Byrne, who published a book three years ago titled "Bicycle Diaries" that collects two decades of his observations of the world's major cities from behind the handle bars of his bicycle, is enthusiastic about the opportunities New York City's new Citi Bike program will provide to those who live and work in the city.
"This is major. It will make New Yorkers rethink their city and rewrite the mental maps we use to decide what is convenient, what is possible. Parks, restaurants and friends who once seemed beyond plausible commuting distance on public transportation will seem a lot closer. The possibilities aren't limitless, but the change will be pretty impressive."
For Byrne, the expansion of bike share systems and bike lanes across the world isn't just about providing an alternate form of transportation, but are essential to making cities "more livable, more human and better connected."
"I just turned 60 and have no plans to retire to the suburbs. I love it here. For me, and lots of other people, the answer to the question 'What would improve the quality of our urban life?' involves simple things like ... um ... bicycles, which make getting around - and being in - the city easier, more pleasant and more affordable. New York is one of many cities that are creating all kinds of new green spaces, riverside parks and bike programs, all of which are symptomatic of our desire to make our cities into our homes."