Summer 2001, p.21

Volunteer Profile: Gregory Cross

Name: Gregory Cross
Neighborhood: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Occupation: Photographer and Graphic Designer
T.A. member since: 2001
Volunteer activities: NYC Bike Week 2001 official photographer; T.A. volunteer nights; magazine photography
How did you hear about T.A.? A friend gave me a copy of City Cyclist when I was living in Richmond, VA and that was my introduction. When I visited NYC I went to the T.A. holiday party and decided I would join when I moved to NYC.
Which of T.A.'s issues concerns you the most? How bike lanes in New York are ineffective and that most of the lanes become double parking lanes. I was recently in Montreal where they have separated bike lanes that are between the sidewalk and the parked cars (separated by curbs) instead of between the parked and moving cars. The design seems so much more logical and is much safer to ride on. It is not necessarily that the lanes are so poorly designed in New York but that there is so much illegal and double parking, that the lanes become useless. Delivery trucks need access to the curb and private cars are always parked in the loading zones causing delivery trucks to park in the street (sometimes the bike lane).
What was it like being the official photographer of NYC Bike Week? It was exciting, and great to be able to go to so many different events. I was lucky to not have a 9-5 job at the time and was able to spend all day hanging out. The breakfasts, a mid-day event, then something in the evening! It gave me a great chance to be out photographing, meeting people and making friends. Also, people on bikes are generally willing to let you shoot photos of them and they tend to become involved in the pictures. Because of the celebratory spirit of NYC Bike Week everyone was really excited and into the pictures.
So biking and photography go well together: When I am riding around I see so much of the city. You are really exposed to the environment around you, as opposed to when you are in a car. Riding makes me really mobile and I am able to go quickly to lots of different areas of the city. This woman I met who works for the Daily News told me she rides her bike to all her assignments and can get to a breaking story quicker than a lot of other photographers. She gets to combine two things she really loves - riding a bike and being a photographer.
How does photography help the movement for better bicycling and walking? Concrete images stick with people more than what they see on the street. Images of people riding and walking and enjoying themselves raises awareness to the fact that there are people moving around outside of automobiles. Also, having a stock of photos available makes it easy for people to publish pictures and stories about biking, which really helps promote cycling.