Thursday, November 1, 2012

The bike alternative

I was biking to work as usual, and was heading through Charles Circle, when I suddenly saw a familiar face-  the Scientist was standing on the traffic island waiting to cross the road!   I didn't actually get to say more than "Hi Handsome"  as I biked pass, but I later got all the info.

He had an an appointment at Mass Eye and Ear, and it was a lovely morning,  so rather than take the T, he drove to work, parked his car, walked across the street and checked out a Hubway, and rode to Charles Circle.     On his way back, he rode to the Kendall station,  walked a block over to get coffee at Voltage,  and then rode back to Stata center.

His report was very positive- he was a happy customer.  He even mentioned that the front rack works surprisingly well to hold a cup of coffee.  It worked well for him not to have to ride his bike all the way in, figuring out how to carry all his stuff, but then to be able to ride a bike a short distance with minimal stuff, and not have to worry about parking.

I bet a lot of people are wishing that the bike share was up and running in storm ravaged NYC- I think it would be booming as the best way to get around by far.   I hear about all the congestion and the problems with busses and wish that they would make a temporary dedicated bus/ bike lane across all the bridges.  It seems insane to make all the people in busses wait for the people in private cars.  And where are all the cars going to go once they arrive?  There just aren't parking spots for all those people.

I understand that Transportation Alternatives and other advocates are setting up "bike convoys" and aid stations along the major routes in and out of Manhattan,  and I hope that a lot of people take this opportunity to realize how pleasant a bike commute can be, especially compared to the alternatives!


  1. eventhough I love riding my own bike around the city, I've been finding that a Hubway membership is still really useful. Like, I had to stop by the Chinatown DMV to get a new photo for my license renewal, so rather than unlock my bike from the work rack and deal with finding a parking post and relocking, it was easier to just use the Hubway. Similarly, when making plans with friends that involved strolling around the city, it was nice to just ride a Hubway to the meeting spot in Kenmore, walk about, have dinner in the South End and ride home from there without having to bring my bike along.

    As 'bikes' they leave a little to be desired, but as a flexible complement to walking and public transit, the bikeshare is totally game-changing.

  2. I will be getting a membership soon and brought an older helmet to work so I can ride comfortably (my choice, I'm not foisting it on others) on a Hubway bike. The system is a very good idea, one that I can occasionally take advantage of. It's too bad that Hubway can't stay open year round in our climate.

  3. Thanks for this little friendly nudge in favor of the share systems. They have been very popular in a lot of European cities, and the numbers of cities with a system in place is steadily growing. Actually, more and more people in the younger age groups are not even buying cars any more (but rather rent them when needed) or not even getting a driver's license (but rather rent a bike from a share system or ride their own bikes). From a biker's point of view, the future of urban mobility looks like it may be a bright one.