Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bike Share and safety

Letter to the editor in the New York Times:

Bike-Share Safety Issues

(“Bike-Share System for New York Is Built With Ideas From Around the World” May 22) left me with many questions about the safety of pedestrians (especially the elderly) in this grand experiment in greening New York.

New Yorkers are often threatened by bikers who obey no lights, speed down hills and ride on sidewalks. We are now unleashing a huge amount of new riders, many with no urban experience, without a clear set of rules.

Who is insuring the bikers if they get into or cause an accident?

What kind of identification is there on a bike so that a pedestrian or driver can find out who is involved if there is a problem?

What is the role of the police in enforcing biker and pedestrian safety?

It would be lovely to live in a city like London, where bikers stop in unison, in their lanes, as lights turn red. Sadly, I don’t foresee that happening here.

New York



At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are now unleashing a huge amount of new riders"

Rob - did you just post an admission that "huge amounts" of new people will be riding bicycles? I thought that ridership was not going to grow outside of it's current "niche" of young white men....

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, wrong on both counts, which is typical. Pretty obvious why you're anonymous.

The quote is from a letter to the editor by someone else, moron. Nor have I ever written that bike ridership "was not going to grow outside of its current 'niche" of young white men," though the majority of cyclists in the city are young white men.

Why do so many of you bike dudes have reading and comprehension disorders? Carbon monoxide poisoning?

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you disagree with the author when they say we will get a huge amount of new riders?

The entire premise of the letter is based upon this assertion. If bike share is not going to "unleash" new riders, then the issues they fear are not going to be exacerbated by bike share, and the letter is not worth the electrons used to repost it in your blog.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

She's talking about New York, not San Francisco. But the consequences of the program will be that a number of new cyclists will gained by bike share might be large, but they will still be a small percentage of overall travelers in any big American city.

For example, according to the city's numbers (page 14), there are more than 85,000 daily bike trips in SF, but when you put that in the context of more than 2.5 million daily trips by other "modes" of transportation, it's not very impressive.

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob - Thanks for your post on this important topic. The bike share is just the next wave of this useless hipster "Sharing" economy.

I am disabled and have had numerous problems in the past few years due to a similar issue. This company called "Zipper Car" has been putting cars on the streets of San Francisco that belong to the company, but are shared by people who are not the legal owner of the cars they are driving. I have found these new drivers, who are not well trained in the operation of a car to be quite hazardous to pedestrians in the city. They also have no stake in the car, so they don't care if they put a dent into the car with my body.

How can we look into ending this "car-share" fiasco?

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they will still be a small percentage of overall travelers in any big American city."

Then we have nothing to worry about with respect to bike share and pedestrian safety. There simply won't be very many new, dangerous cyclists. Move on, nothing to see here.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Mark Kaepplein said...

In Boston, the bike share system is largely used for recreation (not transportation) mainly on weekends, and by tourists. Rather than reducing car trips, bike share rides are mostly reducing walking and public transit modes. Avid cyclists already have a few bikes of their own and don't need the clunkers. Novice riders can't go very fast on these bikes, so have gotten into fewer crashes than the bike messenger wannabes.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark: That's Boston, that's not San Francisco. The density of stations is far too low for it to be anything but what you described. Look elsewhere for examples of better implementation of bike share. (Head up a few hours to Montreal, for example.)


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