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With mass transit systems throughout New Jersey and New York hobbled, and reports of miles-long gas station lines, ’70s style, getting around this week has been difficult to say the least. Even with the heroic efforts of our region’s transit agencies to get partial restoration of service as soon as possible, many commuters will discover that their feet and their bike provides the fastest and easiest one-seat ride around. As noted in today’s New York Times, “In Midtown, congestion was spotty but an improvement from Wednesday. Before the sun came up, the main mode of transportation in Lower Manhattan — still dark from the loss of power — appeared to be bicycles.”

Walking and biking is easy, low-tech, and saves fuel (which you should be doing — gas is in short supply these days and we all need to conserve as much as possible). A few things to remember if you’re biking or walking around:

  • Wear your helmet if you’re on a bike. Roads could still be slick from wet leaves and wet surfaces.
  • Be seen. It’s dark out. Lots of street lights aren’t working. You must make sure that people can see you. Wear light-colored clothing, reflective if possible, and put reflectors and lights on your bike or on your person if you can.
  • Be alert and be on the lookout for downed power lines, of which there are many. If you see any, STAY AWAY. Don’t even go near them. They could be live wires.

Stay safe folks. If you have any good stories of walking and biking around after Hurricane Sandy, we want to hear them! And be sure to keep up with the latest transportation news, including service disruptions, on GMTMA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

A flooded street in Red Hook, Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage in the area. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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