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Posts tagged "Citibike"

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How to Build a Thriving, Equitable Bike-Share System

Bike-share has the capability to expand access to jobs and transit for communities in need of better transportation options -- but only if the system is set up and operated in an equitable way. Our latest collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) examines how to build a thriving, equitable bike-share system.

At the end of June, the Better Bike Share Conference brought together advocates, employers, and experts in the field to share ideas and strategies about how to improve access to bike-share. We interviewed a dozen leaders about what bike-share systems are doing to overcome barriers to use, and what more needs to be done.

NACTO has some great resources available for people who want to take a deeper look at issues of bike-share and equity, including papers on:

This Streetfilm features footage of nearly a dozen bike-share systems, but primarily Indego in Philadelphia, Citi Bike in New York, and Capital Bikeshare in DC. As part of the filming, I got to ride along with Black Girls Do Bike NYC for a Citi Bike tour from Bed-Stuy to Red Hook in Brooklyn -- you can see more scenes from that ride in this short.

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Sunnyside, Queens Becomes a Bike-Friendly Business District!

Transportation Alternatives has been working all across NYC to foster goodwill and support for bicycling in the business community. Recently, they've begun to declare certain neighborhoods Bike-Friendly Business Districts and the first one in the outer boroughs is Sunnyside, Queens.

Come along as a group of over 50 cyclists explored 6 of 70 bike-friendly  restaurants to sample food and exchange goodwill as cycling continues to grow all across NYC.

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Streetfilms Shorties: Hal Teaser, GoPro Citi bike Test, Guadalajara’s Plazas

Sometimes I have bits of video or short stories that don't amount to a full on Streetfilm, but I want to get them out in the world anyway. On our Vimeo account you'll often see some of these thrown up with little fanfare, most with only a few hundred plays. But every once and a while I'll  get one with thousands of views.

So I wanted to post some of them here for your enjoyment. The first one (above) is a fun excerpt from our next installment of "Hal Grades Your Bike Locking" which features George Hahn and Hal discussing bike theft.

The next one shows what happens when you finally get a GoPro and test it out. I decided to take Citi bike jaunt down Lexington Avenue to see how it handles.  It looks a little scary, but my goal was to attempt to do a sort of PSA about legally riding while moving my head as little as possible. It's your call whether or not it worked.

And finally, a few weeks ago I realized I never posted this Guadalajara Streetfilms Shortie I weaved together in 2011 while at the Houston airport waiting for my connecting flight home!

While I was in Guadalajara, I was amazed by the richness and network of their car-free public plazas and streets. Especially since there was a tremendous amount of the city that was inrcedibly dangerous to walk or bike - or even drive! Even when you had the walk signal you needed to be on high alert!

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Riding the Bike Share Boom

Without a doubt, 2013 has been a banner year for bike-share in the United States. Major systems were implemented in New York City and Chicago, and many others debuted or expanded in other cities. In fact, Citi Bike users have biked over 10 million miles and the system is closing in on 100,000 annual members!

The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has been studying 25 bike-share systems throughout the world, analyzing which ones perform the best and why. That informed ITDP's Bike Share Planning Guide, which has copious data and fascinating charts to pore over, helping cities create bike-share systems that will thrive.

We were very happy to team up with ITDP to make this Streetfilm. It features a dozen bike-share systems and captures footage from an unprecedented number of bike-share cities in any one film. Enjoy and download the report!

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Many more Bike Share Systems to Watch on Streetfilms

With the publication of our new Streetfilm on the recent success of bike share in North America in 2013 (in partnership with ITDP), we wanted to remind you we have done more bike share videos than anybody, anywhere else in the world.

We started out with Elizabeth Press' great film back in 2008 on Paris' Velib which helped introduce U.S. audiences to the concept of bike share.

We also covered the first iterations on bike share in Washington, DC and then followed up with the hugely successful and popular video on Capital Bikeshare years later. Check out how different the two systems were below.

In between we have looked at Minneapolis' Nice Ride…


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NYC Rush Hour Bike Commute!

It's fall and getting cooler in New York City, but that hasn't slowed down the people jumping on bikes. During rush hour it's starting to become a bit crowded, and that's a good thing. If you haven't been to NYC recently, you'll be amazed how much the protected bike lanes and Citi Bike are encouraging more people to ride.

During a recent rush hour ride home through the heart of Manhattan, I couldn't believe it. On Second Avenue, unbroken streams of cyclists ride in clumps -- at one point I counted 20 people riding single-file! So I decided to log some footage during two successive p.m. rush hours on some of NYC's most bike-busy commute paths, including the Manhattan Bridge, Second Avenue, and the West Side Greenway.

A few things I learned from the footage I shot:

  • More cyclists are riding the right way on the protected bike lanes and greenways. Sure, some people salmon, but it seems far less prevalent than a few years ago. Perhaps that's because the numbers are getting so big that self-preservation has taken hold? Whatever the factors, it feels more civilized.
  • Bikes are everywhere and drivers are noticing. Even on popular bike commute segments without bike lanes, drivers seem a little more aware, since cyclists are omnipresent.
  • Citi Bike has undoubtedly boosted cycling numbers and the visibility of bicycles on the streets. The bikes are blue, their front lights flash, and lots of "everyday" folks use them. They're impossible to miss.
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Five Early Thoughts on Citibike

As you may know, Streetfilms has done more videos about bike share than any other outlet on the planet. Here are some observations/thoughts I have after a few weeks of Citibike use. I'm not saying I am correct here or claiming to be a "Citibike expert" and regardless, I'm sure I'll hear it from you in the comments.

1. Citibike riders are more courteous.  Remember how the press tried to frighten us about the maniacal, out-of-control, new riders on Citibikes?  Well, we all knew that wasn't gonna happen, but if you compare the general population of cyclist behavior on the streets, I think Citibike riders are certainly more well behaved to this point. I have plenty of logical theories why, but this thought seems to jive with all the experiences of my friends.

2. Helmets not required. If your city is gonna have a successful bikeshare, having a helmet requirement is gonna make it more difficult to thrive. I've always advocated against mandatory helmet laws but I also encourage people they should be wearing one riding on the streets in places like NYC.  I've always been a 98% wear-a-helmet-kind-of-person, but with Citibike I haven't yet.

This proves once again that the helmet issue is a dynamic, complicated one. It all depends on where you are riding, the speed, the bike amenities of your city, the build of the bike, the topography, the weather, your age and plenty others. Thus far, because of their upright and slow speeds (and if you stick to the safest routes) I've felt just fine Citibiking without a helmet.  That said, I've also been surprised by the number of people toting a helmet and using one. Choice is a good thing.

3. Overall bike shop sales will probably be largely unaffected or higher, but what about folding bikes? Just an observation here. Not trying to alarm the industry, but in cities with bike share (if there is large coverage in the places you visit) the advantages of the folding bike are greatly diminished. Citibike is cheap. It doesn't need to be folded, carried, or stowed. No worries about maintenance or flat tires. Not sure if there are any folding bike sales figures out there to pour over. If anyone has more insight, please share.

4. Citibikes are more difficult to dock then other bike share systems I have used. To put it in perspective, I can't recall ever having one problem docking back in after using the very similar bikes of Capital Bikeshare and Nice Ride Minneapolis. But of all my Citibiking in NYC, only once did it check in on the first try. The others I've had to attempt it numerous times, try other docks and - in a few cases - gave up and used a nearby station. I am a strong guy, I should have no problem. I am hoping they are working on this.

5. The fun social aspect of Citibikes was overlooked by the media.  How many times have I heard someone riding a Citibike say to another user, "Hey, nice bike!"?  I've lost count. I've also noticed something I've termed "The Citibike Nod" which is the grin & nod of smugness and self-approval when riders pass each other. Sort of like being in a secret club when you were a kid.

By now, we've all seen tourists posing for pictures taken while sitting on a docked Citibike. I'm sure we aren't far from having a Citibike Meet-Up group. And even cab and truck drivers ask about the blue bicycles while stopped waiting for the light.

Did I say "waiting at the light"? Well that seems to happen way more often for me while riding the Citibike!

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The NYC Rush Hour Bike Parade On 1st & 2nd Avenues

Just a series of photos to share. Today, I grabbed a Citibike and roamed around on our protected bike lane couplings on 1st & 2nd Avenues for about 5 minutes during the PM rush. Frankly, I've never seen so many people in NYC on bicycles. It's even more than last summer!

It's possible that the great weather combined with the addition of Citibike, people's desire to get fit and save some money could all be factored in, but in just five minutes I snapped these photos to share.  Every block had at least 5 or 6 riders at all times. It felt like a constant bike parade.

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Citi Bike Debuts in New York City!

Memorial Day 2013 marked a milestone in NYC transportation history: the debut of the city's bike-share system, Citi Bike. At 330 stations, 6,000 bikes (of a planned 10,000) were available to more than 13,000 members who signed up for a yearly pass - and many of them couldn't wait to hit the streets!

The press conference at City Hall was a media frenzy. Hundreds of reporters and cameras were on hand to watch Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan ring in the launch. Streetfilms was there at this historic moment and put together this fun four-minute film which features a Citibike bike share station along a protected bike lane, David Byrne telling us what he will do with bike share and the best shot anyone got of Commissioner Sadik-Khan test driving the bike at City Hall.