Apparently not everyone in New York City is in love with Citi Bike, the bike-sharing program that launched with 6,000 blue bikes at 300 stations over Memorial Day weekend.
Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal produced a video opinion piece, curiously entitled “Death by Bicycle,” in which editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz blasted the new program.
She maintains, “I represent the majority of citizens. The majority of citizens are appalled by what has happened.”
What has happened is that New York City is making available sturdy bicycles at 300 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens so members can run short-term errands without climbing into a car or taxi.
Already, the program has more than 27,000 annual members. The $95 membership allows them unlimited 45-minute trips by bicycle free of charge at any time. Less expensive 24-hour and 7-day memberships also are available.
Since the program launched on Memorial Day, 65,000 trips have been logged on the bicycles.
Rabinowitz’s objections against the program starts with attacks against the Mayor Michael Bloomberg administration, which she calls totalitarian and autocratic.
“We now look at a city whose best neighborhoods are absolutely begrimed by these blazing blue CitiBank bikes … It is shocking to see how much of this they have sneaked under the radar in the interest of the environment.”
It then spirals into a tirade against bicyclists.
“The most important danger in the city is not the yellow cabs, it is the bicyclists who veer in and out of the sidewalk, empowered by the city administration with the idea that they are privileged, because they are helping .. they are part of all the good forward-looking things…”
Apparently she’s enamored with the sight of cars spewing exhaust as they idle on traffic-clogged streets in her city. I suppose that’s just a part of the New York City that she’s grown to love.
Those “blazing blue bicycles” will be a positive symbol of New York City for a younger generation of its citizens.