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Bike Rack Extraction at Astor Only Temporary


Concerned cyclists can breathe easy: the two bike racks being removed from the west side of the cube at Astor Place tomorrow will be reinstalled after August 18, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation. The racks are not going to be replaced by a bike share station, as some commenters had speculated on EV Grieve. Rather, they’re being taken out to make way for Summer Streets, the annual event that closes roads to cars on the first three weekends in August and includes a stage at Astor Place. (So no need to go claiming one of the remaining racks as private). If you’re looking for the zip line that the city set up in Union Square last month as a teaser for Summer Streets, though, you’ll have to head south to Foley Square near City Hall.

Wheeee! A Zip Line Over Union Square

Robin Manning glides down the 160-foot zip line.Melvin Felix Robin Manning glides down a zip line at Union Square Park.

Some lucky pedestrians around Union Square got to zing down a 160-foot-long zip line before going off to work this morning.

A preview of Summer Streets 2012 at Union Square.Melvin Felix A group waits in line to ride the zip line.

“It was so fun,” said Robin Manning, 48, who lives in Hanover Square and said she was late on her way to therapy.

The zip line is one of several free activities associated with Summer Streets this year. For three Saturdays in August, the city will clear traffic on nearly seven miles of streets and turn them over to pedestrians. This year’s events, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the first three Saturdays of August, will include a 25-foot climbing wall, sports-themed activities such as dance and yoga classes and, of course, the zip line.

“You don’t need a cup of coffee,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who glided down the long cable at Union Square twice this morning. “You can start your morning off with the zip line.”

D.O.T. Commissioner Janette Saik-KhanMelvin Felix Department of Transportation Commissioner
Janette Sadik-Khan.

Ms. Sadik-Khan, who spoke with a bike helmet at her side (they were given out at the event) said community groups would also offer family-friendly activities, dubbed Weekend Walks. Fourth Arts Block will host the East Village’s Weekend Walks on August 18, 19, 25 and 26, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at East Fourth Street between Second Avenue and Bowery.

Street Art: “Walk Man” is Toppled, But Flaming Cacti Stand Tall

untitled.jpg One Animus Arts Collective artist constructs a Flaming Cactus Saturday night

The “WALK MAN” that was erected in Tompkins Square Park over the weekend has already been vandalized (DNA Info has the story), but another art installation is still standing. Over the weekend, a group of roughly ten artists calling themselves the Animus Arts Collective transformed fourteen East Village lampposts into “Flaming Cactus” displays.

You may have seen some of the lampposts at Astor Place; four similar lampposts, festooned with fluorescent cables to resemble cacti, are located on Governor’s Island.

Officials with the New York City Department of Transportation commissioned the project in order to mark the route of the D.O.T.’s fourth annual Summer Streets program. Read more…