The re-introduction of the CitiBike map two weeks ago hopefully reaffirmed the idea that we can start taking the bike share program seriously. We can move beyond questions of “When?” or “Where the hell is it?” and start asking “What will happen now?”
The city is unloading hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes onto the streets of New York–and, presumably, a fair share of them will be ridden by tourists. These outsiders don’t know the rules of the road; imagine throwing a family of five from Armenia or Morocco on a set of wheels and have them fly down First Avenue during rush hour. This sudden spike in cyclists provides an immediate threat (a bit hyperbolic, maybe?) to pedestrians and police alike.
At least that’s what you would think.
The other night, a group of cyclist enthusiasts and transportation officials met for a meeting with the New York Cycle Club. One of these figures included Josh Benson, the Department of Transportation’s director of Cycling and Pedestrian Programs. Once this bike share program starts, Benson’s gonna be the guy who has to make sure this project works out smoothly.
And, according to Gothamist, he’s pretty confident that it will.
“I personally don’t think it’s going to lead to chaos,” Benson said. “I think we have so many cyclists out on the streets, and we’re all out there setting a good example, I don’t think you’re going to see people hopping on these bikes and doing crazy stuff.”
The reason for this trust? “People have a place to be when they’re biking, so there’s going to be a lot less friction between cyclists, pedestrians, motorists than there would otherwise be if there weren’t segregated bike lanes. I think we’re set up very well.”
Well, fingers crossed, Mr. Benson. Let’s hope for the best.