NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg is banking on New York becoming the bike riding capital of America.
The city is considering a “bike sharing” program that could put 10,000 more two-wheelers on city streets, reports CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
The Big Apple is taking a cue from the Mile High City – Denver — which started a bike share program eight months ago. Users can pick up a bike at one station, ride as much as they wish and then drop the bike off at any other station — for a few dollars a day.
Denver has 400 share bikes. New York is thinking much bigger –10,000 bikes at 600 share stations.
The city Department of Transportation commissioner said it would be a great alternative to riding a bus or subway.
“At a time when transit cuts are happening all across the board, this would be a great private sector solution that would help fill the gap in our transportation network,” Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.
In the last four years the city has spent several million dollars creating 250 miles of dedicated bike lane. But the DOT said this bike share program won’t cost taxpayers a penny.
A private company would put up the money and share any profits with the city.
Jason Ferguson said he likes the plan.
“Anything to get people out in the streets moving, using personal transportation, not vehicles,” Ferguson said.
But Enrique Zayas said he can’t imagine thousands more bikes on the street.
“It’s a, how do you call it? A recipe for disaster. That’s what I would think,” said Zayas, who lives in the East Village.
“New Yorkers are just now getting more accustomed to the idea of having bicyclists on the streets. We need to make sure they understand the rules of the road,” said NYC Council member Daniel Garodnick.
The Democrat said any expansion must be matched with education and enforcement.
The proposed 10,000 bikes would dwarf every other program in the U.S. The city hopes to pick a bike share operator in the spring, and roll out the program in 2012.