Spread out across the globe to engage in summer research and employment, numerous GSD Urban Planning and Design students are embracing the bicycle as a means of commuting to work. Jonathan Goldman and Ginny Keesler (both MUP ’15) have encountered both challenges and rewards while cycling to their internships with the NYC Department of City Planning.
“I feel ideologically committed to bike infrastructure, so I want to be out there using it,” said Goldman by way of explaining his decision to cycle instead of taking public transportation. Keesler said she opts not to use the subway because, “it is nice to get some exercise and fresh air out of my commute.”
The students have occasionally found existing bicycle infrastructure to be inadequate. Keesler, who cycles from Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan, has had difficulty getting on and off the Brooklyn Bridge. She said, “My experiences have highlighted the importance and challenges of enhancing connectivity within fragmented bicycle infrastructure.”
For Goldman, the most frustrating aspect of bicycle commuting is the sweat that it generates during the summer months. “I take ten minutes to cool off and change once I get to the office,” said Goldman. “As it gets hotter, I may have to either extend that cool-down period, find a place to shower, or stop biking altogether.”
Despite these challenges, both Keesler and Goldman view their decision to commute via bicycle in a positive light. They cite breathtaking views of the NYC skyline and the pleasure of a high-energy activity as reasons that they will continue cycling in the face of crowded bike lanes and the scorching summer heat.