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SEE IT: Nine Candidates for a Queens Council Seat Roll With it on District-Wide Ride

3:35 PM EDT on March 15, 2021

Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

"This is not a social ride — this is a policy ride."

Those words (from Queens activist Alan Baglia) pretty much sums up the extraordinary convergence of nine — nine! — candidates for a Queens city council district who participated in a bike ride through the Long Island City-Sunnyside district on Sunday.

Current Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, himself a supporter of protected bike infrastructure, is term-limited, resulting in an avalanche of candidates — 21 at last count. But getting nine to agree to a bike ride is a good start.

Here's the Streetfilms video:

Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. managed to interview most of the participants, including Jonathan Bailey, who was once injured when a driver clipped him, and Julie Won, who said it's important for candidates to be cyclists if only so they can know what delivery workers go through on a daily basis.

The ride was organized by the Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee and Sunnyside Woodside Open Streets.

The concept of a campaign bike ride is one of the initiatives of the new civic group, City Rise, which is urging community groups to demand that candidates put their mettle to the pedals.

The idea, the group said in a mass mailing is to "take note of how [candidates] get around and what they don't know. ... Note what the candidate is up for and what piques interest."

The group said some districts will lend themselves to walking tours or group transit rides to highlight current problem.s

"Plan to use the mode of travel that best shows off the district’s issues (and successes): walks, bike rides, bus rides, Citi Bike rides, or combine them for a multimodal experience," the group said.

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