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Bikes—so controversial! Which is interesting really, because what could be more innocuous than a bike. I mean, children ride them! And yet, whether it's the bike share ruffling feathers or the huge rollout of miles and miles of bike lanes by NYC Dept of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik Khan, bikes cause problems. And one of the biggest trouble-makers of recent years was the introduction of bike lanes all throughout the city—an introduction that forced traffic reconfigurations that were not only designed to facilitate cycling, but also to improve car and pedestrian safety in general. It's a little early on to declare the bike lanes a victory of city planning, but it was definitely the introduction and (grudging) acceptance of these bike lanes that helped make the city bike share program possible. Plus, statistics have shown that even some of the more controversial bike lanes, like the one on Prospect Park West, have objectively improved traffic conditions in the neighborhoods they run through.
Change and evolution are inevitable. And in New York, these changes tend to happen so fast that we don't always realize how they've affected our lives until we already start to take them for granted. It's hard to say what will happen with the bike share program. It's too soon to say whether or not it will prove as popular as it has in other cities where it's been launched, like Washington DC, but we'll find out before too long. It is, of course, important to remember that even though change might be inevitable, it's essential that we practice our civic rights and protest the things that infringe upon our rights in a harmful way. By which I mean, protest corporate greed and unfair zoning laws, not the fact that the bike share stations take up a few of your neighborhood's parking spots. Take the hint, anyway, get rid of your car. That would be the ultimate way to give Robert Moses the finger for the BQE.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen