NYC's bike-share is likely to be similar to other existing programs. The one pictured here is in Taipei. Photo: Flickr, CC
Starting with 10,500 Bikes, Then Increasing to 49,000
Biking in New York City has been growing at a good clip in recent years (check out this graph), something that the local authorities have been encouraging with new infrastructure and policies. But something in missing from NYC's bike culture: a bike-sharing program. That might be about to change thanks to a proposal by Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Read on for more details.
The New York City bike share proposal would begin with 10,500 bikes, and quickly expand to 49,000 two-wheelers. [...]
For all the complaints about rogue bike riders, the city says the dramatic reshaping of roads to accommodate riders is calming traffic.
"We are doing everything we can to design safer, better-performing streets," NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.
Sadik-Khan said what's happened in the Bowery is typical. After a car lane was eliminated and travel lanes for bicycles were added near Allen and Delancey streets, pedestrian injuries dropped 54 percent compared to the six prior years.
It's not yet clear when that program would launch and where the first stations would be. Stay tuned for more details.
A local CBS station did a piece on this. Be warned that it's a bit light on facts and high on manufactured controversy.
This video takes the typical approach of showing "two sides to every story" and, after following cyclists going the wrong way or talking to people who have witnessed bike accidents, raises the question "is it a good idea to add more bikes to New York's streets?". Of course, they'd never follow around car drivers who don't follow the law or talk to victims of car accidents and ask "is it a good idea to add more cars to New York's streets?". There's always a double-standard about bikes...
The real solution to delinquent cyclists is not to reduce the number of riders, but rather to educate them about how to ride safely, to create infrastructure that makes it easy to do so, and to enforce the laws that already exist. Cities like Copenhagen have a lot more cyclists per capita than New York and their streets are enviably sane.