Bikers make a splash for public space — in fountains!


On an unusually warm Monday for October, Time’s Up! held its annual Fountain Ride, intended to call attention to the more than 500 public spaces throughout the city — and also intended to have fun. This year, they tied the ride’s premise to the Occupy Wall Street encampment, located in Lower Manhattan in Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public space.

About 15 cyclists started their water dance in the Time-Life Building’s fountain at Sixth Ave. and 50th St., as “Surfin’ Safari” blared from their “sound bike.” They continued on to other fountains uptown, with their second dip being in the nearby New York Hilton’s fountain. Under a 1961 zoning law, in exchange for adding public spaces, developers can get a “plaza bonus,” allowing them to add floors to their buildings. The Occupy Wall Street participants have been able to remain in Zuccotti Park, a.k.a. “Liberty Park,” because the park’s rules provide for a space that must be open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jefferson Siegel