Thursday, April 29, 2010

5 boro bike tour this sunday

For Saturday I recommend the usual summer thing for weekend day shifters, check the DOT website, and stay tuned intermittently to the traffic stations.

But for Sunday, this is a big one, one of the major weekend days of the year to look out for. When the bike tour starts in the morning, 6th Avenue is closed and you can't cross it until all the bikes have passed it. For those few hours 6th Avenue becomes like a wall for traffic and the only way to go from East to West is to either go around the FDR to WS HWY under Battery Park or to cross in the Central Park Transverses. Soon enough though, the bikers move on and they are out of our hair when they ride through Central Park. The FDR and Harlem River Drive Combo gets closed though, there should be warnings posted on the digital displays on the Manhattan Bridge Upper Roadway, and also on the FDR Drive a few days in advance with times posted. If you're in Brooklyn along the northern edge by the East river, or Astoria and LIC Queens you can really get into a mess, stuck in several walls where it feels like they are pushing you through circles. There is more info most likely at the DOT traffic advisory website-The DOT weekend Page There is a specific page on all the street closures, however I don't see where they post the specific times- Specific Streets Page Here!
If we're lucky, the radio will tell us the time that the bike tour starts, Trinity Place and 6th Avenue will probably get closed even an hour in advance. If we're really lucky the radio will tell us where the bikers are, and which streets are getting closed and which ones are opening, however the radio is usually an hour behind in their reports. If you're driving in the early morning at about 5 to 6 am in downtown you will see groups of bikers and cars with bikes getting larger and larger. I have to say there is something very special about coasting slowly down an avenue with no other motor vehicles, being surrounded by bicyclists, it's really fantastic and surreal. If I remember correctly, the Trinity Pl and 6th Avenue wall to traffic unleashes the bikes at about 6am. Best bet would probably be to hang out uptown and rely on Central Park if you have to cross 6th Avenue.

Additionally there are plenty of special street closing events on Saturday and Sunday as well. You should check the DOT Page especially if you're a day driver. Also here is the link to a large map of the bike route - The Map

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