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“New York is not D.C., and thank god for that,” writes Lauren Evans in a post on Gothamist today. But New York will soon be getting a new bike share program—-about which Evans has been “as skeptical … as anyone”—-and so she
reluctantly* made the trip down to the District to see what Capital Bikeshare was all about.
She starts her analysis with a note of skepticism, bemoaning the difficulty of “finding the damn bike share station.” But luckily, she discovered, “there’s an app for that, and it is fucking great.” Problem solved.
Next is the issue of empty and full bike stations. Evans says she saw grown men sprinting like children to grab the last remaining bikes. But here, she says, enlightened New York may have D.C. beat. “Citi Bike has assured patrons that it will be redistributing bikes from full racks to empty ones regularly,” she writes. “I hope it works better here than it does in D.C.—fisticuffs will ensue.” Good luck with that, New York.
Finally, she drops the criticism and goes into all-out praise mode. D.C.’s drivers, she discovers, are so considerate of bikers! (I might have to quibble just a bit here.) “I saw all manner of tourists (including myself) meandering down the streets like inebriated children, and all were consistently given a wide, if begrudging berth, by cars,” she writes. “It was startling.”
Her conclusion: Bikeshare is “awesome.”
“With bike share, you’ll never have to worry about collecting your bike from across town after a long night out,” she writes. “You’ll never have to worry about your own bike getting stolen, or remembering where you left it, or wondering whether, if you ride to work, it’s going to rain on your way home. To me, at least, that type of convenience is worth the membership fee any day.”
D.C., it turns out, is not all bad.
*Evans writes in the comments that her visit was in fact not reluctant. My apologies for insinuating any ill will toward her former hometown, which, thank god, her current hometown is nothing like.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery