Williamsburg Bike Parking Woes

A Streetsblog tipster writes in with a nice slice-of-life dispatch:

I was on North 7th street in Williamsburg this morning and I passed a young woman locking up her bike in front of a residential building. There were a handful of old-timers in front of their building complaining about the bikes — "pretty soon there’ll be no sidewalk left" etc. It struck me because it was about two blocks from the much-publicized NYPD bike-lock-cutting & impounding that happened outside of the Bedford Ave subway this past year. It’s clear that there are not enough bike racks in this area. It creates a hassle for cyclists and annoys longtime neighborhood residents. Again, the cyclists are viewed as the problem.

If only there were some place they could put those bike racks. Wait a minute–

montreal_709618.jpg200px_Bentham.jpg

Above is a picture that Aaron Naparstek took in Montreal, showing some two dozen parked bikes, most of them occupying street space that might otherwise have been land-guzzled by just two automobiles. To recap, that’s 24 bikes or 2 cars. Let’s put that to the test: Which parking space allotment would 19th-century British utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham say tended to promote the greatest good for the greatest number?

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