City Council Members Ride to City Hall to Celebrate Bike Month

Seven City Council members rode their bikes to work yesterday in observance of Bike Month — up from five last year. They came in two groups, one starting from Union Square and the other from Brooklyn Borough Hall, before gathering on the steps of City Hall. Clarence Eckerson Jr. of Streetfilms was there to capture it.

Council members on bikes included Robert Cornegy Jr., Ben Kallos, Brad Lander, Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Andy Cohen, and Helen Rosenthal. They were joined at City Hall by Antonio Reynoso and transportation committee chair Ydanis Rodriguez. Most of those the council members belong to the 18-member Progressive Caucus, which organized the ride with Transportation Alternatives, StreetsPAC, Citi Bike, and Bike New York.

In a press release, the Progressive Caucus backed more bike lanes, improved access for bikes in buildings, and the continued expansion of bike-share.

“I believe that we can find a way to balance the needs of bike riders with the concerns of pedestrians and community members,” Progressive Caucus vice-chair Helen Rosenthal said in the release, “and I look forward to increasing bike safety, improving bike access, and creating biking infrastructure to benefit all New Yorkers.”

Although they both spoke about the importance of cycling safety, Kallos and Cornegy back a bill that would exempt MTA bus drivers from criminal penalties if they strike a pedestrian or cyclist with the right of way.

  • Jesse

    At least we’re being pandered to. That’s an improvement of sorts…

  • Jeff

    “I believe that we can find a way to balance the needs of bike riders with the concerns of pedestrians and community members.”

    I like how “bike riders” and “pedestrians” are listed separately from “community members”, a term which has officially become codeword for “people who like free parking”.

  • BBnet3000

    They’re still stuck in the mindset that there’s such a thing as a “bike rider”, like there’s a separate breed of human that come out of the womb with SPD cleats on their feet.

    These Councilmembers could ride a bicycle for transportation, they clearly managed to do it for one day. How many of them will ride again before next year?

  • Joe R.

    Of course there is. Didn’t you know about that rare offshoot of homo sapiens called homo bicyclus which is born with a bicycle attached? Most council members are of the more common breed homo automobilus, whom are born with a territorial instinct to protect parking and stunted legs which prevent them from walking. Hence they claim to represent the majority.

  • red_greenlight1

    Lipstick on a very fat pig.

  • Joe R.

    I’ll reserve my excitement for when it happens the other 364 days of the year.

  • red_greenlight1

    I’d be willing to bet somewhere between 0 and 1.

  • red_greenlight1

    Yeah, you’d think at the very least they’d pander to pedestrians and transit riders all the time.

  • Bolwerk

    Democrats will pander to anyone. Until money needs to be put up. At that point, they choose between pandering to right-wing causes or capitulating to right-wing demands. Whatever they think wins them the most votes.

  • Eric McClure

    A few of the CMs on yesterday’s ride commute by bicycle, and others are regular riders. And a number of them are real champions for significantly improving cycling infrastructure in NYC.

  • woodyguthrie
  • Chill out

    Boy the Debbie Downer commenters came out today!

    I remember the days of Peter Vallone Council’d be lucky if the councilpersons even mentioned bikes. Now after a long years of work by people like Transportation Alternatives and streetsPAC and many other organizations organizations I’m probably not even familiar with, we have a council that’s pretty darn friendly to biking and Vision Zero.

    It’s good to see. Wish I could’ve joined

  • Thanks Eric. Before just throwing out comments, people should try to do a little research. After all we all know just about all the Council persons in this video are very good to great allies. Sheesh!

  • BBnet3000

    I thought the idea behind Bike to Work day was getting new people to try it.

  • Eric McClure

    OK, fine. In which case, Mark Levine, Robert Cornegy and Andy Cohen joined in, so the Council had a 60% year-over-year increase in Bike-to-Work Day participation. I’ll take that growth rate.

  • Sean Kelliher

    Robert Cornegy, Jr., (featured at 2:30) has signed on to Int 0663-2015 that, if passed, will weaken NYC’s right of way law.

    Helen Rosenthal (featured at 3:06) recently reappointed notable street-safety foe Dan Zweig to CB7 and then mocked the family members of dead pedestrians when they questioned her about it.

    In the video, you can also see Ben Kallos (like Cornegy, an Int. 663 supporter) and Ydanis Rodriguez, whose most recent transportation initiative has been trying to secure free parking for media companies.

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful to you and it’s nice that these people shine some attention on bike to work day, but I think they need to be a little more reliable before we should call them good to great allies.

  • Exactly as I wrote. Just about all are good to great. That means some of them would only rate good. One or two of the ten not even that.

  • KeNYC2030

    I recently came across this quote from Anthony Trollope’s “Phineas Finn” that well describes the movement of once seemingly outlandish ideas to political reality. Seems to me we’re now at the “probable” stage:

    “Many who before regarded legislation on the subject as chimerical, will now fancy that it is only dangerous, or perhaps not more than difficult. And so in time it will come to be looked on as among the things possible, then among the things probable;—and so at last it will be ranged in the list of those few measures which the country requires as being absolutely needed. That is the way in which public opinion is made.”


Streetfilms: NYC Bike to Work Day, 2009

Last year, bicycling in New York City shot up 35 percent. Take a look at the streets, and it’s easy to see why: Bike lanes, bike racks and other amenities are popping up everywhere. There are now 185,000 daily riders in the city. Today, NYCDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan was one of them, leading a commuter […]

One City, By Bike: Getting It Done, or Why the Bikelash Is Behind Us

This is the final piece in a five-part series by former NYC DOT policy director Jon Orcutt about the de Blasio administration’s opportunities to expand and improve cycling in New York. Read part one, part two, part three, and part four. New bike lanes geared to Citi Bike expansion, bringing safer and more appealing cycling conditions to more neighborhoods, […]