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A Capital Idea

May 17, 2012

As everyone knows by now, DC’s Capital Bikeshare system has been a resounding success, and Greater Greater Washington has been watching the silly questions about how Citi Bike will work with some amusement.  In a post titled “Remember when a few people opposed bikeshare?” David Alpert writes:

It’s been fascinating to watch some of the coverage and debates over bike sharing in New York. In so many ways, it mirrors what happened in DC. At first, many people didn’t understand it or opposed it. Once it opened, fears faded away.

DC saw some contentious public meetings about whether stations belonged in certain neighborhoods. That’s all long gone. Now, when an ANC takes up bike sharing, it’s usually either to push for more stations or debate whether a station belongs in one spot or across the street.

Speaking from experience, Alpert writes, “The system will open, and residents will realize that bike sharing is nothing like their worst fears. Neighbors will clamor for stations.”

It seems to not be in some New Yorkers’ natures to look to other cities for examples of how things work or to simply sit back and say, “We’ll see.”  Gothamist’s posts on Citi Bike have been especially cringeworthy, such as they expose a fundamental immaturity in the way our local media occasionally approaches new and innovative ideas related to shared streets.  But taking into consideration how many Gothamist readers are also likely Citi Bike members, I’m sure the writers over there will figure it out.  As writer Kriston Capps tweeted, “It’s going to be so annoying when everyone comes around on #bikenyc and NYers are all so proud they invented bikeshare.”

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