The reactions to the first official day of Citi Bike Share are coming in from many media outlets and regular folks via social media. Gothamist takes the cake for the most curious (and gross) observation. What did they say? The bikes are crawling with germs. Here are their suggestions for sanitary use of the two wheelers:
Gothamist: BIKE CONDOMS
According to TreeHugger (who are opposed to bike condoms because bacteria is good for you or whatever) these are popular amongst the bike-sharing set in Barcelona. Just slip the protective layer on to the handles and toss them in the trash when you’re done. The DIY version of this is to use plastic bags.
Why didn’t Citi Bike install Purell stations at their bike racks? Just carry your own travel size bottle with you (which you are probably already doing if you got this far into a article about germs).
You probably won’t catch anything from someone else’s sweat fluids traveling through layers of your clothing, but maybe it would be nice to wipe down the seat anyway, for your own mental health. Carry around some antibacterial wipes with you and everything will be okay. (The aforementioned DIY plastic bag solution would also work for the seat.)
— John Johnson (@jfj4) May 28, 2013
And, of course, there’s the saga “Dr. Frank” Arroyo the Lower East Side bike shop owner who a certain newspaper believes is a victim of the evil Citi Bike scheme:
NY Post: Arroyo said the city didn’t bother to consult him before installing a kiosk so close to his storefront.
Before the kiosk went up, in sight of Arroyo’s shop, he was planning to build up his rentals.
“It has become more and more of a year-round business,” he said. “You got tourists that come, and Europeans especially are used to using bikes year-round. It’s a growing business.”
Now he has to change gears.
“I’m going to have to concentrate on where I can make more income to make up for the potential loss,” he said.
Arroyo wishes the city had partnered with local bike shops for the program.
“It would’ve been nice if [Citi Bike] would’ve had a program teaching young people how to fix bikes,” he said.
— Pat Regnier (@patregnier) May 26, 2013
— Zainab Ali (@alizainab) May 26, 2013
Meanwhile, here in Brooklyn Heights, a handful of residents aren’t giving up the fight against the bike-share program. Brooklyn Paper reported Monday that 140 Cadman Plaza West resident Keith Klein—whose building met with a Councilman Steve Levin rep in mid-May—is asking why they weren’t consulted about rack placement. He believes bikes would have been better placed in Cadman Plaza Park, instead of the front of his building.
— Amy Eddings (@aeddings) May 27, 2013
“We were told there was extensive community outreach prior to placement of each station,” Klein told Brooklyn Paper. “Fact is, not one person on our Board or any staff member of our building or building’s management company knew anything about this until the day the racks appeared. This installation blocks access to the main door of the building, not just from a cab when you have luggage, or your car when you are unloading shopping bags, but access for emergency vehicles. This is a critical situation and rather shocking that no one thought it through.”
Residents of 150 Joralemon Street, as previously reported, have sued the city over racks placed there, claiming they are blocking garbage collection.
Other reports on day one of the program include: New York Times, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, U.K.’s Guardian, NY Daily News and WNYC. Tech blog Gizmodo predicts that the program will create a huge bike culture in New York City.
I hate cyclist and I hate Citigroup. I do however love #Citibike. Great idea that getting ragged on by uppity Brooklyn Heights folks.
— Chris Arnade (@Chris_arnade) May 26, 2013
Publisher’s note: This post has been modified and edited since its original publish. Comments below may reflect opinons of earlier version.