Bike Share Rolls Out in NYC and Haters Multiply

Polls show widespread public support for New York City's new bike share program. But as stations begin to appear on city streets, pitched battles are being waged over the control of public spaces.

"Now that the metal stalls and kiosks where bikes will be stationed are turning up in parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, the theater of operations in the war among cyclists and drivers and pedestrians has expanded and multiplied and bred new factions, even though the bike share program itself has been shown to have widespread support in polling," says Ginia Bellafante. 

"On Wednesday night, a litany of grievances were heard at a town-hall meeting in Clinton Hill, in Brooklyn, which had been organized by Councilwoman Letitia James to address concerns about the way in which the bike program was unfolding. The undercurrent was the contest between young and old, between churchgoer and heathen, between the preservationist and the futurist, the realist and the skeptic. The bike stations were usurping parking spots — churches depend on street parking. Older people who are more car-reliant than Bianchi-reliant worried about parking as well; they also worried that bike stations positioned in the wrong places could make it harder to navigate sidewalks and cross the streets."

"The area of disconnect the bike share program has most egregiously exposed is the one between the city’s understanding of community outreach and the way that information is received and processed in any given neighborhood," contends Bellafante. 

Full Story: The Bikes and the Fury

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