Bike-Sharing in New York: Could It Happen Here?

lyon_bike_share.jpg

A bike-share station in Lyon, France

It was a vacation in Paris a couple of months ago that gave David Haskell, executive director of the Forum for Urban Design, the idea. Haskell was so impressed by the preparations the French capital is making for its massive municipal bike-sharing program that he decided he had to get New Yorkers interested in the possibility of launching such a project here.

"It seemed like the perfect moment for it," says Haskell, who says he got an enthusiastic response from sponsors like Clear Channel, which might bid on a bike-sharing program in New York given the chance, and from city officials.

A scant few weeks later, Haskell and his team have put together the New York Bike-Share Project, an impressive lineup of events scheduled to take place at the Storefront for Art and Architecture at 87 Kenmare St. from July 7-11. The project encompasses an exhibit on bike-sharing programs as they exist in European cities such as Barcelona and Lyon, including a full-scale bike station; presentations from companies that run such programs; a design charette; and an on-site experiment, in the form of free bike rentals. (For a more detailed schedule, look here.) There will be multiple opportunities for public input and comment, all of which will be consolidated and presented on the project’s website.

Haskell acknowledges that certain problems, such as liability issues, would have to be solved before bike-sharing in New York could become a reality. But he points out that European cities have already addressed the theft and vandalism concerns that New Yorkers might anticipate.

"We’re focusing on real examples of these programs working," says Haskell. "This is not some urban designer’s fantasy."

Streetsblog will definitely be attending some of the events, but we’d love to hear from others who make it down there as well.

Photo: pug freak via Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The London Model is Dead. Time to Look at Paris.

|
David Haskell, executive director of the Forum for Urban Design, and organizer of last week’s New York Bike-Share Project demonstration in Soho, says it’s time for New York City to ditch the London model and take a closer look at the traffic-reduction techniques Paris has implemented without congestion pricing. An op/ed in today’s New York […]

D.C. Rings in Bike to Work Day With Big Bike-Sharing Announcement

|
A big expansion of bike-sharing in D.C. will make public bikes a real transportation option for many more people. Image: Pedal_Power_Pete/Flickr Washington D.C. is making the biggest splash (policy-wise) on Bike to Work Day this year, with officials announcing a major expansion of the city’s bike-sharing system. According to Greater Greater Washington, the new system […]

Roosevelt Island Aims to Pioneer Bike-Sharing in NYC

|
A rendering of a bike-sharing station at the Roosevelt Island F train station. Image: AccessRI/Hunter College Dept. of Urban Affairs and Planning. As cities across the United States open new bike-sharing systems this year, New York City’s commitment to launching bike-share remains cloudy. On the semi-independent Roosevelt Island, however, momentum is building to launch a […]

How to Write a New York Post Anti-Bike Screed

|
At the beginning of this week, the newsroom at the New York Post lobbed a grenade at NYC’s bike-share plans, and right on cue, the editorial staff followed up with more bike-share-bashing today. Say what you will about the Post’s factual accuracy, they can churn out the bikelash content with mechanical efficiency. Here’s how they […]

Bike-Share Coming to NYC? DOT Says It Will Test the Waters

|
After dropping hints that ‘Free Bike Fridays’ on Governors Island could serve as a prelude to something bigger, DOT today announced its intention to "explore the concept of bike share and investigate the feasibility of instituting such a program in New York City." The agency has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest [PDF] to […]