Yes to “Open Streets”

Redbeard Bikes supports the “open street” on Washington Street.

We think it is lovely to sit down at a table, and eat a sandwich or drink a coffee, without cars whooshing past.

We believe that the streets belong first to people — on foot, on bikes, in strollers or wheelchairs — and only second to cars.

Whatever congestion we’re seeing in DUMBO, is not caused by Washington Street being open to people and closed to cars. It’s caused by people driving here (and looking for parking) instead of taking the train, bus, or ferry, or cycling and walking. It’s caused by a gajillion dollars of development/construction and all the contractors and workers who drive here to make that happen…

As more people come to DUMBO, to live, work or play, we should be giving those people SPACE.

Amtrak says, “No heartbeat, no seat” — in other words, take your bag off the seat so someone can sit. We would do well to adopt this philosophy in DUMBO, with regards to cars.

We actually dream of a car-free DUMBO, modeled on certain European city centers.

When we promote DUMBO events or attractions, we can encourage people to get here without driving. Friendly PSAs go a long way, like that little bird that reminds people to bring a tote when they go shopping. We can also pressure MTA to fix the York St. F train stop — yeah, it’s an uphill battle, but it’s a better use of our energy than complaining about Washington St.

It’s gonna take more than a year, and ultimately more than one open street, for people to reap the benefits of any one open street.

We CAN have nice things.