Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wooden Bike Rental in NYC
While not what I deem bike-sharing (or bike transit), this bike rental concept planned for New York City does seem cool. Governors Island is a spit of land just southeast of Manhattan in the East River, which has had military purposes for hundreds of years, but now will serve as a park. Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 will build "3,000 wooden bicycles for free use by visitors to the island, which is just a 10-minute free ferry ride from downtown Manhattan," as reported by amNew York. The bike rental is to be available by 2012 as part of a $400m renovation of the island. Sounds good, but make sure to wear long pants to prevent getting a splinter on your rump. No, actually the seat does look like a normal cushiony bike seat as that it doesn't have any tree age rings, below.
This begs the question, what is bike-sharing? I look at bike-sharing as bike transit or transport for the sake of reaching a destination. Bike rental, on the other hand, is for recreation purposes. The Governors Island project has a recreational focus as no one lives on the island. There also is no lock on the bike, at least shown in the picture, so there could be an attendant to assist in releasing the bikes. I'm also not sure if this program will have one central or multiple locations. Bike-sharing must always include multiple locations and have bikes that are only released by the rider.
image credit: West 8