Velib? Ici?

Monday, August 03, 2009

If you've been to Paris, or Rio, or Barcelona, you might have noticed denizens swiping cards, getting bikes, and tooling merrily through the streets until they leave their bike where they're going. A Zipcar, but for bikes, and no reservation necessary. Such systems have long been the apple of Transportation Commissioner Janette-Sadik-Kahn's eye. Now, she'll bring a prototype to New York in her Summer Streets program, when much of Park Avenue will be closed to cars. On August 8, 15, and 22, until 1 pm there will be several stations on Park Avenue below 47th street, where New Yorkers can see the racks, swipe a card (the bikes are free, the card is only to make sure they're returned), and ride on to the next station. There will only be about 30 bikes available, but in a fully-built out system there would be hundreds or thousands of bikes, available as a real alternative to walking, transit, or driving. The city DOT has sent out a "request for expressions of interest," but as to when there might be an actual bike-share, umm, 2010 anyone?


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Comments [2]

Dori Schubert

The Bixi system in Montreal is fabulous and has none of the vandalism issues like the Velib system in Paris. I sincerely hope a similar system is adopted in NYC quickly.

Aug. 04 2009 04:35 PM

In Holland, land of bicycles, the Kroller-Muller Museum visitors can pick up a white bicycle at the museum's entrance, cycle through the park to the museum, enjoy some Van Goghs and other Dutch painters, and then return the bike to the train station.

New York makes sense as a city for cycling, and I'm glad that we're taking cues from countries that have long understood that alternatives to cars and buses make sense.

Aug. 04 2009 07:59 AM

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