What Transit Strike?

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Anonymous's picture

Road in from Riverdale this am again.
It was cold, so I bundled up like Mom always told me.
Got to the office and made my cup of Joe.

Damm, that was good coffee. Actually it was preety poor, but enough milk makes any bad coffee great tasting.

What I observed were several interesting things:
A) How many people think they will get downtown in their cars as they stood still in bumper to bumper traffic.
B) How many people stood waiting for Buses (also on strike).
C) How few cabs there were.
D) How happy I was to not worry about being run over.
E) How happy I am that it should not rain or snow till Santa or Chanaukah Joe comes.
F) How I need to work on my layers, still coming in wet
on the upper body.

Well, Have a Happy and Merry Transit strike.

Strike, Schmike, I gotta Bike.

Rob Marcus

Anonymous's picture
Gabe (not verified)
My ride would have been fun but...

My office building (near grand central) didn't have a good plan for bikers. I had to park my bike in an uncleanly storage room (at least it was locked though).

Otherwise, it was pretty cool. It was fun zooming down 5th ave since it was closed to traffic.

Anonymous's picture
Carl (not verified)
I saw some as I waited.

I was at the bus stop at 254th and Riverdale Ave waiting for the Rail Link at about 6:20 am. I saw someone on a bike passing by as I waited and I thought to myself I have to buy a light so I can ride tomorrow.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
i wonder how many people remember...

...the strike some 20+ years ago that got them riding. ;)


Anonymous's picture
ben (not verified)
bragging rights

i just wanted to brag^H^H^H mention that my work 45th & 3rd has a garage in the building. They allow parking for the CEO, a few other VIPs, and any employee on bicycle. I guess that bicycle commuters are VIPs. There are about 20 hanging bike racks with locking cables. Unfortuneatly, i'm the only bicycle commuter VIP that takes advantage of this. Today there were about 6 bikes in there.

Anonymous's picture
Michael S (not verified)
5th and Mad are pretty much bike lanes

The greatest danger was pedestrians who didn't bother looking as there were very few cars on the emergency routes. Took me less time than by train to get in (though if you add in booties on and booties off time it kills the savings).

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

LOL, ditto

Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)
That is ending

Bloomberg just announced that 5th and Madison will be opened up for cars, other than 1 emergency lane.

It was nice while it lasted.

Anonymous's picture
rb (not verified)

riding to work from brooklyn was soooo much easier/faster and more painless than taking the subway - i just wish my stupid building would allow bikes in it so i could do this every day(they did only today, for the strike)

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

"Yes, it's nice to be able to ride to work. But the pedestrians crossing the street randomly slows progress way down.

>i just wish my stupid building would allow bikes in it so i could do this every day(they did only today, for the strike)

My building allows bike storage but it's full. I should have gotten a pass earlier. Still, I hope they'll allow the ""hardcores"" to use it even after the strikes are over. Not that I'll do it every single day. But when the sun is out and the roads are dry, it's quite a pleasent ride."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Learning opportunity

"Now is an excellent time to talk to your employer, HR department, building manager, or parking lot manager about offering bike parking.

Right now your employer will be more receptive than ever to an idea about how to get people to work during an ""emergency."" Ask them to pitch the idea to the building manager or parking garage people. Give them lots of encouragement and supporting material (like what you can find on TA's web site).

Suggest creative solutions: if they don't want bikes going through security at the front door, how about the back door? The parking garage? Bike racks installed out front where the security guards can keep an eye? Offer to write a letter to the HR honcho, the building manager, etc., to make a case for it. Make it easy for them to say yeah, sure, why not?

If you don't make any headway during this strike, at least you've laid the groundwork for you next strike, or blackout, or god forbid, catastrophe. Be persistent. It takes a lot of effort to slowly, gradually open closed minds -- even to a simple and logical alternative like bicycling.

Two years and one blackout ago, my employer's building had no accommodations for bikes. Today, the bike rack in the parking garage had 20 bikes on it, and the manager is moving it to make room for more. As I found out, if you want it bad enough, you'll make the effort, and sooner or later it will pay off.

On a related commuting topic, see TA's Kit Hodges article on the ""Mini-Mass."" I saw some of these on the road today. (Uh, should they apply for a parade permit?)"

Anonymous's picture
rb (not verified)

been down every single one of these roads many times before - no dice.

Anonymous's picture
Jonathan (not verified)
which bridge?

Cops are making you walk your bike over the Bklyn bridge-even threatening $150 fines if you disobey.

How are the other lower Manhattan crossings?

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)

"Manhattan Bridge is ""the"" bike bridge if you want clear cycling space. I was tallying riders last night for TA and there were about 500 cyclists going over during the time I was there, not at all impeded by police or peds. The Manhattan Bridge bike path is on the north side at Canal and Chrystie(best way coming downtown is to take Second Avenue, which empties into Chrystie and that will go right into and end at Canal). On the Brooklyn side, you are adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge at Tillary, but first you need to hang a left at Jay Street which then crosses Tillary two blocks up."

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Nearly got run into twice ...

... by other cyclists. Damn amateurs.

On the (+) side, years of advocacy for bike racks at work is paying off. About 75% of our work force came in. The rack was full plus SRO.

Three co-workers borrowed an extra floor pump I brought in and a bulk purchase of red blinkies is making a group of young, restless and hooded visible on their ride home.

So far so good.

Anonymous's picture
John Miller (not verified)

The north side path on the Manhattan Bridge is wide open, ride on and ride off. There are some pedestrians walking on that side but not too many that you can't ride around them.

Downtown Brooklyn feels strange, as if on the verge of upending typical notions of American urban experience -- there's enough cyclists out there that automobile traffic finally gives way when a group stays together. There are gentle pacelines down Bergen Street. Thirty riders at a time cross Atlantic Avenue on the green. Mothers and fathers with helmeted kids in child seats mash their way over the crest of the bridge.

cycling trips