David Byrne describes his years of riding bikes in the New York Times, and explains the impact of the Bike Share program that is starting in New York this summer:
This is major. It will make New Yorkers rethink their city and rewrite the mental maps we use to decide what is convenient, what is possible. Parks, restaurants and friends who once seemed beyond plausible commuting distance on public transportation will seem a lot closer. The possibilities aren’t limitless, but the change will be pretty impressive.
He continues with a review of the impact of bike lanes and bike sharing on cities he has visited, and how well they worked.
So, I don’t have to worry about leaving my bike somewhere if it rains or if I decide to cab home? Nope. I don’t have to worry about parking my bike outside for hours? Nope. I don’t have to think about whether my friend has a bike if we’re going somewhere together? Nope. Everyone has a bike now.
He concludes with an optimistic note, about how bikes are changing cities.
Look around you. Bikes are everywhere: in glamorous ads and fashionable neighborhoods, parked outside art galleries, clubs, office buildings. More and more city workers arrive for work on bikes. The future is visible in the increasing number of bikes you see all over the urban landscape. This simple form of transportation is about to make our city more livable, more human and better connected; New Yorkers are going to love the bike-share program; culturally and physically, our city is perfectly suited for it.
Of course, being the New York TImes, there are then 221 comments about how cyclists blow through red lights and go the wrong way on one way streets and are a menace to pedestrians. Sigh.