West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 5 | July 4 - 10, 2007

Giving Euro-style free bikes a spin

By Lucas Mann

If you see a gang of bicyclers patrolling Manhattan on identical rides next week, do not be alarmed. These people will be the beneficiaries of The New York Bike-Share Project, occurring from July 7-11.

At 97 Kenmare St. and another location that will change each day, there will be free 30-minute bike rentals all day long.

“That’s the way it is in most European cities,” said David Haskell, executive director of the Forum for Urban Design, which is co-producing the project with the Storefront for Art and Architecture. “You get the bike for free for the first half an hour and then the price, which is still really cheap, rises as the trip gets longer. It is to prioritize short trips. We wanted to start from that model and see how New Yorkers would react to it.”

The Bike-Share Project’s main goal is to display this transportation alternative that is already taking off in cities like Paris, which has recently added 10,000 bikes at 750 locations. Along with the free-bike trials, 97 Kenmare St. will house displays of how the program has worked in these various cities. On July 9 there will be a presentation on bike-sharing in Barcelona, Stockholm and Oslo, and July 10 on Pamplona, Lyon and Paris.

Each participant will get to give their opinions when they return their bikes.

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