Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan’

Central Park vs Forest Park

July 17th, 2011 [print] 2 comments

In my opinion, the best thing about Central Park in NYC is the wide-open bike path.  Technically, it’s part road, part multi-use path, but I’ve only ever used it as a bike path, and I suspect many others do as well.  The route itself circles the 843 acre park, and measures approximately 6mi in length.  Leave the path on foot, and it’s possible to get lost in the park, and spend an entire day exploring.

Not until recently, though, did I realize a similar bike path existed not too far from me, in St. Louis, at Forest Park.  Sure, I’ve been aware of the park for years, and even driven through it a few times, but I was never aware of the bike path.  On a recent trip to St. Louis, I finally took my bike along, and Forest Park was one of my destinations.  I entered the park on the north-east corner somewhere, cruised around for 15-20 minutes, and left fairly unimpressed.  At the time, I had no idea what I was missing.

Later, checking out Forest Park’s Wikipedia page, I learned that the park is over 50% larger than Central Park, at 1,293 acres.  I eventually discovered the bike path, too, and found it’s 7.5mi in length, a full 25% longer than the one at CP.  I was a little pissed at myself for having left so soon, without bothering to really look for the path, so I’ll have to make up for it next time I’m in town.

For anyone who might be looking for it, here’s a detailed map of the full bike path at Forest Park:

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And for anyone wondering just how much bigger Forest Park is compared to Central Park, I made this map using Google Earth, with CP laid over FP (both rotated east to west):

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FP is about 2mi long and 1mi wide, while CP is 1.6mi long, and .6mi wide.  At the end of the day, though, I’d still rather spend my time in CP.  The park is far livelier, with hotdog vendors, horse and buggy rides, and a few thousand people sharing the bike paths and sidewalks.  Forest Park seems a bid deserted, on the other hand.

NYC bike share program to launch in 2012

February 26th, 2011 [print] No comments

Due to it’s layout, teensy apartments and ridiculous population, New York City seems to be one of the better places to set up a bike share program.  Alas, it has been green-lit, and should become available sometime in 2012.

Head over to for the full story:

Personally, I think it’s a great idea, even with the obvious drawbacks (lost, stolen, and damaged bikes, plus occasional inaccessibility due to all the bikes near you already being used).  For one, apartments are sometimes so incredibly small, it’s difficult to find space to keep a bike, much less two, should you have a roommate or spouse.  Parking is close to impossible, resulting in most people opting not to own a car, meaning they have to walk, get a cab, or take the subway or bus.  The latter three mean you have to rely on–and be near–others, as well as continue to waste fuel.  Walking allows you to be alone, burning only calories.  The downside is, it’s slow.

Due to space constraints, many don’t have bicycles at home.  And because there are few safe places to keep a bike on the streets of the city, I can imagine many people opt for alternative transportation so their bikes aren’t stolen while they’re at work or shopping.  But, if you had instantly available bikes that you didn’t have to lug up stairs, maintain, or worry about throughout the day, it may get more people to ride to work, the store, or just for exercise.

I’m hoping the program is successful for NYC, and other large cities begin to open similar systems of their own.

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Bicycling in NYC

October 9th, 2010 [print] No comments

After biking in NYC, pretty much everything else seems boring to me.  The city has an overall feel of bike friendliness, with the majority of drivers and pedestrians yielding the right-of-way to cyclists, even at times they shouldn’t have to.  Even with all the traffic and red lights every few blocks, the speeds you can hit on the flat roads, and the distance you can cover in very little time, make you almost feel like you’re flying.  Unfortunately, not everyone gets along with the bikers.

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Last year, NYC passed a "bikes in buildings" law, where companies work with building owners to provide indoor areas for works to safely store their bikes during the day.  Obviously, some people have a problem with this:…/bikes-in-buildings-law-takes-some-on-frustrating-ride

Near Times Square, a cyclist is able to get out of heavy vehicular traffic, and "safely" travel in designated bike lanes, typically painted in green.  I noticed plenty of buses, delivery vans, police cars, and people blocking these lanes more often than not.  Apparently, it’s not a problem I, alone, noticed:…/city-bike-lanes-have-numerous-safety-violations

But, cycling in NYC isn’t all bad.  I toured the city with my brother-in-law who lives there and knows it well, as well as on my own a few times.  But, if you’re too timid to get lost, then figure out where you are over and over, you can hook up with Bike and Roll NYC, and go on a legitimate tour of the city.  They also offer bikes for rent, for those who don’t need a guided tour.  Just remember to bring your camera.….

Links via Cyclelicious

I’ve also gotten a lot more photos of my trip posted to Flickr recently, most of which were taken during bike rides.  You can check them out here:

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