Citi Bikes are pictured.
Mark Lennihan/AP

Watch New Yorkers swarm a Citi Bike station like mad ants while cars sit virtually idle across the street.

If you want to see one of the most effective advertisements for bike sharing that wasn’t produced by a bike-share program, look no further than this footage of people swarming a Citi Bike station while cars sit parked right across the street.

Luke Ohlson recently recorded the mad rush in time lapse at 5 p.m. on a weekday to make a point about transit in New York. “Parking takes up 150,000 acres of New York City street space, yet a majority of New Yorkers do not drive or use cars,” says Ohlson, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternatives, an activist group that promotes biking, walking, and public transit. “If we use some of the public space that is currently allocated to parking differently, the whole neighborhood can benefit.”

The videographer chose to shoot at Broadway and East 22nd Street because of the block’s vastly disparate usages of similarly sized public spaces. “The Citi Bike dock and the parking spots take up roughly the same area with much different results,” he says. “In just over an hour, there are nearly 200 bike trips taken compared to 11 car trips.”

Ohlson, who is a Citi Bike user when not taking the train or riding his own bike, hopes his video will convince people that carving out more street space for popular transportation options is an excellent way to go.

“Citi Bike’s own data shows that during summer months, each of their [10,000] bikes is used an average of six times a day,” he says. “Meanwhile, we saw some of those car spaces turn over only once. You can fit roughly seven Citi Bikes in the space that would fit one car. So, Citi Bike is about a 42-times more productive use of space than car parking.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in 2016.
    Transportation

    What Uber Did

    In his new book on the “Battle for Uber,” Mike Isaac chronicles the ruthless rise of the ride-hailing company and its founding CEO, Travis Kalanick.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. black children walking by a falling-down building
    Equity

    White Americans’ Hold on Wealth Is Old, Deep, and Nearly Unshakeable

    White families quickly recuperated financial losses after the Civil War, and then created a Jim Crow credit system to bring more white families into money.

  4. A woman stands in front of a house.
    Life

    How Housing Wealth Transferred From Families to Corporations

    The Great Housing Reset has led to growing numbers of single-family homes shifting from owner-occupied housing to investment vehicles for large corporations.

  5. a photo of a NYC bus
    Transportation

    Why the Bus Got So Bad, and How to Save It

    TransitCenter’s Steven Higashide has created a how-to guide to help city leaders and public transportation advocates save struggling bus systems.

×