By Sonya James
Posting in Cities
Cycle superhighways illuminate the darkness of cities with laughable bike infrastructure.
Copenhagen is at it again. The city's new "cycle superhighway" makes the rest of us look like chumps.
Yes, New York City has a (painstakingly) established bike infrastructure. The city already boasts over 300 miles of bike lanes across all five boroughs. But the new bikesharing program, privately funded Citi Bike, looks like child's play compared to Copenhagen's.
Firstly, in New York City it will cost $9.95 to use a Citi Bike for half an hour.
In Copenhagen? A whopping $0. You guessed it, their bike sharing program is free.
Matt Kroneberger of The City Fix writes, "Though there are many different visions for cycling infrastructure, Copenhagen is adding the cycle superhighway to an extensive suite of biking options, including existing urban bike lanes and a free bike share system."
I don't mean to condemn efforts made to support urban cycling. I just have a hard time understanding why the rewards for cyclists are not greater in traffic heavy cities like New York.
As London gears up for the stress of the 2012 Olympic Games, The Barclays Bank-sponsored cycle superhighway is expanding an additional eight routes. At 9 miles long each, these new routes will connect many of London’s outer boroughs to the city center.
"The availability of bikeways and bike share is expected to increase overall bike traffic well above the 107 percent increase in biking that has already occurred in London since 2000," writes Kroneberger.
Back in Copenhagen, where over one-third of the work force already commutes by bike, there is no doubt the new 13 mile path will enjoy many a wheel.
This route, from the western suburb of Albertslund into downtown Copenhagen, is the first of 26 planned routes. That's 186 new miles of cyclist heaven.
[via: The City Fix]
Jul 19, 2012
"Firstly, in New York City it will cost $9.95 to use a Citi Bike for half an hour." If I understand that charge is only for those who have not joined the annual membership scheme. Below is an extract from SmartPlanet a few weeks back: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/business-brains/citi-commits-42-million-to-new-yorks-bike-sharing-program/24888?tag=nl.e660 "(An annual membership in $95.) Participants receive a âkeyâ that will enable them to unlock the bikes, which they can use for approximately 45 minutes." If the Citi Bike scheme follows the Paris-Velib system then a member will be able to use a bike at no charge as long as they return the bike to a station within 45 minutes. After that period (30 min in more compact Paris if I remember) there is a charge, and as the period gets longer the charge increases. The concept is to encourage people not to keep the bikes but to use them for short trips and return them to the bike stations so others can use them. (Otherwise people are tempted to keep them while they do their shopping or chores etc. leading to gross inefficiencies in availability.) You are not prohibited from immediately taking another bike from a bike station, and as long as you keep it for less than the time limit, not incurring any charges all day long.