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bike share

Bike Share hits SF

Another city joins the bike share revolution! This time its San Francisco. Here's the place to sign up: Bay Area Bike Share. It's day one and Ride the City's got the bike stations live on the map (see image below), so feel free to check out Ride the City - San Francisco (operating in all of the Bay Area) and compare it to the other bike routing tools available for your neighborhood.

The Hidden Argument Against Bike Share (and bike anything)

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Now that bike share stations are being placed around town, people are freaking through various complaints and vandalizing the stations. So a few days ago I went to a bike share town hall meeting, hosted by our local council member. Here are some of the arguments against bike share that I heard:

"We didn't know a station was being proposed here."
"The stations take up space for needed parking."
"All the bike stations are making more traffic congestion."
"Now it's more difficult for businesses to get deliveries."
"Bike share is a commercial venture, not appropriate for public city streets."

New York City's Imminent Bicycling Tipping Point

Image from NYC Bike Share

Bike share in NYC

In mid-20th century urban America, whites emigrated en masse from racially mixed inner-cities to racially homogenous suburbs. According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, this white flight from cities occurred abruptly once the African American share of the population in each city reached a critical level, perhaps 20%. Very little white emigration took place while African Americans made up less than 20% of a city's population. However, once the percentage of African Americans reached 20%, massive white emigration occurred suddenly. Gladwell calls situations like these -- where significant change occurs precipitously when a particular condition is met -- tipping points. 

A look at bicycling in New York

On November 23, the NYC Department of Transportation announced that the City is seeking a vendor to provide a bike share system. The system, which could resemble those already in place in Paris, Montreal, Barcelona, and Washington, D.C., could be fully operational in time for the spring of 2012 with a potential pilot next summer. 

World class bike sharing comes to the DC area

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On September 20, the mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian Fenty announced the launch of the largest bike sharing system in the U.S. With a plan for more than 1000 bikes in D.C. and Arlington, this is huge for D.C. and bike sharing in the U.S. You can sign up on the Capital Bikeshare website. They're offering annual subscriptions to the service for only $50 (rather than $75) for a limited time.


 

Toronto bike share (Bixi) ramping up

Bike share is slowly gaining attention in many cities as municipalities struggle to find better ways to get people around and to promote sustainable transport. To hear a perspective from our Canadian neighbors, here's a recent post from Herb van den Dool of Toronto, where 1000 bike share members are required to sign up before the system is in place:

Bixi

Nice Riding around Minneapolis

On a recent trip to the Midwest, we had the opportunity to try out Minneapolis’s new bike share program, Nice Ride, and the awesome Midtown Greenway. As out-of-towners, all we needed for a one day subscription was a valid credit card. The bikes were comfortable and easy to ride, with adjustable seats, three gears, fenders, and a front basket complete with a built-in bungee cord. We rode around the city for about two hours and saw at least twelve Nice Ride stations, some just a few blocks away from each other. Had we wanted to use them, all had available docks for our bikes. And after our ride, we had a delicious brunch at the bike-friendly Birchwood Cafe. Yum!

Some other highlights:

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