by Borderstan.com June 6, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.

"Bike"

DC’s Capital Bikeshare program. (Luis Gomez Photos)

DC has fallen in love with Capital Bikeshare (although not everyone in DC loves bikes,  bikers or bike lanes). The system has grown in numbers of bikes, stations and users ever since its opening. It has made parts of our city more accessible and helped many Washingtonians get into better shape.

However, in New York City the story might seem different with the opening of Citi Bike, at least according some detractors. New York’s bike sharing plan might even be a totalitarian plot!

Dorothy Rabinowitz, of Wall Street Journal Editorial Board fame, has criticized New York City’s bike share infrastructure plan in a video, which can only be characterized as an indignant rant, complaining that the bikes and ostensibly the people who ride them, are mucking up the scenery for her and her friends.

Apparently, “we now look at a city whose best neighborhoods are absolutely, you know, begrimed, is the word… by these blazing blue Citibank bikes, in all the finest, most picturesque parts of the city.”

She says, “the majority of citizens are appalled by what has happened,” and, “the bike lobby is an all-powerful enterprise.”

How all-powerful you may ask? Let’s ‘hit the streets’ to find out! Here are comments that accompanied a New York magazine article.

  • Just how powerful is the bike lobby? So powerful that you’ve never heard of it.
  • WSJ thinks that the bike lobby is all-powerful, but oil companies, arms manufacturers and Goldman Sachs are just victims.
  • “The majority of citizens are appalled by what has happened.” a line often used by someone who is part of a definite minority.
  • Truly disturbing interview by Dorothy Rabinowitz. Even the WSJ interviewer inserted a reality check by mentioning that no pedestrians have been killed by NYC cyclists in the past 4 years, yet there have been nearly 600 deaths of cyclists and pedestrians by cars. Dorothy didn’t pause for a split second before starting her rant.
  • Love the curmudgeons. If Ms. Rabinowitz looked at one bike, she would see the Rules of biking right on the handlebars. Those poor taxicabs don’t stand a chance against a bike – better watch out.

As is often the case with these kind of stories, the fun is in the comment sections, but some serious and thoughtful comments were posted on NYC websites and on YouTube.

  • bikeshare is great. an urban game changer. only problem is that the smart-dock technology is outdated: http://inventropolis.com/bikeshares-technological-…
  • How come no one has noticed that the citibike app continually posts the wrong information about the bikes available at the bike stations? The number of bikes that are supposedly available is off by double or triple the number of bikes — right now E45 and 3rd is supposed to have 4 bikes and it has 13. I just passed 3 stations in Midtown East and all were way off.
  • @driverseven – Use Spotcycle app – it’s 10,000 times better. Plus it has all the OTHER cities with bike share.

In a growing city of 8.3 million people, according to an NPR piece on March 13, apparently there is only one disgruntled voice so far to complain about NYC’s new bike-share system.

Even at this early stage of New York City’s bike-share program, that statistic must surely qualify it as a resounding success.

Hats off to New York City, hats off!

Helmets “on” though, riders!

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by Borderstan.com June 24, 2009 at 4:00 am 1,724 0

Megabus from DC to NY

The double-decker Megabus to New York leaves DC from H Street NW. (Photo: Megabus Web site.)

So, the weekend approaches and you are ready to go… to get out of Borderstan (lovely though our little autonomous region may be). New York City awaits. The trip to Gotham takes about four to five hours, depending on traffic. We’ve haven’t taken Megabus (pictured) yet, but the double decker is appealing; we hope to check it out soon. Anyone have Megabus experiences to share?

But once in New York, it’s just as important to know what NOT to do as is what not to miss. So, we bring this write up from MSNBC.com of “Ten things not to do in New York City” (with alternative recommendations), so you can make the best of that weekend in New York City. Reader feedback is greatly appreciated: Do you like the warnings? Have more things to NOT do in NYC you’d like to add?

by Borderstan.com February 8, 2009 at 8:53 am 0

Borderstanians: I happened upon this Web site–Dating A Banker Anonymous–in the course of some economic research at work. I will forgo my own opinions and analysis–I am sure you will reach your own with little difficulty. Actually, some have actually wondered if the site is real or simply a spoof. What do think? Here is DABA’s mission statement at the top of the site’s home page. (more…)

by Borderstan.com November 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm 1,019 0

The Intelligent Traveler at National Geographic’s blog compares the low-cost bus options–the “Chinatown Bus” as we call it–between Washington and New York:

The low-cost bus routes between Washington DC and New York City have become a perennial travel story, one that we ourselves covered first in June 2006, and then again this year with the launch of the BoltBus and Megabus $1 fares. But we had yet to sit down and look at how they compare to each other, so we figured now, as everyone tightens their belts a bit, would be the perfect time. And of course, with the holiday seasons upon us and Inauguration weekend approaching, New York and D.C. are sure to be popular destinations over the next couple months.

Read entire post.

by Borderstan.com October 10, 2008 at 6:36 am 0

This story, “Keeping Wary Eye on Crime as Economy Sinks,” is from Thursday’s New York Times. New York is being hit really hard by the turmoil and layoffs in the financial services sector–which in turn hurts other businesses… which in turn leads to loss of more jobs in the city beyond those on Wall Street. How will the recession (and it looks like we will soon “officially” be in a recession) affect Washington… our Borderstan neighborhood?

Traditionally, the Washington Metro area has been less likely to suffer from recessions due to the region’s strong government job base. What will happen this time? It’s a question worth asking… in terms of economics, job losses and crime rates.

From the NYT article:

It is the question on the minds of New Yorkers, once they stop pondering the fate of their 401(k)’s: If the city’s economy sinks to depths not seen in decades, will crime return with a vengeance?

Expert opinions differ, but the question is hardly illogical. The last time stocks on Wall Street fell hard, in 1987, crime was exploding, and the city saw historic highs in murders in the following years.

Read entire article.

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