David Byrne on Bicycling in NYC

penlaosabyrneride2.jpg

Transportation Alternatives’ Noah Budnick and David Byrne prior to the Manhattan Borough President’s "Manhattan on the Move" conference, October 2006.

Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne writes about his 30 years of cycling in New York City on his website.  Byrne is an avid bicyclist, and an alternative transportation advocate:

I have been riding a bicycle in New York City for almost 30 years!
For transport, not for sport. At first there were only a few of us.
Loners, losers, maniacs and nerds. Some of the members of Talking Heads
used to make fun of me and say I was going to turn into Pee Wee Herman.

Over the decades things have improved in New York for cyclists — a little. Now there is a wonderful bike path up the Hudson
that runs almost the entire length of Manhattan. I use it to commute to
and from work. Now there are markings on some streets indicating
imaginary bike lanes (imaginary because the traffic and pedestrians
often ignore the markings) but they are there in spirit, at least.
Someday they will be taken seriously, I have no doubt — when gas hits
$10 a gallon.

Now Paris is embarking on a bicycle plan that should make New York
envious. A collaboration between business and civic affairs than may
just work, as both the city and Deceaux can benefit. Bikes as a means
of local transport has worked elsewhere; the mayor of Bogota, Enrique
Peñalosa, relieved traffic congestion AND made his city more livable by
converting streets to bike/pedestrian use and by adding dedicated bus
lanes. Of bike lanes he said, “If an eight year old kid can’t ride on
it safely then it isn’t a bike lane.”
I don’t remember Paris having
very many bike lanes, and the drivers adopt a “survival of the
pushiest” approach, as I recall, but that may be changing.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

He’s on a Road to Nowhere: David Byrne’s Bicycle Stolen

|
Transportation Alternatives’ Noah Budnick schmoozes with David Byrne prior to the Manhattan Borough President’s "Manhattan on the Move" conference, October 2006. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s foldable Montague mountain bike was stolen outside the IFC Center this weekend. Byrne is an avid city bicyclist, and an alternative transportation advocate.  Gothamist and Papermag have the story: […]

The Debate Over Physically-Separated Bike Lanes Continues

|
A physically-separated bike lane on a shopping street in Copenhangen, Denmark Two weeks ago "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz wrote an op/ed for the Sunday Times advocating for physically-separated bike lanes in New York City. The next weekend, John Allen, a Waltham-based regional director for the League of American Bicyclists replied that separated bike lanes are dangerous and bad idea. […]

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

Battery Park City Bans Bicycling on Esplanade By North Cove Marina

|
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the state agency that manages the Lower Manhattan neighborhood, has posted “cyclist dismount” signs around the North Cove Marina plaza, a key connection along the waterfront. BPCA Chief of Staff Kevin McCabe told Streetsblog that the new policy is a “proactive pedestrian safety measure” and not a response to any specific […]

The Streetsies

|
All in all it was a great year for New York City’s Livable Streets Movement. Here are the winners of our 2007 awards. See you in January… Best Livable Streets Project: The Ninth Avenue bike lane, Chelsea. Best New Public Space: DUMBO’s Pearl Street Pocket Park. Honorable mention: Chelsea’s Meat Market Plaza. Best Pedestrian Project: […]

Packed House Applauds Bicycle Diarist Byrne and Friends

|
What was billed as a book reading by famed Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on Tuesday evening took on the air of a teach-in on cities and bicycles, with Byrne and fellow cycling superstars Janette Sadik-Khan and Paul Steely White taking turns extolling New York City’s blooming bicycle infrastructure before a packed house at the […]