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2012: The Year of Bike Share

January 3, 2012

Will Doig at Salon.com names bike share as one of seven bold and transformative projects that will change the urban landscape in 2012.

New York is making up for being late to the bike-share table by serving itself a portion bigger than any other U.S. city. How big? Ten thousand bicycles at 600 stations clustered throughout Manhattan and northern Brooklyn — and that’s just in the first phase. The system will launch this summer and be run by Alta Bicycle Share, the company that made Boston and Washington, D.C.’s systems a runaway hit. And New Yorkers have every reason to believe theirs will be just as successful: The number of bicyclists and bike lanes has exploded in the past few years. Plus, bike-share systems work best when combined with a great transit system (as a 10-minute walk to the train becomes a two-minute pedal) and New York’s is second to none. Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn is already a heroine to New York’s cycling community — this should qualify her for sainthood.

The true measure of bike share’s success here in New York won’t necessarily be in the membership figures or trip numbers, which are likely to be huge, but when residents of neighborhood that isn’t included in the system’s first phase stand up and start staying, “Hey! We want bike share, too!”

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