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Old 09-20-01, 08:28 AM   #1
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NYC bicycling, post-attack

This is from a local bike/ped advocacy group in wake of the NYC attack.... I thought it might be of interest here *and more bike-related than terrorism related, hence I'll post it here. If Joe wants to move it, ok by me, though. Transalt gives permission to repost its material. from email newsletter

T.A. joins all New Yorkers in mourning the victims of the World Trade Center attack. Our hearts are heavy, but we continue to champion a more livable New York City and world. We encourage our members to work hard to help renew our city. Specifically, VOTE on Primary Day, Tuesday September 25 and GIVE to a charity which supports the families of victims of the attack.

T.A.'s office looks due south from 30th street, a little over three miles from the World Trade Center. The T.A. staff, like many other New Yorkers, watched as the Twin Towers burned and collapsed. Like many others, we feared for our friends and families. Not only was the WTC a spectacular icon framed by our windows, it was also a place that our staff often visited for meetings with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and the Port Authority. Like everyone in New York City, our staff and members were rocked by the horror and sorrow. Fortunately, our friends at the transportation agencies escaped.

In the weeks and months ahead, T.A. will push the City to be bold and creative as it rebuilds lower Manhattan. For instance, there is an opportunity to improve security, transportation and quality of life by maintaining a restricted zone for motor vehicles south of Canal Street --- much as London's financial district has successfully had in place since a disastrous bombing in the late 1980's. Future bulletins and T.A. Magazines will profile these opportunities.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel Update
Bridges: All East River Bridges open full-time to bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Streets: Full-time bicycle and pedestrian Access to downtown south of Canal Street and West of Broadway. There has been a checkpoint in place at Broadway and Canal where ID's may be checked.

Greenways: Hudson River Greenway closed south of Chambers Street and between 44th and 57th Streets.


New Yorkers Take to Bikes in Aftermath of Disaster

Because of transit disruptions and street restrictions, T.A. estimates that daily bicycling in New York City has doubled to nearly 200,000 persons in the week since the disaster. T.A. estimates are based on bridge and street counts.


In Time of Heroism and Sacrifice, Many Bad Citizen Motorists Ignore Mayor's Pleas to Take Transit

Experts say the traffic on the bridges and tunnels entering Manhattan is the worst ever. Unfortunately, many motorists seem unwilling to leave their cars at home, even in the midst of the greatest disaster the city has experienced. In daily press appearances, Mayor Giuliani has implored travelers not to drive. While this may seem self-evident, it is still surprising in this time of great heroism and sacrifice that so many continue to display such poor citizenship and selfish behavior.


Disaster Results in Big Car-Free Experiment

The ban on motor vehicles south of Canal Street and the closure of all streets in front of the 100 or so police precincts, is the largest experiment in reducing motor vehicle routes ever conducted in New York City. On many blocks the result has been a vastly improved pedestrian environment and substantial reductions in traffic congestion. On West 30th Street (which is blocked to vehicles between 6th and 7th Aves.) T.A. measured a reduction in noise from 60 to 53 decibels at 12 floors above street level. Additionally, Eastbound fire trucks on emergency calls are able to traverse 30th St. between 7th Ave. and 5th Ave. in 40 seconds versus five minutes previously.


Motorists Given Five Lanes of W. Side Hwy as Adjacent Greenway Blocked

City Sends Contradictory Message.

Unfortunately, at this time when the Hudson Path could provide critical transportation relief for the stricken downtown area, it has been blocked. Cyclists and pedestrians should be prepared to take alternate routes. To compensate for the closing, T.A. has requested that cyclists and pedestrians be provided with the western most curb lane on Route 9A, between 60th and 44th streets until the path is reopened. This lane is already coned off for southbound emergency vehicles, and is already being used as an informal cycle lane until police shoo cyclists out of it. (One of four northbound lanes is also reserved for emergency vehicles.)

The FBI has blocked the Hudson River Greenway between 44th street and 50th streets until at least Thursday, Sept. 20. However, the agency is allowing cyclists and pedestrians to proceed alongside a tree planting strip alongside the path adjacent to Route 9A. A machine gun toting agent said "Extraordinary activity in the area was underway." Passing cyclists and pedestrians were puzzled at the security benefits of blocking the well traveled greenway path while leaving the unsafe area immediately adjacent to it open.

Meanwhile, the NYPD has blocked the Hudson Path between 52nd Street and 56th Streets because the designated gathering place for victims families has been located astride the path at 55th Street near Pier 94. The focal point is a bulletin board underneath a pavilion type tent, which has tens of TV cameras trained on it. The whole area is surrounded by numerous barricades and police guards and dozens of TV trucks from around the nation.

Sorrowful passersby were kept away from the bulletin board, but paid their respects from a distance. However, once again path users wondered why, given the large number of potential places available for the gathering point, it had to be placed across the nation's busiest bicycle and pedestrian path. One man out for a walk to clear his head--- his brother in-law is a missing NYC firefighter --- pointed out that blocking the path while encouraging travelers not to drive into Manhattan made little sense. Cyclists and pedestrians on the west side have lost their path because of the WTC disaster. However, motorists still have five lanes of Route 9A dedicated to their private cars.


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Old 09-20-01, 11:12 AM   #2
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Wow, interesting information to say the least.

It is encouraging to hear that New Yorkers are resilient enough to mount bicycles in increasing numbers in order to continue with their work and lifestyles.

Three cheers to the bicycle commuters of New York City!!! Hip, hip, Hooray!
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Old 09-20-01, 12:10 PM   #3
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It must be a tough time to be a bicycle messenger. Buildings like the Sears Tower which didn't used to have front desk guards now have them. And when it's your job to get in and out of a building as efficiently as you can, this must make each delivery more time-consuming.

I've seen messenger bags that have the "I am not a thief" patch sewn on them. I wouldn't be surprised if someone eventually designs a "I am not a terrorist" patch. (I say this knowing full well of course that security guards will still have a legitimate interest in scrutinizing all visitors into the building, bike messenger or not.)
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