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Tykes on Bikes

5:09 PM EDT on October 18, 2007

We're a bit heavy on bike stuff today (especially considering that all eyes should be on the MTA right now) but following this morning's bleak news in Brooklyn, I thought it would be nice to end the day on a more life-affirming note. Here is Nick Whitaker's StreetFilm on the first annual Kids Art Bike Ride For the Lower East Side.

Hosted by the East Village Community Coalition in cooperation with
Transportation Alternatives, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, the
Lower East Side Girls Club and a slew of other groups, Saturday's 30-minute bike parade rolled through the East Village and down Second Avenue.

The event was clearly a lot of fun and it also gave New Yorkers a glimpse of what a more equitable distribution of street space might look like. For me, the event also drove home just how much we've lost in ceding our city to the automobile over these past decades. It's kind of remarkable that the only conceivable way young kids can ride bikes on the streets of Manhattan is if a slew of local parents, community groups and politicians organize a special day for it.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was on-hand for the event. Stringer has quietly emerged as the New York City elected official who speaks the most frequently -- and the most passionately -- on Livable Streets issues. You get the sense that he personally cares about this stuff. It means something to him. On Saturday, he said:

We have tocreate a level playing field and the way to do that is to keep cars out of Manhattan, create parks, create asthma centers, get people on bikes. Let’screate an environment where our children will live longer, be healthy, and dobetter in school because they will conquer the environment.

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