Bloomberg considers bikes for rent.
Paris is becoming the gold standard for rent-able bikes with its city-wide "Velorution" program. Its been an resounding success (Paris goes "cycling mad" as this from the Guardian states,) with the fat gray 3-speed bikes available everywhere for a nominal price. Of course, as Bloomberg notes below, we might have a problem with the ultimate nay-sayer in the US: who's liable? my prediction is that the lawyers will have a field day in New York if we ever get such a program.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on his first trip here since he took office, acknowledged the challenges of bringing home a popular Parisian bike rental program the administration is exploring, saying he was unsure it would translate to New York.A bike rental program like Paris’s would pose challenges for New York, Mayor Bloomberg said.
“This is one of those creative ideas, and whether it will work or not, we’ll have to see.” Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: “You try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.
Boston planning for cyclists.
Boston has famously chaotic traffic, in part because of it is one of the few American cities which maintains its original, non-grid, street pattern, but it may be a local driver characteristic. In any event, it makes Boston a city which "cyclists routinely rank the city America's worst," according to this article. However, change may be in the air:
Stung by national criticism and hoping to take a bite out of traffic and air pollution, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to change [Boston's bad cycling vibe.] A newly converted cyclist himself, Menino will announce today the hiring of a bike czar, former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman, and a first phase of improvements to include 250 new bike racks across Boston and an online map system.
"Boston has unbelievable potential," Freedman said. "We're a compact city, we're flat, we have a young population and lots of tourists. If we do this correctly, we have the potential to be one of the best bike cities in the country. In three years, I think we will see some very dramatic changes."
Portland Cycling Growth:
According to this from streestsblog, the number of cycling trips in Portland increased by 80% from 2004 through 2007.
Why are so many Portlanders taking to their bikes? Raisman points to the improving quality of the city's bike facilities and intensive government efforts to discourage single-passenger car trips while encouraging walking, bicycling, transit and car-pooling through a public outreach program called Smart Trips.