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New York Times Room for Debate


More Spokes and Wheels for New York

September 09, 2013

By Nicole Gelinas

In the past week, a Middle Eastern street vendor, a white businessman and an African-American woman have approached me at Citi Bike docks to ask me about the service. Since the program was introduced Memorial Day weekend, 75,248 people have signed up for $95 annual passes, which is a bargain compared to the subway system’s $1,344 annual price tag.

Bikes are also good for pedestrians. When drivers must slow down and be more attentive, they avoid hitting people on foot as well as on bicycles. After Paris implemented its bike-share program, traffic deaths of people on foot, in vehicles and on bikes fell from an average 56 annually to 44.

Paris, by the way, moves 110,000 people a day on its municipal bike program. New York City should aspire to such numbers. Younger people visiting a first-class city now expect to be able to bicycle safely. This means that the police should be encouraged to enforce bike-lane integrity and driver speed limits.

Citi Bike should expand throughout New York. Right now you can’t use one to travel from Midtown to Zabar’s on the Upper West Side, or to the Metropolitan Museum on the Upper East Side, or to Harlem for a bite to eat at Sylvia’s restaurant. Once Citi Bike docks are located throughout the city’s five boroughs, more people will be able to incorporate bicycles into their daily commutes and weekend activities. I hope the next mayor can make this happen.

Original Source:



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