Timelapse: Bikeshare Versus Parking Spaces

A Manhattan timelapse video shows a startling contrast between bikeshare and car parking when it comes to efficient use of city space.

1 minute read

July 6, 2017, 7:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Citi Bike Rack

Joe Mazzola / flickr

It's no secret that bikes take up less room than cars. But this video shows that in a dense urban environment, dedicating space to parking seems like a terrible, unproductive waste.

John Metcalfe reports: "Luke Ohlson recently recorded the mad rush in time lapse at 5 p.m. on a weekday to make a point about transit in New York. 'Parking takes up 150,000 acres of New York City street space, yet a majority of New Yorkers do not drive or use cars,' says Ohlson, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternatives."

Olson apparently chose the spot exactly for this contrast. "The videographer chose to shoot at Broadway and East 22nd Street because of the block's vastly disparate usages of similarly sized public spaces." We also get a picturesque view of the Empire State Building in the background.

According to Ohlson, "Citi Bike is about a 42-times more productive use of space than car parking."

Thursday, June 29, 2017 in CityLab

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

"It's The Climate" sign over street in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Oregon Town Seeks Funding for Ambitious Resilience Plan

Like other rural communities, Grants Pass is eager to access federal funding aimed at sustainability initiatives, but faces challenges when it comes to meeting grant requirements.

February 18, 2024 - The Daily Yonder

Close-up of bottom half of stroller being pushed onto sidewalk with no curb cut by person in jeans and brown shoes.

How Infrastructure Communicates Values

The presence and quality of sidewalks, curb cuts, and other basic elements of infrastructure can speak to much more than just economic decisions.

February 23 - Strong Towns

Greyhound and Amtrak buses at a temporary bus terminal in San Francisco, California.

Despite High Ridership, Intercity Bus Lines Are Eliminating Stations

Riders on the ‘forgotten stepchild’ of the U.S. transportation system find themselves waiting for buses curbside as Greyhound sells off its real estate in many U.S. cities.

February 23 - Governing

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo Residents Push Back on Proposed Cap Park

State and local officials say the $1 billion project will heal neighborhoods divided by the Kensington Expressway, but community members say the proposed plan will exacerbate already poor air quality in the area.

February 23 - Bloomberg CityLab

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.