NYC film maker Casey Neistat spent the night of Sandy biking around the flooded streets of Manhattan. Here’s his video of that night.
My friends in the area tell me things are still rough there. They’re taking cold showers and walking up 20 flights of stairs to their apartments though, amazingly to me, Internet service via their mobile devices continues if they can find a way to charge their phones.
No power means no traffic lights — they tell me a significant number of drivers blithely barrel through uncontrolled intersections, and piles of broken glass and plastic at these intersections testify to the results of their carelessness. Few working gas pumps means everybody is out on their bikes, but even cyclists need fuel for cooking and generators and heat so they wait in line along with everybody else. Bike shops report booming business as commuters fall back to human powered transportation. Jonathan from Portland OR has chronicled the bike commuters in a number of posts at BikePortland.
Bike Snob NYC lives, naturally, in NYC, and he points out “that taxis need gas, and car services need gas, and buses need gas, and police need gas, and rescue workers need gas, and the trucks that deliver our food need gas, and generators need gas.”
We’ve all heard about how gridlocked traffic and flooded tunnels have severely impacted the region’s public transportation systems. NYC MTA have published a post-hurricane subway map showing running services (via Human Transit). Cap’n Transit suggests an emergency bus network for New York City.
Bike Hugger reminds of an old bike industry saying: “Bicycles are like the cockroaches of transportation in natural disasters.” Byron explains, “When all else fails, bikes get ridden by people braving the conditions to survey their surroundings, challenge mother nature, and get work done. They are riding a hurricane.” And thus he describes his Ride a Hurricane Tumblr.
In case you ignored that big red text above because it looked like an ad, it’s no joke so let me repeat: Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls seeks bicycle riders to deliver relief supplies to Sunset Park and Red Hook. If you know of other relief efforts that need bicycles with cargo capacity, please leave a comment here or post a link to the Cyclelicious Facebook wall.