NYC

Citi Bike Faces Two Lawsuits Over Tripped NYD Pedestrians

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  A Citi Bike stands at a docking station on May 29, 2013 in New York City. Citi Bike, the long awaited
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: A Citi Bike stands at a docking station on May 29, 2013 in New York City. Citi Bike, the long awaited bike sharing program that launched over the Memorial Day weekend in New York, provides 6,000 bikes which are available for short-term rental at 330 stations in Manhattan below 59th Street and parts of Brooklyn. Until June 2nd only members of the Citi Bike program can use the bikes. The bikes will rent daily for $9.95 (plus tax ) or weekly for $25 and will be limited to trips of 30 minutes each. More than 16,000 people have signed up to be members so far. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Two lawsuits have been filed against Citi Bikes since the program officially launched in May. Neither lawsuit however, has anything to do with bike riding.

Howard Orlick, 52, who is legally blind, was walking past the Citi Bike station on University Place near 13th Street when he fell and twisted his ankle while stepping off the sidewalk. DNAinfo reports that Orlick claims the bike rack's gray color is too similar to the gray sidewalk, which confused his vision. His lawsuit includes a request for $500 to cover his basic medical expenses, including physical therapy, and a suggestion that the city change the rack's color to black.

The second suit is considerably more extreme, Lachonne Shelton, 50, plans to sue the city for $1 million according to her notice. Shelton says that she "injured her knees, left elbow, back and neck" when she tripped on a Citi Bike station at Centre and Worth streets.

The New York City Department of Transportation oversees the bicycle-sharing program, but the Citi Bikes vendor has it's own coverage for such incidents.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, in the four months since the launch, Citi Bikes has netted more than 3 million rides with more than 6 million miles ridden and has a strong approval rating of 73 percent amongst New Yorkers.

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