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People on Bikes: Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn

Posted by on October 27th, 2012 at 7:28 am

Welcome to the latest installment of People on Bikes.

Yesterday evening I had the distinct pleasure of photographing the evening bicycle rush hour near the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. A beautiful mural that adorns a downhill off-ramp of the bridge caught my eye and I thought it’d make a nice backdrop. The mural, Fictional Landscape by Abby Goldstein (located at Sands and Jay streets) is one of many urban art projects managed by NYC DOT and integrated into their bikeways.

Coverage from New York City
made possible by:

The people on bikes that streamed by my lens (I was there for about 25 minutes) were a wonderfully diverse lot. The demographic diversity was similar to what we see in Portland; but the ethnic diversity was much different. Beyond that, the other thing that stood out for me was just the traffic itself. The volume wasn’t as high as on Portland’s bridges, but it was certainly a significant and steady stream of people. The infrastructure on/off the bridge is very notable too. I’ll share a more in-depth look at that in a separate post.

For now, take a look at what people on bikes look like in Brooklyn…

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-37

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-48

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-47

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-46

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-45

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-44

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-43

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-42

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-41

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-40

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-39

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-38

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-49

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-1

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-35

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-34

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-33

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-32

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-31

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-30

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-29

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-28

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-2

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-26

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-25

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-24

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-23

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-22

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-21

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-19

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-18

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-17

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-16

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-15

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-14

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-13

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-12

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-11

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-10

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-9

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-8

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-7

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-6

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-5

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-4

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-3

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People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-27

Like People on Bikes? Check out past editions here.

— This post is part of my ongoing New York City coverage. I’m here for a week to cover the NACTO Designing Cities conference and the city’s bike culture in general. This special reporting trip was made possible by Planet Bike, Lancaster Engineering, and by readers like you. Thank you! You can find all my New York City coverage here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Guest
g

Celeb Sighting #39 – Liam Neeson filming in a new bicycle messenger movie ‘Taken by Bike’

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

Such a smiley place, New York. Love these sets!

scaryseth
Guest
scaryseth

Another great People on Bikes, as usual!
Nice to see a sampling of another cities riders. A little different than seen in Portland. But lots of smiles and enjoying the ride.
Let the comments on trends begin 🙂

scaryseth
Guest
scaryseth

out of 49 riders
22 helmets
4 front lights
2 with clipless pedals

And what the heck is #15 http://harderbikes.com/

Michael
Guest
Michael

Thanks for the set of photos, loved the people… so many with out lids?

9watts
Guest
9watts

The preponderance of luggage hung from handlebars is interesting. Maybe a shortage of racks in NYC? Though baskets also seem popular.

Very cool set – those that loaded. I’m hoping the rest load too.

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

Great photos Jonathan!

are
Guest

item 15 caused me to do some internet searching

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Looks more European than Portland riders, including the lack of helmets…

Rick
Guest
Rick

Great photos! That “Harder Bikes” dude freaked me out. No seat??? Yikes!

Rob
Guest
Rob

And almost no bike specific clothing. I should double check with some of the portland pic sets, but I don’t think you can take that many pictures in Portland without one piece of Showers Pass gear.

Rol
Guest
Rol

I love how the helmet thing is blowing everyone’s minds. It’s nice to see that New Yorkers’ traditionally healthy BS detectors are still functioning.

Far more disturbing is that 13 of these people aren’t visibly wearing socks. We’d have to get them to take their shoes off to verify. But no, on second thought, keep those shoes ON, people. That’s just nasty!

Rol
Guest
Rol

Socks and helmets: Of 13 sockless riders, 62% wore helmets. Of 36 be-socked riders, 36% wore helmets. It appears that socklessness correlates with helmet use. I guess if you’re susceptible to one type of popular BS (“don’t wear socks, socks are dreadful”), you’re gonna be susceptible to other types (“wear a helmet, helmets saved my precious, precious life”). From a corporate marketing standpoint this seems like an obedient and very profitable demographic. Wear your helmet or you’ll DIE (cha-CHING for the helmet makers and of course the car makers), and don’t wear socks or you’ll be a SOCIAL OUTCAST AND STARVE ALONE IN CELIBACY (cha-CHING for the shoe makers when you have to replace those nasty stanky ones).

Toby
Guest
Toby

Nice to see so many people acknowledging the camera! Fun photo set 😉

9watts
Guest
9watts

#28 gives the term toe clips new meaning.

ScoBu
Guest
ScoBu

Great assortment of bikes, too!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Gasp. People of colour on the pages of bp.org. Nice to see.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Oh btw I saw all your comments re: vehicles violating bike lanes; it’s a universal problem. To call it out every single time I suppose brings the issue to light but come on cyclists are pictured doing all kinds of wrong things in your set.

Where is a guy supposed to unload his delivery in such a densely-packed city anyway? I think bringing your Portland eyes to NYC then judging it is just a bit presumptuous.

Doug G.
Guest

Depending on where these people are riding to they may find themselves on protected or separated bike paths for most of their journey with just a few short stretches where they have to interact with drivers. And even in those stretches the bike lanes have wide buffers. There’s the bridge itself, of course, but then there’s the Sand Street cycle track which connects to a short unprotected lane which then connects to Flushing Ave (buffered, then protected) and Kent Avenue (completely protected).

Not that NYC is perfect, of course, and there are still far too many gaps in the network, but given the investment in protected bike lanes in stretches leading to and from this bridge I’m not surprised that Jonathan captured so many people feel comfortable riding sans helmet.

These are wonderful pictures! Thank you!

Doug G.
Guest

Sorry…

“who feel comfortable riding sans helmet.”

Paul Smith
Guest

Honestly your People On Bikes posts generally bore me, people expressionlessly zinging by, but this group is so expressive, I like the ones where they’re looking or throwing a sign. Definitely a great slice of NYC, thanks 🙂

Adam
Guest
Adam

It is fantastic how many people actually seem pleased to have their picture taken.

Spiffy
Guest

I like that #37 is multitasking…

Gracie
Guest
Gracie

I love seeing people wearing dressy clothing on their bikes.

scaryseth
Guest
scaryseth

I find it interesting how the helmet comments, that were non-judgmental, sparked all the talk. I do not judge myself and have considered not wearing mine as frequently as I do. It was the main commonality that stuck out to me right away.

Some others
17 noticeable bells
21 fenders of one form or another

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Interesting bike fits. Almost every rider shown has their seat too low, and half have their feet positioned too far forward on the pedals.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Interesting that the denizens of NYC seem more aware of Jonathan’s camer than the Portland subjects of his photo series.

Editz
Guest
Editz

I wonder how many of these folks are fair weather riders.

patrickz
Guest
patrickz

These people seem to be all busy types. Good to see a few Surlys, and I really like that Urban Art Projects setup; makes me think of some places here that could use some visual enlivening. Fine reporting and photos. Thanks, Jonathan

Cory
Guest
Cory

Anybody know what kind of helmet #24 is wearing?

Eric
Guest
Eric

Did anyone else notice that #’s 6,7,8,and 9 are all riding the same bike??? Is there a bike share station close by or what??

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I’m #18 – clearly looking at you out of the corner of my eye and on my way to pick up my son at daycare! Totally saw the camera and wondered where these photos would end up. I actually am usually a helmet wearer, but recently lost it and just haven’t had time to replace it yet.

As someone else pointed out, however, it’s possible to spend nearly your entire commute in Brooklyn on roads with bike lanes, and often buffered or separated ones at that. When I have my son on the bike I will typically go a bit out of my way to keep to those roads.

Necia
Guest

I cant believe you were able to capture all that bukey goodness in 1 day. I work and play in NYC, and never have I sern such an eclectic mix. Clearly, I ned to hang out in better places :). The best photo for me was the lady in the vibram 5 fingers using clip in’s. I LOVE it! When I purchased my bike, I had on my fingers and a skirt, and the salesperson suggested I come back dressed for a test ride. I laughed, and told him if I couldnt ride comfortably the way I currently was, I wouldnt be buying a bike. Once we were past all of that, things went smoothly, and I absolutely LOVE cycling. Keep the photos coming!

editz
Guest
editz

Looks like your work’s even making it onto 4chan:

http://boards.4chan.org/n/res/409855

Ed
Guest
Ed

more surlys than cannondales bummer

Carl
Guest
Carl

Did you group 6,7,8, and 9 together intentionally? They all appear to be from the same Raleigh line. Wonder what the story there is.

Ian Hopper
Guest

Love seeing the Big Dummys and Xtracycles! Also, what’s that electric bike in #43? Couldn’t see a tube decal…

Jeremy Cohen
Guest
Jeremy Cohen

#33–most fabulous helmet (cover) EVER! To hell with safety, that is straight-up fashion.

Alicia
Guest

Great pics! It seems that there may be a bike sharing program? pics 8&9 seem to have identical bikes (minus the carrier on the back of 9). We have a bike program here in St. Paul and it’s fantastic.