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Gehl on Wheels

12:30 PM EST on November 5, 2007

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 don’t have any vision of taming New York, and I don’t think it shouldbe. I do think there’s an imbalance between the various uses of thestreet that can be adjusted.

You still bike daily. Do you bike when you’re here? Onceit’s reasonably safe, you can ask the senior citizens to bike. I shallbe happy to be the first. My younger colleagues bike a lot here to findout how it is. It’s a matter of age and daring, and a few other things.

Like being crazy? That’s your words.

Is London’s congestion-pricing plan working? Traffichas dropped there by 18 percent. And when London was given the 2012Olympics, suddenly everybody was eager to improve the city very fast.If you can only get an Olympics, everything will be fine.

How can we reduce traffic in midtown? There’s a number of ways, but congestion pricing may be the easiest and most-proven means of doing it quickly.

So you think it’s necessary? Did I say that? I didn’t say that.

With all the bike theft here, could a Copenhagen- or Paris-style bike-sharing system work? Icertainly think so. These bikes would look different and be geared sothat they’d be a little bit awkward to bike long distances on. At firstin Copenhagen people collected them, but after a few years, that wasnot so interesting anymore.

What do you think of the new bike lane on Ninth Avenue? It’s grossly overdone. You can make the whole thing one third the width.

Have you told the city this? Not yet. I will next week.

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