As you have no doubt heard, last Monday marked the debut of the bike-sharing program Citi Bike. Proponents including Mayor Bloomberg say that Citi Bike, which could be a capstone of the mayor’s environmentally and health-conscious administration, will revolutionize and greenify commuting in New York while making its citizens healthier and leaner. (People over 260 pounds are prohibited from riding the 6,000 bikes, though the stations do not feature scales.)
To the program’s detractors, the 300 stations are obtrusive eyesores, the bikes are an inevitable hazard on clogged Manhattan and Brooklyn streets, and the flagrant Citibank advertising at the docks and on the bikes is obscene. The Commercial Observer took to the streets on the third day of the program to ask employees of businesses near various stations how they felt about the initiative and whether it had led to an uptick in customers.