Boston gets ready for bike-sharing

As Boston (MA) gets ready to roll out Hubway, its bicycle-sharing program, pundits are wasting no time in voicing their opinions. In The Boston Globe, op-ed columnist Anthony Flint sees the positives in Hubway and envisions a city where drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can happily share the road:

Our streets are shared space, a concept championed in the movement for complete streets. An injection of Hubway bikes will change expectations and raise awareness in the minds of motorists that they are sharing the road with others. The increased bike-riding activity has the potential to bring about this kind of attentiveness more powerfully than all the bright yellow warning signs and painted bike lanes that have been established in recent years.

Introducing a new fleet of bicycles won’t be easy in a city where drivers routinely blast through crosswalks, but Flint paints an encouraging picture about the potential for change.

In the Montreal Gazette, reporter Andy Riga ridicules the program’s official name (New Balance Hubway) and bemoans the lack of acknowledgement of the program’s roots in Montreal’s Bixi. Blaming the hockey rivalry between the two cities (“an anti-Habs backlash”) he chastises the Boston media and even the Hubway website for failing to acknowledge that Bixi developed the system that Hubway uses. (Although, as he also points out, Alta Bicycle Share is managing the program.) Bixi also provides the system for Capital Bikeshare (DC) and Barclays Cycle Hire in London (UK), among other programs around the world.

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