Does bike share backlash ignore potential for NYC real estate?

May 19, 2013 01:00PM

Amid all the backlash and lawsuits over New York City’s bike-sharing program that is set to debut at month’s end, some proponents say the potential for a jump in real estate values is being missed in the bicycle brouhaha, OnEarth reported.

In London, many of the same complaints and predictions of doom were leveled against the city’s bike-sharing program before it launched in 2010. But Barclays Cycle Hire has defied expectations: 49 percent of users say they began cycling in London because of the system.

While London’s toniest neighborhoods protested the loudest against the bike-sharing stations, they are now home to the some of the most popular stations in the system.

That’s all had a noticeable effect on property values. One London broker says her firm has “been inundated with questions from prospective tenants about the nearest docking station.”

And in Washington, proximity to a Capital BikeShare station is now commonly listed as an amenity in real estate ads.

As New York’s Citi Bike plonks 6,000 bikes and 330 stations on the streets, the dire predictions of mayhem recall a similar moment in the city’s history. A half-century ago, the installation of on-street parking meters brought lawsuits, cries of constitutional violation and fears of widespread vandalism. [OnEarth] –TRD