Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Bikes a Part of the Neighborhood

Tom Angotti
Gotham Gazette

The brouhaha in the press about bike lanes seems to have subsided for now and the buzz has turned to New York City’s plan to launch the largest bikeshare program in the country. Highly publicized efforts to erase new bike lanes, like the failed court case against the Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn, may have run out of steam. But in the long run, the battles over street space are bound to move beyond downtown and City Hall to the city’s hundreds of neighborhoods where there are many cyclists and very few bicycle lanes, raising complex and long-neglected issues of transportation justice.

Next year New York City’s bikeshare program New York City’s bikeshare program will place 10,000 bicycles at 600 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, so that for a minimal charge New Yorkers can get around the city – as an alternative and supplement to private cars, taxis, walking and mass transit. People will be able to pick up a bike at one station and leave it at another. Boston, Washington, DC, Paris and scores of other large cities around the world already have successful bikeshare programs that are expanding bicycle use and changing the way streets are shared.

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