Bike share program needs strict oversight
Jun 26, 2012 | 805 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Comptroller John Liu released a report this week with several recommendations to make the city new bike share program safer. We're a little shocked that safety hasn't been made more of an issue approximately one month before some 7,000 rental bikes are about to hit the streets.

Don't get us wrong, we're all for programs that promote cycling as a viable mode of transportation in New York City:- it gets cars off the road, it's better for the environment, and it's better for us.

But let's be realistic: even for the seasoned city bicyclist, riding in New York City can be a dangerous affair. Now imagine a novice rider who decides to see what this bike share is all about, or even worse, think about the tourist from some small town who thinks that hopping on a bike would be a great way to take in the city.

It's a recipe for disaster.

One of Liu's safety proposals calls for making wearing a helmet while riding a law. That's a good idea (even if the mayor isn't on board), but what are the chances that these casual bike riders are going to be carrying around a good, safe helmet that they can wear when they rent a bike?

Liu has a lot of other good ideas, such as putting more cops on bicycles to help enforce the law, targeting dangerous intersections for safety improvements, and making bicycle awareness an integral part of driver's education.

In fact, Liu has a lot of safety idea, which makes us wonder it anybody in the administration thought this through before they pushed to get the bike share program up and running as quickly as possible.

Again, we're completely on board with the idea of a bike share program, but we're not on board with it if it means a big compromise in safety.

When the program is actually up and running, the city needs to monitor it closely to make sure it is not one disaster after another waiting to happen.

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