The 2008 Streetsie Awards, Part 1

streetsie_mini.jpg

We’ll be back to a regular publishing schedule starting Monday, January 5. This week we’ll be posting our year end awards, The Streetsies, once per day. Here’s the first batch…

The Year’s Best Livable Streets Project: Summer Streets. In a year of rapid and remarkable improvements in New York City’s public spaces, bike lanes and bus infrastructure, the opening up of Park Avenue to pedestrians, cyclists, joggers and recreation-seekers for three consecutive Sundays in August was the livable streets movement’s watershed moment. In one fell swoop, tens of thousands of New Yorkers personally experienced the benefits of reclaiming city streets from the
automobile. It was really just a lot of good, healthy, inexpensive fun and Streetfilms was there…

The Year’s Top Bicycle Project: New York City’s bike network grew like kudzu in 2008
as DOT’s hardworking team of bikeaucrats worked to surpass their 2006 mandate to produce 200 miles of new bike lanes in three years. There were so many outstanding bike projects in 2008 it’s hard to single out just one. And, really, singling out one bike project is almost besides the point. Commuter cycling jumped an unprecedented 35% last year not because of any one new bike lane but because New Yorkers can now see a complete network of bike lanes filling out and
taking shape on the streets around them.

Still, one project stands out as the year’s most significant advance: The Grand Street bike lane.
Grand Street now offers Manhattan’s first crosstown protected bike path. It’s a design that can be replicated on many New York City streets. And it’s the kind of infrastructure that can make New York
City a safe and comfortable place for pretty much anyone to ride a bike.

grand_street.jpg

Best Bus Project: New York City got its first taste of bus rapid transit-ish service on Fordham Road in the Bronx in 2008. While DOT needs to do a better job of providing the MTA’s buses with lanes that can’t be obstructed by private automobiles, travel times on the Bx12 have been cut by 24 percent and the early results are promising.

bx12bus.jpg

Best New Street Design Element: The nipple bollard.

nipplebollards.jpg

Best New Public Space: Broadway Boulevard is the year’s most groundbreaking public space project. Paris has the Champs-Élysées, Barcelona has La Rambla and New York City should have a fully pedestrianized Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square. Broadway Boulevard is a great start and a smart way to dip a toe in the water and test the idea.

bwayblvd3.jpg

Best Local Livable Streets Project: Despite a couple of rainy weekends, Williamsburg Walks on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn was outstanding.

wburg_walks

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Stay Tuned for the 2008 Streetsies…

|
We’re going offline as we compile our 2008 year-end Streetsblog awards. If you’d like to nominate someone or something for a coveted Streesie, submit your idea here in the comments section. It’s not too late. Here are last year’s Streetsie winners to jog your memory. From all of us at Streetsblog and the Livable Streets […]

Cast Your Vote for the 2011 Streetsies

|
It’s that time. Time to take stock of the year in livable streets. Time to revisit the great media bike freakout of 2011. Time to feel the agony of transit raids and savor the joy of victories over the bikelash all over again. Yes, the polls are open for the people’s choice categories in Streetsblog’s […]

Cast Your Vote For the 2010 Streetsies

|
Even after 51 weeks of reporting on NYC’s sustainable transportation and street safety scene, it’s still somewhat stunning to sit back and pore over the sheer volume of news that happened in the past year. 2010 was an epically bad year for transit riders, leavened by some important flashes of innovation. New York also saw […]

The 2008 Streetsie Awards, Part 5

|
Best Spontaneous Livable Streets Moment: Joyous New Yorkers take to the streets to celebrate Barack Obama’s victory. Movement of the Year: This year we saw cities across the U.S competing to run the first, biggest and best Bogota-style Ciclovia events. San Francisco debuted Sunday Streets (after local activists sat Mayor Gavin Newsom down in front […]