The Third Most Influential Streetfilm of All Time

With the 10-year benefit for Streetsblog and Streetfilms coming up on November 14 (get your tickets here!), we are counting down the 12 most influential Streetfilms of all time, as determined by Clarence Eckerson Jr.

The Case for Physically Separated Bike Lanes

Number of plays: 123,500

Publish date: February 17, 2007

Why is it here? Ten years ago, there were no on-street protected bike lanes in New York City. We only had simple painted lines that were not getting the job done — they were frustrating for people on bikes and too dangerous to get more hesitant New Yorkers on two wheels. This video was part of an influential campaign to integrate safe, protected bike infrastructure into NYC DOT’s toolkit. It was an early smash hit for Streetfilms, reaching tens of thousands of people in New York and beyond. And pretty soon after it was published, the city got its first protected lane.

Fun fact: I created the 10-second animation that accompanies Mark Gorton’s segment on Hudson Street using just text, some lines, and color mattes — nothing complicated. Yet that visual turned out to be the most enduring part of the video. Advocates around the world excerpted just that segment (or stills from it) to make the case for protected bike lanes in their hometowns.

The Streetfilms Countdown so far:

#12: Lakewood, Ohio: The Suburb Where Everyone Can Walk to School

#11: Mark Gorton Interviews Enrique Peñalosa

#10: Zurich: Where People Are Welcome and Cars Are Not

#9: Sneckdowns

#8: Complete Streets: It’s About More Than Bike Lanes

#7: Park(ing) Day

#6: NYC Streets Metamorphosis

#5: Bogotá BRT/Transmilenio

#4: Groningen: The World’s Cycling City

  • HamTech87

    Love this! This and a trip to Montreal got me on a bicycle again as an adult.
    Minor suggestion: at counter 2:00, I think the video is of Montreal but it is not labeled.

  • Irony City

    One enormous irony from this 2007 video: DOT Commish Iris Weinshall described as progressive by Sam Schwartz and probably open to separated bike lanes. Who knew she would throw herself into the campaign to defeat a separated bike lane on PPW in Brooklyn, and slow the rollout of these lanes years?

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