The Science Behind Bike-Share Placement In NYC

The Atlantic examines the factors that create a successfully implemented bike sharing program, based on current plans scheduled to be implemented on New York streets by next summer.
October 11, 2011, 10am PDT | George Haugh
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New York's relatively late entrance into the bike share game means that it will benefit from technological upgrades over earlier systems. "We did a lot of work to identify what was the best program area to meet the needs of New Yorkers in the first phase of this program," says New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "The fact is a successful bike-share system means having stations located every few blocks and putting them where they're needed, and that's really what we're focusing on right now."

Having selected Alta Bike Share to develop and operate the long awaited program, the city now needs to decided where to place the initial 600 stations to maximize efficiency, reduce community backlash and avoid phenomena such as "dockblocking" to keep the program attractive to cyclists. Eric Jaffe explains how decisions about station size, density, and community proximity can make or break the project.

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Published on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in The Atlantic
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