You’re on your way home late one Friday night, and you’ve just gotten off of the subway when something makes you uneasy. Maybe it’s just a gut feeling, or maybe it’s that the pack of tough guys on the corner is leering and catcalling in your direction. Either way, your apartment is 10 blocks away and you’re not feeling safe. What do you do?
If you’re in Park Slope, Crown Heights, or any of the other neighborhoods serviced by the Brooklyn Bike Patrol, you might consider giving one of their volunteers a call. The patrol aims to make the long trip home safer for Brooklyn residents, providing on-demand bicycle escorts free of charge. In order to summon a bike patroller, simply call (718) 744-7592 and give the dispatcher your location.
The organization was started by Jay Ruiz, 47, who says he initially had a hard time getting people to have faith in his good intentions. The first time the patrol went out, “not a lot of people trusted us,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “We stood there for a couple of hours. People thought we were crazy.” Since those early days, he’s amassed considerable goodwill–in addition to the support of New York state senator Eric Adams and Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, the patrol has won over many regular patrons. “It’s a real anomaly to have a service like this,” said Elyse Neiman-Seiter, one such Brooklynite. “I think that’s why people at first didn’t believe it.”
(Photo: Adam Kuban/Flickr)