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Posts tagged "Public Health"

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My NYC Biking Story: Marcus Woollen

Marcus Woollen is a prime example of what bicycling can do for your mind, body and spirit. Fifteen months ago, after being declared obese by his doctors, he decided he needed to get healthy and find a way to fit exercise into his busy schedule.

So he tried bike commuting from Jackson Heights, Queens to Hell's Kitchen and loved it. As of May, he's lost an incredible 50 pounds (already five more than when he filmed with us!) and has  inspired many friends to start biking too.

Here are some words of advice Marcus has for all of us:

  • "New York City is almost ideal for biking - it's pretty flat, and traffic isn't very fast - more like organized chaos."
  • "By commuting, I have so much more energy during the day, and I sleep much better than before."
  • "Most of the year, I commute in my work clothes. In the summer, I'll wear something cooler, and keep a few sets of clothes in a closet at my office - and have them dry cleaned over the weekend so I can pick them up on Monday morning as I get to work."
  • "Riding in the winter is easy - as long as the streets are plowed, I'll go. My biggest mistake at first was wearing too much and overheating - biking keeps you much warmer than waiting on a cold subway platform!"
  • "Queens is a great place to ride a bike - with the exception of a few major through streets, there are a lot of quiet neighborhood streets to ride on. The neighborhoods out here are wonderful and incredibly diverse."

Streetfilms would like to thank the Law Offices of Adam D. White for sponsoring this chapter in our My NYC Biking Story.

StreetFilms
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Los Angeles’ Eco-Village

Last Summer contributor Nicholas Whitaker had the opportunity to visit the Eco-Village in LA, to see what it's like to practice more sustainable ways of living, while having a lesser negative impact on the environment. In the third installment of Lessons from LA, the people who work and live at the LA Eco-Village show how even in an urban setting, there are ways to live closer to the earth and in better harmony with the people and environment around you.

Read more...

StreetFilms
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Mobilized Moms for a Car-Free Central Park

Transportation Alternatives Car-Free Central Park Campaign got a booster shot from a group of mothers and families calling themselves the Mobilized Moms. With a group of nearly 50 supporters, they marched from Central Park West and 72nd Street, through Strawberry Fields and rallied at the Bandshell on Tuesday afternoon, pleading for a car-free Central Park. Mobilized Moms draw inspiration from author, community activist and mother, Jane Jacobs and other mothers, who in 1956 effectively stopped Robert Moses' plans to pave part of Central Park for a parking lot.

StreetFilms
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Ciclovía (en español)

Recientemente tuve la oportunidad de visitar a Bogotá, Colombia para documentar los cambios que se han realizado en la última década. Bogotá se ha transformado en una ciudad más habitable, un lugar en el mundo conocido por sus espacios públicos, su sistema de transporte progresivo y lo que esto le ofrece a sus residentes. Esta transformación fue lograda en parte por un evento que se llama la Ciclovía. Cada domingo para la Ciclovía, Bogotá cierra 70 millas de sus calles al tráfico automovilístico y se las abre a gente para que puedan conocer y disfrutar de Bogotá mientras caminan, montan en bicicleta, corren, patinan y se reúnen con amigos y familia sin tener que preocuparse del tráfico.

Para mí, ser parte de la Ciclovía realmente fue una experiencia inolvidable. Disfruté mucho de mi compañia ese día – que incluyó el infatigable Gil Peñalosa (¡Sí, el hermano del ex-alcalde de Bogotá!). Gil y su equipo nos prepararon un programa bien complete y nos proveyeron acceso sin comparación a gente y lugares que ayudó a que esta película pequeña fuera más de lo que me imaginé.

Cuando reflejo en este viaje me recuerdo de la felicidad de la gente. Cada corredor de la Ciclovía estuvo lleno de personas sonrientes . 1.8 millones de Colombianos participan cada domingo en la Ciclovía para liberarse del estrés, para mantenerse en buena salud y para conectarse con otros ciudadanos. Los Bogotanos se entusiasman mucho por la Ciclivía y hasta tienen el dicho “no tenemos playa pero tenemos Ciclovía”.

Estando aquí de nuevo en Nueva York, sigo soñando en un Nueva York donde los residents, jovenes y mayores, ricos y pobres, peatones y ciclistas, tendrían la oportunidad cada domingo de compartir y disfrutar de sus calles en la misma manera.

StreetFilms
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Summer Streets PSA

Here's the official 30 second PSA promo that Streetfilms edited to help promote Summer Streets! The event is very similar to other great worldwide street happenings we have brought you - from Ciclovia in Bogotá, Colombia to Sunday Parkways in Portland, Oregon.

In NYC on three consecutive Saturdays - August 9th, 16th, and 23rd - a 7 mile circuit starting on Park Avenue & 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge will be opened to cyclists, pedestrians and any kind of non-motorized activity you can think of. Forgive Streetfilms' prediction, but this is gonna be awesome! You'll be seeing this promo on WCBS and the NYC DOT website as well, where you can find a boatload of details. Volunteers are still needed to help run the event. If interested here are the deets.

StreetFilms
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Portland’s Sunday Parkways

Despite a very dreary and damp first half of the day, Portland's first Ciclovia-style street closure, Sunday Parkways, was a smashing success with countless thousands of city residents participating. It was like a giant community block party with walkers, bikers, joggers, bladers, families, and pets filling the 6 mile course.

There were plenty of fun activities in four northeast parks that were linked by the circuit, which was opened to bikes and pedestrian traffic only from 8 AM to 2 PM. For cities planning their own Ciclovias, here are some things I liked about Portland's event: knowledgeable volunteers, lots of fun chalk messages on the ground, easy to follow directions, lots of music & entertainment, and a huge number of bike stations for bike repair.

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Mayor Bloomberg & Friends Announce “Summer Streets”

A large heaping of news media and livable streets advocates converged at Astor Place for the Mayor's presser to make the official announcement of "Summer Streets." Essentially the plan opens Park Avenue to pedestrians and cyclists from 72nd thru to the Brooklyn Bridge (using other connectors) on August 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 7 AM to 1 PM!

On hand with the Mayor were Lance Armstrong, David Byrne, Janette Sadik-Khan and Scott Stringer and we've included wonderful quottage from them all. And by the way, Lance may be the 7 time Tour de France winner, but we found an interesting "7" theme running throughout the proceedings. (Yes, we had a little fun.)

StreetFilms
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Ciclovia (Express Version)

Since many cities around the world are now flirting with the idea of doing their own Ciclovia-style street closures, we have been asked by a few individuals and advocates for a shorter version of our Ciclovia film, which is helping push the debate from idea to reality in some places. And so we have capitulated. Here is a teaser which runs 1/4 the original length.

But you should really still check out the full version here.

StreetFilms
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Street Stars: Christine Berthet

Today we debut Street Stars, the first of many planned vignettes for 2008 which will focus on the amazing heroes and organizers in our communities who are fighting constructively for livable streets change and transportation improvements to their streets. We hope the series will inspire and provide a road map to how other neighborhoods can rally their own. Street Stars Graphic

Our first choice is a woman we have long admired who has often appeared here and on Streetsblog. Her name is Christine Berthet, and she is the co-founder of Chekpeds, the Clinton/Hell's Kitchen Pedestrian Safety Coalition. Together with Transportation Alternatives and the Project for Public Spaces, she was also instrumental in organizing the Ninth Avenue Renaissance, a movement to re-imagine neighborhood streets as a healthier place for people. She is an indefatigable advocate working hard for the community, organizing rallies, and is omnipresent at community hearings and testifying at City Hall.

According to surveys conducted in Hell's Kitchen: 75% of the people said that they were afraid for their safety because of cars... 5% because of crime.

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The Street Memorial Project (NYC)

In 2007, the Street Memorial Project, a joint effort from Visual Resistance, Transportation Alternatives, and Time's Up! was established to honor pedestrians killed on NYC streets. An outgrowth from the Ghost Bike movement, a plaque is usually placed at the site indicating: date of the fatality, manner of death, and age of the victim.

Please join the 3rd Annual Ride, Walk and Rally to Remember this Sunday to honor those who were killed riding a bike or walking in NYC this past year.

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Ciclovia: Bogotá, Colombia

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel with comrades Karla Quintero (Transportation Alternatives) and Aaron Naparstek (Streetsblog) to Bogotá, Colombia to document some of the amazing advances going on in the livable streets movement there. On Sunday we spent the entire day - from 5 AM 'til nearly 5 PM - riding bicycles around the city courtesy of the Ciclovia, a weekly event in which over 70 miles of city streets are closed to traffic where residents come out to walk, bike, run, skate, recreate, picnic, and talk with family, neighbors & strangers...it is simply one of the most moving experiences I have had in my entire life. Read more...

StreetFilms
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Life Near the QBB

Sarah Gallagher from the Upper Green Side introduces Streetfilms to some of the dangers of living near the Queensboro bridge. Talking to store owners, and others in the area, we learn there is another high cost of doing business in the area other than rent.

"There's never a quiet time anymore. And there's never a clean time anymore. And there's never a safe time...it's always traffic first."

Sheldon Barr - Gallery Owner

StreetFilms
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Tour de Brooklyn 2006

Don't miss one of the coolest family fun events of the year: Transportation Alternatives' Tour de Brooklyn. As you'll see from last year's ride: great for families, great for bicycling and really great on your wallet cause it is FREE! Sign up now to assure your spot.

Tour de Brooklyn 2Tour de Brooklyn 1

Or be a volunteer, help people, and get a free t-shirt!

StreetFilms
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Tribute to Eric Ng

Eric Ng, a 22-year-old cyclist and teacher, was killed Dec. 1, 2006 by a drunk driver as he rode his bike on the Hudson River Greenway. This memorial ride and "Ghost Bike" installation was organized by Time's Up! and Visual Resistance.

Eric Memorial Plaque

StreetFilms
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Portland, Ore. – Older Adults Bike Program

The Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) recently launched a new program to re-introduce older adults to bicycling. Many of the participants haven't ridden a bike in over 50 years. Wow! Smiles and good feelings abound.