Bikes & Cities
I never owned a bike in the 12 years I lived in Manhattan. The 24/7 subway, my feet and the occasional taxi always had me covered.
Now I live in San Francisco. Mass transit is still an option, although it’s not nearly as pervasive as NYC’s. Walking is mostly doable, but again, not as much as NYC. As for taxis, Eddie Izzard is right, there’s about 5 in the whole city. Über is magical and awesome, but I’m not made of money.
So I’m going to get a bicycle very soon. Something reliable and strong with gears for getting up SF hills, but also scratched up and cheap—something I don’t have to worry about getting stolen.
I moved out of NYC before they implemented the Citibike program, which has proven to be a success.
Co.Exist finds they’re safe too:
Nearly seven months after New Yorkers first took their heavy blue frames for a spin, Tom Swanson, a solutions engineer for the mapping firm Esri and an avid cyclist, has crunched the numbers. By his count, Citibike has actually not significantly increased the number of bike collisions at all.
Over at Chicago Magazine, Whet Moser finds there’s a lot of bicycle haters out there too, like this rant from Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass on Chicago’s bike share program:
“This is the problem with the Divvy bikes, with all the bikes,” Kass says in the video. “This is a city made for people who want to go from point A to point B. This is not some Seattle coffee, grunge, pothead experiment. This is Chicago… Shut the whole Divvy bike thing down. Get off Dearborn. I’m tired of you people.”
I’m someone who drives a decent amount in SF but also wants a bicycle, and from my perspective as a driver my problem with (some) cyclists isn’t their form of transportation, it’s how they conduct themselves on the roads. They behave like a pedestrian when it’s convenient and a car when it’s convenient.
When you operate under two sets of rules accidents happen.