Streetfilms: What it was like to bike in NYC 15 years ago (bikeTV)

Posted by Infra on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

As many of you know before I did Streetfilms I was the leader of a eclectic biking crew for a NYC cable access show called BIKETV from 2000-2005+ before I slowly transitioned my efforts to Streetfilms. I just unearthed what might be one of the most intriguing historical documents from my archives!

Back in January 2002, I recorded my commute and what it was like to ride in our very best existing – but mostly troubled – bike lanes in NYC. The footage is amazing showing how frustrating it used to be!

IF you want to skip around here are some highlights with what the lane was classified as in 2002 versus today (2017)!

0:00 My intro
1:04 Union Street Bike Lane (Now: a striped bike lane, but at least it is solidly painted now)
1:26 Adams Street Curbside Bike Lane (Now: First blocks of Adams are a car-free pedestrian plaza, bike lane no longer curbside, but striped, a much better solution, really)
2:59 Brooklyn Bridge Bike Path
3:07 Center Street bike path (Now: A better configuration due to Brklyn Bridge entrance revamp years later, a protected lane in front of courts is much improved)
3:30 Lafayette Street Buffered Bike Lane (Now: A fully protected bike lane!)
3:50 Sixth Avenue Painted Bike Lane (Now a fully protected bike lane!)
4:03 Herald Square “Experimental” 1 block bike lane in front of Macy’s (Now a car-free pedestrian plaza!)
4:23 Broadway Painted Bike Lane (Now: A fully protected bike lane!)
4:37 Fifth Ave Bike Lane (Now: Still just a painted lane)
4:56 Second Ave Buffered Bike Lane (Now a fully protected bike path!)
5:08 Manhattan Bridge Shared Ped/Bike Path SOUTH side (Now: Cyclists ride on dedicated NORTH side which wasn’t even open!)
5:36 Henry Street Bike Lane (Now: Still painted bike lane, but functions better)
7:03 My outro and grading for experienced cyclists (a “C”) and for getting new people on bikes (an “F”)

A truly historical document that we should all watch to see how far our city has come!!


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