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Poll: NYC’s Planned Bicycle Sharing Program Enjoying Wide Support

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A woman locks up her bike on a Manhattan street on September 15, 2011 in New York City. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A woman locks up her bike on a Manhattan street on September 15, 2011 in New York City. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The city’s planned bike-share program is riding a wave of popularity.

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 72 percent of New York City voters support Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to rent 10,000 bicycles from some 600 rental stations across the city.

LINK: Check Out The Quinnipiac Poll Here

Furthermore, 59 percent said that they want a bike rental lot in their neighborhood.

Caroline Samponaro, the Director of Bicycle Advocacy for the non-profit advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives, spoke with 1010 WINS Thursday and said that using bicycles was the way forward in cities across the globe.

“As a country, as a world, we’re moving towards more sustainable, healthy forms of transportation.  Even if you aren’t, in fact, the one riding the bike, it’s a good thing to have more people riding bikes and not, let’s say, driving cars,” she said.

So what are the factors contributing to the popularity of the program that is expected to roll out in the summer of 2012?

“It’s convenient. You know, it makes sense when you know that you need to make a quick trip across town, let’s say, and the bus and the subway isn’t going to serve you. A bicycle is just this amazing tool that allows you to, at a low cost, with some exercise, get where you’re going in a fast way,” Samponaro said.

But the view that city residents take isn’t completely a rosy one. Voters are split, according to the poll, on the issue of bike lanes.  Forty six percent want more lanes in their neighborhood, but 48 percent are opposed to them.

Still, Samponaro is optimistic and said that many New Yorkers don’t currently ride bikes because of a lack of secure bike parking.  She said the proposed system gets rid of the concern because they can leave bikes at a secure station.

“That convenience combined with the fact that the bike lanes are there, is going to be a huge reason for success,” she said.

What are your thoughts on the planned bike-rental program?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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