Capitulating to pressure from City Council, the mayor's office and the DOT have agreed to hold public hearings regarding the new bike-share program before it is implemented. "No one is against bike-share—it's something that every major city across the world is adopting and bracing," councilmember Leroy Comrie tells the Times, "But what I don't want to see happen is a pattern develop, where City Hall finds ways to exclude Council from its natural role." Exactly, you want Council to be properly informed before making a huge decision of policy.
Because bike-share is to be run by a third-party vendor using city property in providing a public service, it technically should have been deemed a "franchise" that has to be authorized by City Council. The DOT didn't consult the councilmembers when it began looking for a vendor, which may be awarded the contract as early as next week.
While many are expecting Mayor Bloomberg and City Council to haggle over the details of bike-share—from the location of the docking stations to how far the network will span—fighting over modes of transit is a well-worn political staple: "If you look back at the history of the subway and the yellow cabs, there was political bickering over those transit choices too," the director of Transportation Alternatives says. Indeed, we miss the smell of the moto-cycle axle fluid on 5th Avenue but potentially life-saving "progress" marches on.