When New York City authorities announced details of a new municipal bike-sharing program last year, New Yorkers cheered. "What a fun, cheap, and easy way to traverse this great city of ours," thought citizens, 30 percent of whom said they would be at least somewhat likely to use the bikes. "And wonderful for the environment as well."
Fast forward to today, and New Yorkers are not so pleased anymore. "Wait, you mean the bike-sharing program involves actual bikes?" they are asking. "We didn't know there would be bikes and bike racks everywhere. This changes everything."
An article in today's New York Times details the frustration some New Yorkers are feeling toward the city's newly installed bike racks, which will start accommodating 6,000 environmentally friendly bicycles on Memorial Day. Indeed, the bikes haven't even arrived yet and already everyone is moaning that the racks themselves are a problem, what with the way they take up space.
"None of us are against bikes—most of us have bikes that we stow in our building," said Lynn Ellsworth, 54, from TriBeCa. "But why they put these giant racks in these little streets is crazy to me."
Another New Yorker, West Village resident Jane Browne, said in a recent community meeting that she supported the bikes until she saw mice running in the "'corridors of trash and water' that formed between a nearby bike station and the curb."
Mice and trash on the streets of New York City? Next thing you know there will be rats and people urinating right out in the open.
Perhaps the best complaint came from Shelly Mossey, a local from Battery Park City, who doesn't like that one of the proposed new racks will displace a bike rack he, his son, and his neighbors use to hold their personal bikes. "Why do we have to lose that," Mossey asked the Times, "and give it up for the bigger picture?"
It's a good question: Why should Shelly Mossey have to go through the small hassle of finding a new place to put his bike in order to help benefit his city at large? Is this what America was built on? Having to suffer minor inconveniences so that others might see their quality of life improve? I don't think so. Mayor Bloomberg, tear down these racks.
[Image via AP]