In practice, bike-sharing could turn out to be a disaster.
New York City has, commendably, gone a long way toward making the streets in all five boroughs safer and more welcoming for bicyclists. But it still has a long way to go.
Without making some major adjustments to the city’s infrastructure – such as dedicated bike routes that don’t share the road with aggressive drivers and large buses – we’re not sure how wise it is to unleash a horde of novice bicyclists and out-of-town tourists looking for a scenic way to get from one sightseeing destination to the next on to the streets.
New York City is treacherous enough even for seasoned and committed bicyclists – accidents happen every day, some deadly – and let’s face it, there is a pretty antagonistic divide between bicyclists and motorists in this city; there isn’t generally a whole lot of mutual respect.
So we say move forward with bike sharing, because finding alternative modes of transportation is an inevitability. However, any plan to do so should put safety first.