TagNew York City

What’s doing for bikes in cities around the United States

A Steven can plan reader asked in the open thread for more information about the results of bike-friendly infrastructure changes and treatments happening in Portland, San Francisco, and New York City, among other places. While I work to get that information for this blog, I thought I would point out the Miami Herald’s summary of those bicycle as transportation changes in cities across the United States.

From the EarthTalk column:

In September, central Tennessee (Nashville and environs) adopted an ambitious plan to add upwards of 1,000 miles of bike paths (also 750 miles of sidewalks) across seven counties, a scheme that won the “best project” award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Nashville itself will increase alternative transportation spending from 0.5 percent to 15 percent of its transportation budget, and hopes to reduce traffic congestion and obesity – Tennessee has the nation’s second highest rate of obesity – in the process.

A new two-way neighborhood cycle track that allows for two-way bike traffic on a one-way street. I’m not yet sure of how it works but it looks neat. Photo by Jonathan Maus. Read more about this innovative bike boulevard and green street treatment at BikePortland.org.

New York City, a dreamland

Rather than write a lengthy post here describing my recent trip to New York City (I went in the last weekend of August), I will invite you to peruse my 50 photo gallery. They are in order by date and time taken and fully mapped and described.

I was last in New York City in August 2001, for the MacWorld Conference where I saw Steve Jobs announce the iPod – I got that iPod for Christmas that year. I stayed in Connecticut. The first day, my dad and I drove into the city. The next day we took Metro North from Bridgeport. The only thing I remember doing on that trip is taking the subway from the Javits Center to the Hard Rock Cafe and over to Grand Central Station.

I’ll describe my 2010 trip as a “whirlwind tour.” In three days I rode over 100 miles on a too-small borrowed bike. I met fourteen people. I went up and down the island four times. I wouldn’t shut up at work about it for a week.

The first photo in the set, about the typography of the New York City yellow cab system.

The last photo in the set, about pedestrian craziness in the segregated bike lanes.

Full photo set. The set is sure to grow, so stay tuned to my Flickr photostream or Twitter feed for updates.

It helps to be loud

When in New York City, be as loud as possible. You’re going to have to get someone’s attention.

My reflection in the shiny bell while riding through Central Park (on a roadway closed to cars – imagine that!).

The bike I borrowed and rode over 100 miles on in three days during my four day trip to New York City this past weekend came without a bell (it’s required by law). I headed over to a store that sells Dutch bikes (where else?) to buy a pretty and loud bell.

After I installed this $8 beauty on my Trek Something Undersized, I couldn’t stop ringing it. For fun and for warning others.

People getting around this city are insane. I think that’s because there’re so many people going every which way, insanity is the only way to cope.

Looking through photos of other huge (by population) cities around the globe, it seems a similar transportational insanity exists. Think of the thousands of motorcycles and jitneys in Delhi, India, or the 1,000 people who cross this intersection in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.

Delhi, India, traffic by Chris Brunn.

Pedestrian crossing in Shibuya district of Toky, Japan, by Pasutadoll Pseangsong.

I saw all the movie and photo shoots in New York City

New York City doesn’t need Google Street View.

Every street has been captured at some time or another in a shoot for photos, music videos, or movies.

Two simultaneous photo shoots. I couldn’t tell if they were related. The one on the right might be pointed in the wrong direction and feature the people in the left. Right above this was a movie shoot on the High Line.

I saw one movie shoot, five photo shoots, and this music video shoot all while riding and walking around New York City. Just in three days!

A rap music video shot across the street from Recycle-A-Bicycle.

Everything in New York City is normal.

Travel grief

I came back to Chicago today after a trip to New York City.

The first thing I did when I arrived was imagine all the things that I want to change based on what I saw and learned in New York City. Someone told me this is travel grief, states of emotion and motivation in order to effect change.

What was the first thing I saw?

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has three types of ticket vending machines (TVM) in the O’Hare Blue Line station. One is the common TVM that can create cards with cash value, add value to existing cards, or add value to Chicago Cards (with cash). The second TVM did all of this and accepted credit cards. The third TVM issued single or multi-day passes (I don’t remember if it took credit cards).

The vending machines in the New York City subway perform the functions of all CTA three machines AND all accept credit cards. Since 1999.

There’s more. I tried to keep a list. As I process my 500+ photos, I’ll be reminded of the ones I forgot to write down.

Posts I liked today

It’s been like two weeks since I last posted. That’s because my master’s project is due in 25 days. I have to finish it.

I still read the news while I’m busy, though!

  • Infrastructurist: How to Make High Speed Rail Fail: Don’t Connect the Lines. Apparently, no one’s taking the lead in Florida to ensure the high-speed rail line (Tampa to Orlando, which received $1.25 billion) will connect with the not-yet constructed SunRail commuter/regional rail line around Orlando.
  • BikePortland: Editorial: When it comes to family biking, size matters. Families use bikeways and streets differently than individual riders and even other grouped riders. How can we plan bicycle-related street upgrades to better accommodate family cycling?
  • Wall Street Journal: Surface Improvements. The New York City Department of Transportation did a great thing when it reallocated street space on Broadway to improve conditions for pedestrians, tourists, residents, and bicyclists. The eight month experiment is now permanent and the City is holding a competition to replace the semi-temporary facilities (epoxy gravel, discount store seating) with more permanent furniture.

Photo: Families in Portland, Oregon, ride together to a nearby event on a recent weekend. Photo by Jonathan Maus.

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