May is National Bike Month and midway through Bike to Work Week, the Progressive Caucus hosted colleagues and bike allies for the 2nd Annual Council Bike to Work Day. Two groups rode from meeting spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn to City Hall. Council Members joined constituents and leaders in the biking community for a celebration of the many benefits of cycling including transportation, fitness and recreation.
The legislators and event partners Transportation Alternatives, StreetsPAC, Citi Bike, and Bike New York discussed improvements to the current state of cycling including: increasing bike safety by expanding education programs and resources throughout the city; creating more biking infrastructure by supporting the development of bike lanes, paths and dynamic arterials; improving bike access by legislating more inclusive building policies and efficient abandoned bike removal; and a continued call for Citi Bike expansion to ensure city-wide access to this bike share network. Full Release
WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY:
“Given the influx of residents and commuters in New York City, the Caucus wants to do everything possible to make our transportation systems as dynamic and rich as possible. Expanding transportation options to include features like Citi Bike will allow us to lessen the burden on our congested trains and make out communities more sustainable in the long term,” said Co-Chair, Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
“Bike to Work Day increases awareness of cyclists needs for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike. With more cyclists on the road than any other day of the year, drivers and pedestrians learn how to more safely interact with cyclists. As the most bike friendly city according to Bicycling Magazine, it is incumbent upon us to continue to lead and incentivize more and more New Yorkers to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation like cycling. I know that with more and more communities having access to the CitiBike network and other affordable bike rentals we will beat our own records and have more New Yorkers than ever, from every socio-economic background, riding on our roadways,” said Transportation Committee Chairman, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
“Commuting needs to get easier regardless of how you get to work. Today I bike to work at City Hall to support a better commute through investment in our public transportation infrastructure. Every person biking to work, is one less person driving a car or taking a seat on public transit, making it easier for everyone else to get to work too,” said Vice-Chair, Council Member Ben Kallos.
“As a frequent biker myself, I often come to City Hall along the Hudson River. It is so nice to not only have a gorgeous view, but to also know that I am doing something that’s good for my health and the environment. I believe that we can find a way to balance the needs of bike riders with the concerns of pedestrians and community members, and I look forward to increasing bike safety, improving bike access, and creating biking infrastructure to benefit all New Yorkers,” said Vice-Chair, Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“Biking to work is not only fun, it’s good for you and good for the planet,” said Council Member Brad Lander. ‘I’m glad I got a chance to get some exercise on my way to City Hall this morning, and I hope our ride raises awareness about the importance of improving bike safety, creating bike infrastructure, improving access, and expanding Citi Bike to more neighborhoods. I’m glad to work with Chairs Rodriguez of the Transportation Committee and Williams of the Committee on Housing and Buildings to ensure that buildings are required to provide common sense access to allow workers and residents to bring their bikes into their buildings (including a bill introduced by Council Member Williams today). I am also excited to work with my fellow Council Members and the administration on a bill we are re-introducing today that will improve the removal of abandoned, derelict bikes. These rusted, old bikes take up much needed bike parking, are often not removed in a timely manner, and they become eyesores in our streetscapes.”
“The changing landscape of New York City’s transportation infrastructure offers us a unique opportunity to explore different options for our commute. Biking is an important—and increasingly popular—option that is becoming more feasible for more New Yorkers. Bike to Work Week gives us the space to talk about the contributions that biking makes to our health and to our recreational options, but also to talk about how we can make our City riper for biking. As a biker, I know firsthand that we have a way to go to ensure that biking in New York is as safe and accessible as possible,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
IN THE NEWS
Kings County Politics: Menchaca, Lander Bike To Work Today
Streetsfilms: NYC Council Bike to Work Day 2015
StreetBlog NYC: City Council Members Ride to City Hall to Celebrate Bike Month