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Taxi, Delivery Drivers Learn To Appreciate Five Boro Bike Tour

Cyclists participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour on May 4, 2014. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Cyclists participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour on May 4, 2014. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — As the Five Boro Bike Tour continues to grow in size, it seems many taxi and delivery drivers, who once considered the event a headache because it closes off major thoroughfares, have grown to accept it.

“I just love what’s going on,” one driver told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “Love New York. And those bikers have to be respected like all of us have to be respected.”

Driver Joe Fink said he has learned where he can and can’t drive on tour day.

“It’s fine,” he told Schuck. “It’s one day a year. Let them have their day.

“Last year, as I was going up the Drive, going to LaGuardia, going north, and they were coming south. It’s all these bikers, and they’re very quiet, they don’t pollute. I think it’s fantastic.”

“It’s just a little difficult,” one driver admitted. “It gets to be a pain, but it’s fine.”

Ken Podziba, chief executive officer of Bike NY, had a message to all drivers.

“This is the one day a year that cyclists really have the streets of New York City,” he told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller. “We apologize for any inconvenice. But we’d recommend leave the car home, ride a bike and join the fun.”

The chance to ride 40 miles of car-free roads across the five boroughs was something Tim from Maryland couldn’t resist.

“I love New York, and there’s no better way to see New York than on bicycle,” he said.

Susan from Chicago added: “I’d be very afraid to ride here with traffic because you can’t even walk here, let alone ride a bike.”

The tour closed streets and highways across the city, including parts of the FDR Drive, for part of the day Sunday as 32,000 take part in the event.

Among the closings, the southbound FDR Drive from the Third Avenue Bridge is closed until 1 p.m., the Manhattan-bound upper level of the Queensboro Bridge is closed from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the Staten-Island bound lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will be closed from around 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The southbound Gowanus Expressway from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the Verrazano Bridge will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The tour includes riders from 65 different countries and raises more than $1 million for 52 charities, Podziba told Miller.

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