With the heart of the subway system knocked out of commission, this morning the Streetfilms crew — Clarence Eckerson, Elizabeth Press, and Robin Urban Smith — headed out to the bridge crossings that link Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan, to document how New Yorkers are getting around under emergency conditions.
The huge crowds massing in Downtown Brooklyn to take shuttle buses over the Manhattan Bridge were testament to the sheer number of people who ride the subways on a normal day. While the waits were long, the system seems to have performed as well as can be expected. With HOV restrictions in effect, once buses got into Manhattan, they reportedly made better time than they do in typical NYC traffic.
Meanwhile, the city’s new bike infrastructure is really proving its worth today. If people have to cover significant distances and want to skirt gridlock or lengthy transfers entirely, biking is the way to go. The safer bikeways that NYC DOT has built in the past five years — especially the segments that link directly to the East River bridges — are helping New Yorkers get back to work.