20 September 2008

Hallucinations in NYC

Midtown Manhattan??!!
Michael over at Drunk and In Charge of a Bicycle blogged this photo he took in... wait for it... Midtown Manhattan.

My first reaction was to look for signs of photoshopping. Then I looked at the signs and buildings to see what city it REALLY was. Nope. Michael assures me that it is Manhattan. Quite remarkable. The green bike lane looks like French bike lanes, especially in Nice.
Piste
While the scene above is progressive and admirable, Michael says that it is far from perfect in New York.
"The problem is that, while it might be part of a larger longer term plan - for the moment, there are just islands of little bicycle lanes - which barely connect to one another. So you can ride very safely for a few blocks and then suddenly it stops and you're thrown out into 5 lanes of traffic and no bicycle lane for 20 blocks until you get to the next nice little corner like this..."

Fair enough, but just the mere fact that the above scene exists and isn't a futuristic photoshopped 'artist's rendition' is good news.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not real.

Anonymous said...

Look at google street view for 1378 Broadway NY facing south.

amsterdamize said...

Hey ano, I guess you are not aware that those google street views aren't exactly up to date with current events, right? Pfff...

Mikael, this is absolutely the last time I dignified utter stupidity in your comments section, I promise.

Zakkaliciousness said...

voel vrij. wanneer. het is grappig.

acline said...

We have a similar problem (or opportunity) in Springfield. The downtown area has several blocks of dedicated bike lanes. Plus the city has designated bicycle routes along roads favorable to easy cycling. And MSU has a series of bike trails that get you across campus and on your way into the four corners of the city. Finally, we have many miles of greenways in the city. Not bad. But there are so few connections among these routes.

That's the big thing we're working on now--making these connections. We even have some sales tax money to work with this year. Stay tuned :-)

S. Kelliher said...

I live in New York City and scenes like this are indeed real.

The city is installing pedestrian islands and better designed bike lanes in spots around NYC. I walk through one each day and it's a nice improvement over the vast expanse of vacant, unused asphalt that used to be there.

The problem with these bike lanes, as the blurb mentions, is that they are not that useful yet. They're short in length, sometimes just a handful of blocks, and then lead riders to the open street or a standard (and generally disregarded by motorists) "white line on the pavement" NYC bike lane.

Mayor Bloomberg has been instrumental in trying to green the Big Apple. But his term is ending and, due to term limits, he cannot run again. Depending on who his successor is, the amount of bike lanes like the one in the photo may continue to grow, stay the same, or diminish.

amsterdamize said...

Jeg troede, det ville være trættende. Prima, med din godkendelse. Det er næsten komisk faktisk ikke at reagere. :-p

Andy B from Jersey said...

Yeah those bike lanes are real. I rode down them soon after they were installed in August. They are just south of Times Square along Broadway. Unfortunately many of the locals and American tourists walking in the area have no clue what a bike lane is and constantly walk in them.

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks for the comments. one thing... while we love to hear about the goings on around the world, we don't know where Springfield is or what MSU is so can we please be more specific for the global audience is?
cheers

Michael said...

andy b - THAT is what a 'bell' is for. : )

For my American friends who don't know about this high tech invention - if you have a bell on your bicycle, you can ring it when a pedestrian is walking into the bicycle lane - or when passing, so that someone knows you're coming...

Seriously, though, I'm really shocked at the number of cyclists who ride in NYC with no lights and no bell - there is so much intersection of pedestrian and bicycle traffic here that you really can't get by without regular use of a bell. Now, it's true that this is mostly because Americans are generally not even thinking about the possibility of a bicycle as they walk, so the bell is a little 'wake-up' call for them...


(om vred anonyme kommentarer ... Jeg er helt sikker på, at er den samme person, der har været 'trolling' omkring mit websted uden ende at gøre alle former for ad hominem angreb ... Jeg plejer bare ignorere ham, men han har gjort det nødvendigt at bruge kommentar moderation.)

chandru said...

Michael, most American cyclists are mistakenly into the "purist" ethic and regard cycling as some exotic activity that requires spandex (lycra), cool helmets, expensive bikes and a general disdain for pedestrians.

Actual practical amenities like a rack, kickstand, bell and mirror are considered sissy.

Which is my beef about cycling, even in relatively bike-friendly Park Slope (NY) where I live. Your average person never cycles unless it's in the closed-off park roads. And the commuters are worse.

Andy B from Jersey said...

I know Michael. I have them on all but my Italian road bike. Unfortunately I hear that the problem is so bad that you would have to continuously ring your bell for 4 blocks!

I've sat in the chairs one evening after a long day in the city, soon after they were installed and the spill over into the lane was heavy and constant. Don't forget this is Times Square: Crossroads of the World! There are tens of thousands of people walking around there almost all the time and they have almost not choice but to spill into the lane from the sidewalk because it is too narrow.

Now if they would only get rid of the cars in Times Square...