“Parking is not a constitutional right,” says Enrique Peñalosa, and New York City should focus on creating bike lanes instead.
Question: Can New York become a Bike-Friendly city?
I think New York will be an example. New York is an example to the planet. But New York is an example and I think clearly there is a challenge to complete the whole bicycle way all around Manhattan, in the Upper West Side, and I mean, especially to the north. It is necessary to work a lot to complete the pedestrian and bicycle walkway by the water side.
There are many, many streets where protected bicycle ways are needed because -- and some even seems to be – some were painted initially and now they seem to be getting better, like on 10th street It's like getting a raise, the one that was painted. So clearly there is a space in New York which is the real issue—it is the parking space for cars in the streets. The United States Constitution has many rights. People in the United States have a right to live without fear, without crime; they have a right to free education. They have a right to work—many rights. But parking is not a constitutional right. I think it should be questioned more seriously whether how to use this space which is now being taken by cars parking by the curbside.
It is a small minority of people who are taking up this extremely valuable space in the streets of New York, to park. I think in many streets you could get rid of parking and make some much bigger sidewalks, make some fantastic protected bicycle ways in all directions. Some regulations, I think, also have to be enacted so that people can walk in with bicycles into the elevators and into the hallways so that—if people can go with dogs or with shoes into a hallway or in an elevator, why not go with a bicycle? But this—New York I think, and Manhattan I think in particular, is the perfect city for everybody to move by bicycle. Even in the winter it is possible–most of the winter, with some coats-to go by bicycle everywhere.