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Bike Sharing

Can East Side NIMBYs Thwart the UN Bike-Share Terror Threat?

1:16 PM EDT on June 19, 2012

Ban Ki-moon may be pleased by the prospect of bike-share docks near the United Nations, but self-styled security advisors from the neighborhood are second-guessing the secretary general. DNAinfo reports:

pithy cutline

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."

Never mind cars and trucks, backpacks, suitcases, shoes or other would-be explosive delivery devices, including the hundreds of thousands of bikes presently on streets and inside buildings across the city (the ones Marcia Kramer already warned us about). Terrorists around the world are biding their time until Manhattan is blanketed with potential bright blue Citi Bombs -- assuming they are not turned off by the pricing structure, which is geared toward short trips and not meant to encourage bike-to-bomb conversions.

What Dr. Gootnik fails to appreciate is that bike-share provides an exceedingly clever mechanism to infiltrate and ultimately dismantle the intricate financial underpinnings of global terror networks. Just think of all the terrorists whose credit cards will now be on file thanks to Citi Bike.

The capper: Following preemptive complaints from terror nuts and garden variety NIMBYs who want to keep cyclists away, NYPD is reportedly evaluating Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, located on E. 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, to determine its appropriateness as a bike-share location.

During last week's CB 6 meeting, when the board recommended that DOT implement plans for new Midtown bike lanes ahead of this summer's bike-share rollout, members also issued a call for constructive suggestions for station sitings. Comments may be sent to bikeshare@cbsix.org.

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