Skip to content

Posts tagged "Brooklyn"

StreetFilms
View Comments

The Pulaski Bridge Protected Bike Path Is (Finally) Open!

Today was a milestone for traveling between Brooklyn and Queens, as NYC DOT opened the Pulaski Bridge bike path to lots of cheers with a celebratory ride.

Before today, the Pulaski Bridge walking and biking path was dangerously congested, with more pedestrians and cyclists crammed on to its narrow right-of-way every year. The solution? Convert one lane of the roadway to a two-way bike lane, making the original path exclusively for walking. Read up on the project in Streetsblog's coverage of the grand opening.

If a lane of the Pulaski can be taken from cars and given to active transportation, the same can be done on other bridges. One place I'd love to see NYC DOT tackle next? The insanely crowded bike-pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge is begging for a solution like this.

 

StreetFilms
View Comments

Peatónito in NYC: Protecting Pedestrians in the Crosswalk

Peatónito ("little pedestrian") might be the most beloved figure in the world of street safety. How can you not love a superhero who protects pedestrians from cars?! Since donning the cape and luchador mask three years ago, he's become a media sensation in Mexico. This week he's in New York City for Transportation Alternatives' Vision Zero for Cities 2016 conference, and Streetfilms was lucky enough to squeeze in this exclusive whirlwind walking tour of Brooklyn and Queens streets showing him in action.

Jorge Canez, the man behind the mask, has been a pedestrian advocate in Mexico City for quite a while. He's been involved with many tactical urbanism-type of interventions, like painting crosswalks with his own spray can. As Peatónito, he's attained a new level of fame for gently scolding drivers, escorting pedestrians though dicey intersections, and pushing cars (or occasionally walking over the tops of cars) to make motorists more aware of their transgressions.

Come along for a fun short as Peatónito hits the intimidating streets near Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the constantly blocked bike lanes on Jay Street by MetroTech, and crosswalks in Jackson Heights, Queens, helping children walk to school.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Right of Way Installs 2014 Memorial Wall to 264 Victims of NYC Traffic Violence

On Saturday, Right of Way posted silhouettes along a Kent Avenue construction fence representing all 264 people known to have lost their lives to traffic violence in NYC in 2014. Each image was identical, save for victims’ names and crash dates. Smaller silhouettes were posted to represent children killed by drivers.

It was a very emotional scene as members of Families For Safe Streets came by to assist and passersby took in the power of the visual.

At one point during the installation, a truck driver hit the mural wall, and after about 15 minutes trying to make a turn, proceeded to drive up the Kent Avenue protected bike lane, one of the busiest bike routes in the city.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Hey #bikenyc: Where Would You Put New York’s Next Protected Bike Lanes?

At the September press conference where Bicycling Magazine named New York City the best American city for biking, NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg committed to adding five miles of protected bike lanes per year "all over the city, not just in the core of Manhattan.”

Since then, anytime I've been at bike events or out on the streets shooting video, I've been interviewing riders about where they would like to see new protected bike lanes. As with most things bike, when you talk to the people riding the streets every day you get incredibly smart recommendations.

So I present this montage of New Yorkers who bike, sounding off on where they want the city to install protected bike lanes. I think they all made great suggestions.

StreetFilms
View Comments

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!

StreetFilms
View Comments

NYC Rush Hour Bike Commute!

It's fall and getting cooler in New York City, but that hasn't slowed down the people jumping on bikes. During rush hour it's starting to become a bit crowded, and that's a good thing. If you haven't been to NYC recently, you'll be amazed how much the protected bike lanes and Citi Bike are encouraging more people to ride.

During a recent rush hour ride home through the heart of Manhattan, I couldn't believe it. On Second Avenue, unbroken streams of cyclists ride in clumps -- at one point I counted 20 people riding single-file! So I decided to log some footage during two successive p.m. rush hours on some of NYC's most bike-busy commute paths, including the Manhattan Bridge, Second Avenue, and the West Side Greenway.

A few things I learned from the footage I shot:

  • More cyclists are riding the right way on the protected bike lanes and greenways. Sure, some people salmon, but it seems far less prevalent than a few years ago. Perhaps that's because the numbers are getting so big that self-preservation has taken hold? Whatever the factors, it feels more civilized.
  • Bikes are everywhere and drivers are noticing. Even on popular bike commute segments without bike lanes, drivers seem a little more aware, since cyclists are omnipresent.
  • Citi Bike has undoubtedly boosted cycling numbers and the visibility of bicycles on the streets. The bikes are blue, their front lights flash, and lots of "everyday" folks use them. They're impossible to miss.
StreetFilms
View Comments

Green Lane Project in New York: City to City Solutions

The Green Lane Project is a partnership of six U.S. cities working to implement next-generation protected bike lanes on their streets.

This past fall, the Green Lane Project brought a few dozen transportation planners from those cities together in New York City for hands-on workshops and face-to-face peer exchanges to see the NYC Department of Transportation's innovative bike lane designs. We were able to tag along on some of the events and share some highlights of that trip.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Making Streets Safer With On-Street Bike Parking

The corner of Smith Street and Sackett Street in Brooklyn had a problem. Drivers approaching the intersection from Sackett couldn't get a clear view of Smith because of the parked cars blocking their line of sight. Crashes kept happening and local residents started pushing for safety improvements. After experimenting with a few options, NYC DOT arrived at this innovative response: New York's first on-street bike parking facility.

By installing eight bike racks, DOT created a "daylighting" effect, improving visibility at the intersection. The bike parking is much less intrusive than parked cars and helps everyone at the intersection see everyone else. Oh yeah, and now there are a dozen new places to park bikes without taking away any space from Smith Street's busy sidewalks.

For another look at on-street bike parking, check out Streetfilms' 2008 tour of Portland, Oregon's bike corrals.

StreetFilms
View Comments

My NYC Biking Story: Steve O’Neill

Prospect Heights resident Steve O'Neill has been biking most of his 15 years living in New York City.  Last year he added to his daily roundtrip commute to Columbus Circle by dropping his son Beckett off at school, and the new Prospect Park West bike lane helps him do that safely.

As a subway trip it took 30 minutes, a subway transfer and nearly 200 steps, but by using the bike Beckett gets to school in just ten minutes.  He enjoys it and Steve says, "the last time I didn't ride it was winter and it was really snowy and he was begging to go on the bike instead of the subway."

StreetFilms
View Comments

My NYC Biking Story: Kimberly White

Brooklyn resident Kimberly White is just finishing her freshman year of college, and she took some time away from studying for exams and writing papers to be the second cyclist in our MY NYC Biking Story series. Kimberly not only loves riding her red folding bike in Prospect Park, but she's also got the skills to fix it. She helped start an internship program at bike shop, Recycle-A-Bicycle, and has used that experience to encourage others to get in the saddle.  She was the key note speaker at the first annual Youth Bike Summit, which she helped organize after being inspired by the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC.  She is pursuing a career in environmental justice.

Streetfilms would like to thank Recycle-A-Bicycle for sponsoring this chapter in our My NYC Biking Story.

StreetFilms
View Comments

The Prospect Park West Family Bike Ride

On a grey, chilly Sunday, an estimated 750 people, many of them on training wheels and balance bikes, turned out to ride the Prospect Park West bike lane and show their support for the traffic-calming redesign. Since the two-way, separated bike path debuted last summer, it's become indispensable for many parents who use it to take their children to school and get around the neighborhood. On weekends, the lane is full of families heading to the green market at Grand Army Plaza and kids riding to Prospect Park.

The "We Ride the Lanes" event was the brainchild of Mitch Sonies, who rides the PPW bike lane with his six-year-old daughter and wanted to do something positive to highlight how much people appreciate having a much safer street in their neighborhood. "It was a real celebration of this great, safe bike path," said Mitch. "When I first started kicking around the idea of a family ride, I never imagined so many people would want to take part. It's a real testament to the popularity of the lane."

As you can see, the ride was a hit with families and young children, who filled the entire length of the bike lane for more than 40 minutes as they paraded from Grand Army Plaza to Bartel Pritchard Square. The free cupcakes at the end of the ride didn't last long.

StreetFilms
View Comments

MBA: Traffic Calming

What’s the most effective way to make city streets safer? As Chicago Alderman Mary Ann Smith told Streetfilms, “Signs don’t do the job, even having police officers on the corner does not do the job.” To prevent traffic injuries and deaths, you need to change how the street functions and make it feel slower for drivers. You need traffic calming.

Traffic calming takes many forms and can describe any measure taken to reduce traffic speeds, improve safety, and make using the street a better overall experience. The most effective traffic calming measures are those that influence drivers to “behave in a civilized manner,” as Smith put it.

Changes like curb extensions, neck-downs, and bike lanes are all traffic calmers that save lives by sending the signal for drivers to slow down. In this Streetfilm we highlight some exemplary traffic calming projects from cities across the country.

Streetfilms would like to thank The Fund for the Environment & Urban Life for making this series possible.

StreetFilms
View Comments

“Floating Parking” & Bike-Buffer Zones in Separated Cycletracks

While we were out videotaping for another Streetfilm, Gary Toth the Director of Transportation Initiatives with Project for Public Spaces (his resume includes 34 years of management experience at NJDOT) took a moment to give a short explanation on what "floating parking" is, why using it is a very smart budgetary decision by the NYC DOT, and why a buffer-zone exists between exiting drivers and cyclists.

We hope this Streetfilm is a great resource that will help ally many fears this new concept (in the U.S. anyway) is experiencing in some cities.  It shows after a very brief adjustment period that drivers do grasp it.  Along the way you'll see ample, helpful footage of some of the many configurations of the NYC's new complete streets in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Meet Zozo! (Official Website Launch)

Today we are happy to announce that Zozo, our purple, livable streets mascot finally has his own website!  Just go to www.meetzozo.com to check out all ten of the Zozo shorts - including films about walking, biking, car sharing and transit as Zozo walks the streets of Park Slope in Brooklyn, NY.

It's very educational for the youngest ones in your home, but it's also about Zozo being his Zozo fun self and there's lots in here that will make the adults smile too. Our staff here at Streetfilms shot & edited all of these and here we present you with a funny montage featuring outtakes and other fun moments that didn't make the cut.  As you will see, Zozo is a charmer.

StreetFilms
View Comments

Mapping Your NYC Bike Commute

Regardless of age or ability, everyone deserves the right to a safe and convenient bike commute. In New York City, every day the DOT is making that more of a reality - thanks to an incredible diversity of bike facilities. The city has moved past simple, striped bike lanes and on to refreshing configurations like curbside, floating parking-protected, physically separated, two-way bike paths.

Bike riding is on the rise. Commutes that were unthinkable years ago, are becoming attainable. Riders are more confident in their knowledge of the street grid. One resource that helps is the NYC Cycling Map. Use this cycling freebie to not only link up to the best routes in your neighborhood, but also to find alternatives and experiment with your riding. You'll be amazed how easy - and safe - it can be.

So for inspiration and major cajoling, I decided to hop on my Batavus Dutch crusier and show you my new commute from Jackson Heights, Queens all the way to the Streetfilms offices in lower Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge. It's a hardy 11 miles each way, and yet almost 90% of the journey is on some sort of bike facility or marked bike route.  Furthermore, about 5 miles of it is on completely separate car-free bicycling paths, its no wonder that many days I arrive at work in a zen-like state.

Streetfilms would like to thank Bicycle Habitat for sponsoring this film.