Nope. They didn't fall off the back of a truck. But there are a whole slew of Free Bikes available for use at the Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare. That's down where SoHo meets Little Italy. Just look for a bunch of folks munching tacos under a neon sign. Then take a gander katty-korner across the street. The gang at The Storefront have been on that corner of Kenmare and Cleveland for eons, but this is the first time in our dim memory that they've altered their swingy concrete-board facade. And by the looks of things they've given those low carbon kids at the Forum for Urban Design free rein.
OK. So it will actually cost you about half a buck to go for a ride. But the idea is great. Folks in other parts of the civilized world think it's a fantastic way to get around. And with Mayor Mike pushing for changes this could be another piece of the "Do something about the damned traffic" puzzle. As the Bike Free folks are saying, "Imagine:"
Imagine walking to a sidewalk corner and finding a public bicycle. With a cellphone call or swipe of a card, you unlock it from its bike rack and ride it across town. Once at your destination, you steer to the closest bike rack and, with one more call or card swipe, return the bike to the public network. You pay less than $.50 for the trip, and the bike is once again available for the taking.
· New York Bike-Share [nybikeshare.org website]
· Bike-Share Project Exhibition [Storefront For Art and Architecture website]
· Listing: La Esquina [Eater]
· About Storefront [Storefront For Art and Architecture website]
· 2007 Summer Charette: Bike-Share Project [Forum for Urban Design website]
· Exploring Bike-Shares In Other Cities [nybikeshare.org website]
· Traffic, It's Good For You [Curbed]