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. photo: Cranes on the skyline in Oakland, California
    Life

    How to Make a Housing Crisis

    The new book Golden Gates details how California set itself up for its current affordability crunch—and how it can now help build a nationwide housing movement.

  2. photo: bicyclists in Paris during a transit strike in December.
    Transportation

    Paris Mayor: It's Time for a '15-Minute City'

    In her re-election campaign, Mayor Anne Hidalgo says that every Paris resident should be able to meet their essential needs within a short walk or bike ride.

  3. animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.
    Transportation

    This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

    To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

  4. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
    Environment

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

  5. Life

    Why Amsterdam May Clamp Down on Weed and Sex Work

    Proposals to ban cannabis for tourists and relocate the red-light district would dramatically reshape the city’s anything-goes image.

×