1,200 Pack Town Hall for “How New Yorkers Ride Bikes”

dbyrne_good.jpgStreetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson was at Town Hall on Saturday night for the New Yorker Festival’s "How New Yorkers Ride Bikes," hosted by former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. Clarence wasn’t allowed to film the event so he published a nice write-up on StreetFilms. Some excerpts:

Mr. Byrne, dressed in black and sporting his cool taxi-yellow bike helmet (see our previous StreetFilm here) then rode onto the stage and locked up. Moments later Hal Ruzal, NYC bicycling icon and mechanic at Bicycle Habitat,
emerged from behind a curtain to pick his lock with a variety of tools.
Mr. Ruzal’s advice on not getting your bike stolen? "Have a bicycle lock that is real expensive, and a bicycle that’s really cheap."

Danish urban designer Jan Gehl extolled the many benefits of biking in Copenhagen, where 38% of commuters ride: "This is important because if you see a pretty girl, you can easily jump off the bike and start kissing."

Mr. Byrne then introduced Jonathan Wood, the hilariously dry Deputy Chairman of the U.K.’s Warrington Cycle Campaign, who burned down the house with his "Bicycle Facility of the Month" slide show.

Here is a "Facility of the Month" example from the Warrington web site:


Keeping cycle lanes clear of parked cars is a problem the world over. This design from Mulhouse in France provides a self enforcing solution; yellow bollards have proved to be much more effective than yellow lines at deterring illegal parking.

  • Gargamel Tralfaz

    It was an awesome event, as was the valet bike parking by Transportation Alternatives.

  • jack

    That quote by Jan Gehl is genius… if only more people heard that, we’d have the whole city biking!

  • mg

    I’m not sure I understand the yellow bollards… why are they in the middle of the lane, it looks as if you would ram right into them biking!

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    It’s a joke, MG; the placement of the yellow bollards is idiotic and makes the bike lane unusable. Don’t feel bad; it took me a while to get it too. It makes more sense if you look at some of the other pictures in the gallery linked above. They’re all examples of really crappy bike facility design.

  • dbs

    Here’s a direct link to Byrne’s own recap, including his helmet-cam video that visualizes the hazards of biking in Times Square.
    http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2007/10/10072007-how-ne.html