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Observing First-Hand How the Bike Trumps the Car in Manhattan

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Dressed for work, I pedaled at a leisurely pace up a very busy 6th Avenue at the height of the congested work day. I wanted to see how hard/easy/fast/slow the bicycle felt as a legit way to commute around midtown. Even though there is no protected (or even designated) bike lane on 6th or 5th Avenues in midtown, I managed to blow past cars stuck in traffic, getting where I needed to go, without breaking a sweat in my lowest gear, observing all traffic signals and cycling with courtesy and respect. We all know that bicycles create a minimal physical footprint and a non-existent carbon footprint, unlike cars or, especially, SUVs. On the bike, I’m getting to my destination more efficiently, inexpensively, in a better mood and several calories lighter. The car-in-the-city model is expensive, dangerous, spatially inefficient, impractical, dirty and broken. With the population of New York City expected to increase by another million in the next couple of decades, the time is ripe for change if NYC is going to catch up to other European cities as a more livable city. Better buses, better subways, better bike lanes = better city living.

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