In 2009, Stuart C. Gruskin was fatally injured after a bicyclist—riding against the traffic—collided with him. His widow, Nancy Gruskin, founded the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation. It’s dedicated to pedestrian safety, and its first big initiative debuted this week: The 5 to Ride campaign teaches cyclists to ride more safely. Naturally, its main target is businesses that use cyclists for deliveries.
The 5 to Ride campaign has started right here in Tribeca. “We chose Tribeca because of my colleague, George Matthews, who lives here,” explained Nancy yesterday. We met at Landmarc—a supporter of the initiative—where she was taping a segment with NY1. “He said, ‘We’ve got to start in Tribeca—it’s family-oriented and community-spirited. I know restaurants will support 5 to Ride. It’s what we do here.'” As a resident, he knew the restaurants. “Before work, after work, whenever, he’d go into places, make contact, deliver a presentation. And then I’d come speak to them.”
Anyone can see that cyclists tend to ignore the rules; deliverypeople, of course, have an incentive to do so—the more they deliver, the more money they earn. Getting restaurants onboard with a safety program, then, is crucial to improving the situation. 5 to Ride asks businesses (and individuals) to take what it calls the Pedal Pledge:
1. Put Pedestrians first
2. Stop at Every red light
3.Ride in the right Direction—with traffic
4. Stay on the Asphalt, off the sidewalk
5. Pick one Lane, and stick with it
Local restaurants taking the pledge include Wichcraft, Kitchenette, Landmarc, Il Mattone, The Odeon, Zucker’s, Edward’s, and Dean’s. 5 to Ride has also partnered with the Bike New York organization, which will offer free training sessions with employees.
I asked what Tribecans could do to help, and Nancy said that we can take the pledge and/or purchase a tote bag or T-shirt. Which is great, of course, but I wondered if there wasn’t a way to make it easier for us to let restaurants know that the issue is important to us. We got to talking about the idea, and then another idea hit me: 5 to Ride should be partnering with SeamlessWeb. I could see all sorts of synergies, including adding the 5 to Ride icon on participating restaurants’ SeamlessWeb pages. I like to think of it as my good deed for the