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“It’s About Giving People Options”

October 28, 2011

Curbed has a short interview with Urbanized director Gary Hustwit.

Curbed: I have to ask, what’s your bike lane stance?

Hustwit: I’m a bicycle rider in Manhattan. And as someone who’s just toured the country, we in New York have the best biking infrastructure of any I’ve seen in the US. Portland has a bigger percentage of riders but we have better bike lanes for sure. I totally believe in the concept of invitation, that the city has to build lanes to get people to use them. But it’s not something that happens overnight – it took 30 years to build that kind of ridership in Copenhagen. It’s about giving people options, especially people who don’t have the money to even pay for public transportation. Also, why have we subsidized the automobile industry for so long?

Whenever someone tells me that New York isn’t Copenhagen, my standard response is, “Not too long ago, Copenhagen wasn’t Copenhagen.”  Change happens slowly, but eventually there’s a moment where it will feel as if it happened all at once.  You know we’ll have made progress when, 30 years from now, someone fighting a bike lane elsewhere in the country tells a reporter, “This isn’t New York.”

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