June 28, 2013- Opinion by Steven E. Greer, MD
This morning, I did something that I have never done before in my decades of living in Manhattan. I ventured beyond my immediate “hood” to get gourmet pastries and coffee in Tribeca at the awesome FIKA (Please do not go there. It is my spot). The ride was great exercise as well, easily burning off the few hundred calories from the freshly baked Swedish Cardamom roll.
Mayor Bloomberg has several initiatives that have succeeded or failed, which will define his legacy. I proclaim that the Citi Bike sharing program, if it continues to spread and thrive under the next mayors, will redefine transportation in New York City, and be what New Yorkers remember the most from the Bloomberg era.
It is easy to already forget, but just a few weeks ago, before the launch of Citi Bikes, the typical obstructionist visionless New Yorker despised the idea of Citi Bike racks going in on their streets. The Daily Show actually mocked them. It took perseverance and leadership, which was a challenge even for the richest man in New York, to accomplish the Citi Bike program.
Many of Bloomberg’s embarrassing gaffes, such as regulating 16-ounce sugary drinks, rigging the term limits process, and losing his battle against the MSG owners, will all long be forgotten ten years from now. However, the ability for New Yorkers to hop on a bike and drop it off at Point B, like a taxi without the smell and cost, will be remembered. (Eradicating smoking from restaurants and bars will be another major accomplishment for the history books).