Take a Ride on New York City’s Bike Lanes — in 2002

New York still has a lot of work to do to create an all-ages, low-stress citywide bike network, but let’s pause for a moment to appreciate how far the city has come.

Before he made Streetfilms, Clarence Eckerson Jr. made BikeTV, a cable access show. In this BikeTV clip that Clarence recently unearthed, you’ll get a tour of the bike network in northwest Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan in the winter of 2002:

Contrary to popular belief, New York did have bike lanes 15 years ago, but the network was sparse and the city clearly didn’t place a high priority on maintaining it. Five more years would pass before Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan arrived on the scene and put in the city’s first protected bike lane.

Here are some before-and-after comparisons of the streets shown in the video.


Broadway. Image: Google Maps
Broadway at 19th Street today. Image: Google Maps
Broadway in 2002
Broadway in 2002.

Sixth Avenue:

Sixth Avenue. Photo: David Meyer
Sixth Avenue today. Photo: David Meyer
Sixth Avenue in 2002
Sixth Avenue in 2002


Lafayette Street. Image: Google Maps
Lafayette Street today. Image: Google Maps
Lafayette in 2002
Lafayette in 2002.

Of course, some problems haven’t gone away:

Adams Street — better, but still work to do. Image: Google Maps


The Third Most Influential Streetfilm of All Time

With the 10-year benefit for Streetsblog and Streetfilms coming up on November 14 (get your tickets here!), we are counting down the 12 most influential Streetfilms of all time, as determined by Clarence Eckerson Jr. The Case for Physically Separated Bike Lanes Number of plays: 123,500 Publish date: February 17, 2007 Why is it here? Ten […]