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!