Having heard (and seen) amazing things about the city of Portland (OR)’s alternative transportation infrastructure from Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms, I planned my itinerary to spend a little time there prior to the bicycle trip. Portland’s reputation is well-deserved: light rail and buses both allow bikes on board, there is a great system of bike lanes, and automobile drivers really do accomodate walkers and cyclists to an almost startling degree (one driver waited patiently for me to cross an intersection on my bike even though HE had the green light!). They also have a MUCH more generous amount of bicycle parking than we do here, including many examples of curbside automobile spaces being reallocated for bikes:
I saw several of these bike parking areas in the Hawthorne District alone, and they are obviously getting a lot of use. In all of New York City, the ONLY one I know of is in Williamsburg, next to the Bedford Avenue L train station (have a look here). It was installed this summer and is reportedly extremely popular. Hopefully many more to come!