Thursday, July 17, 2014

Citi Bike: A Reluctant Love Affair



An EVG reader, who asked to remain anonymous, submitted the following...

As an avid biker/alternative-transportation-seeker in New York City, the past few years have been a neverending whirlwind of emotions. The city has done a great job building bike lines, bike racks, hosting bike parking at events, and much more to encourage two wheeled riders.

The East Village is as busy of a neighborhood as any for bikers, with hundreds of delivery bikes roaming the streets alongside the commuters up and down First and Second and the casual neighborhood riders around Tompkins.

One issue remains, which I was reminded of in this post; bike theft seems to be as big of an issue as ever. I bought my first NYC bike about 2.5 years ago, and it was stolen within a month of owning it, despite it being locked up to an Equinox (improperly, but still, locked). I luckily got insurance money back for it, but the new bike I purchased has hardly seen the light of day during the week. When I lock up my bike outside a restaurant, I spend the entire meal EXPECTING it to get stolen. I can be 6 feet away from my bike on a patio eating, and I'll still stare at my bike to be sure it hasn't been taken.

Meanwhile, I signed up for Citi Bike before it had even launched. It was a godsend to my anxiety; I would never have to fear getting my bike stolen again, I had 3 docks within an avenue of my apartment, and I could bike anywhere south of 59th Street without worrying about taking the same bike home if I had an extra drink or two.

But Citi Bike is far, far from perfect. The app tells me there are 3 bikes, and none of them work. I show up to a dock with 5 spaces, none of them work. There are no bikes in the morning, and no docks at night. One of the best things about biking to work is the consistency in how long it will take, no matter how bad traffic is...and this is providing an opposite experience.

But it's $95/a year. Even if they jack it up to $200/year, it still feels cheap. Who am I to complain?

The bigger issue remains bike theft. If I didn't have to worry about my personal bike getting stolen, I would use it more often, I would use Citibike only when I really need to, and I would have less anxiety in general. So I have some questions for you, community:

a) How many of you both have a Citi Bike AND a personal bike? If you do, what's your split on usage between the two?
b) What could the city do to prevent bike theft? Is it even their responsibility to do something or should we be the ones spending extra money on extra/fancier locks?
c) Do you think Citi Bike is going to improve its service and reliability in the next year, or is the increasing popularity just going to make it more frustrating?

And we're off...

50 comments:

Ted Roden said...

a) I have both (well, not a personal bike at the moment, because mine was one of the ones stolen and posted on this blog). I use my personal bike most of the time, because I generally bring it inside at both work and home.

b) I bought a big new fancy lock for my soon to be delivered new bike, so that's part of it. But I think there are things that can easily be done by the city. I keep thinking citibike almost punishes people who have personal bikes: they created all these bike racks that can only be used by the citibikes, so they're only encouraging citibikes, not personal bikes. I think they should add regular bike lock stations to/near citibike stations and have cameras pointed at both the citibike docks + the personal lock stations. Two birds, one set of cameras.

c) I sure hope it can improve. I feel like it's a lot better than when it launched, but still a ways away. I hope they get enough time to work out the issues before everyone bails on it... but not sure if that's possible.

shmnyc said...

It's too bad the curmudgeons here have such influence that people are afraid to be named in their emails.

A) I have my own bike and a Citibike annual membership. I use the Citibike for going to and from work, and my personal bike for everything else. When I lock up my bike, I always keep it in sight -- I had a bike stolen once that I was away from for less than three minutes!

C) I think the bike-share program will continue to expand and improve, especially if it's taken over by the city.

Anonymous said...

I agree with many things this reader has said! I'm a Citibike user and I've had two bikes stolen over the years. Ugh. Some friends said, "Get a crappy bike, and then you won't care if it gets stolen." But this plan never appealed to me. (And by the way, my bikes were not fancy expensive bikes -- just low end Giants.) I do still have a personal bike. But I live in a fifth floor walk up and the journey up and down the stairs is rough. I only use it now for trips where Citibike doesn't exist, like Greenpoint, or if I feel like going on a long ride for fun.

Regarding the unpredictability of getting a bike and parking, it can be frustrating, but I've had great luck lately, and I use an app and go to the stations with the best odds possible even if it's a block or two further away. I don't feel like that's a big hardship. There are enough docks in the east village that I've never had to go too far afield.

Oh, I haven't answered parts B and C. Part B -- it would be nice if the city came up with a plan to help prevent bike theft, but it's hard to imagine a big enough difference that I'd feel comfortable locking my bike up outside regularly. Part C -- I'm hopeful!

Brian Van said...

A) I have a commuter bike and a CitiBike membership. (AND a touring bicycle that gets about 100 road miles a weekend) I do use CitiBike more often, particularly when it rains, but there are still quite a few scenarios where I find it preferable to take a commuter bike to avoid the potential CitiBike hassles.

B) As a very short answer that doesn't really consider the complications or the revenue capture mechanisms you'd need to self-fund this: surveillance cameras watching bicycle racks/corrals and secure indoor parking facilities. The city is already making some headway with "bait bikes" tracked with GPS and they should greatly expand that.

C) It's going to be a mix. But I think the worst case scenario is the current state of the network. It just hobbles along, the bikes are in relatively good condition but the docks are not robust (too prone to breakage, they stay broken too long, and the system can't be alerted) and the rebalancing program is weak. The solutions probably involve a lot more bikes and docks. But then there would be the concerns about additional public space usage, even though CitiBike is a better deal for the neighborhood (one spot services 4 daily commuters rather than one)

Anonymous said...

I also have both and use my personal bike mostly, largely because I work outside of the CitiBike area and my distance to work (7 miles) is easier to cover quickly on a personal bike than the tank that is CitiBike. I have to lock up my bike daily in front of my workplace and yes, also expect not to see it when I come out for lunch or to ride back home.

I like having CitiBike as an option and I like that it introduces to cycling people who wouldn't consider it otherwise (I know people who have purchased bikes as a result of trying out CitiBike first). But reliability can indeed be a problem, so I currently only use CitiBike when I'm in absolutely no hurry. And I wouldn't try biking to the EV in the evening, because it's so hard to find a docking spot here at that time.

Zeno Lee said...

The best solution is to get a cheap commuter bike and lock it up properly. If you can ride the heavy citibikes then you should have no problem getting an old 3-speed from a local flea market. It will run you around $150. Then you get a good U-Lock with a cable. You lock the rear wheel to a post with the u-lock and you wrap the cable around the front wheel.

Anonymous said...

@shmnyc -- I used to use my name in the comments here, but some curmudgeonly kook would always comb through my personal blogs and make rude comments about my children, among other things, so no more.

A.) I have a cargo bike and a Citibike membership. I mostly ride my own bike, like 90% of the time, because it doubles as a means of transporting kids to school and musical instruments to practice and groceries home, etc., and because it's much more comfortable than a Citibike, but I love being able to opt for Citibike on days when the weather's iffy or if I need to take a train someplace on the far end of my work commute.

B.) The city can and should assign a couple of cops to work theft clusters like the one we're experiencing in the East Village right now, but really, I'd rather they started actually doing something about the road threats we face -- speeding motorists, motorists failing to yield to cyclists and pedestrians, motorists harassing or menacing cyclists, motorists double-parked in the bike lane, etc. Those 20 speed cameras can't do the job by themselves (so far, they're outpacing NYPD in speeding tickets), and it's not enough of a disincentive to deter speeders. I hate bike thieves, but people are dying out there.

C.) It's too effective and useful to die. I do wish the MTA would take it over. The danger of the real estate jerks taking it over is that it becomes a program that caters to the sort of young affluents that those companies want to sell to -- fees go way up, it doesn't expand into neighborhoods of negligible value to real estate jerks, etc. It's an extension of our system of public transportation, and while I appreciate de Blasio not wanting to take on an additional expense, the cost to the taxpayer would be a bargain.

8:44 a.m. said...

Love Affair? More like Fatal Attraction or Sleeping with the Enemy.

DrBOP said...

Bike Alarms!


But their alarm sounds can ONLY be snippets of music....
"Hey, Ho Let(s) Go!"
"Don't go breakin' my heart"
"Don't bogart that joint, my friend"
"Hello, walls."
"Pump it up, although you don't need it!"

daho said...

I've had two bikes stolen that were locked up on my block overnight. Cheap bikes, but stolen nonetheless. Not a nice thing, but part of me is happy there is still some old school crime in the neighborhood. I just buy another cheap bike, and carry on.

Once this one disappears, I'll probably get a CitiBike membership. I'm a casual rider on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that questions this viable mode of transportation and "extension of public transportation" is a curmudgeon? Please. And please see SMDH other comments. And we're the curmudgeons.

Anonymous said...

I bought my bike in 1998 and still have it. You have to watch it/where you lock it. That's just the reality in NYC. There is no magic "theft deterrent" solution. New York is a (now severely overcrowded) city of millions of people and crime happens (even in the city's current sanitized police-state).

As for Citibike, one should ask themselves: Do I really want to be a shill for a corporation that played a part in the wrecking of our economy?

I just read a great quote that said something like: "Americans will give up anything for convenience." And it's true.

Anonymous said...

Been observing Citibike through friends.. no interest given the headaches. Been riding the same bike around NYC since 1993 which at the time was the most expensive personal item I had ever purchased. "Perhaps" (probably jinxing myself by typing this) the reason it hasn't been stolen is that I ALWAYS take the seat with me whenever I lock it on the street. Tad inconvenient, but seems an effective deterrent!

Anonymous said...

"The city has done a great job installing bike racks" ?
They're kidding, right?

The city destroyed thousands and thousands of bike racks when they put in the Muni Meters. Removal of all those lock-poles was the stupidest lack of foresight (and hugest waste of funds) ever.

Anonymous said...

I like the Citibike idea in theory, but not for myself. I tried it twice on a daily-use basis and found it to be a pain in the ass, to say nothing of the clunky ride and the self-consciousness factor.

I prefer having my own, no contest. It's a circa 80s/90s japanese lugged-steel road bike that I've modded as a kind of urban commuter. As far as ride quality goes it is hard to beat. But maybe it looks unattractive to scumbag thieves, I don't know. I use the orange kryptonite u-lock, one step below the top of the line model and haven't been violated yet. (This included parking overnight in the EV for a few months).

I think I would still prefer even a crappy old 3-speed to a citibike. Even a cheapy k-mart MTB bike, long as it was mine. To me, bike is a personal item--don't like sharing!

Anonymous said...

Stick to riding, not writing. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

A) I actually only have Citibike but I used to live in DC and used Capital Bikeshare or CaBi as it's known in DC... (physically the same but different software).

B) San Francisco apparently has a really successful bait bike program which has lowered bike thefts. I read it somewhere in an article but I think NYC can look to that and expand on it.

C) I think Citi Bike will improve service and reliability if it can get funds. I'm not so sure about having a real estate company take over it though. DC really does a good job with CaBi and it's finances are in great order. It does take federal government funds though.

What I don't understand is that with over 100,000 annual members, why aren't federal funds or even municipal funds being used? Every other transportation system in the city receives some government funding. It's clear that there is a decent amount of NYC taxpaying residents who are using the system.

DC and NYC are different cities with a different urban make-up but I think BdB could have someone study CaBi and see how they made a government program work well (and even turn a profit) and apply it here. He can get a head start on that by reading this Washington Post article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/01/why-dcs-bikeshare-is-flourishing-while-new-yorks-is-financially-struggling/

Anonymous said...

A) I have both. I mostly use my personal bike because I can lock it up indoors at work and home and the Citibikes are so slow and heavy. I Citibike when it's a one-way commute i.e. it's pouring when I go to work and clear when I go home or vice versa or when I know I am going to be drinking (so I am taking the train home). Also, if I am traveling with a bikeless friend, I let them ride my bike and take a Citibike.
B) No answer for that one. I've only had my bike stolen from a locked bike room with a camera pointed at it.
C) I believe the service will improve if they receive the rumored investment from another company.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add here, as a walker, please learn and follow the rules of the road when you're biking. I walk about 5 miles a day through the city and I can't tell you how many times I've almost gotten hit by bikers disregarding or not aware of the rules. Although you may not be as large as a car, I know of several people with serious injuries from accidents with bikers. I love the idea of accessible biking as long as it doesn't impact the safety of other people on the road.

ShutUpHooker said...

I was in ShitiBike for one year and the headaches mentioned above were the same for me, and the dangling of possible $1000 hit to your card if one of their docks failed.
Looking thru their FB posts people post pics of abandoned bikes all the way uptown.
For the price of an annual membership I got a Huffy for local yokles and have my good Specialized for real touring because nothing sez a great biking experience having to find a dock at the 40 minute mark.
As far as those stolen bikes in the neighborhood always check the shady bike shops from 1st Ave to B 5th and 6th streets; I wouldn't buy a bike from them if it was $50

Giovanni said...

I ride my own bike, daily, always double lock it and use ant-theft skewers on both wheels and the seat, and have had no problems in the last ten years. I like Dr Bops idea for a bike alarm but using a GPS tracker in the seat or post can work too. Riding in the city safely requires a bike you are comfortable with and which is easy to maneuver, and for me CitiBikes are anything but.

If you need to use them get an annual pass fast as the rates are sure to go up. At 26 cents a day they are practically giving the service away, which is one reason why they lost $9 million more than expected in year one.

I doubt Equinox/Related will close the deal to take over majority control of the program if they don't get to have the ability to raise prices significantly. If they do invest anyway, and this program keeps losing money, they will quickly walk away and we will be stuck with a program that wont be able to expand and fix the software/hardware problems for a long time.

Anonymous said...

No personal bike... no need when I have CitiBike! (And I don't have adequate storage.)

I love it... there's occasional problems but I think they're being exaggerated. I use the service multiple times a week and you get used to knowing which docks are more relaible and at what times.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:26 PM
You're a liar; flat out.
You do not know "several" people hit by bikes. (at least not by fault of the cyclists)
If you know several people hit by cyclists, then you know dozens hit by automobiles. (that is a provable statistical fact)

ps,
"Delivery People" are not "cyclists".

Anonymous said...

I've been unsuccessfully trying to learn how to ride a bike since I was 5-years-old. I'm currently 25. Though I wonder how quickly a tricycle would get stolen...


Carry on, all you talented butt-balancing, pedal people of EV!

Jill said...

Over the years my family has had too many bikes stolen for me to invest in more. A couple have been stolen slowly, first the pedals, the brake cables, the seat and other things that are hard to lock. My child size banana seat bike sits happily outside with a flat tire that hasn't been inflated since those fancy avenue b coffee and bike people went away. My son and neighbor carry theirs up to the 6th floor, which is something I simply can't manage.

I did not renew my blue bike membership this year because it was too hard to find bikes and spaces when I wanted them, and then the key stopped working, and took so long to replace that the membership ran out even with a couple weeks extension.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 4:52 - I'm a different person from the Anonymous 2:26 you referred to, so I can't vouch for their experience, but I can tell you that, from my own, it's perfectly possible to know several people hit by bikes, when the fault was theirs, not the pedestrian's.

My girlfriend was hit on Rivington a week ago and required an ambulance, and I was hit, albeit less violently, on First Avenue only a couple days later. In both cases the scenario was similar: each of us were attempting to cross the street with a walk signal when a cyclist, going the wrong way, against the light, slammed into us. In neither case was the cyclist a delivery person.

As for the knowing dozens of pedestrians hit by cars, I don't. My grandfather got his foot run over by a cab on 14th Street in the late '70s, which was well before I moved the neighborhood 15 years ago.

That said, I of course also know numerous cyclists who have been doored or otherwise injured by cars.

The point is, first, that everyone is vulnerable to injury by those using faster, more powerful forms of transportation when basic traffic laws are not followed.

The cyclist who hit my girlfriend seemed to be a perfectly decent guy - he stopped and stayed with her to wait until an ambulance could arrive. And I don't think the majority of people driving cars who end up injuring cyclists or pedestrians are not being anything but careless (although clearly the consequences can be devastating). But I think both need to be more conscious of their surroundings for their own safety and that of others. This is not to say pedestrians shouldn't exercise care as well - they should - but anyone using a vehicle of any kind needs to take particular care.

While I don't know the statistics, which you claim say that I should have witnessed many more car-pedestrian accidents, I can point to common sense and experience, which says everyone needs to be mindful of the safety of others on the streets.

- in the East Village

Messenger in Maroon Beret said...

I have had multiple bikes stolen, anywhere from those cheap K-Mart bikes, to used bikes, and to the $1,000+ bikes. Have had them stolen anywhere from being chained to bike racks, parking meters, street signs, stairs in the apt, and even friend's backyards. Used to be a bike messenger, à la Quicksilver. and been to numerous crashes (some are my fault, some theirs) with pedestrians, other bikes, cars (esp. those who open their doors without looking first), other bikes, and have accumulated "bike war" scars. Also, one time, I borrowed my ex's bike and that was stolen too, and she (who was a lawyer) sued me for the amount of it while we were still together, and I'm like, what? But that's a different and another story.

As for CitiBike, my observation is that it both wants to be a leisure and an alternative mode of public transportation; it wants its cake and eat it too. And that goes same for most of the riders. They want the traffic to revolve around them. Being a seasoned bicyclist, riding with them in these bike lanes, aka alternative congestion pricing, can be frustrating; they have a one-track mind, literally, as in they stay on the same path and just keep going and going, without swerving or stopping, just ringing that damn bells.

I have never tried CitiBikes nor will I ever, even if there was a zombie apocalypse upon us. I disagree with the way it was implemented and the way it is being branded and advertised, which are more like propagandized with its neoliberal bs.

As for the increase in annual fees, if the majority of the annual members now are mostly well-off and white, with the current fees, then what would the demographics be if the fees were to be increased. And please don't retort that the fees, current or increased, are affordable and aren't as much and compare them to cable bills, etc.; you wouldn't know unless you're from a working-, middle-class or in government assistance living paycheck to paycheck.

In comparison, the fees for public tennis court permits were also increased to increase revenue and cut-down on the waiting time; it hasn't increased revenue but it did cut down on the waiting time because now only the very moneyed few will shell-out for the permits. So, raising the Citibike annual fees will limit access to most, the community, the very community that Citibike keeps saying that it's trying to serve and pushing this as a viable mode of and public transportation.

I have hung-up my pedals since and been hoofing it up in lieu of biking. And with that, I will defer to John M's comment, icymi.

TL;DR

Anonymous said...

. If the police actually did anything about bike theft ( stings / bait bikes / Craig's list crack downs ) people would report their bikes being stolen. If that were the case the beloved low crime stats would go up, especially since many bikes are valued at over $1000.
Teamspider

Anonymous said...

No anon 7:25, it is you who doesn't get what "The point is".

More pedestrians are injured by walking into one another, than are injured by a cyclist. (and that's even including when pedestrian is at fault). I'm sure I needn't even mention the amount of maim and slaughter concerning automobiles and pedestrians (or automobiles and EVERYTHING else).
But people want to single out cyclists because it makes them feel entitled. That's what scapegoating is all about. Your shitty little anecdote doesn't mean a thing.
I've been knocked flat on my ass (while walking) twice, by some asshole. I've even had a cigarette butt accidentally flipped at me in the chest (person apologized profusely) And I've been hit by a right-turning car while I crossed in crosswalk twice. And I've been hit by a car on my bicycle once and, literally, "run-over" by a taxi cab on my bicycle.

Lets just be clear: The hierarchy of assholes in this town goes, DRIVERS, PEDESTRIANS, CYCLISTS. It's always been that way in New York; and it is that way in New York.
Just ask Ratso Rizzo.

Anonymous said...

^ I don't agree with that hierarchy at all.
I would rearrange it as:
TAXI CABS, DELIVERY BIKES, CYCLISTS, OTHER VEHICLES AND DRIVERS, PEDESTRIANS.

Since we're doing it in caps, and all.

I have been IN numerous cabs where I've felt like my driver was five seconds away from hitting someone, and I also CONSTANTLY feel almost like the cab company has put a hit on me as a pedestrian. I also CONSTANTLY feel that way about delivery bicyclists, the only differences being that cabs still obey traffic laws; delivery personnel on bikes do not. However, it kind of evens out because of the differences in severity of potential injuries.

That being said, other, non-delivery cyclists STILL don't obey traffic laws. Other, non-taxi vehicles do.

I am an incredibly alert and attentive pedestrian. If I patiently wait to cross the street until I have the right of way, I should not have to worry about looking in the opposite direction of traffic, for a bike going the wrong way and through a red light before I cross. Yet if I don't do that, I will get run over. Again and again and again.

I never have to worry about that with any other vehicle. Except taxis on occasion.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:13, I thought I was pretty clear in stating my thought that everybody, using any kind of transportation, feet included, needs to be mindful of each other.

I think it's great that more people are using bikes to get around, even if I don't use one myself - it's a quick mode of transportation, and the less unnecessary cars on the streets, the better. And I'm very sympathetic to what cyclists have to deal with in traffic on a daily basis, having several friends, as I said, who have been badly injured by cars while cycling, and I'm sorry to hear you've had similar experiences.

Maybe your hierarchy of assholery is correct, I don't know. Certainly plenty of people knock into each other walking, distracted by cell phones and whatever else. And certainly, a distracted pedestrian can be a danger to cyclists as well.

But I wasn't referring to good or bad intentions, I was referring to potential damage caused by a collision. Yes, it's incredibly annoying that people don't look where they're walking, and it sucks and can be painful getting knocked into walking down the street.

But to suggest that two people who bump into each other walking is anywhere near as potentially injurious as getting hit by a bike moving at many times walking speed is a bit ridiculous, I think.

Nothing whatsoever against cyclists - I actually organized a protest in support of those arrested during Critical Mass back when they cracked down in 2004 - just against careless people, however they choose to get around.

- in the East Village

Anonymous said...

The problem is that, unlike cars, bikes can pretty much go anywhere and do so - quietly. They're on the sidewalks, walkways, coming out of stores. Yes, someone took a CitiBike into a store and drove it out the front door. Having been nearly hit a dozen times so far this summer, they appear out of nowhere, often times while their riders talk on cell phones. I look in every direction three times before I cross the streets now. It's maddening.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:28am:
"That being said, other, non-delivery cyclists STILL don't obey traffic laws. Other, non-taxi vehicles do."

You've got to be kidding. Close to no drivers yield to pedestrians while turning, many don't bother to signal turns, and speeding... don't get me started on speeding. 20 speed cameras that only ticket during school hours and only cars going 11 (ELEVEN!) miles over speed limit have been issuing tens of thousands of tickets in past months:
http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/07/16/20-speed-cams-issued-almost-as-many-tickets-in-june-as-nypd-has-all-year/

Read up and you'll learn that speeding and failure to yield are leading causes of pedestrian death and injury in NYC. But nooooo, "real NYers" are used to the carnage done by car, so it's the bikes that are the menace. Because those cyclists don't obey the law on their 20lb bikes, but drivers in 3,000lb vehicles do. Your claim is laughable.

Yesterday, I got hit by a non-taxi driver who didn't yield. As I recover from injuries at home, miss work, and prepare to fight my insurance company for payment of resulting treatment, I show you a middle finger, Anon 1.28am. Keep living in your fairyland, where non-cab drivers obey traffic law.

Giovanni said...

The demographics of the program are young, white, six-figure income households, Half the people riding CitiBikes look like they just stepped out of a J. Crew print ad, so they can easily raise the rental rates while keeping the discount for low-income people, who don't use it anyway due to the credit card requirement. These Bros will keep riding the wrong way while text messaging selfies all day long.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to remember there is a vocal anti bike minority that uses antedotal evidence of being "scared" by a cyclist to justify their irrational views.

I ride everyday and have never seen a bike pedestrian accident and that's because a bike can stop on a dime as I often do for jaywalkers.

Anonymous said...

@anon 7:58
Exactly…

@Giovanni
So now we know; the hate is simply cultural. Nothing to do with the usefulness or benefit of bicycles (and bicycle transportation systems) in the city. Just one self entitled group against another.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to remember there is a vocal pro-CitiBike minority that uses anecdotal evidence of "progress" to justify their irrational views.

Billsville said...

The CitiShills are out in force today, or should I say, the hoi polloi who think every blue bike is good but every other bike and car is bad. What color is the sky on your planets?

Anonymous said...

The new York post ran a typically racist story yesterday about how most of the stolen citibikes end up abandoned in neighborhoods of people of color such as bed-stuy and east new York and Brownsville.
And talk about racist, can you imagine that they are calling a neighborhood Brownsville? Then you should call the new east village whitesville, yes?

Ps I only read the post because someone left it on the train I would not pay a penny for that racist thing.

Anonymous said...

To get back slightly on track

a) I have both, use citibike to get around instead of using the subway for short trips as it's usually quicker. Use my own bike when I am going for a ride.
b) I don't think anything can be done about bike theft, it happens in all major cities and is unfortunately part of living in a big city. You can try minimise your bike getting stolen by some of the suggestions here, 2 or 3 locks, take saddle, wheel lock axel nuts, keeping inside where possible etc. Unless everyone starts riding the same type / style of bike like Amsterdam, you won't cut down on theft.
c) I don't know what way it will go and the more I use it the more frustrated I have become with it. I'm from Dublin and the bike program there has been a massive success, I don't see how they are not getting the basics here correct such as all docking stations working, the redistribution of bikes is awful, the pricing is way off.

Re: Accidents, Pedestrians, cars etc. Everyone is at fault, I think I am one of a handful of cyclists who actually stops at traffic lights, the amount of cyclists not stopping at lights, cycling on footpaths, using phones, going against traffic drives me mad as it just gives drivers and pedestrians the right to tar all cyclists with the one brush. In the same vane, the amount of pedestrians who step off the path into a cycle lane without looking cause they think it's only a bike, it's not going that fast or I can't hear anything. Would you step into the actual road without looking, no so why do you think it's alright to do it into a bike path. Drivers are ignorant of the power of their car and the damage it can do and also think they are the only ones on the road. I have been hit 3 times (luckily not badly) due to drivers not signalling, checking their mirrors or not paying attention.

Everyone has a role to play, cyclists to obey the rules, cars to realise they aren't the only ones on the road and pedestrians to realise they share the space with both bikes and cars and to pay attention to both.

ShutUpHooker said...

Anonymous @12:36... The name Brownsville has NOTHING to do with skin color and the Post story never mentions race once making you the true racist.

Anonymous said...

Just one self entitled group against another

LOL. That describes so much of the commentary here. "Waah, the hipsters/cyclists/students/visigoths/whatever are RUINING all the AUTHENTICITY of my urban experience, and I have nothing more important to cry about because underneath my retro-boho look I'm just a privileged, comfortable asshole that got here before they did, sob..."

Anonymous said...

^^Thanks for describing yourself, 2:13 PM ^^

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain how CitiBikes keep cars off the streets? It's not like the people riding bikes - of any kind, City or personal - are reducing the amount of cars in the city. They'd either be taking a train, bus, or taxi, not purchasing a car. This is a CitiBike manufactured talking point that's gained traction but makes zero sense.

Anonymous said...

There is no evidence that the demographic of citibike members is white, high-median-income, etc. If there were, the people who claim it would provide it.

It's a presumption that the demographic of credit card holders equals the demographic of citibike members. It's flawed logic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7/18 2:13 hit the nail right on the head!

nygrump said...

"Delivery People" are not ""cyclists". - well that is just a silly assertion. Are cabbies not "drivers"?

This thread has me really curious about this black hole of stolen bikes. Are they being shipped to Russia or something? I know about expensive bikes being stripped for parts, but is it worth that much to a junkie?

Anonymous said...

nygrump, I think they're stolen in the sense that they're removed from the stations unconventionally. My sense is that they're ridden and then left for the next rider. Truly "sharing"!

Anonymous said...

You tards are terrible at staying on topic. You see the word "Citibike" and you just go off. Look at the original post, like it or not it's quite specific in its queries.

Anonymous said...

Who says CitiBike demographics are white, male, and hight income? The director of the program, that's who:

Citi Bike has had great success serving a certain demographic: “Riders are mostly white, male, and live in households with six-figure incomes,” said Justin Ginsburg, Citi Bike’s program director, in September. But public housing residents – 4.9 percent of the city’s population — make up less than .5 percent of Citi Bike’s ridership, per to city data obtained by DNAInfo.

http://bedfordandbowery.com/2014/01/in-the-projects-citi-bike-hasnt-exactly-kicked-into-high-gear/

Next time try using Google before you guess.