Bicycling in New York: room for improvement
A recent trip to bicyle-peppered cities Copenhagen and Amsterdam got me thinking about the pedal possibilities in U.S. cities. Alas, New York, the country’s biggest city, has long way to go make biking easier, and that seems true in many other cities in the world’s largest motor fuel consumer.
Here in New York, it’s Bike Month and though I live just 7 miles from my office in Times Square, I haven’t two-wheeled it in yet, though I did for years. Likely, I won’t any time soon because fighting traffic across the avenues isn’t appealing anymore.
Granted, NYC has made made biking improvements over the last decade, building and extending bicycle paths on Manhattan’s edges and keeping lanes open on most of its bridges, which offer spectacular river views. And New York City has plans to double the number of bike commuters by 2015 and add 200 miles of bike lanes by the end of the decade.
But bike lanes in the bustling parts of the island are probably used as much by darting cabs and other vehicles as much as people who pedal, which can make for a harrowing experience.
Sure, New York City streets will probably always be louder than those in Amsterdam where fenders banging against bike frames can sometimes be the loudest traffic noise one hears, or in Copenhagen, where bike lanes often have their own traffic lights.
What do you think, will New York and other U.S. cities catch up on biking as the price of oil rises?
Pic 1: Kid-moving bicycle in Copenhagen, a common sight. Pic 2: Bicycle parking in Amsterdam. Pic 3: Biking in New York. Photos, Tim Gardner.