Welcome to BRBRbrooklyn! Whether you are pedaling to the shore, the store, your neighbor’s stoop, or back to your own coop, this blog is for you. Bay Ridge Bicycle Routes is an effort raise to awareness within our neighborhood and among civic groups about the activities of bicyclists in Bay Ridge and other nearby communities in southern Brooklyn.

Our neighborhood’s immediate access to the harbor, less congested street traffic, friendly atmosphere, expansive parks and flat terrain (except, of course, for the steep ridge in Bay Ridge!) makes our corner of New York City one of the most fantastic places to ride a bicycle. Whether for transportation, recreation, fun or fitness, cycling is great in Bay Ridge.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Crowe Effect

An article from this past week in the New York Times, "Anxiety Over the Future of Bike Lanes," raises questions about the long-term lifespan of bicycle lanes in NYC - will they survive past the Bloomberg administration?

At BRBR, we believe bicycle lanes will remain.  They have become a core definition of experience and opportunity, providing a new means for people to move through, use and access all of NYC.  Bicycle lanes have embedded themselves into the culture of this town.  The date they fully took hold can be pinpointed: October 23, 2012.  On that morning, paparazzi photographer J.B. Nichols chased actor Russell Crowe through the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, on bicycles.

When has an A-list, Oscar-wining actor and personality ever before considered a bicycle as primary transit through the streets NYC? Crowe's bodyguard was also on a bicycle and they both were followed by a total of 6 bicycle riding photographers.  Imagine how this scene would have appeared!  Instead of photographers climbing over each other along the edge red carpet, they were maintaining pedaling cadence and scrambling past Crowe and his bodyguard along green-painted and bicycle-icon marked lanes of the street.

It has required many years of effort to develop the current on and off street bicycle network in NYC and the number of bicycle riders has steadily increased every year over the past 10+ years.  Motorists have also slowly grown accustomed to sharing the streets, whether or not a bicycle lane is in place.  Potential riders see other bicyclists and marked designation for places to ride.  The lanes create the possibility for people attempting their first rides throughout NYC.  The first trip is probably local in the neighborhood.  With some confidence and experience, another bicycle journey is to work or school.  The extent of the bicycle network allows a sense of empowerment to take hold, an a person can ride even farther or more regularly, making the bike a part of their personal transit system.  Soon, anything is possible... even actors on bicycles being chased by paparazzi on bicycles!

October 23, 2012 should be remembered as an important day in NYC bicycling!  Read the full account of this milestone in the Daily News.