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Old 06-17-08, 02:02 PM   #1
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NYC: Park Ave Closed to Traffic for 3 days in August!

I'm sure many of us has seen this in the news, but if not: Park Ave closed to traffic for 3 days in August. It's also been reported in the Sun (described as a "nightmare") and on NY1. Personally, I can't wait to see whether this turns into something permanent. It'd be cool to return Park Ave. to a broad boulevard for walking and not a race track for TLC cars and cabs.
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Old 06-17-08, 02:11 PM   #2
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Hi,

As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled to read this news. I may have to figure out how to get out there with my bike for one of those Saturdays. Hopefully the experiment will be considered successful so that others can use it as a benchmark for other urban areas.
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Old 06-17-08, 03:34 PM   #3
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I saw the map on the news, and my immediate thought was that the Mayor just declared a car free zone from his apartment to his office!

It looks really cool though.
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Old 06-17-08, 04:34 PM   #4
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If you've ever wandered around Manhattan on a Sunday morning in August, there isn't all that much traffic anyway. The only real downside is that these car free mornings won't last long enough. Why not all day?
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Old 06-17-08, 05:06 PM   #5
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Hi,

As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled to read this news. I may have to figure out how to get out there with my bike for one of those Saturdays. Hopefully the experiment will be considered successful so that others can use it as a benchmark for other urban areas.
Not all day, only till 1pm. Better not sleep in or you'll miss it.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:54 PM   #6
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Yeah, seems kinda pointless if it's only to 1 pm. And people are still complaining.
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Old 06-17-08, 08:49 PM   #7
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Race Race Race!
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Old 06-18-08, 07:55 AM   #8
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Super long skid contests and riding through the Helmsley building!
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Old 06-18-08, 09:06 AM   #9
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You know I'm there...I ride early sat and sun mornings as it is
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Old 06-18-08, 09:11 AM   #10
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If you've ever wandered around Manhattan on a Sunday morning in August, there isn't all that much traffic anyway. The only real downside is that these car free mornings won't last long enough. Why not all day?
agree. the impact should be minimal. and it really should be an all day event. hardly a "nightmare" by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 06-18-08, 10:58 AM   #11
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I'm a little disappointed with the plan, it doesn't go far enough. I was hoping to see them put in some semi-permanent weekend ped/bike lanes along streets (all weekend), hopefully linking the greenways on the east and west sides, Central Park, the bridges... I know, it's just a fantasy to be able to get from the Queensboro Bridge to the GWB without having to duke it out with SUVs on the pothole ridden streets...

I was hoping for weekend semi-permanent car-free "greenways connectors", with a few long stretches of closed off streets like they have planned. Just by using some temporary "greenway" arteries you could connect the greenways around the city on weekends. For the most part you could just take one parking or traffic lane instead of closing off the whole street. Make it so you can get from Battery Park to Van Cortland car-free. From Alley Pond to Central Park. You get the idea.

I would have gone for a much grander Summer Streets kick off.
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Old 06-18-08, 11:11 AM   #12
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This is probably a traffic study to determine the impact on weekend traffic. However, I agree they should've made it an all day thing to get a better data set. I give them props for trying new things, but they need to go all the way with the study.

As for east/west greenway connectors, maybe they should dust off Robert Moses' plan to build elevated highways that link the east and west sides at 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. Except make it ped/bike paths instead.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:47 PM   #13
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I think I'm towing my kids down there tomorrow, though I'm not sure what we're going to do when we get there. Anybody else going?
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Old 08-08-08, 09:21 PM   #14
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Super long skid contests and riding through the Helmsley building!
I am sooo doing the Helmsley Building and the tunnel.
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Old 08-09-08, 04:31 AM   #15
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I am marshaling in riders from Queens all three weekends (for TA). I actually got roped into volunteering for the event today - I thought I was gonna be riding down to the Brooklyn Bridge, but instead it turns out I'll be standing around on a corner for four hours watching out for stuff. Kind of a drag (I'd much rather be riding, obviously) but I am interested to see how things go.

It essentially sounds to me like one really long block party. I would not expect to show up with bike and zoom down Park Ave. It's gonna be a mob scene with tons of kids running around, most likely, and cops everywhere, so a nice day out and whatnot, but these types of rides typically turn out to be 5 mph putt putts in my experience - fwtw.
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Old 08-09-08, 09:13 AM   #16
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well so much for that....I changed my tire last night and woke up to a flat this am...changed it, jumped in the shower, and it flatted just sitting there....I knew the answer immediately - sure enough, my rim strip developed a tear, which was puncturing the inner side of the tube. Changed it a third time (My last tube) and used electrical tape as a rim strip (fingers crossed).

Naturally I flatted (same reason) about a mile from my destination, about 2 miles from the nearest train station. Had to can the whole thing and walk to a ride home. Bummer.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:34 AM   #17
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oh yeah...my wife was in the area so she swung by with the car to get me - when I was lowering the seat to squeeze bike into trunk my seat clamp bolt snapped.
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Old 08-09-08, 01:09 PM   #18
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It was a bust here too. We actually made it out, but it was noon by the time we got there and not a very enjoyable family day. I'm thinking of doing it again, but with an earlier start and fewer people.
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Old 08-09-08, 04:07 PM   #19
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I live on the UWS so I left my apartment about 7:30 this morning, rode around the southern part of Central Park loop to 72nd and 5th, and was very pleasantly surprised to find a dedicated lane on 72nd Street to take me safely to the start of City Streets. At 7:45 am it was exceptionally quiet at 72nd and Park - there were more police than bikes on the street north of Grand Central. Hence, it was very nice riding down to the Brooklyn Bridge. The only major activity was a NYRR fun run that was going northbound as I was riding south, and that was really small by NYRR standards. I got to the BB, crossed over, went down to Front Street, through Brooklyn Heights to the Promenade (though the Gov Island waterfalls were not working this morning), then came back over the Bridge and rode back up to 72nd. When I got back into Manhattan it was about 8:45 am and the street was getting more crowded but still not bad at all. I was back in CP by 9:10 am.

The good: the novelty of it, several spots for bike rentals, a big police presence to keep the closed intersections clear, well-marked "lanes" separating northbound and southbound traffic, families biking together, happy and helpful volunteers, biking the viaduct around GCT, direct hassle-free access to the Bridge.

The bad: pedestrians just wandering off the sidewalk into the street (no cars? I guess that means no problem!), stopping every 5-6 blocks for another car passage.

I'll likely be back next Saturday because it's different and fun, and we need to show support for these things in order for the city to back it again next year, hopefully with a longer schedule and more varied list of avenue closures.
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Old 08-09-08, 05:20 PM   #20
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Spent about an hour between 14th and near the BB entrance. Lots of riders, lots of peds, free bike rentals in front of Bike Habitat (rented one for my gf who ended up riding the brompton instead - I got stuck with a cruiser with double suspension, eck). Fun stuff! No one was in "race mode" which was a good thing.

Definitely had tourists sort of wandering off the sidewalks oblivious to any bike or rollerblade traffic, especially near the big intersections. At one point a dog walker insisted on being right in the middle of the bike lane on Lafayette then let his dog do it's business. At least he picked it up.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:26 PM   #21
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I was there with the girl friend. Fun stuff. It was just like the CM ride of the old days.
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Old 08-10-08, 07:11 AM   #22
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The G/F and I left our home in Sheepshead Bay and took the Bedford Ave and Dekalb Ave bike paths to the Brooklyn Bridge. Went over the bridge at 8:00 and the G/F was excited. We rode all the way to Central Park and back to Spring Street before 10:00 and the crowds were non-existant. It was a joy. We stopped at the Soho Grill and had BLT wraps with a couple of glasses of white wine (yummy). Then it was back to the bridge and over to brooklyn by 11:30. We took the Henry Street path to Union Street to 3rd ave, and then the Shore Pkwy path under the Verrazano and then to Bay Parkway, 86th street, Ave W and then home by 1:00 pm. The ride was about 39 miles and we were feeling fine when we got home.

Our only complaint was that we didn't see any porta-potties or bathrooms until we got to Central Park. Otherwise it was a great day. We are planning to do it again next week.
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Old 08-10-08, 10:54 AM   #23
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The G/F and I left our home in Sheepshead Bay and took the Bedford Ave and Dekalb Ave bike paths to the Brooklyn Bridge. Went over the bridge at 8:00 and the G/F was excited. We rode all the way to Central Park and back to Spring Street before 10:00 and the crowds were non-existant. It was a joy. We stopped at the Soho Grill and had BLT wraps with a couple of glasses of white wine (yummy). Then it was back to the bridge and over to brooklyn by 11:30. We took the Henry Street path to Union Street to 3rd ave, and then the Shore Pkwy path under the Verrazano and then to Bay Parkway, 86th street, Ave W and then home by 1:00 pm. The ride was about 39 miles and we were feeling fine when we got home.

Our only complaint was that we didn't see any porta-potties or bathrooms until we got to Central Park. Otherwise it was a great day. We are planning to do it again next week.
If I weren't working that's the way I would do it.
Early start. miss the crowds and get to sight-see a little.
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Old 08-11-08, 08:15 AM   #24
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sounds like it was fun! I am sorry I missed it. What a gorgeous day.

They did mention at the volunteer orientation that there would be no porta-potties, but there are certainly loads of places to duck in and use the toilets - not sure how the vendors/merchants feel about that.

I am leading the Queens rides in the next two weeks and hope to check it out then....assuming my bike cooperates (btw - cloth medical tape makes a better rim strip than electrical tape!)
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Old 08-15-08, 08:56 AM   #25
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Just a reminder this is on again tomorrow and next Saturday (Aug. 16 and 23)

Hope the rain stays away!
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