Bike Share is Here: Some Brave the City Streets, Others Will Pass

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

6,000 bikes were added to city streets Monday as the city launched what it called the largest bike share program in the country.

At more than 300 bike stations in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, New Yorkers may now take bikes for quick rides. Only those with $95 annual memberships can ride during this first week of the program.  The city says bike shares are supposed to compliment the subway system and fill in the gaps where train lines are missing.  

By mid-afternoon, a station on the east side of Washington Square Park was full of bikes while further south near Spring and Sixth Avenue the station was empty.  

The bike share program took 3 years to implement. Eventually, it's supposed to include 10,000 bikes at 600 stations.




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Comments [9]

Harry from Nyc

Tiffany - Come on! Pedestrians constantly walk in the bike lanes without looking and jaywalk in front of bikes in a way they'd never do in front of a cab. And speaking of cabs, they of course constantly run red lights, get into accidents, hit pedestrians, all to pick up a fare.

Lora - Get over yourselves. John Liu is involved in a campaign finance fiasco and you're okay with him as long as he protects public art serving a few people. How about reducing your carbon footprint with moveable art?

May. 31 2013 02:10 AM
Tony E from Brooklyn

@Joe - I thought I was being respectful and still am (so I'll note but ignore the "terrorist" remark and your grammar correction of another commenter). I may have to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk but I have as much right to use the streets as pedestrians and cars. Your rights don't trump mine if we are all obeying the laws. And yes I have been cycling in NYC since the 70's

If you are obeying the law and crossing at the crosswalk on the green light, I'll do my best not to hit you by obeying the laws and stopping at the light. Believe me, no cyclist want to be in an accident.

But if while I'm obeying the law I fully expect pedestrians not to casually step into my path because they are trying to hail a cab and are not looking for cyclists, or taking a photo and ignoring everything around them, or jay walking - whether in the crosswalk or not, or simply ignoring my bell ringing and shouts (because they are too busy talking or texting on a cell phone....

Because in most cases a jaywalker walking into me will knock me down on my back in the middle of moving traffic.

As I said before nobody wants to cause an accident.

By the way, more bikes on the road will actually mean more cyclist will be stopping at red lights (if for no other reason than peer pressure). My experiment was merely to suggest that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - in other words it was meant as something to think about rather then my condoning any law breaking.

May. 28 2013 04:31 PM
IZMX from Manhattan

To Joe from BK - I can't help but to feel that you're simply looking for something to be annoyed about. You rant about being "almost hit", you launch into hyperbole comparing cyclists to terrorists, and you lament improper punctuation. You might feel better if you got some exercise... Might I recommend at bike ride?

May. 28 2013 04:10 PM
Joe Pearce from Brooklyn

Tony - First of all, my right to walk comes before your right to ride, no matter whether I am jaywalking or not. If a jaywalker walks into you, an apology will suffice. If a bike rider rams into you, hospitalization may suffice. I have been almost run down more than once while attempting to cross a street WITH the light, not by trucks or motorists, but by bicycle riders who can't imagine hurting anyone if only ploughing into them at 20 miles per hour. The fact that the police are ticketing cyclists more often since 2011 is not necessarily reassuring, since unless they ticket, and suspend the license of, the one who may run me down, my chances of being in peril while simply trying to cross the street are hardly diminished. Yes, most cyclists are law- and rule-abiding, which doesn't mean they still can't be dangerous. After all, we don't allow the fact that only a handful of terrorists make bombs to kill people mitigate against passing laws that say even the most law-abiding citizens are not allowed to make bombs. These bicycle lanes are inherently dangerous, and will only become more so as bicyclists get a more proprietary 'feel' about their bicycling 'rights'. Are you old enough to recall the days before faxes and e-mail, when bicycle messengers were tearing all over Manhattan and running down people like mad? I saw a man hit by a bycicle on the Lexington Avenue side of Grand Central Station, and he must have first flown and then rolled twenty-five feet before stopping.

Kara - I'm from Greenpoint, too, but somewhere along the line I learned how to capitalize. If you want to be a part of my community, kindly do the same. Thank you.

Ana - How would anyone from out of town possibly understand about bike lanes? People from New York can't understand two-thirds of the traffic signage around the city.

Tiffany and Lora - You're entirely right, and of course no one from the DOT is going to answer embarrassing questions. Lora, did anyone in his or her right mind really expect a NYC bureaucracy to listen to the complaints of mere taxpaying citizens when they had already set their hearts on a particular course? Has any municipal 'hearing' on any subject - especially fare increases - ever stopped implementation of planned fare increases?

May. 28 2013 03:31 PM
Tony E from Brooklyn

@Tiffany the cops have been ticketing cyclists since 2011. In fact, it is widely reported that they give out more moving violation tickets (which I believe also count against your driver's license) than they generally give out to motorists.

It's curious how you say we have all seen "them" breaking the laws when the bike share was just launched yesterday. While its true that some cyclists run lights, it is certainly not all. I have been trying to curb my bad habits since 2011 although in some cases standing and waiting for the light to change is absurd, especially when everyone else is jay walking.

Here's an interesting experiment for you, the next time you are on the streets of the city, count the number of pedestrians who flagrantly break the rules (jay walk, cross in the middle of the street, stand in the middle of traffic as they wait for a break for them to slip thru, step off the curb and wait enmasse for the light to change so they can get a jump on the light). I think you'll be surprised.

As for your suggestion that motorist should snap photos of cyclists breaking the law... Well, I'll just let that suggestion speak for itself.

May. 28 2013 02:09 PM
Lora Tenenbaum from New York (SoHo)

Moving the bike share dock out of Petrosino Square Park would be a winning move for everyone.

Why was a bike dock station put in Petrosino Square Park in the first place? The DOT claims it was through its community outreach, but their community outreach showed, more than a year ago, that it was not acceptable to the residents of the area, Friends of Petrosino Square, or the Community Board. Prior to the dock's installation, they heard this again from our elected officials (Debra Glick, Dan Squadron, Margaret Chin, as well as local residents and local community groups. John Liu just stood in solidarity with us, asking the DOT to move the dock out of parkland. We have more than 500 signatures from people, including Bike Share members, asking that it be moved just feet away, into the street bed, replacing car parking. Yet over and over, like a broken record, the DOT claims that the placement was thru its outreach program. Not if they listened to the locals.

May. 28 2013 12:51 PM
Tiffany from Brooklyn

The guest on the show completely avoided my question!! These bike riders regularly ignore rules of the road. I constantly witness this in Brooklyn. When I asked if/how this would be policed, she said pamphlets were given out informing bike users of the rules. Lets be honest, if the police didn't pull cars over for speeding, would everyone follow the posted speed limits? NO. These bikes run red lights, ride against traffic and are generally ignores rules of the road daily. Maybe I'll start a website to have motorists in NYC post photos of this constant practice. There are too many bikes on our crowded streets to just hope they follow the rules provided on a silly pamphlet.

May. 28 2013 12:05 PM
kara from greenpoint, brooklyn

first, i'd like to ask you to give due credit to the folks at transportation alternatives for their time and effort in coming up with designs and working with communities and the city to get a bike share program in nyc instead of suggesting that the idea came from city government.

your transportation challenge is a good one and a good way to think through how + why people use all the options. did you consider including zipcars or rideshare options as well? and if so i wonder why it didn't make the cut for today's challenge. i'd also suggest that if the person taking public transport had checked the and taken the suggested route -- they might have arrived sooner -- i have an idea that a bus or two could have been a better choice than the train, but when we are in manhattan, most folks don't think of taking buses to get someplace 'faster' or most 'efficiently'.

as a resident of greenpoint/north brooklyn all choices take the same amount of time -- for instance biking to 125th + lenox in harlem takes about as long as the subway. cabs aren't really an option -- have to take car service from here -- always more expensive than the other options. i make my decisions based on how i want to arrive at the destination -- this is especially important in inclement weather. if i'm going anywhere in brooklyn, i first consider riding my bike as it's always more direct than all the transfers from the G. and lately i've become a huge fan of riding over the williamsburg and manhattan bridges to the lower east side.

think you should do a challenge a week and include outer boroughs etc..


May. 28 2013 11:47 AM
ana from sao paulo

I have been riding in ny everywhere any weather and even though they increment the bike paths they break at crucial points, going up first av. is very difficult to share path with cars after 41st, and very bad under 59st bridge then it gets better after 63st, what they need to do is be consistent and move all car parking away from the sidewalk and keep the bikepath between the sidewalk and parked cars "is an excellent way to protect bike riders" ..
going across town there are no paths like this, is always a shared lane with cars, but going across town during the day in a car is a nightmare, so a bike is a good option, because also subway lines are limited across town.

I also recommend anyone riding to be extracareful on weekends when people from out of town come in and have no respect or idea about bikelanes..

May. 28 2013 11:29 AM

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