New York City recently launched its bike share program amidst a barrage of alarmist fanfare and apocalyptic predictions from the local tabloids. The naysayers claim that injuries will dramatically increase and warn that the bike docks will wreak havoc on the character of the city’s historic neighborhoods. Some even went so far as to suggest that the bike share program was a direct threat to democracy itself.
As crazy as these sentiments sound, bike share proponents in London have been familiar with this hyperbolic chatter since Transport for London (TfL) first launched its program in 2010. Now entering its third year, the program has expanded to include more than 8,000 bikes. Shockingly, Big Ben is still standing.
Since New York City’s bike share is virtually identical to London’s — right down to the model of bikes and bike docks, ANIMAL spoke to Nick Aldworth — General Manager for Barclays Cycle Hire. He explained the differences between missing bikes and stolen ones. Aldworth also discussed some of the challenges facing bike share in London such as the daily redistribution of bikes and the placement of bike docks in neighborhoods that are not only older than Brooklyn’s historic neighborhoods that some New Yorkers have been complaining from, but the United States itself.
(Video: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)