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 Times focuses on one aspect of the Paris approach, bike-sharing:

If it turns out that New Yorkers are not yet prepared to embrace
congestion pricing, and if Albany remains its intransigent self, Mr.
Bloomberg should get over his fascination with London — and look
instead at what’s happening in Paris.

Last week, Bertrand
Delanoë, Paris’s maverick and popular mayor, introduced the world’s
largest and most ambitious bike-share program: 10,600 bikes (scaling up
to 20,600 by the end of the year) available at 750 “docking stations”
situated every 1,000 feet. With a swipe of a credit card and a modest
fee, Parisians (and tourists) can now pick up or drop off a bike in any
neighborhood in the city. Riders no longer need to worry about storing
their bikes in tiny apartments. The program’s high-tech stations make
theft virtually impossible. And with about twice as many bike stations
as Métro stops, a free bike is pretty much always within reach.

York’s subways and buses are already at capacity, and as we prepare to
add one million new residents by 2030, our existing mass transit will
require improvements that will take years (if not generations) to put
in place. Mr. Bloomberg has fewer than 1,000 days left as mayor. His
best chance at securing an environmentalist legacy is to embrace


Après Congestion Pricing, It’s Time to Look at the Paris Model

Amsterdam Ave. and 76th St. with street space reallocated to walkers, bikes and buses. When Transportation Alternatives, Project for Public Spaces and the Open Planning Project started the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign nearly three years ago, the plan was to build a movement that would work block-by-block and neighborhood-by-neighborhood to reclaim the city’s […]

New York Bike-Share Exhibit, Experiment and Design Charette

Together with Storefront for Art and Architecture, the New York Bike Share Project is producing a splashy exhibition of European bike-share programs, running a free-bike-rental experiment, and hosting a design charette. The big question is whether New York can install a bike-share system, and if so, what it would look like. We’ll be having New Yorkers stopping by […]

Following New York’s Lead, London Plans Protected Bike Lanes

When it comes to urban transportation policy, Americans often look longingly across the Atlantic. Paris pioneered big-city bike-sharing, London showed New York that congestion pricing works, and Sweden set the goal of eliminating traffic deaths. But here’s a case where New York is leading a peer city overseas. In 2009, London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a […]

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 […]

Gehl on Wheels

The Jan Gehl product roll-out continues apace. Last week, WNYC. This week, New York Magazine. Word has it Gehl’s team will be presenting Department of Transportation brass with some pretty big ideas for street space re-allocation. In the meantime, enjoy another interview with everyone’s favorite Danish urban designer: Can New York really be tamed? I […]

London Announces Billion Dollar Bike Plan

Proposed routes for bicycle "superhighways" serving London commuters. New Yorkers already envious of London’s congestion pricing system have a fresh reason to look wistfully overseas. A few hours ago, London Mayor Ken Livingstone unveiled a £500 million ($940 million) program to build extensive new bike networks and launch a Velib-style bike-for-hire system. Bike Biz has […]