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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How America's Biggest Bike Share Will Turn NYC into a Cycling City [Gizmodo]


CitiBike has landed. Yesterday, amid a scrum of politicians and reporters, city officials introduced the system poised to transform New York street life. But keeping track of 6,000 new bikes—not to mention their riders—will be no small chore. And to do it, the city is implementing a handful of smart systems, ranging from modular docking system to solar-powered tail lights.
The program is a long time coming. Other cities, like Boston, D.C., and Chattanooga (who knew?), have been there first. But New York poses its own unique problems: There’s the simmering culture war between cyclists and pretty much everyone else. There’s the vastly understaffed accident report squad, which has bungled the cases of several cyclists killed in the past year. There’s the infrastructural shortcomings of a densely-populated city where roads are vital economic lifelines—and the claiming of said roads by cyclists is viewed by businesses asnothing short of aggressive.
CitiBike, then, represents a massive experiment. It will put thousands of new cyclists on the road. It will introduce New York to cycling as a mode of transportation, rather than the rarified subculture of FredsJoseph Gordon-Levitt, and David Byrne. For drivers and longtime cyclists alike, this is a watershed moment, fraught with anxiety. At the same time, for all of the hand-wringing and political backtracking it's incurred, CitiBike represents the culmination of some pretty remarkable technologies.

How America's Biggest Bike Share Will Turn NYC into a Cycling City[Keep reading at Gizmodo]

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