Housing Complex

New Yorker Grudgingly Admits Capital Bikeshare Is Awesome

"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

  • Kevin

    How nice -- validation from a New Yorker (rolls eyes).

  • Ben

    "As skeptical...as anyone"

    Who's skeptical about bikesharing? Besides idiots, I mean.

  • Tracey

    Oh Kevin, why be so negative? I think th epoint was that if a NYer gives us credit it must be super awesome as so many non-DC types can bo so hypercritical of everything that isn't just like "where I come from".

  • http://gothamist.com Lauren Evans

    Thanks for the reblog, Aaron. You did not, however, include the fact that I lived in D.C. for three (3) years before moving to New York. My visit was anything but "reluctant"—I was returning to my former home! Nice try, though.

  • oboe

    The backhanded complements are so much more grudging in NYC.

  • cbr

    I absolutely love CaBi, but I am sadly giving up my membership this month when it lapses. The saturation of usage is so great that I am consistently and regularly unable to use it (either by not being able to find a bike or being dockblocked). I hope that's something that will work itself out with time -- when it works, it's absolutely amazing.

  • RT

    New Yorkers- always insufferable

  • Dhruv

    Go citi bike!!!
    I don't understand why people are complaining about citi bike
    20 bikes can fit in a 3 car parking space so right away the bikes are better.
    The fact of the matter is cars are the ones taking up too much space. All of the on street parking spots in NYC can make 11 Central parks!! Think about how much space were wasting on what essentially car storage in public space. On average cars take up 2000 square feet in roads space. Imagine how much an apartment that big in NYC would cost. We are throwing money away at cars! All of the food vendors shouldn't be complaining to citi bike but to cars! NYC can not take anymore cars and everyone knows that. NYC is jammed up with cars and it is impossible to expand the road system. The only possible way to move people in NYC will be through public transportation and bikes. There just is no room for cars but there it a lot of room for bikes!

  • http://www.twitter.com/AdamLDC Adam L


    Same here. I'm letting my membership lapse as well. Haven't used the system in weeks because bikes have either been unavailable or the docks are full at the destination.

  • Logan Res

    The fact that New Yorkers have to constantly criticize anything about DC shows how much they really are jealous of what we are and are becoming.

  • Dhruv

    CITI BIKE RULES!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    I don't understand why NY writers are so dickish about anything in/around DC? Why can't these guys get a frickin' life?

    I'm a DC native and I've never heard anyone say that NYC sucks (that doesn't count the Yankees, of course, because the Yankees are tools.) DC doesn't care. If anything, DC has enough problems from critique from many of its suburban neighbors to go around.

  • http://www.elfboxes.com Elf Moving Boxes DC

    Hey Aaron! As a former NYer, I have no trouble at all admitting Bike Share is great. Since you cover the housing complex blog, I wonder if you'd be interest in doing a story about a company like mine that provides a product that is popular in NYC. It's renting eco-friendly plastic reusable moving boxes to customers as an alternative to traditional cardboard boxes (which deplete forests and contribute to global warming). I launched it a few weeks ago and would really like people to know that green options are available in most industries right now and they can take small easy steps to reduce their carbon footprint. If this is an idea that you'd be interested in, I'd love to hear from you. Cheers,


  • sbc

    Since Elf wants to advertise his company on WCP, I figure I'll mention the company we used that's been doing exactly what his new company does and which served us well when we moved in DC last year. It's Wegobox, and it worked great--sturdy and clean boxes delivered and picked up as scheduled, by friendly staff, with a dolly included. And since you have to pay to keep the boxes for extra weeks, there's a good incentive to unpack quickly!

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  • just looking

    Such profanity!

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