Residents of NYC have seen the rather speedy proliferation of designated bike lanes lining city streets. As inevitable conflicts arise due to clashes amongst drivers, cyclists and pedestrians so do the inevitable benefits of cycling such as less traffic and pollution, not to mention the toned legs and behind. The cities new proposal, set to move forth on Tuesday (November 23rd, 2010) according to the NY Times, plans to install bicycle rental stations in various spots throughout town that will utilize this vast new network of bike paths.
The public bike share program isn’t a new idea. It has been successfully introduced in cities like Denver , Minneapolis , and Washington , DC and in European cities like Paris and London states NBC New York. The potential of added city revenue through rental or membership fees could also a motivating factor. Whatever the reasons may be any effort to make the world cleaner and greener is a step in the right direction, though there are some who might beg to differ… such as most of the city’s drivers and the occasional peeved pedestrian.
While more cycling means improved air quality and quality for some. For others it means more driver versus rider conflicts and less parking. Neighborhood complaints involving the increased numbers of cyclists have become a topic of frustration throughout some areas of the city. Recently a stretch of bike path located in Staten Island had begun being removed in response to opposition from drivers and elected officials, reports the NY Times.
Though small setbacks exist, the popular trend will most likely continue and we should look forward to a future with less traffic and pollution. What it will take is the effort of both driver and cyclist to practice safe vehicle skills and good road manners. Yes bicyclists, you are operating a non-motorized vehicle and so are subject to the same rules as cars. This means riding on the street and not the sidewalk… and going in the right direction.
Michael M. Grynbaum, “City to Solicit Proposals on Bike Sharing”, New York Times.
NBC New York , “NYC to Roll Out Bike Share Program”, MSNBC.
Daniel E. Slotnik, “Pushing Back Against Bike Lanes”, New York Times.