Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Washington Post on NYC Cycling

Image of bike lane in New York City
From the Washington Post, 05.24.08:

N.Y. Hopes to Ensure Smooth Pedaling for Bike Commuters
NEW YORK--The view from the lens of photographer Mark Weiss's camera is of a treacherous world of cab drivers weaving into bike lanes, of double-parked delivery vehicles, of car doors opening suddenly, of pedestrians wandering blindly and of narrow passageways between trucks. It is the world of the Manhattan bicycle commuter, which Weiss captures on a camera affixed to a bar on his single-gear bike.

City officials, hoping to make commutes like his less treacherous, have created a seven-block experiment of a bike lane on Ninth Avenue. Here, concrete dividers and a row of parked cars shield a bike lane from the street and its traffic. Low mini-traffic lights show when cyclists have the right of way. Bike commuters, messengers and delivery people peel down perfectly smooth paths.

"It would be nice if that were everywhere," said Weiss, 45.

The city is planning to create another protected lane on Eighth Avenue, part of an effort to encourage cycling in New York, where bike use has increased by 75 percent since 2000, to about 130,000 commuters a day. The city hopes to double current bicycle use by 2015 and to triple it by 2020.

"We've run out of room for driving in the city. We have to make it easier for people to get around by bikes," said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city's transportation commissioner, who herself bikes to work. (Read more.)
Outstanding article on New York City's efforts to increase bicycle use. The latest development includes a pilot program with separated bike lanes on several major avenues. The article also summarizes encouraging developments in many other American cities, including Portland, Chicago, Louisville, Tulsa, Washington DC (set to launch the SmartBike bike sharing program next month) and even former car capital Flint, Michigan.

Image: Mark Weiss/Washington Post.
Visit: Transportation Alternatives
Visit: Times Up!/NYC
Visit: A Smoother Ride for Cycling in the City, Gotham Gazette
Visit: New York: Combat in the bike lane, Bike Commute Tips Blog.
Visit: More bicyclists in New York City, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

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