Friday, November 7, 2014

Citi Bike's helmet defense sparks pretty good debate on Reddit

Here’s what the Daily News story has spawned at /r/Citibike/ so far:

That's dumb. Nobody can be reasonably expected to wear a helmet on CitiBike. They'd have about a dozen members total if that were required. They made a system that cannot realistically be used the way they claim it should be used. Give me a break.
[–]borednboring[S] 1 point 1 day ago
As an annual member, I never get on a bike without a helmet. This particular individual is an experienced cyclist and annual member, he made the choice to ride without one.
Tourists are a different situation, as I agree, would drop ridership to near zero.
[–]Mikuro 2 points 1 day ago
I don't understand that. Do you carry a bike helmet with you everywhere you go? Or do you just use it for commuting to/from work or something? Before CitiBike, I never rode without a helmet, but with CitiBike that's just the way it is.
[–]borednboring[S] 2 points 1 day ago
I use CitiBike for commuting and errands so rides are planned in advance, and sometimes bring my helmet just in case. As much as I would love to grab a CitiBike on the go, (if walking somewhere sans helmet) I don't get on. Because I know that the one time I'm not wearing a helmet is the one time that I'd end up needing it.
However, besides common sense, I happen to be a paid bike instructor and tell my students to always wear helmets. I'd hate to end up in The Post after an accident as the dead bike instructor looking like a hypocrite. Joke would certainly be on me.
[–]MikeSz 1 point 2 days ago
Well yes in 20-20 hindsight he might have suffered a less serious injury if he had been wearing a helmet - doesn't take a genius to see that. I suppose this fact could reduce the award if they can figure out how serious his injuries would have been if he had worn a helmet and then reduce the award accordingly. I worry that "he didn't wear a helmet" could be used to take the blame off any road-raging driver who uses his car as a weapon. And I wish helmets were more effective at protecting against concussion.
[–]uni-twitBrooklyn 1 point 2 days ago
Well, yeah - the plaintiff says he's an avid rider and owns bikes and helmets, so clearly knows the risks of riding without one. Their web site - and, I assume, the pages of EULA you page through when renting by the hour - explicitly says "wear a helmet" but it's not the law.
Alta did figure out how to provide rental helmets in other cities, but the logistics seem impossible. Would kiosks shut down if helmets run out? Given what some people put in their hair, would riders really want to stick their head in a shared helmet? Does the size of the Citibike network make helmet kiosks too hard to manage?
The rider ran into an unpainted barrier of a docking station. Perhaps the problem is less lack of helmets and more that the grey docks need to be more distinguished from the tarmac/concrete sidewalks.
[–]borednboring[S] 2 points 1 day ago

I find it ironic that when the stations were first put down there was an uproar that they were too unsightly and ugly. Now the complaint is that they can't be seen and should be made more apparent. Could you imagine the initial outrage if the barriers were painted bright orange?

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