Whether it's a totalitarian plot or the city's most heinous aesthetic decision ever, we've heard a lot of reasons why Citi Bike is awful. The New York Post, for example, chose to highlight Citi Bike as "unfair" because the bikes have a loosely enforced weight limit. But grasping, vitriolic bike-share hatred aside, the Post may have hit on a salient point about the program's fairness. New York City Housing Authority residents, for example, get a $60 discounted membership (as opposed to the full $95), but the stations are located far away from the bulk of public housing.
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The internet was tickled by this yesterday--a video interview with Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal editorial board member. When asked about the city's new bike-share program, Rabinowitz delivered an impassioned diatribe about "the totalitarians running this city" implementing "this dreadful program" in the interest of "this ideology, this forward-lookingness."
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"It is shocking to walk around the city to see how much of this they have sneaked under the radar in the interest of the environment," Rabinowitz said. "The bike-lobby is an all powerful enterprise," she later added.More »
Between 2009 and 2011, approximately 450 people died crossing the street in New York City. Whether to reckless driving, not looking both ways, or sheer confusion, the city lost 450 residents. And that's not counting bicycle fatalities. Needless to say, like subway deaths, it's become a problem that demands fixing ASAP, especially with the advent of CitiBike next weekend.
Enter Christine Quinn.
In a statement released yesterday, the City Council speaker and mayoral frontrunner laid out her platform on the issue of ground-level urban planning. Her goal is straightforward: By 2021, Quinn wants to cut New York City's street fatalities in half.More »
We remember when it was supposed to be July 2012. Then we heard maybe it'd be March 2013. That didn't happen. Then the Department of Transportation released a map of where the 293 stations would be built. And we heard it would be some time in May. So we were kinda/sorta convinced: New York City's bike share program - the largest of its kind - would become a reality in our lifetime.
Now, we have ourselves an official release date: Memorial Day.
We checked our calendars: that's only three weeks from now. The three-day weekend just got that much more cherish-able.
On that day, thousands of CitiBikes will be rolled out onto the streets, occupying the empty stations that have already been spotted all over Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. And it looks like the Tourists Gone Wild criticism isn't stopping anyone: according to a DOT press release yesterday, eight thousand people have already signed up to flex their pedals come Memorial Day. Good luck getting to the barbecue.
But, seriously, the bike share program is real now. Ride accordingly.
Now that we have a map of stations and a confirmation from the Department of Transportation that absolute tourist mayhem won't break out, it looks like we finally are seeing this CitiBike program come into fruition with a definite arrival date.
Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT commissioner, told reporters at a press conference in DUMBO yesterday that the initiative would begin "in May," just in time for summer. She was unable to give an exact date, emphasizing that the fact that this project was developed in less than three years is more than enough reason for everyone to calm down.More »
The re-introduction of the CitiBike map two weeks ago hopefully reaffirmed the idea that we can start taking the bike share program seriously. We can move beyond questions of "When?" or "Where the hell is it?" and start asking "What will happen now?"
The city is unloading hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes onto the streets of New York--and, presumably, a fair share of them will be ridden by tourists. These outsiders don't know the rules of the road; imagine throwing a family of five from Armenia or Morocco on a set of wheels and have them fly down First Avenue during rush hour. This sudden spike in cyclists provides an immediate threat (a bit hyperbolic, maybe?) to pedestrians and police alike.
At least that's what you would think.More »
We haven't forgotten about the CitiBike plan. Even after it got delayed once (thanks computer glitches). And then again (thanks, Sandy). Now, the expected release date is this July for New York's first citywide bike share--a program that Mayor Bloomberg is still whatever about.
Department of Transportation
Keyword: expected. But, with this new map of detailed locations (seen above) in hand, maybe this is the real thing.More »
Under pressure from City Council and a coalition of bicycle and pedestrian advocates, the NYPD has made changes to how it investigates -- and talks about -- traffic collisions.
Bike and pedestrian advocates say the move is a step in the right direction, but not enough.
In a letter to city councilors revealed yesterday, Police Chief Ray Kelly announced a number of changes in how the department handles traffic collisions. The NYPD has been criticized for years over its tendency to let dangerous drivers off easy, even after they've injured or killed cyclists, pedestrians, or other motorists.
When the criticisms finally resulted in police brass being called before a a City Council hearing last year, it was revealed that the NYPD didn't even send an Accident Investigation Squad to a crash site unless someone actually died or was thought likely to die. Without the detailed investigation that only that team is trained to perform, prosecuting motorists is next to impossible.More »
Yesterday, New York Daily News columnist Denis Hamill wrote a column called "I Hate Bike Lanes."
Denis Hamill remembers when kids were tough and had to build their bicycles out of scrap-lumber and ride them in heavy traffic.
A masterpiece of curmudgeonly Andy-Rooney grumbling, the column flashes back to Hamill's memory of building his own first bicycle out of "assorted discarded parts mined from the wood bins of our tenement in Brooklyn."
Learning to ride in Prospect, Hamill fell off his (all-lumber?) bicycle repeatedly, not even wearing a sissy helmet, and he took it like a man.
Here are two real actual sentences from the piece: "We didn't need no stinking bicycle lanes. We blazed our own trails."More »
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