Rootstohealth's Blog

Biking Broadway
June 29, 2009, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Biking

I recently brought my bike to New York, and have thus far loved biking the city.  You move faster than walking, get a nicer breeze on muggy days, and don’t have to endure sticky subways.  Good exercise, fast commute, and nice to the environment! Yesterday, however, was the first time that I biked down Broadway and the first time I saw Broadway since Times Square and Herald’s Square became closed to cars.

First off – biking Broadway (or any street with a designated bike lane) is a dream compared to un-bikelaned streets.  You know which side of the street to ride on, and you feel like there’s a little slice of the world that you can bike on and not feel like you’re intruding on other people’s (namely cars and pedestrians) space.  Bike lane streets are definitely the way to go.  Try planning your bike trips via so that you can fill it with as many bike lanes/safe roads as possible.

The car-free Times Square turned out to be the most painful part of my journey.  First – they make you walk your bike through the construction of Times Square – that’s about 5 blocks of heavily trafficked walking.  Also – all of the lounge chairs and tables they have set up may seem nice for people to sit, what it lead to was people using the bike lane as an extension of the sidewalk.  There were many families leisurely walking down the street IN the bikelane.  It was quite a learning experience for me because when I had to ring my bell or shout that I was coming – it wasn’t out of anger, but rather  fear…I don’t want to fall off my bike, and I most certainly don’t want to hit anyone!!  Whenever I have been yelled at as a pedestrian texting or talking on my cell phone, I took it personally and thought that there was some biker malice towards pedestrians.  Now I realize that it was out of fear, and not a bad attitude.

So are the walkers-only spaces a good idea? I think so.  Closing off areas to cars means that more people will choose public transportation and walking; however, I think that there should be a more closed off bike lane, or at least a detour option off of Times Square so that biking is easier, and to relive the fear of injuring pedestrians.  Also – I learned that I have to stop using my cell phone/texting while walking…it’s not very safe, or courteous to the bikers trying to navigate the city without injuring themselves or others.

but now that I’ve started biking the city…I can’t stop!  Let me know of any scenic routes/good bike paths! I appreciate a ride not full of car exhaust (biking Canal Street was probably the worst decision ever made…)


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