AN INTERVENTION IN THE CYCLING EXPERIENCE OF NEW YORK
Investment in the cycling infrastructure is one of the keys to truly livable, sustainable and socially just cities. City cycling ensures the best use of the space available (during trips and also while parked), therefore reduces congestion on the roads. The bicycle is an inexpensive, fast, healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transport.
New York City developed the country's first bike path in 1894 and recent trends place the city at the forefront of a national trend for cycling. According to NYC Department of Transportation %25 of adult New Yorkers (1.6 million people) ride bikes.
New York has plenty options for cyclers to lock their bicycles. NYC DOT had even organized a competition for the design of bike racks. The winner was HOOP, a design from Bettlelab based in Denmark. It’s a beautiful bike rack, placed all around New York City. It reflects a modern simplicity that enhances New York’s streetscape. The rack is round with a horizontal crossbar, evoking an abstracted bicycle tire. Constructed of cast-metal. The design is elegant yet powerful enough to withstand the harshest street environments.
But making nicer racks doesn’t make them more functional. Cyclers are still using options other than the city designated spots to park their bikes. the priority is not the design of the rack, but it’s the location. Anything to lock their bikes can be a bicycle rack for them. Street lights/signs or any street furniture.
Here’s the idea: Instead of trying to change people’s behaviour and making them lock their bicycles to the racks, making the street lights/signs more bike friendly.
This way they wouldn’t be only more convenient for the cyclists but also:
- Less resources would be used to produce the bike racks.
- City cycling ensures the best use of the space available on the roads. This would be applied to the sidewalks as well.
- The needs of cyclists and pedestrians who share the sidewalks would be balanced by avoiding the clutter that is caused by the existing racks.