Eyes on the Street: NBC’s Blacklist Gives Green Lane Riders the Blues

The Black List blocked off  Photo: Ben Fried
“The Blacklist” took over a block of Lower Manhattan’s only crosstown protected bike lane yesterday. Photo: Ben Fried

People bicycling east on Grand Street hit this bike lane blockage yesterday afternoon, the first spring-like day of the year, thanks to television drama “The Blacklist.” The crew used the green lane as a staging area for its film shoot, compelling cyclists to detour into the car lane and moving traffic.

“Typically we keep bike lanes clear,” said a locations department employee at Woodridge Productions, which managed the one-day shoot. “I know that bike lanes are a touchy thing for the city.” (Messages for the location manager listed at yesterday’s shoot have not been returned.)

Film shoots get permits from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “Locations departments and Parking PAs should be sensitive to neighborhood needs,” the agency tells production companies on its website. “Do not park production vehicles in bike lanes, bus stops, driveways, at fire hydrants, loading docks or in front of active theater marquees.”

Asked about the permit for “The Blacklist,” the office indicated that it may have given the film crew permission to set up camp in the crosstown bike route. “Generally, film permits prohibit productions from blocking access to pedestrian [zones], green spaces and bike lanes,” the office said in a statement. Yesterday’s shoot, however, was permitted for Grand Street between Mulberry and Broome Streets, using the traffic lane and a curb lane. In this case, the curb lane is the bike lane; the general traffic lane was unobstructed when Streetsblog’s Ben Fried walked by the shoot at about 4 p.m.

“In addition to two officers from NYPD film unit, four traffic agents and one traffic supervisor were on site to oversee intermittent interruptions of traffic flow and redirect vehicular and bike traffic as necessary in the interest of public safety,” said spokesperson Amanda Nguyen. “Our office did not receive any complaints regarding the shoot.”

Complaints about film shoots can be addressed directly with the shoot’s production manager or registered with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment using 311.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

A Big Week for Bicycling in Fort Worth

|
Let’s hear it for Fort Worth, Texas. This Texas city is leaving its big brother Dallas in the dust when it comes to bike-friendliness. Just this week, the feds awarded Fort Worth with $1 million for a 30-station bike-share system, which is slated to be up and running next April. And just yesterday, Fort Worth installed the Dallas […]

Kind of Blue: Delia Ephron and the Art of Anti-Bike Illogic

|
Cross-posted from Brooklyn Spoke. One of the old chestnuts of anti-bike-lane rhetoric is the argument that bike lanes are on the one hand empty and therefore not necessary, and on the other dangerous for pedestrians to cross because of all the cyclists whizzing by.  To this absurd entry into the Encyclopedia of NIMBY Logic, writer […]