Since its launch, Citi Bike has, aside from some software glitches, been an incredible addition to urban transit in NYC, with rising ridership throughout the initial months (in October, the bike-share company reported a record high of 42,000 trips per day). But lately, the interwebs have been abuzz with headlines like: “Blue Bikes Red Ink,” seemingly out of nowhere. Even Brian Lehrer was like “Wait, What?”.
Now I know what you’re thinking, bike haters. Bikers are the reason EVERYTHING in the world is horrible, including making traffic worse, gentrifying neighborhoods, and basically ruining all of New York. The city would be better off without more bike riders anyway, blah blah blah. Continue reading →
Ladies, do you find that all bike accessories for girls are just boys stuff in pink? Featured Valentine’s Market vendor one*two*three*speed makes handmade accessories for classy cyclists with the motto “stick a bow on your helmet.” It’s about time we can look cute on our bikes and be safe! Continue reading →
I think cars are stupid, especially in a city like New York, where so many people are crammed together, sharing what we all don’t have enough of - space – especially open natural space. Continue reading →
To wake up at 6:30 am on a Saturday, you must be nuts, you say? Maybe I am. But I woke up hella early because I was going on the Epic Bike Ride! Just a quick rundown: it’s 40 miles, from Williamsburg to the Rockaways, taking the coastal route of Brooklyn.
Epic Bike Ride was organized by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. These are the fine folks who have been working with the DOT on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which is a 14-mile landscaped route, physically separated from traffic with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. When complete, the greenway will connect neighborhood parks and open spaces from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge. IMAGINE! Oh, the places we’ll go! Continue reading →
For the most part, we keep it positive on Greenpointers, but some things should be called out – like the way this bike (with a gigantic baby seat) was parked. I know that giving birth and then living with the thing for 18 years is deserving of A LOT of sympathy, but that doesn’t give you an “it’s okay to be an a-hole” pass. This “wave style rack” could fit 4 -maybe 6 bikes on it.
With the new CitiRacks being installed allover, like this one on Manhattan Ave, there is more bike parking, but those new racks can hold at least 4 bikes per rack, again if you don’t park like an a-hole.
Parking on the edges with either the front or back end of your bike hanging off and not covering the entire middle of the circle, makes it so that more than two bikes on either side can be easily locked to the new racks.
Dudes! The Fourth of July has passed. August is fast approaching. Sure, this constant humidity and 90 degree heat sucks and begs us to stay indoors in front of the AC racking up the electric bill, but we cannot let Mother Nature win!
Autumn’s cool breeze will be blowing leaves in our faces before we know it. We’ve got to take charge and make the most out of the last of our summer weeks. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions to help you end these hot, sunny days with a BANG.
1. Bike to Coney Island
I dare you! It’s not as far as you think. Well, it is, but it’s a pretty flat, easy route and once you arrive you can eat a hot dog at Nathan’s, jump in the ocean depending on how hardcore you are, and then brag to your friends that you biked 26+ miles. Once you get past Prospect Park, you’re on the Ocean Parkway Greenway for a little more than 4 miles. This bike path is mostly shaded and separate from the street so it’s safe and for the most part a pretty sweet ride. If you’re one of those New Yorkers who’s never been to the historic amusement park, I highly recommend it. Heck, I demand it. It’s equal parts awe-inspiring and gross, but will dazzle you nonetheless. Also, you’ve got to ride the Cyclone at least once in your life.
There have been talks about the MTA partnering with Citibike to foot the bill for bike docking stations in Greenpoint and LIC given the G train service outage beginning next weekend.
I got on the phone with Citibike and the MTA to find out whether this is happening.
The short answer from the MTA is that “it is being discussed” but “there is no timeline.” Part of the discussion includes the MTA paying for the bikes.
Ronald Leiva, representing Citibike said that it’s “a possibility,” but that I should consider it a “rumor” with “no hard evidence” but that he is “not denying that it is not happening.” He went on to say that there is also “no timeline”, but he did mention that if the MTA were to pay for the program they would get their logo on the bikes. Score! Maybe they could put the G train logo on it.
When questioned as to why Greenpoint was not initially included, he said that the DOT chose the locations which are in more densely populated areas around bridges. Apparently the Queensboro Bridge and our beloved Pulaski don’t count.
According to the Daily News, Greenpoint was in the initial plans which, ”were scaled back, and those neighborhoods were excluded after equipment stored in a Brooklyn warehouse was damaged by Superstorm Sandy flooding.”
Leiva of Citibike went on to say that as they receive more “sponsorship” aka advertising dollars they will expand outward and that they will likely expand into Greenpoint, but this may not be for “a few years” – unless the “rumors” about partnering with the MTA become a reality in the short term.
Do you want Citibike in Greenpoint? Were you disappointed when Greenpoint didn’t receive a docking station? Will you use Citibike in place of G train service to LIC?
When opening a new bar, coming away with a positive experience from a community board meeting presided over by a group hawkishly vigilant of both new liquor licenses and rapidly-vanishing parking spaces is no small feat, especially if in addition to drinks you’re trying to serve up a new pedestrian plaza.
However, sitting down with Etan Fraiman, who recently opened bar/restaurant Battery Harris on the once-desolate corner of Frost & Meeker along with partner David Shapiro, makes it sound like the easiest thing in the world – all you need is a little help from the DOT and a willingness to see your business in the greater context of the streetscape.
The owners of Battery Harris were actually tipped off to the DOT’s Pedestrian Plaza Program by the community board itself, and had nothing but praise for the city agency that not so long ago was referred to by many as “the department of No” for their conservative attitude towards innovation in street design. Continue reading →
Happy Spring finally! We posted this last year and feel that the information is still very important for cyclists and drivers to review. Stay safe! Spring is here and everyone is dusting off their bicycles and hitting the pavement. Here are some tips on staying safe and making your bike street legal from the dudes at Silk Road Cycles. This is your life we are talking about, so take it seriously!
GP: How do we make a bicycle street legal in NY? Silk Road Cycles: The three things we focus on are:
1. Working brakes (according to the law, a brake that is able to make your rear tire skid on level ground.)
2. Bell or other audible signal
3. Lights and reflective material – from dusk till dawn)
GP: Are there fines associated with not complying? Silk Road Cycles: Yes. You can be ticketed for any of the above issues.
GP: What lights do you recommend? Silk Road Cycles: Both front and rear are a must! Any light that is clearly visible to drivers, but the brighter the better (NYC has a lot of lights everywhere, so stand out). In the shop we have a penchant for USB rechargeable lights. Easier, brighter and they run about $80 for a pair. (They’ll also double as strobe lights for your next party.) Well worth it, if you ask us.
GP: Do you have to wear a helmet legally as an adult? As a child? Silk Road Cycles: After the age of 14 you do not have to wear a helmet legally. But everyone should!
Purchase a helmet that is bicycle specific and approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
You should replace your helmet immediately after a crash and/or after 3 years of use. Over time the foam in the helmet deteriorates. Now and again, look over your helmet – make sure the plastic is still entirely connected to the styrofoam and check for cracks in the foam.
GP: Can you wear a skateboard helmet instead of a bike helmet? Silk Road Cycles: Legally: yes. With confidence in your safety: no. Bicycle helmets are made for single use high impact. Skateboard helmets are made for multiple impacts at much lower speeds.
Remember the last time you walked across the Pulaski Bridge? You likely were almost run over by a cyclist, right? Or were you the cyclist coasting at a rapid pace with no time to break as you approached a halted pedestrian stopped to snap a shot of that breathtaking Manhattan skyline?
Lucky for us, this danger might soon come to an end.
The city is currently in talks to create a separate bike lane for the bridge, providing a more spacious walking route and a safer way for cyclists to cross from Greenpoint to Long Island City. A bike lane would reportedly replace one of the Pulaski’s three southbound car lanes. The current sidewalk is only eight-feet wide for cyclists and pedestrians traveling in both directions.
The only roadblock (pun intended) is the Pulaski’s drawbridge. According to DNAinfo.com, the Department of Transportation will announce a final decision this March. Maybe Greenpointers will have a safe way to head to LIC just in time for ideal spring bike-riding weather.