Cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers are higher priority than drivers, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has said.
The remarks come in stark contrast to the views of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has been accused of "smoothing the path of the private motor vehicle at the expense of just about everything else."
According to the New York Post, Bloomberg said at a transport conference: "The streets were there to transport people," he said. "They are not for cars ... One of the original ways was walking."
"Cyclists and pedestrians and bus riders are as important, if not, I would argue more important, than automobile riders," he said.
Come Spring 2013, New Yorkers will benefit from Citibike New York, a Barclays Cycle Hire -type scheme supported by a major bank, with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The scheme will cost 25 cents a day for unlimited 45-minute journeys, and daily and weekly passes will also be available.
But New York has some way to go towards being a cycling Utopia. We regularly report on run-ins between the NYPD and cyclists, including false allegations of red light jumping, a cyclist's $1,555 fine for riding through three red lights in space of 250 metres, an officer dooring a cyclist, then accusing him of being on drugs, and an off-duty police officer pointing a gun at a cyclist. Allegedly.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.