Nona Varnado shows us how to get reflective

Visit Nona Varnado
and The Bird Wheel

The Perils of Bike Lane Riding

Just because it’s a bike lane doesn’t mean everyone respects it. Case in point, College Street.

Via Neistat Brothers

NYC DOT says “Don’t Be A Jerk”

Featuring Mario Batali and John Leguizamo the NYC Department of Transportation’s “Don’t Be A Jerk” campaign recently launched and includes the above three video PSAs.

The videos are light-hearted and with the growing bicycle infrastructure in NYC the city is providing safer options for cyclists making following the rules a no-brainer. Hear that Karen Stintz?

Guessing that the “Don’t Be A Murderous Asshole” campaign for drivers will launch next month?

Is There a Bike War in NYC?

While I, and almost anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle in any city, object to the word “war” used in any form of transportation debate, this is a great little look at the changing face of New York City streets. In a city where 80% of the public space is comprised of streets and sidewalks, making that space accessible for all is ruffling some feathers. As pointed out changes that affect daily behaviours will always be met with some resistance as everyone learns to adapt.

Via Urban Velo

Why You Should Know Who Janette Sadik-Khan Is

Photo via NY Mag by Randy Harris

Since 2007, Janette Sadik-Khan has been commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and “is responsible for 6,000 miles of streets and highways, nearly 800 bridges, 1.3 million street signs, 300,000 streetlights and 12,000 signalized intersections, as well as the Staten Island Ferry, the nation’s busiest commuter ferry service carrying over 19 million passengers annually.

Needless to say, she’s got a lot of responsibility. However, this isn’t why you should know who she is. The face of New York City’s streets has been drastically changing the past few years and the person behind these changes is Janette Sadik-Khan. Public squares devoid of vehicular traffic and a rapidly growing network of bicycle-friendly infrastructure are all just part of the changes that are shaping how people interact with the “mean” streets of NYC.

In addition to the changes she’s overseeing it is equally important to consider how she is making these changes:

The real wonder here is that this is a new way of governing. In large part she learned it from Bloomberg and then set it to a fast beat. It’s about policy dictated by facts rather than interest groups. It’s about not simply cutting the red tape of bureaucracy but, if need be, finding a path entirely around it. It’s about actually taking action, now.

The above quote comes from a recent Esquire magazine profile, and I highly recommend reading it here: Janette Sadik-Khan: Urban Reengineer

Cargo Hauler in NYC

95320014

Spotted on John Prolly’s Flickr photostream. According to Google, Coco-Mat is a mattress company whose products are now available in NYC.

Update: More googling has turned up these videos of the delivery bicycle in action:

The Changing Face of the NYC Commute

11 miles is just shy of 18 kms and a fairly long commute. Yet, because of constant development and political support for cycling infrastructure 90% of this journey includes streets featuring some form of cycling infrastructure.

Notice that only a small percentage of the ride is along streets with sharrows and, notice too, that NYC DOT isn’t trying to squeeze one size fits all cycling infrastructure onto a wide variety of streets.

Thinking back on my former commute, 25 kms each way and exactly 0% of my route including any form of cycling infrastructure, it’s no wonder I was often alone on two wheels. Cycling along major arterials with boulevards wide enough to play soccer on I wondered why there wasn’t a bike path there. I would cross over multi-lane bridges that themselves spanned across 400 series highways and wondered why both cyclists and pedestrians were ignored there as well.

Real cycling infrastructure influences real change. How hard is that to understand?

Via StreetFilms.org

Cargo Bikes; Big in New York (and Toronto too!)

Screen Shot NY Times Video Cargo Bikes

Screen shot NT Times Video Cargo Bikes

Screen Shot Cargo Trike NY Times Video

Watch the New York Times video “The Family Car(go) Bike” here.

BikingToronto blogger Claire is no stranger to the benefits of carting her family around in a bicycle built for four. Read her blog, The Fletcher Five here.

How to Lock Your Bike Properly – Do You Make the Grade?

Hal Ruzal on StreetFilms

I cringe every time I see an expensive u-lock only holding a front wheel (with a quick release) to a bike rack. I cringe every time I see a thin coil lock being used as the only barrier between a beautiful commuter bike and a thief. If you’re not sure how to properly lock your bike (trust me, it’s simple when you know what to do) then here’s a fantastic video to help show you the best way to lock a bicycle. Do you make the grade?

Be Ye Not a Salmon for Thar Be Pirates!

Biking Rules PSA - Salmon

A “salmon” is a person on a bicycle riding upstream, or simply, the wrong way.

BikingRules.org recently held a PSA competition, asking for short videos that help promote safe cycling. One entry, seen below, shows ye… sorry, shows you what could happen when you “salmon.”

Pirates of the Broadway: Salmon from Laura on Vimeo.

And here’s more of the Pirates:

Pirates of the Broadway: Part Deux from Laura on Vimeo.

Watch more of the PSAs on YouTube.