City’s First Bike Share Planned for Governors Island

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It ain't the Velib, but yesterday it was announced that Dutch team West 8 would design a 40-acre park for Governors Island, which will include a fleet of 3,000 wooden bicycles free for use by island visitors.

The Times reports:

The design, commissioned by the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, calls for transforming much of the flat, sober island, which is roughly a half-mile from Lower Manhattan, into green space. That includes a two-mile promenade at the water's edge, a new park on the southern flat expanse of landfill - where abandoned Coast Guard buildings are to be demolished - and an improved park in the island's northern historic district. The architects proposed using the detritus from the buildings that are to be destroyed to form hills that would exploit the island's views, which include the Statue of Liberty.

The Post, which says the Governors Island Gondola could also become reality, had a somewhat dispiriting quote from Mayor Bloomberg on the bike share feature, particularly when juxtaposed with designer Adriaan Geuze's comments.

Adriaan Geuze, founder of West 8, said the company's Dutch background made including bicycles in the plan a no-brainer.

"I am from Holland, where bicycles are an important part of street life, and everybody bikes," he said. "You could never walk the entire island, but the bikes will help get people to experience more of the island and go anywhere they want to."

Bloomberg said he was particularly impressed by the bike theme, joking "it's a great idea; you don't have to worry about them being stolen" because "you can't take them anyplace" off the island.

The Times says the park is expected to be completed by 2012.

Rendering: West 8/Rogers Marvel Architects/Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Quennell Rothschild/SMWM