Would You Rather?

Green spaces vs. bike lanes: Which do New Yorkers want most?

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With summer right around the corner, New Yorkers are gearing up for even more days of fun in the sun. So, we asked six New Yorkers: When it comes to outdoor spaces, would you rather  the city had more parks or bike lanes?

  • Viva la bikers! There should definitely be more bike lanes. I’ve had somebody in my life have an accident riding their bike in the city, so I know this is very important. There are a lot of parks in the city and there should be bike paths that connect them more safely. I sometimes bike to to work in the mornings (though I take the bike [home] on the subway back) so I really use the city streets. It would be great to have NYC be a biking city. Did you know in August, Park Avenue is going to be closed for cyclists on the weekends? It’s not quite like Copenhagen, but it’s great. —Craig, Hamilton Heights
  • Bike lanes — just to stick it to the MTA I mean, I love a park, but if I could safely ride a bike around the city, I would much prefer that. I’ll tell you why: I hate the MTA and their fare hikes. Enough already.  It’s gotten to the point where, if I can help it,  I won’t go anywhere I can’t get a transfer back on a bus or something. My friends and I factor in how much going out costs including the subway fare. For two people to take the subway back and forth is ten dollars, plus the walking and the heat and dirt of the stations. Might as well spring for a $20 cab ride. Anyway, I could get far on a bike. —Vanessa, Upper West Side
  • Parks are great, but biking there is better I’m lucky to live close to a huge park— Van Cortlandt. So I do know the value of a park. But it would be awesome to be able to bike to the park and inside the park. —Lee, Bronx
  • More parks, so they're not as packed The parks are so crowded in the summer that I always think to myself: We need more parks. Everything is crowded in the city anyway, [and] Central Park is always such a nice respite from the crowds. But in the summer, even that’s not true anymore. We’re packed like tuna on every green surface there is. Strangers even sit close to each other on the park benches! —Mara, Upper West Side
  • Bikes are best — for others Well, I don’t bike, and I guess I’d benefit more from a park. But that feels really selfish of me! I know this city could use a lot more bike lanes. Especially if you want to teach your kids to bike! It’s healthier for people, too. And if you think about it, we have a lot of green spaces in the city already, we probably don’t need another tiny park. Anywhere you’d want to put a larger green space, you’d have to get to somehow, too. And biking would be a good option. —Meghan, Harlem
  • More parks — to control the concert crowds Well, the summer is all about the summer concerts for me and I have to say, I really hate the crowds. I know people say “but that’s what it’s all about.” No, it’s not. It’s actually about enjoying the park and listening to music, or watching an outdoor movie. It’s not about marking your territory, or having strangers trample your blanket and belongings because they have to since there is literally NOWHERE else to step. We need more parks that get the same programming, so people don’t feel the need to cram onto the great lawn, or Bryant Park or wherever. —Shawn, Midtown West

Verdict: 4 to 2 for the two-wheelers!


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