CitiBike: NYC's Most Recent Failure

by Ashley Fern

As many people have begun to notice, the city of New York has decided to implement a new bike protocol. I am not sure what the motive of the city officials is in this endeavor, but it’s probably going to be a lot more inconvenient than it is convenient. The NYC Citibike program will begin service on Memorial Day and people do not seem too happy about it.

Personally, I combat bike riders on a daily basis. I have been hit by bikers not once, not twice, but three times since moving here in October. First of all, bikers are supposed to adhere to the same driving regulations as regular vehicles: aka stop at red lights. Has anyone seen an NYC bike rider EVER stop at a red light? NO. They think they run the road and weave in and out of traffic like a motorcycle on the I-95.

The firefighters of New York City have expressed their outrage over the placement of these bicycle racks. The president of the city firefighters’ union preached that the placement of the racks serves as a hazard to emergency responders. The response time of emergency vehicles will increase because they will need to park their trucks around the bike racks.

The New York Post released a story on Tuesday about a 92-year-old sick man who needed to be transported from his apartment to a hospital. It further explained that the bike racks located in front of his apartment impeded paramedics from transporting him. This bike rack in question has since been cut in half as a response. However a DOT spokesman, according to the NYPost, said these racks were moved for “technical reasons.”

Over the past few days, in response to these growing concerns, certain bike racks have been relocated to less obtrusive locations. Two Citibike racks have already been relocated: one in the West Village and one in Brooklyn Heights.

These bicycles are going to be sharing the road with cars and overly aggressive taxis. This can only increase the number of accidents that occur on a daily basis. Texting while driving is extremely dangerous and it is only a matter of time before people figure out how to text and pedal. People are undoubtedly going to use their headphones while biking around the city, rendering them unable to hear oncoming traffic. This alone will increase the number of bicycle-related accidents.

Currently there is no law against riding a bicycle while talking on the phone. The law only applies to motor vehicles and not to bikes. Drunk driving is another law that only applies to motor vehicles and not all vehicles, thus it does not apply to cyclists. How many times have you done something while you were intoxicated thinking it was funny and a good idea? Drunk people are going to have a field day with these bikes, seeing as they are accessible 24/7.

I guess time will tell with how long this product will actually last. My guess is that it sounds great in theory, but in practice it will combust.