Why John Rides

Here’s the third portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series.

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov.

John is a paramedic with FDNY EMS in Harlem. He often gets to work from Brooklyn by bike, or a combination of bike and train. He and two other EMT colleagues at the station house are regular bike commuters.

For him, cycling is generally a more dependable way to make it in time for his 4-12 shift. He also just enjoys being outside, whether it’s on bike or on foot. “New York is a really walkable city, but of course you can’t cover much distance,” he says. “So about 20 years ago, I started biking.”

What changes has he seen? “The city was a lot less bike friendly then. Not as many bike lanes, not nearly as many people riding.”

On the topic of bike friendliness, talk turned to the current NYPD cyclist ticketing campaign. Turns out John has seen it all before. “I remember the last one, under Giuliani. It’s pretty similar to what’s happening today. At least now we have some more bike lanes.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

“Don’t Be a Jerk” — The Wrong Message at the Wrong Time

|
This week, the New York City Department of Transportation began promoting its online (and thankfully multilingual) “Bike Smart Pledge,” asking cyclists to yield to pedestrians, stop at red lights and stop signs, ride in the direction of traffic, stay off the sidewalk, and have the proper lighting when riding at night. This will soon be […]