Seemingly overnight, a bunch of parking spaces disappeared in New York City--replaced by bike share racks. Lots of car owners aren't happy about it. For that matter, lots of people in the city have argued against bikes for years. Residents of Vinegar Hill signed a petition to prevent a greenway from going through their neighborhood--citing that "The Greenway would bring thousands of bikers from all over that would add noise, traffic hazards, and garbage to a neighborhood that currently has none of that."
Yeah, because all those bikers are usually seen tossing styrofoam cups off their bike as they ride--blasting boomboxes like it was 1985.
But it doesn't really matter, folks, because this is happening. Oh, it might not be your particular street and you may be able to fight off a particular lane or particular parking spot--but the bike thing? It's now. When 10,000 shared bicycles hit the streets of NYC, the flow of the Big Apple and the battle for street supremecy between cars and bikes will have shifted for good. And it's never going back. You better start looking both ways before you step off the curb and start watching to see if you're standing in a green bike lane.
You see, cities can no longer survive being congested by cars with one person in them and a billion parking spaces being taken up by cars that rarely get driven. We've lived as pretty selfish individuals--taking up way more space, creating way more garbage and casting a much bigger carbon footprint than the planet can handle. Things have to change.
We're being shoved, kicking and screaming, into a city that favors the greater good. Want to drink all the soda you want? Sorry, because the rest of us need to pay for your health care. Want to park your car on the street? Sorry, we need that spot for a bike share program. Don't like the Second Avenue construction? Sorry, new subway line being built in the name of improved public transportation. Broadway becoming a pedistrian plaza and car lanes disappearing--tough luck my driving friend. You just wait until 42nd street is next.
It's all moving towards a more sustainable city--one where shared resources and health are being prioritized over the individual. We're becoming more and more of a collective. Even the fight to hail a cab using your phone--it's all about efficient use of resources. If we can match one more empty cab with a passenger, and tip the balance of making it reasonable for one less person to own a car, it's going in that direction, and there isn't a union, interest group, historical stone or neighborhood organization that can stand in the way.
The balance in New York City has shifted my friends. I'm not trying to advocate for it--I'm just telling you how it is. You can fight it or join it, but it isn't turning back.
Welcome to "we".