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For the Masters of the Universe who object to Bike Share and all the changes that go with it. You get around be personal car and that's the way you like it. We get that. It’s cool. Follow me below the twisted tube and let me tell you how Bike Share makes you life better.

The biggest contributor for traffic is cars. It’s noticeable when pedestrians or bicyclists block traffic or cause a nuisance because that is news. It’s unusual and so gets noticed compared to the constant inconvenience other cars pose.

Something often overlooked is what happens when more people ride bike, walk, or use transit. Less people drive. Now remember when I said the biggest contributor for traffic is cars. You might dispute this, but try looking ahead the next time you are stopped unexpectedly. The cars will be making up most of the blockage. Pedestrians & bicyclists can go around or through. Cars end up stuck blocking even more traffic.

What happens when less people drive? For one there are fewer cars in your way. Roads are less congested. End points are easier to stop at or park and get dropped off at.
Better pedestrian & bicycle infrastructure makes driving better too.

In New York City only about 46% of the population owns cars. You are among the special ones who can afford the expense of car ownership. And as more & more people abandon cars for other means the percentage will continue to go down. By supporting the improvement of pedestrian & bicycle infrastructure you help propel yourself into an increasingly narrower elite.

There will always be some objections to individual pieces of infrastructure. Why place that there? Does the curb need to jut out that far? Is this lane too narrow for comfort? Why is the speed limit so low? These are pieces of the whole. And for the whole to work best sometimes pieces will be inconvenient in one place but make the system smoother & faster.

I expect some of the things you want is a drive that is without a lot of stop & go. Without the honking & noise. Where access is open. But the roads in NYC are overloaded with cars. There isn’t room for the ones there now to get what you want. There will never be enough roads for that. It can’t be built. There is no space and any space created will quickly fill. The best solution for you is to remove some of the existing load. And this is what these pedestrian & bicycle infrastructure projects do. They provide others with safer & easier ways to do their business. Many people will skip the car experience if they have options they like. This will clear up room for you. And also reduce the demand for gas. Take note Supply & Demand followers.

If you want your drive to be better. Then you want less people to drive. Then you want fewer cars on the road. Then you should support those positive actions that move people to other choices.

This was written in response to the griping coming from attitudes displayed in the WSJ article. See diary or I'm always amazed at how the positives get overlooked. I don't mean the positives for us little people, but the positives for the 1% & wannabe 1%.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (11+ / 0-)

    I love to read; but writing, not so much. That involves organizing my thoughts into a coherent narrative that makes sense to others. So for all you copy editors, go ahead, I'm good with improvement.

  •  Don't know where you got this statistic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In New York City only about 46% of the population owns cars
    But it sounds right. But it also undermines your argument. The parked cars are probably the ones that belong to the residents. There is a hell of a lot of traffic in the city with such a small percentage owning cars. So that means most of it is coming from out of town. People use their cars to get into and out of the city. Bikes will have zero net effect on these people and their driving habits. What it will do is probably take away from walkers and bus riders and maybe a cab or two which will just be taken by someone else because the medallion system ensures a limited supply of taxis.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:32:52 PM PDT

    •  It's not the parked cars (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, chimpy, ichibon, ladybug53

      It's the ones on the road. A lot of people might be shocked at how many out-of-towners use the system. It is a great last mile link for commuters. And remember, every car trip not taken by car is one less car on the road.

      •  It's the cabs. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, ladybug53

        Anyone who has visited NYC even for an hour knows that every other car on the street is yellow. And every yellow car is a cab.

      •  reading Comprehension problems? (0+ / 0-)

        The parked ones belong to the 46% of residents who own cars. The ones driving around belong to people who drive in from out of town who are not going to switch to a bike once in the city.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:49:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why Not? Look I Get Folks Love Their Cars (5+ / 0-)

          I get that. But folks coming from the burbs into a major metro area have it "easy." Use "park and ride." Drive 3-4 miles. Park. Get on a metro rail and read the paper as you are taken to work.

          •  Why won't they get on a train? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            webranding, ladybug53

            I have no idea but i wish they would because they really clog up the bridges and tunnels, create major pollution at the crossings and create traffic nightmares

            Then there are the people who come in for Saturday night for a Broadway show or something and must drive, they pay $13 for the toll and probably $40 or 50 to park plus gas. It would be unthinkable in their nice clothes to do anything but sit in their air conditioned cars

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:56:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Am The Directionally Challenged Guy (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, eXtina, ichibon, Oh Mary Oh

              that can get lost in my own house. Anytime I can let somebody else drive me someplace, well I take up that offer.  When I lived in DC I got so lost a few times I ended up in another state. So I just used the Metro. If I was in a suit, and most times I was, I'd just get off it and hop in a cab for the next few blocks. Not rocket science.

        •  Why care about parked cars? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't get it. That's why I didn't bother going into a side discussion about parking. I'm starting a discussion about movement on the roads and you want to go into a parking garage and what? But hey! less driving means less cars stopping at destinations too. So MORE parking is available.
          And again, why assert that no one wants to get the hell out of their car and arrive at their destination sooner. Bicycles are another link in the transportation chain. Everyone that uses it frees up resources for you. There are studies about who chooses to use newly available options. You seem to be saying 0% or near enough will be coming from cars.

          •  You brought up car ownership for NYC (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            residents. Most of the time most of the cars driving around are not residents driving around the city, those cars are parked. The ones driving around are from out of town. Yes it's a red herring - and you're the one who brought it irrelevantly into the conversation.

            In fact, p;arked cars do contribute to traffic problems to a certain degree,  because much of the traffic driving around is looking for a parking spot which is not available because of all the parked car owned by residents.

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:17:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It Is People Coming Into The City From The Burbs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, ichibon, ladybug53

      when I lived in DC I never drove. But my gosh all the folks from Virginia and Maryland driving in for work, well that is why DC never drops out of the top 5 for the worse traffic in the nation.

    •  I was just browsing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      through some of the bike share daries, and I noticed your opposition.
      I lived in the US for 7 years, but moved back to my home city the bycicle capital of the world, Amsterdam.
      I really don't think you understand how creating a bike friendly environment has major advantages for everyone, including people who drive cars.

      I hardly ever use my car in the city, because riding my bike is faster, more convenient, cheaper, healthier, and all around a more pleasant experience. On the other hand, because most people here prefer their bike over their car, if I need to use my car, it has become a much better experience because there is less car traffic and more parking spots available.

      In my country we have 17 million people and about 20 million bikes. Pretty much anyone who drives a car, also owns and rides a bike. That fact alone changes how bike riders and car drivers interact with each other.

      I can't explain the difference in the quality of my life, the times that I worked close enough to my home, that I could use my bike.
      Feeling the fresh air on my face, seeing the city wake up and get ready in the morning, not being stuck and frustrated sitting in a traffic jam for hours and feeling physically and mentally exhausted by the time I get home, it makes a difference how you feel at work, and how you feel after work.

      •  I have nothing against bikes (0+ / 0-)

        I have something against the way it was done here and the way bikers obnoxiously ignore all the traffic rules and constantly endanger pedestrians

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:25:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're still not getting it (0+ / 0-)

        the cars are from suburbanites commuting into the city. Having bikes available will do nothing to change this. As the diarist said, only 46% of NYC residents own cars to begin with so the small percentage of that small percentage that is using their car to get around town and will switch to a car is negligible to non-existent. I'm very happy for Amsterdam and everybody who rides a bike there but when Amsterdam is flooded with commuters clogging bridges and tunnels to get in and out every day you might have something of comparison. London is perhaps the only European city that is comparable, with making congestion tolls. Higher tolls are not going to get people out of their cars, it's proven. JUst poorer folks who can't afford it stop coming into the city. The tolls were nearly doubled over the last two years and Port Authority has never raked in more money than it is now. You can't push people out of their cars if there is no public transportation to push them onto as an alternative. The trains are at maximum capacity and with Republicans constantly defunding them - just see what Chris Christie did with the ARC Tunnel that would have helped with the problem. So please just. stop. with your examples of European nirvana that have no bearing on America.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:31:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It also sounds like your weather is a lot milder (0+ / 0-)

        and more conducive to biking year round, with the high in summer about 74F (compared to 90 and humid in NYC) and the low in the mid-30's, with not much snow .

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:46:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We ride our bikes in all weather conditions (0+ / 0-)

          If you build the infrastructure people will use it. The bike policies began in the 70's, partly because of the oil crisis, and because of major protests against having our cities turned into parking lots. Also fatal accidents with pedestrians and bikeriders, caused by cars had risen to an unacceptable level.

          Beginning in the late 50's, people riding bikes, dropped by 6% every year. In the mid seventies the first experimental projects seperating bikers, from cars and pedestrians were done in 2 cities. Bike riding rose between 50 and 75 % in the first couple of years.

          There are a lot of different policies needed, to get people to choose their bikes over their cars. We have special cars in the subway where you can take your bike with you, all ferries carry bikes, as a matter of fact 95 % of people taking a ferry, have their bikes with them. We have bike tunnels, the longest one runs under the Meuse river.

          City planning for newer cities or expansions to cities , make it impossible to drive a car from one neighborhood to the next. You can drive your car to any neighborhood, but you would have to take a beltway. With your bike, you can just cut-through from one neighborhood to the next.

          Watch in horror or just smile.

          •  that's all very nice (0+ / 0-)

            but it's not happening in the US, you've not addressed any of the other points that I made except that you ride in 'all weather' except you don't get 'all kinds of weather'

            And, sorry but people are NOT going to bike 30-50 miles to their office in the city and back home at night every day, it's just not happening, they won't even get on the train

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 09:23:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are not open to (0+ / 0-)

              a discussion. So forget it. I don't get why anyone would object to more bike riding. The problem of global warming is real. If your not open to some common sense solutions and you are not willing to help find better ways to motivate people to leave their cars, the future is bleak. People riding their bikes will be the least of the problems that would have to be dealt with.

              I do want to address the weather conditions. There may be some snow storms a couple of times a year, and it may be hot some days in summer, that probably leaves 300 days a year where the weather does allow for comfortable bike riding. Because you can't ride your bike ever day, doesn't mean you should never ride it.

              My suggestions to you, why don't you try it.

              •  I'm not objecting to more bike riding (0+ / 0-)

                You're obviously not listening to me - you haven't addessed a single point I've made. Who's not open to a discussion?

                "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 01:00:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've read your points again (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  1) bikers don't follow the rules and are a danger to pedestrians.

                  You enforce traffic rules for cars and pedestrians, why wouldn't traffic rules for bike riders work. A better infrasructure, like more dedicated bikelanes do solve a lot of the problems.

                  2) suburbanites are the people creating the traffic problems.
                  Bikes don't solve that.

                  There are a lot of problems that won't be solved by people riding more bikes. I still don't see why that should be a reason not to stimulate more people to ride a bike.

                  3) I am a stupid European who should stfu, because the US and Americans are different.

                  Actually there are a lot of major cities in the world, working on making their cities more bike friendly. Cities like Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro and in North America Montreal. All these cities have different climates and geography, so they address their specific problems in different ways.

                  You can read what different cities do to stimulate bike riding here.

                  Most succesful bike cities, combine good public transportation and bikes. I agree that without improving the public transportation system, the bike sharing system will only effect people living in the city itself.

                  I hope I addressed your issues, I don't claim to have all the answers, I just noticed how much resistance you have against bikes, and I just don't get that.

                  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                    1) NYC has instituted bike lanes. They sprung up overnight without community involvement. The result has been flagrant abuse by bikers, they bike everywhere but the bike lane, in every direction, whizzing thru red lights. It was not like this before there were bike lanes. NOw that they have their bike lanes dedicated, those lanes sit empty (or riders go in the other direction - salmon they're called) while they ride everywhere else, endangering pedestrians. The bike lanes have given them an attitude of entitlement and self-righteousness. How are you supposed to enforce someone that has sped thru a red light at 30mph? Who is supposed to chase down all the bikers going the opposite way in the bike lane?

                    Traffic rules for bikers wouldn't work becuase they ignore them. Because they're rude and entitled. It would take a massive increase in the police force

                    2) the source of the problem is the commuters. getting a few people to ride a bike instead of walking or off a bus will do nothing to improve car traffic.

                    3) you are telling americans to do things they way they're done in Europe. good luck witht that. NYC already has excellent public transportation and a LOT of bike lanes. It has the infrastructure. It doesn't address the major problem, the commuters. For the millionth time.

                    For the millionth time, I have nothing against bikes. I have something against obnoxious entitled bike riders who flagrantly disobey the rules and endanger me on a daily basis.

                    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                    by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 02:55:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I was just outside and in the span of 15 seconds (0+ / 0-)

                    was nearly run over by 3 bikers driving on the opposite side of the avenue from where the bike lane is. One veered into the middle of traffic from the right lane - maybe to get into the bike lane finally?
                    The 'salmons' swimming upstream going in the oposite direction of intended traffic are riding against the direction of one way traffic. This is a violation of the law.
                    I've never seen a traffic stop of a car in NYC. Yet the drivers seem to obey the laws, almost all the time without needing to be constantly pulled over and ticketed. Yet the bikers can't seem to obey simple rules of traffic unless they'd be penalized for it? NIce.

                    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                    by eXtina on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 03:25:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I get that it really upsets you (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      but when I find myself using statements beginning with "all ...always...." I try to take a step back, and try to find out what it really is that is bothering me.

                      You are an intelligent person, you know damn well that it is very unlikely that Americans are genetically pre-disposed to immediately behave like bike messengers, the moment their butts touch a saddle.

                      It is possible that it is something cultural that make people behave the way you are describing.
                      What I've been trying to tell you, that the more bike riding gets mainstreamed, the less you will see of this behaviour. My mom is 72 years old, and she still rides her bike everyday. She happily shares the road with teenagers going to school, college students going to a party, mothers and fathers biking their kids to school and business men and women, heading to the office.

                      When biking is mainstream, it is just a form of transportation and not some kind of fashion statement that requires a certain kind of behaviour to complete the picture.

                      •  I don't know how more mainstreamed it can (0+ / 0-)

                        get in NYC. With bike lanes on almost every street, with major intersections having their own dedicated traffic light, and bikes chained to every available lamppost and streetsign and now racks becoming plentiful, and Summer Streets that closes off 7 miles of avenues to cars for bikers and pedestrians, how more mainstream can it possibly get?

                        The era of the bike messenger is over. There are still delivery people using bikes but they don't fly they just seem oblivious and are the ones either right outside the bike lane or going the opposite way in the bike line on a one way street against traffic. The rest are either just ordinary folks doing their business but then there are the people biking for its own sake who flagrantly and deliberately break the rules and threaten pedestrians aggressively because they are militant about their riding and refuse to be boxed in to a specified lane for them and/or obey traffic rules, or something. LIke I keep repeating, this problem did not exist until bike lanes sprung up and apparently gave them carte blanche to do as they please.

                        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                        by eXtina on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 12:44:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  I Don't Even Know Where To Start (8+ / 0-)

    but let me say I totally agree with you.

    I now live in a small rural town. Before that 15+ years in DC. I had a car, but I almost never got in it. I could get everywhere I needed without a car. It was in fact easy.

    When I moved to this town I thought that would change. In fact it didn't. Now I am blessed, I live in a blue state and my former Congressional rep was famous for getting more "pork" for my district then just about anybody else.

    So I can walk two blocks from my house and there is a bus stop. Four miles a metro line. And if I showed you my town on a map you'd say, "you live in the freaking middle of nowhere."

    But I have mass transit!!!!!!!

    Heck I have a 2001 VW Passat. It has less then 30,000 miles on it. I've found I can live my life and rarely drive.

    Now there are problems with my system, like I can take my moutain bike on the rail system, but not the buses (I know, makes no sense). And folks here, well they don't do respect my right of way on said bike. Two years ago I lost a tooth, broke my collar bone, and dislocated my shoulder when I got hit by a car.

    But we can do this. We can. When I moved backed here and walked to the 7/11 like store two blocks from my house, one time my next door neighbor stopped in her car and asked if I needed a ride.

    I saw her the other day on a bike. I was like Billy, what are you doing? Going to the store, I am following after your example. It is kind of easy and I get exercise. This is a white, 70+ year old women.

    Like I said we can do this.

  •  there is some irrational Bloomberg hatred here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ichibon

    and on the left. Just because I don't like the guy politically, voted against him three times etc, his pedestrian plazas and bike lanes have changed Manhattan for the better. Don't like Citi either but if they do something good, footing the bill for the bikes, then it's something good.

    (whether the lanes work in Brooklyn others can comment. I've heard both sides)

    There also seems to be some irrational bike hatred around here as well. Posters making stuff up. When outlier kos thread trolls align with the WSJ that's some funny $h!^

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:48:16 PM PDT

  •  What happens when people drive less? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BYw, webranding, Oh Mary Oh

    Reducing the national vehicle fleet would be admirable, of course. Every American who chooses to live car-free and retires his vehicle would either junk one car himself, or put one more used car on the market. Putting that used car on the market might let someone else buy up and retired a smoky old clunker. Fleet efficiency goes up and pollution goes down. But, driving is a hard habit to break all at once.

    Maybe even better than fewer people driving would be the equivalent reduction in vehicle miles through having everyone drive a little less. It might not buy us the efficiency and air quality that an outright fleet culling would bring. But, spending one day a week walking or on their bikes would give drivers at least an occasional view from the other side of the windshield. When they get back in their car after a day in the bike lane, they might drive with a little more sympathy toward their less mechanized fellow commuters.

    And, once they see it's possible to leave the car at home, they might choose to share one car among their household instead of each driving his or her own.

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:02:10 PM PDT

    •  Yep, this is one step (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, Oh Mary Oh, chimpy

      towards being independent. The necessity of owning a car is rather annoying and expensive. Give people options and some will take them, moving everyone in a freer direction.

    •  You Can Look At Some Things I've Written Here (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, ichibon, ladybug53, Oh Mary Oh, chimpy

      I went an entire year without driving, and I live in a rural, not a major metro area. It was in fact kind of easy. Sure I had to change a few things. I didn't have any good dates, cause well hard to pick up a date on your bicycle :). I didn't buy much kitty litter in bulk, cause well 30 pounds of it on a bike isn't easy to move around. But outside of those two things, pretty easy.

      •  Some people need a little taste first (0+ / 0-)

        Before your car-free year, you must have had some experience getting around under your own power. Biking to work every now and then, at least in nice weather? Working downtown where a car would have been a ridiculous burden? Living on a school campus where everything is walkable?

        Many of us have happy memories of living car-free when younger, and it just takes a quick ride to remind us how fun it was. Even if gas were cheap and humans needed no exercise to stay fit, I'd still prefer commuting by bike. I can get most of my errands done on one, too, but trips to Costco or the feed store get me back in the car. Some day, when the kids are on their own, maybe I'll ditch the car entirely and get large items delivered instead.

        However, some others grew up with a car and never really lived apart from one. They might nor think it's even possible except by oddballs like me. To reduce total miles past our own contribution, we have to find a way to show those life-long drivers that a viable alternative even exists. Some of that can be from watching our example.

        Reading your stories, which admit the small complications along with the overall benefits, makes it more real than hearing some idealized fictions or abstract statistics. But, some will still need a way to ease into the change. They'll want to try it a few days a week, and have a solid backup for the other days. When there's good bus service for unexpected rainy afternoons, more people will have the confidence to bike to work in the morning. When there's good car sharing and delivery services, more people will find the courage to sell their cars off.

        And, the more people who occasionally use those services like public transport and home delivery, the more those services will grow to displace our assumption of individual car ownership.

        Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

        by chimpy on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 08:51:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bumper sticker I used to have... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc, BYw, ladybug53, Oh Mary Oh

    "If I had ridden my bicycle, you could have parked here"

    One I got note - "Lazy"

    This planet needs a lot more kids who think taking a lawnmower apart is more fun than playing a videogame.

    by rjnerd on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 07:00:15 PM PDT

  •  I'd just as soon not drive in Manhattan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    The last time we went to NYC on vacation we stayed over by the Meadowlands and took the bus across.

    Between the traffic and lack of parking it seems like driving there would be more trouble than it's worth.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 03:09:27 AM PDT

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