Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1st car free cyclovia of New York = Success

Yeah, so, I feel obligated to say that it wasn't bad on Saturday. I made good money, and as long as I make good money, then I'm all for it. The people of New York deserve a number of days like this. There was no motor vehicle traffic allowed on all of Manhattan's Laffayette Street, 4th Avenue, and Park Avenue to 72nd Street. Many health classes were offered for free, along with some sponsorship booths. All in all from what I heard, it was what a weekend morning should be, a nice mellow morning devoted to family and fitness.

the map I provided on the previous post and again here, clearly marked all the streets open to crosstown traffic. And each intersection was well regulated and everyone stopped when the lights went green for cars. 

The bad streets:

Sure there were slow downs by a minute or two at major streets like 23rd, 34th, 35th, 37th, and 57th streets, but there were other streets to cross at (35th was bad, but it wasn't even a street to cross Park Avenue). These traffic tie ups weren't really such an issue, because the 30's going west are always bad, and should always be avoided. Seriously though, the crosstown traffic, traffic in general on Saturday was virtually non-existent until about noon, and so I only had about an hour where I needed to really apply some critical thinking about which cross-streets to use. How was SoHo you ask? Stay away from SoHo, but you know that already, you should always keep away from that Parking lot. 5th Avenue slowed to a chunky jam, towards the end of the cyclovia, noonish. 

The Good Streets:

23rd wasn't all that bad, and key streets where everything flowed smoother than a Keystone Light, that's right stick your Pabst, were:  
  1. 50th Street
  2. 49th Street
  • 53rd and 54th were probably pretty good bets to place too. Also 36th worked well, and worked as a good escape plan when 5th Avenue got jammy.
I don't remember too many problems heading west crossing the park at 66th Street, or at 10 am and earlier crossing 9th Street. 23rd wasn't great but it was worth the wait compared to the chaos of crosstown traffic in the 30's. Houston was alright, I had a brain fart with a customer there, attempting to take him east on either Spring Street or Grand, but firstly neither of these streets crossed through Laffayette, and secondly, the traffic was more frozen than that water I left in the freezer too long. Seriously Houston was alright. SoHo, not so good. 

In Conclusion:

Bike on you lovely cyclers, let my people ride. 
I know you all scoff in my general direction, but don't judge a book by the yellow cover. I was an avid biker, and I still plan to ride regularly. I once was independently contracted by Transportation Alternatives to deliver their pamphlets for a couple of months. I rode my bike to every bicycle shop in Manhattan carrying about 40 pounds of reading material on a milk crate sitting on my bike rack above my rear tire. Man, working that gig I sweated more than a... well, you get the idea.

Notes during shift:

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