10Jun

Citi Bike Finds A Friend in Enemy WSJ’s Dorothy Rabinowitz

By , June 10th, 2013 | Articles, Economy, Government, Hot Button Topics, Media, New York | 0 Comments

After soft opening week to only annual members, New York City’s Citi Bike program opened up to all daily and weekly bicyclists on June 2. All the time and money spent getting the information out about the “simple, reliable and good for the environment” new mode of NYC transportation could have been reinvested into the program. That is because the best promotion Citi Bikes received was all due to one woman, The Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz.

On May 31, 2013, Rabinowitz recorded a WSJ online opinion piece “Death By Bicycle” ranting about the horrors of the Citi Bike program, Mayor Bloomberg’s oppressive regime and the all-powerful Bicycle Lobby. The blogosphere exploded immediately, bicycle enthusiast or journalists alike. New York Magazine points out that it isn’t and age thing since the Bill Cunningham from New York Times was gleeful over Citi Bikes. Rabinowitz even procured not one but two segments on the same night on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

The ensuing media storm cause Rabinowitz to take to the web waves once more and do what up until now usually only Republican Congressmen and women have done before. Instead of issuing some milquetoast apologizing, Rabinowitz dug her heels in deeper and came out swinging for round two. This new attack on the environmental responsible and sustainable transportation system reignited the ambers of controversy once more.

One of Rabinowitz’s loudest complaints is that the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission plasters up warning signs inside the city cabs instructing rides to be careful not to car open doors into motor vehicle or bicyclist traffic, NYC has not done anything similar for bicyclists.

“Where is the parallel warnings to people saying, ‘if you are a cyclist, you are required to, the rules of the road are yours, you are required to not to go onto the sidewalk. None of this takes place.”

Her claim has helped people focus on how the Citi Bike program has taken great strides to do just that. Whether it be in the Riding Tips section of the Citi Bike website, on the face of each kiosk in bold lettering, or on the back of every receipt issued to daily and weekly riders, Citi Bike takes safety seriously and at every turn makes sure riders know how to be a responsible and safe bicyclist.

Thanks to Rabinowitz’s cyclophobic rants, people around the nation now know about New York City’s efforts to help reduce traffic, help the environment and along the way improve the health of its citizens and visitors alike. Maybe for her next feat, she can help Manhattan’s red-tail hawk by whacking a few of their nests off of the picturesque buildings they are snuggled in.

Feature photo credit:  *Bitch Cakesphotopin cc

Slideshow photo credits are as follows:

West 49 St and 8 Av Citi Bike Kiosk: Tom Arana-Wolfe

Citi Bike Kiosk Face: *Bitch Cakes* via photopin cc (close-up zoom of traffic rules on kiosk from same photo)

Back of Citi Bike Daily Code Receipt: Scanned by Tom Arana-Wolfe

Citi Bike Handlebars: adamgreenfield via photopin cc (close-up zoom of traffic rules on handlebars from same photo)

 

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