi Bike e-bikes get you so quickly up to speed that I had a very hard time keeping up with the riders to get my footage. But as you'll see I got to use one at the end.



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Washington DC Blossoms Bike Tour 2022

Come along with "DC's Cycling Concierge" Jeff Miller as he leads a ride to see Washington D.C.'s cherry blossoms in full bloom for this year's Bike Summit Conference 2022 from The League of American Bicyclists! It's a short tour but full of sites and flowering trees. This ride departed at 645am Monday morning on March 28. The temps were in the mid-20s and it was very cold. But it turned out with so few people up that early and the bitter cold provided an excellent ride without crowds so often gathering to see nature's bloomings.

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The Nijmegen Railway Bridge is also a Fantastically Cool Bridge to Bike

Here's a cool one. I have been revisiting some of my old footage as I await being able to travel some. I did a great film about Nijmegen you may have seen. But as with many things I shoot I had to leave a ton of great stuff on the cutting room floor.

The Nijmegen Railway Bridge had a bikeway attached to it in 2004 and it is one of the most thrilling and dreamy bridges I have ever ridden over. For one: Nijmegen is the beginning of the RijnWaalpad, a fast bike superhighway that stretches 16km all the way to Arnhem, its twin city. I also did a video on that one too!

In any event, in looking thru the archives I realized I had ample footage from all sorts of angles to give people the experience of a full-rounded perspective: from the pathway itself, from down by the waterfront looking up, from the tallest structure downtown the church (looking down) and filming from inside the train itself arriving & departing Nijmegen.

One thing I want to point out that is pretty cool about this Streetfilm: I had a production company who inquired about using some of my "drone" footage. But there is none - all of the footage was shot by my very steady hand balancing on a bike. I have been doing that style of filming for nearly 25 years. The kids these days don't realize old school. (Though I am getting pretty old to keep being able to pull it off.)

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Rotterdam Central: A Peaceful Transportation Hive of Human Activity

Last week on the same day I found myself visiting both Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station with my son due to a fun multi-train/subway/bus sojourn all over the city. And while I am appreciating some of the measures the city/state/MTA are taking to making it nicer around our most important hubs, it still compares to every single Dutch train station.

It made me recall my Rotterdam experience a few years ago. I thought having a hotel room overlooking Rotterdam Central made me extra appreciate the lack of cars and the safety for people on all other modes. I also recently picked out my favorite dozen things in all Dutch cities for a short video which Rotterdam Central also made. So I figured why not revisit my footage to give some proper montage love to my favorite.

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Bike Boulevards Debut in NYC: Check out Queens’ 39th Avenue!

Earlier this year the NYC DOT announced it would pilot one bike boulevard in each of the five boroughs. Some were actually on the ambitious side and none more so than in Sunnyside, Queens where 39th Avenue (which was designated an open street during 2020 Covid) was converted to a bike boulevard on an integral connection for bike riders for 8 blocks. The innovative treatments (well for NYC) include a diagonal traffic diverter and frequent lane direction changes as well as swaps for wide protected bike lanes at times. Listen to what supporters had to say!

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Clarence in Streetfilms 2000-2021 (Montage)

So following my 1,000th Streetfilm I put together a quick montage sample of all the Streetfilms/bikeTV to prepare for some media. I will be joining John Simmerman for his 100th podcast interview and it just seemed the time to let people see what I have been doing over the years.

Just so you know this is only a sample montage. I am sure I have missed some of my best appearances, but this at least gives a look into my work - sometimes skinnier, sometimes younger - but fun to check out my metamorphosis and the places I have been!

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Montreal’s Popular Pedestrian Open Streets

No wonder they call it the Great White North.

Last month, I journeyed to Montréal, a city I have visited many times in the last three decades, to see how much progress it has made in reining in the car culture, creating more livable communities, encouraging cycling, making roadways safer and, most important, bringing back freedom to inhabitants long oppressed by car drivers.

The changes are amazing — and they are the subject of two new Streetfilms, my 1,000th and 1,001st of my career. The first one is about open streets. The other is about cycling. Both will make New Yorkers drool … or book tickets.

Of course, Montréal has fewer open streets than New York City does, but the open streets in the Paris of North America are much better. Montréal’s 13 open streets are much longer and operate almost entirely car-free — car-free, meaning no parking, either! — 24 hours a day, all summer long.

“It’s about making the city accessible for everyone,” Montréal’s mayor Valérie Plante told me. “There has to be more room for cyclists and pedestrians, and arts and parklets.”

On Montréal’s open streets, you don’t just see people walking or biking as you see in New York, but also art installations, benches, bioswales, swings (with cupholders!), play areas for kids and bollards to keep out the cars.

Bollards to keep out the cars.

“It just brings so much joy and fun and, of course, safe spaces for our kids,” Plante added.

And local business owners confirm that pedestrianized zones bring in more money for struggling merchants.

A 1.5-mile stretch of Mont Royal Avenue is fully pedestrianized, including some side streets. That’s about the same length as New York’s best open street — 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights — but in New York, the open street is still filled with parked cars and only open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., limiting what residents can do, how many can do it and how long they can do it for. There’s a movement to make the open street permanent and 24 hours — a position supported by incoming mayor Eric Adams — but opponents in the neighborhood want the open street reduced or even eliminated.

Montréal proves that the real solution should be to double-down on open streets. Barricades keep the cars out — and don’t require a massive volunteer effort. And instead of dismissing older adults’ worries about getting around, the city provides transportation (via pedicabs) for them.

One final note for all us nerds: Make sure you check out the appearance of former Streetsblog contributor Steven Miller in the Montreal open streets vid

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George Hahn: How to Ride Your Bike Like a Gentleman (or a Lady)

Actor. Writer. Minor social media legend. Gentleman cyclist.

This week, Streetfilms tagged along with actor George Hahn for a very special episode: “How to Ride Like a Gentleman.”

In this film, we explore the city with Hahn and learn these valuable tips:

“Don’t ride like a dick.” Don’t roll through crosswalks or frighten pedestrians. There’s no reason for that. “It’s just rude,” he says.
Don’t ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.
Don’t ride against traffic. “It’s dangerous…and rude to everyone,” Hahn says.
Don’t buy special clothes. (Hahn has ridden in a tuxedo, but you knew that.)

Of course, Hahn is courteous to make a point: there is a larger danger on our streets. Watching an SUV driver rudely inch into a crosswalk, Hahn observes the most important rule of the road: “Your destination is no more important than anyone else’s,” he says.

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What do you like about 34th Ave open street?

It was once again time to ask people how much they enjoy the 34th Ave open street in Jackson Heights, so I went out for about an hour yesterday to ask folks to tell me. It wasn't hard to find people to talk since it is one of the most popular things ever in the neighborhood. I only asked that one simple question. Nothing more. But I couldn't believe how many times people used "community" in their answer, I think nearly everyone. (But I had to edit some out due to length constraints.) I think you'd likely find the same answers in just about every open street across NYC. Also: in unsurprising news, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the open streets legislation passed by the NYC Council keeping the open streets program running.