by Michael dEstries
Categories: Lifestyle, Transport.

Across the pond, in the uber-green city of Copenhagen, Denmark, more than a 1/3 of the city’s 1.2 million residents bike to work. A couple decades ago, officials thought such a scheme would be good for curbing traffic and reducing emissions – so they went ahead and installed some 274 miles of bike lanes; as well as a “biker only” bridge that gets tens of thousands of two wheels during rush hour.

New York City wants in on that action – and has already developed some 250 miles of bike lanes of their own. Now (despite some bitching and moaning from residents), a new 10,000 bike sharing program has been given the green light.

According to the Observer, the scheme will see some 600 stations installed next summer from “the Upper East and Upper West sides down to the tip of Manhattan and over the bridges into Brownstone Brooklyn, reaching as far as Greenpoint and Crown Heights.” Annual membership will be about the total cost of monthly MetroCard (somewhere around $100).

Of course, if New York City really wanted to get more people to bike, they could just do like Denmark and tax the hell out of vehicles. Said economist Jeff Rubin:

“In Copenhagen, every major street has bike lanes. But why do people in Copenhagen ride bikes? I originally thought it was because they are physically active or environmentally conscious people. I then inquired about how much it costs to buy a car. It turns out that in Denmark you pay a surcharge which, depending on horsepower, can be anywhere from 50% to 150% of a car’s sticker price.”

Whoa. Plan on using NYC’s new bike sharing plan? Let us know!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Anna

    This makes me so happy. Good to see cities like NYC and Portland finally getting on board.

  • herwin

    just ditch the tax breaks and the subsidies that big oil companies are getting, no more special welfare handouts for the crooks, let car owners pay the real price for gasoline (thats called free market , remember ?) and they will think twice before using the car for trivial things. Result ? less conjestion, better air quality, health improvement of fat people walking instead of taking the car, less dependence of tirannic oil states, etc.)

  • Mike L

    They will have to deal with the rampant bike thieving in NYC.

    This works in Copenhagen because there is literally no crime there. Bikes are everywhere left unlocked out in the open and it is never a problem.

    In NYC people cover their bikes with duct tape to hide it’s value, use heavy locks and they still get stolen. I’ve seen teams of thieves knock down street signs to steal a bike.

    Take this from someone who both lived in NYC and worked in Copenhagen.

  • Brian H

    Bikes do get stolen in Copenhagen so the theft problem is universal.

    The good thing about city bikes is that they don’t look like “normal” bikes which means that they can be recognised outside the city limits. Who want’s to ride a bike that everybody knows is stolen?