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Old 08-06-11, 01:21 PM   #1
vol
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Summer Streets in Manhattan

Have any of you been there? I just learned about this when I rode bike this morning for my own commute. I was surprised to see many bikes and pedestrians on Park Ave which was closed to motor vehicles. I thought it would be nice to ride home this way again this evening, but was disappointed to know it's only 7am-1pm! It should be at least for one whole day, and I wish it's for both Saturday and Sunday. Of course would be nice if it's for the entire summer weekends.
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Old 08-06-11, 02:57 PM   #2
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Looks like they are trying to rehab the UES!

Yeah, right, all day in Manhattan? On Park Ave no less? Not a chance. Traffic picks up big time over there in the evenings with the dinner/movie/theatre crowds.
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Old 08-06-11, 09:47 PM   #3
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I was there today. Rode down to Grand St. before turning off and re-joining traffic where a car promptly jumped the light and tried to turn right in front of all the cyclists waiting at the light, but couldn't because of the crossing peds. Instead, the driver just blocked all of us from going. They should make Manhattan a no-car zone on the weekends.
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Old 08-07-11, 06:47 AM   #4
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I was there on 2 days last year and yesterday, 8/6/11. It is the most entertaining event for bikers, walkers, rollerbladers, joggers, etc. There are various exercise shows, demos, vendor tents, sweepstakes, etc. going on and you can traverse the Park Ave from Brroklyn Bridge up to 92nd street or so (check the website) without any motor vehicles on the road. It is a feast for the eyes to watch all these different types of bikes at the same time. I saw a Madsen carrying a child, a recumbent tandem, and lots of Dahons and other folding bikes. It is a lot of fun.
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Old 08-08-11, 09:42 AM   #5
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Things run late on weekends--stores open late, people get up late (or do they? ). The fact that they make this end at 1pm is to say that all you who enjoy this car-free street will not return home with the same joy. I would have ridden from UES all the way to Brooklyn Bridge if I didn't have something to work on that day. But then I won't be able to come back before 1pm. Some cars that have been suppressed for the early part of the day may even starts roaming on the street with rage. I just find 7am-1pm for such relaxation is like tempting you with a peanut without giving you a second.
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Old 08-09-11, 02:27 PM   #6
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Things run late on weekends--stores open late, people get up late (or do they? ).

I got up late and missed most of it. Maybe I'll do better this weekend.
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Old 08-09-11, 03:11 PM   #7
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If you haven't checked out Summer Streets, I suggest you do. I love it.
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Old 08-09-11, 07:57 PM   #8
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I read on the website, that they have free bike rentals and rollerskates. Does anyone know where you can get these free rentals ?
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Old 08-09-11, 08:03 PM   #9
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I saw skate rentals at 25th and bike rentals in the 50's, but they probably have more than one rental location.
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Old 08-09-11, 09:30 PM   #10
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In the past there were several free bike rental locations. I think they were in Soho around Spring Street, maybe 24th street in Gramercy, and a few blocks north of the Grand Central viaduct. You could probably call Bike and Roll to find out exactly where they'll be.
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Old 08-12-11, 02:36 PM   #11
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Rentals

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I read on the website, that they have free bike rentals and rollerskates. Does anyone know where you can get these free rentals ?
Go to the official website. Check the map for the rental locations
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Old 08-14-11, 12:49 PM   #12
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Did this yesterday with my wife on our red tandem. Got on Park Ave. at 71st St. around 9:30 & rode south & over the Brooklyn Bridge, then north to the Williamsburg Bridge, over that, then wound our way through the LES to the Village & back up Lafayette to Park & 71st. Mostly fun, lots of bikes, though less crowded on Park than I'd feared. Some of the construction zones were a bit hairy due to narrowing the street and some considerable variation in riders' speed and skill. Bikers were very polite for the most part; pedestrians less so. Lots of understandably impatient walkers trying to cross Park Ave. There were no traffic controls on the streets that were blocked off, so cross-town walkers were stymied by the masses of cyclists. Saw a number of near misses. Almost hit a young beauty as she crossed, totally oblivious to all but her cell phone.
The Brooklyn Bridge was a drag, as the walkway is really narrow right now, and every ambulatory human and dog in NYC was on it. Brooklyn was empty, as all the residents were on the bridge, so we had a fine ride through industrial/residential melange that is the Brooklyn waterfront. The Williamsburg Bridge was lightly used, so the ride over it was a pleasure. The return trip was smooth. I started moving quicker despite whimpers of terror from my wife, who told me later she closed her eyes a lot. The hipsters had rolled out of their squalid garrets by then, so we were accompanied by a number of fixie-ridin', messenger-bag-totin' young folk. One did a couple of respectable trackstands on his new Bianchi, and another sported a tee shirt that said, "DROP BARS, NOT BOMBS". His own bars were short and horizontal, so he wins the Irony Prize.

It was certainly worth doing: any city-sponsored bicycle-centric event should be supported, and it is always nice not to have to deal with cars for long stretches of time. The police and volunteers were well-trained, polite and effective, and the vibe was calm and upbeat. Definitely not an event for paceline types or scenery junkies, or folks who hate crowds, but for building up urban riding chops on a tandem with minimal dues for screwing up, it suited us just fine.
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Old 08-15-11, 12:28 AM   #13
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Good for you, aixaix. I went out just shy of 1pm . They should really make it last longer, a full day.

There were a lot of people (volunteers?) directing "Go" or "Stop" with written signs on crossroads. Funny thing is, when I asked several of them at different locations what was going on, how far it went, none of them knew--"I don't know." "You don't know? You are working for them!"
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Old 08-20-11, 01:36 PM   #14
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I went out for the summer streets today (last one) around 10am. Rode all the way to Chambers st., then crossed to the west side by the Hudson. Honestly, the summer streets was not as enjoyable as riding on the Hudson Greenway or East River bike path. There was no car, sure, but it was very crowded with bikes (also a lot of joggers and pedestrians), many of them didn't know the basic etiquette, zigzagging between left and right, or stopping abruptly in the middle of the road when others were right behind them.

So far, my most pleasant ride was the evening ride (after 8pm) along the Hudson Greenway. Few cars, few bikes, few pedestrians, breezy air, night view of the Hudson and Liberty. That was tranquility.
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