StreetFilms: Sadik-Khan Rides the Tour de Brooklyn

 

Tour de Brooklyn – 2007

A StreetFilm by Clarence Eckerson Jr.
Running Time: 3 minutes 25 seconds

The third annual Tour de Brooklyn was a special treat as New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan rode the entire event with over 2,000 enthusiastic cyclists. The new commissioner introduced herself to riders at the beginning of the ride and had some very positive things to say about cycling in New York City. The ride covered 18 miles, starting in Grand Army Plaza, heading down 4th Avenue to Bay Ridge, then stopping in Dyker Heights for a respite before returning to Prospect Park. As always with the TdB, the emphasis was on friends, family, and fun.

  • Steve

    I am genuinely pleased that we have an enlightened DoT commish, and it was nice to see her at the TdB. But at some point the “honeymoon is over” and we have to judge her on what she does in her official capacity, not how she spends her weekends, or commutes to work.

    At 2:18 on Clarence’s very nice video, she tells us that “cycling is also the backbone of our City’s transportation network.” But she is also quoted in the post below as saying that the City is “considering a car-free Central Park summertime trial.”

    These statements are hard to reconcile. We have already held sufficient trials of the impact of restricting cars in CP, beginning last summer (putting aside the “holiday mitigation”). It was a success. T.A. has data showing that eliminating auto access on a counter-rush hour basis does not create significant spillover effect on the adjacent grid:

    (http://www.transalt.org/campaigns/cpark/index.html).

    Car-free hours are the clear preference of cyclists and pedestrians who are the majority users of the CP loop road. Here’s more videos from Clarence and others on point:

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/category/issues/car-free-parks/http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=car+free+central+park )

    By my reckoning there is dramatic growth this spring over last in the use of the “recreation” (inner) lane of the CP loop road by pedestrians, joggers, and sports-stroller-pushers. These folks increasingly take up 100% of the recreation lane, pushing cyclists into traffic. Notwithstanding the “recreational” designation, the west side of the CP loop carries large amounts of soutbound commuter cycling traffic every morning, far more than East Side Greenway. As a result, cyclists like my son and I are forced out into traffic on a (week)daily basis–traffic that has been shown by T.A. studies to be marked routine, dangerous speeding:

    http://www.transalt.org/press/releases/051021speedstudy_release.html

    Why the need for a “trial” when the proof is already in? How can the Commissioner be on the fence over whether to continue ceding to cars 2/3 of the CP loop road, which is a crucial segment of the City’s cycling “backbone”?

    Summer officially starts in two weeks, so we should be hearing from DoT on this soon. Yes, the Bloomberg administration has a much broader agenda that the cycling community and others need to support, warts and all. We are all supporting it. But that’s beside the point. Why this waffling from the Commissioner on a decision with such great practical and symbolic significance to her alternative vision of NYC streets, which lies completely within the City’s power to make?

  • Joe Rappaport

    Nice job, Clarence.

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