Could Manhattan’s Bold Experiment Hold The Key For Scooters in New York?

The popularity of e-scooters, which are typically operated by mobility companies like Bird, Lime and Uber, has grown tremendously during the last year. Scooters, which do not require pedaling or much effort to use, are fast, efficient and great for short trips. While bicycles have a loyal (and rapidly growing) user base of their own, scooters tend to appeal to an entirely new group of city-dwellers, as they do not require pedaling or cycling skills to use.

While some cities embrace scooters (albeit, with strict limits), others are less enthusiastic. Here in the US, New York is the most prominent metropolis that does not permit dockless scooters.

(more…)

Annotating Rahm Emanuel’s Subway Op-Ed

Last weekend, the MTA’s recent struggles went national when the Mayor of Chicago, published a Monday New York Times Op-Ed entitled “In Chicago, The Trains Actually Run on Time.” The haughty, headline of Emanuel’s opine earned a swift backlash from New York’s press and many ordinary citizens. New Yorkers may hate the MTA, but it’s our MTA! Beneath all of the noise, there was a rare, thoughtful and prominent critique of urban mass transit best practices.

For me, many of Emanuel’s argument’s resonated, while other’s didn’t.

(more…)

Charging Bull’s Artist Doesn’t Understand Public Space

Few urban public art installations in recent history have attracted as much controversy as the Financial District’s “Fearless Girl” statue. Funded by State Street Global Advisors as part of a larger publicity push to get more women onto corporate boards, the popular installation was intended to run for about a week, but has since been extended, by popular demand, until 2018. There are even petitions, which are attracting significant support, that are advocating making the petition permanent

Others, however, have taken issue with the statue. Some, for example, consider it problematic for the girl to be facing off against a symbol of the American economy, while others have wondered why a girl is depicted, not a professional woman. Provocative art almost always draws these kinds of reactions, especially pieces that are meant to comment on socially relevant topics; the fact that these conversations are taking place should be viewed as validation for the power of art and sculpture in the public sphere.

One source of opposition, however, was unforeseen. The author of the “Charging Bull” sculpture has harshly criticized the new installation for fundamentally altering the meaning of his artwork. He has demanded that the city remove “Fearless Girl” and threatened legal action.

(more…)