Take a Ride on New York City’s Bike Lanes — in 2002


New York still has a lot of work to do to create an all-ages, low-stress citywide bike network, but let’s pause for a moment to appreciate how far the city has come.

Before he made Streetfilms, Clarence Eckerson Jr. made BikeTV, a cable access show. In this BikeTV clip that Clarence recently unearthed, you’ll get a tour of the bike network in northwest Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan in the winter of 2002:

Contrary to popular belief, New York did have bike lanes 15 years ago, but the network was sparse and the city clearly didn’t place a high priority on maintaining it. Five more years would pass before Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan arrived on the scene and put in the city’s first protected bike lane.

Here are some before-and-after comparisons of the streets shown in the video.


Broadway. Image: Google Maps
Broadway at 19th Street today. Image: Google Maps
Broadway in 2002
Broadway in 2002.

Sixth Avenue:

Sixth Avenue. Photo: David Meyer
Sixth Avenue today. Photo: David Meyer
Sixth Avenue in 2002
Sixth Avenue in 2002


Lafayette Street. Image: Google Maps
Lafayette Street today. Image: Google Maps
Lafayette in 2002
Lafayette in 2002.

Of course, some problems haven’t gone away:

Adams Street — better, but still work to do. Image: Google Maps


The 2008 Streetsie Awards, Part 1

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 […]