Manhattanites Embrace City's New Bike Share Program

By Jill Colvin on October 20, 2011 1:01pm 

Alex Washburn, an urban designer with the City Planning Department, took a spin on one of the bike-share models Sept. 21, 2011 in Bowling Green.
Alex Washburn, an urban designer with the City Planning Department, took a spin on one of the bike-share models Sept. 21, 2011 in Bowling Green.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

MANHATTAN — Manhattanites can’t wait for the city’s new bike share program to roll into town.

Nearly 80 percent of voters in the borough say they support a plan to bring a new bike share program into the city, according to a new Quinnipiac poll out Thursday.

In addition to wanting the program, more than 65 percent of Manhattan voters said they’d like to see a rental hub in their neighborhoods.

"New Yorkers like the latest idea Mayor Michael Bloomberg is peddling, a 10,000-bike rental program, and they even want bike rental lots in their neighborhood,” Maurice Carrroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

But the sentiment on bike lanes is mixed.

While 66 percent of Manhattan voters polled said they think the expansion of bicycle lanes in the city is a good idea, only 53 percent want them in their neighborhoods as opposed to 40 percent who do not.

The city is set to launch its new bike share plan next summer, modeled after similar programs in Paris, London and Washington, D.C. The rollout is set to include 10,000 bikes, which can be borrowed from and returned to any of 600 solar-powered stations across the city.

While enthusiasm was strongest in Manhattan, 72 percent of voters citywide said they support the plan, and nearly 60 percent said they’d like to see a hub in their neighborhoods. Support was strongest among younger voters, with 60 percent of those under 35 saying they’re looking forward to taking the bikes for a ride.

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