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STREETFILMS: Riding Around with Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere

Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere shows off the future of Ninth Avenue. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Check out Eighth Avenue … with a comedian!

Earlier this month, Charles Eckerson of Streetfilms rode around Hells Kitchen with Charlie Todd from the city-based troupe Improv Everywhere to look at the new Phase II of the Department of Transportation’s transformational redesign of Eighth Avenue.

From five moving (or really sclerotic) lanes of car and truck traffic and virtually no pedestrian space and an unusable bike lane, the city has changed the stretch between Madison Square Garden and West 51st Street into two lanes for cars and trucks to create a much wider pedestrian area and, as a result, a bike lane free of walkers.

Todd and Eckerson also checked out the Department of Sanitation’s “Clean Curbs” pilot bins near 43rd Street. They’re not perfect, but they’re an improvement to forcing pedestrians to scurry like rats among garbage bags piled high. Eckerson’s flashback footage show just how far we’ve come as a city.

“It’s a lot better than giant mountains of trash on the sidewalk!” Todd said.

He also offered a preview of the work being done on Ninth Avenue. Check it out:

Is Todd — a professional entertainer — a laugh riot in the video? No, but give him a break — he’s now also a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 4, so perhaps he had on that august hat.

Click to view slideshow.

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