Spring Rain: Washington Square Park & The Village

by cathryn on April 30, 2013

Yesterday:


Then … nearby … agh these bike share stations (sort of unattractive, no?):

 
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Hegener Parker April 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

As an auto driver now, formerly a bike commuter, and always as a pedestrian, I worry about an influx of bike riders unfamiliar with New York.
The recent changes in the configuration of street real estate in both Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn make both driving and bike riding extra dangerous. (Dangerous to pedestrians, too, because no matter how far a sidewalk extends into an intersection, they will take a step off the curb.)
All well and good to reassure walkers that they have the “right of way” but this has led to people just walking out into the road (crosswalk) without turning their heads to look if a vehicle may be coming or in the act of turning. Unfamiliar bike riders will be especially challenged. (Not to mention that helmets will not be supplied or required. )
I cannot imagine a more dangerous confluence of circumstances.
–Mary

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Seth April 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I agree with Mary. Bloomberg really crammed this down everyone’s throats. It all started in 2010 with the surprise installation of permanent bike paths on 1st and 2nd Avenues that are still underused, and a hazard to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. The prospect of thousands of inexperienced bikers rushing to find an open bike share rack to return their bikes before the 30 minut deadline expires is scary. But even if the program is a flop and no one uses it, these bike share stations in one fell swoop made our city more ugly, block access to small businesses and homes, and greatly reduced available parking throughout lower Manhattan and ensured that more cars will therefore be circling the blocks looking for a place to park. (Yes I know Bloomberg’s goal is to eliminate cars from Manhattan — well, maybe other than limos and giant VIP SUVs favored by his ilk — but as others have said, this ain’t Paris or London.)

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cathryn May 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Hi Mary, that is worrying. It does just feel like it’s been thrust on us … I believe there was some community input gathered but I’ve read mixed reports on that, how it was done, etc. At the CB2 hearing on the placement of the bikes the other night, no one from DOT came. What you wrote does sound dangerous as a “confluence of circumstances.”

Seth, I agree that they are pretty ugly. I want to see what the ones in Paris look like because I’m sure they probably found a way to do it in a more attractive fashion. (Did they have a corporate name/logo attached to theirs, I wonder?) You’re right about the 30 minute deadline – is that what it is…? I suppose anything that has *vision* (not sure if that’s what this is either but… if it is …) takes getting used to but I’m not convinced the city can handle this… the circling of the blocks, etc. also sounds dangerous. You’re right, doubtful hat Bloomberg and his ‘ilk’ are going to be dropping their limos / black SUV’s anytime soon.

Cathryn.

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