I was 20 years old when I moved to
on a Friday in June 2001. I brought all the clothes I could fit in a big duffel bag, along with my bicycle. Monday morning I was to report to my new job as a bike messenger. Saturday, my first full day in New York City , my bike was stolen. Manhattan
In the nearly 11 years since that day, I have had countless bikes and parts stolen. I’ve used the most secure locks, registered my bike with the N.Y.P.D., and parked in only the most conspicuous locations. But I’ve found only one sure way of keeping my bike secure: keeping it indoors. During business hours I keep my bike in my office and when I get home I carry it up four flights of stairs.
He then goes on to explain how he tried out an experiment. I presume he was interested in how it was that his bike was being stolen in broad daylight with nobody ever being caught. So he would lock up his bike in a public place, and then come back latter and act like a bike their- or more exactly an inept bike thief - he made it obvious that he was stealing a bike.
He made a video of it (from his first experiment a few years ago) and pretty much showed that his likelyhood of being stopped/aprehended was small.
Now his theory is that people don't care, and won't stop people from stealing a bike. While I would agree that there is some of this problem, I think there is a larger issue.
In an open transit city, nobody knows what is going on. To be exact, so much is going on, that most people only concentrate on the immediate items of concern to them: is my walking path open, lighting their cigarette, etcetera. While it is true that busy people are less likely to get involved in helping other people. You can also get cases of bystander apathy- too many people being around will inhibit (diffusion of responsibility) the helping response .
I brought this up because I think it does a good job of illustrating the problems of mixed use development that we discussed earlier. It brings the anonymity and cross traffic of the commercial zone, into our home communities.