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 data visualization shows 200 years of immigration to the U.S. represented as a thickening tree trunk.
    Life

    A New Way of Seeing 200 Years of American Immigration

    To depict how waves of immigrants shaped the United States, a team of designers looked to nature as a model.

  2. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village
    Perspective

    How Low Turnover Fuels New York City’s Affordable Housing Crisis

    American Community Survey data shows that New Yorkers stay in apartments, including rent-regulated ones, for longer than most, leaving little room for newcomers.

  3. A photo of Andrew Field, the owner of Rockaway Taco, looking out from his store in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.
    Life

    Tacos and Transit: Rate Your City

    From taco-rich San Diego to the tortilla wastelands of Boston, we asked you to grade U.S. cities on two critical metrics: Mexican food and public transportation.

  4. A photo of a post office in the snow.
    Life

    A Prayer for the Post Office

    While USPS workers deliver Christmas gifts, Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers’ Union, is busy fending off demands to privatize the mail.

  5. A photo of a "yellow vest" protester in Paris, where high gas taxes have contributed to a wave of unrest.
    Environment

    What France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Can Teach California

    A lesson from Paris: Policies that reduce climate emissions at the expense of the economically disadvantaged are unsustainable.