Flashback Friday: 2002 Brooklyn Greenway Ride With Schumer and de Blasio

In the final installment of this summer’s “Flashback Friday” series, featuring musty digital footage from the Streetfilms vault, we present these clips from the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s 2002 bike tour of the waterfront near downtown Brooklyn. If you’re like me, you might find yourself rewatching this video artifact a few times over the long weekend.

A lot has changed since this ride, Clarence writes:

Almost every shot of this video features streetscapes and waterfronts that have changed dramatically. Pay attention, and you will see Kent Avenue before protected bike lanes. You’ll see garbage-strewn streets in places. And if you look behind the riders, you’ll see the places where IKEA, Fairway, and East River State Park now stand.

What was a vision in 2002 is now a cohesive bike route from Greenpoint to Red Hook, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, advocates, and the city over the last several years. The transformation will continue as the city undertakes a series of capital projects to build a complete greenway.

Even more entrancing than the weed-choked streets is the sight of Chuck Schumer and Bill de Blasio (who back then represented the 39th District in the City Council) talking about making NYC more bikeable. At the time, creating a network of bikeways that most New Yorkers would feel comfortable using was still kind of an abstract idea.

If you made the same video today, who would star in it?

Enjoy the long weekend. Streetsblog will be off Monday and publishing regularly on Tuesday.

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