10 August 2008

New York and Back

Just got sent this piece from today's New York Times about Denmark and how America can learn from this little country.

Coincedentally, there was a piece on bicycle culture in New York City on one of the national news shows the other evening. It was about how New York now has their first bike lane. Admittedly, the tone was akin to, "NYC just got... get this... a bicycle lane!", presented with a crooked smile.

It was all about the bike lane[s] and about how more and more people are cycling in New York City of late. They interviewed the owner of a brewery in Brooklyn who rides to work and several cyclists on the streets.


It was actually cool to see so many cyclists not wearing helmets. It's actually a good sign. It means that there are cyclists who feel safe in the traffic and it is, for me, a reassuring sign. Just like seeing so many cyclists in Paris.

Seriously? Bike pictograms with a helmet?! That's just goofy.

This guy says, "I ride everyday. It's safe." Sure, he's wearing a cycling jersey, but he's half forgiven because it's Team CSC - and they're Danish.

A traffic expert was interviewed. She confirmed the increase in bikes and said that many people are abandoning their cars and taken public transport. When asked if New York could be a new Copenhagen? "That would take an enormous change in peoples' behaviour."

10 comments:

Bekka Teerlink said...

Boston is getting their first bike lanes as well. It has been ranked as one of the worst cities for cycling. Apparently even the mayor was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this year. But if Boston could become more bike friendly, it would make the city even more beautiful.

Anne said...

"... an enormous change in people's behaviour" sounds great to me! I believe we are closer than she thinks...

Zakkaliciousness said...

cool bekka!
anne: she didn't sound THAT convinced when she said it, but if you build it they will come.

Anonymous said...

New York has had bike lanes for years, although the numbers are increasing rapidly. What's new is there is a now a bike lane with a concrete divider between it and the rest of the road. A lot of cyclists sort of hate it, the experienced riders feel they can ride faster and safer in the traffic. Great for the slower riders though.

Zakkaliciousness said...

it's all about the slower riders. the fast ones are going to ride anyway. it's all about getting new people out there and making them safe and making them feel safe!

Anonymous said...

Bike pictograms with helmet is the way a message is to be delivered? Or is it another way to sway opinions? Good catch.
Jack

Zakkaliciousness said...

pictogram propaganda.

Phil said...

I wouldn't worry about the subliminal propaganda effect of pictograms. Danish roads have a sign featuring a cyclist with a fedora hat, but I've never once felt persuaded to switch my headgear.

Zakkaliciousness said...

haha... good point phil. touché.

ajlounyinjurylaw said...

These bike lanes in NYC are coming along but there is still debate on how safe they are and how they effect car traffic.