SEE IT: TA Video Says You Shouldn’t Have To Be An Olympian Just to Live in NYC
The thrill of victory. The agony of the streets.
Inspired by the Tokyo games, Transportation Alternatives (with the help of lensman Luke Ohlson) created a hilarious video featuring “athletes” “competing” in events that only a New Yorker could
So instead of the pole vault, New York’s heroic citizens get “the trash vault,” which on the video shows a steely-eyed competitor attempting to soar over a mound of garbage bags left on a sidewalk.
Instead of cycling on a smooth velodrome track, New York Olympians compete to stay alive in “Blocked bike lane cycling.”
Instead of normal gymnastics, we compete in the “Uneven scaffolding bars.”
Instead of the clean and jerk, New Yorkers must endure the “Broken elevator luggage lift” as they exit a subway.
And instead of the normal track-and-field contest, we get to run the “Blocked sidewalk steeplechase” (that one features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sight gag with TA Executive Director Danny Harris cop-vaulting over a parked car.)
The joke, of course, is that there’s nothing Olympian about these challenges — that’s every day life in New York City. And more reason to support Transportation Alternatives’ NYC 25X25 initiative, which calls for repurposing 25 percent of roadway space from cars for people. One way to do that? Reclaim four “parking” spaces on every block and turn them into trash bays, so the sidewalks remain clear.
Harris said as funny as the video is, it’s meant to highlight an important message.
“Most days, getting around New York City can seem like an Olympic effort, hurdling over trash piles, sprinting across unsafe intersections, and slaloming around cars in the bike lane. You shouldn’t have to be an Olympian to get around New York,” he said. “We hope this fun video shines light on the not-so-fun conditions of city streets and inspires New Yorkers to join TA in demanding that our leaders build streets for people. With NYC 25×25, we can reclaim our streets and make our city safe, accessible and equitable.”
Whichever event you compete in, give yourself a medal — a gold instead of Mayor de Blasio’s lump of coal.