Finally, somebody has come up with a real reason to stop the city's much-heralded bike share program, CitiBike, before it starts (next month!): TERRORISM. Really. DNAinfo has a sweet story today about how some neighbors around the UN are very worried about the potential threat presented by having up to 74 heavy blue bikes parked outside the United Nations. OMG, Marcia Kramer was right! The bike lane terrorist threat is oh so real!
Of course, neighbors concerns aren't just about terrorism—they are also worried the bikes will interrupt the farmers market in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, not to mention the numerous protests there and other events. But yeah, they are also worried terrorism:
Dr. David Gootnik, who lives near East 43rd and Second Avenue, said the area is vulnerable because it is home to not only the United Nations but also dozens of international missions and embassies.
At a recent Community Board 6 meeting, Gootnik, who runs a management training and development firm with his wife, referenced a 2008 terrorist attack that took place in Jaipur, India, during which the attackers used bicycles to house their explosives.
Fifty-six people died in the incident, and 84 were wounded, according to reports.
“Why do I share this horrific true story?” Gootnik said during his presentation to the community board.
“Because it appears that bombs inserted on or in bike parts could become a tool of global terrorists in our city under a citywide massive bike program.”
Still, the best part of the article is the bemused response from a Department of Transportation spokesman who pointed out that, "Bikes have been available to the general public for the last century and a half, so it’s unclear why this would come up today." Which isn't to say that there haven't been incidences of bombers using bikes here in NYC.
Further? One of the nifty things about the docking stations that should be hitting the streets any day now is that they don't require any underground infrastructure. So if it really does turn out that Dag Hammarskjold Plaza can't handle 74 bikes, CitiBike can simply move the dock.