Friday, July 06, 2007

Experimental Awesomeness

From the Forum for Urban Design:

"Together with Storefront for Art and Architecture, we're producing a splashy exhibition of European bike-share programs, running a free-bike-rental experiment, and hosting a design charette. The big question is whether New York can install a bike-share system, and if so, what it would look like. We'll be having New Yorkers stopping by Storefront July 7-11—taking free bikes for a whirl, participating in the charette—and there will be public presentations at 6 pm on July 9, 10 and 11. We'll be video-blogging in real-time, and it'll be a very festive, photogenic experience.

What is a bike-share?

Imagine walking to a sidewalk corner and finding a public bicycle. With a cellphone call or swipe of a card, you unlock it from its bike rack and ride it across town. Once at your destination, you steer to the closest bike rack and, with one more call or card swipe, return the bike to the public network. You pay less than $.50 for the trip, and the bike is once again available for the taking.

Why is this the time for New York to consider a bike-share network?
Last week the MTA admitted that subways are at or above capacity. The proposed solution: congestion pricing, which will raise funds for mass transit capital improvements. Of course, the most immediate effect of congestion pricing will be even more crowded subways. So what's needed is an alternative that is relatively cheap to finance and quick to build out. Bike-sharing is both of those things. It also happens to be the greenest transportation alternative around.

Can it happen here?

Four days after our project ends, Paris will open it's new system, which will include 10,000 bikes at 750 stations scattered around the city. That's more than twice as many bike stations as metro stops. Paris' program is the biggest yet, but it's just one of dozens currently running or in the works. Honestly, I'm not sure whether the idea can be scaled up to the size of New York City, but we've created this project in order to find out. Come join us!"

For more information go here.
Image from the Forum


Well I guess my departure from public health/green blogging didn't last long! Just so you know, the Executive Director of the Forum is also the founder and EIC of Topic. Obviously, his brain needs to be cloned.

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