Saturday, 14 August 2010
It was the second Saturday of Summer Streets today, one of 3 Saturdays in August when the city temporarily closes Park Avenue and connecting streets to vehicular traffic between Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park and opens it up to the people, although cyclists seem to primarily be the ones taking advantage. Bikeandroll offers free bike rental and this year Macro Sea have provided 3 'dumpster pools' where you can cool off on a first come first served basis.
In theory I love the idea...in practice...well cyclists don't see to be the most considerate people in the world in my experience of previous Summer Streets events - this is the 3rd year it's taken place - since despite being on two wheels many of them seem to assume they have the rights of both pedestrians and vehicles, so if the light is in their favor they'll go and if the light is in favor of pedestrians trying to cross to the other side of Park Avenue they'll still go.
Now I'm sure it's only a small few who give the all the other cyclists a bad reputation, but it seems to be my misfortune that I come across these small few more often than not - probably because I walk through Central Park so often on my way to work - and for the most part I'd rather take my chances with the cabs and the accompanying exhaust fumes than the demons in lycra, so I'll admit I groaned when I realized Summer Streets was in progress as I walked down to my eyebrow waxing appointment at Harmony on 43rd St.
Fortunately this year the NYPD seemed to have their shit together and I was able to easily cross Park Avenue at one of the designated crossing points while the police - and perhaps volunteers - used hand held traffic signals to control the flow, so this year I was able to enjoy the unusual site of Park Avenue taken over by cyclists, rollerbladers, runners and walkers without fear of losing a limb.