Video Of The Week: Citibike Rage

AVC regular Rob Underwood sent me this video a couple days ago:

This happened at a Community Board 6 (Cobble Hill Brooklyn) meeting this week. Here’s a news report that explains the context of what happened here.

I am posting this for several reasons.

I am a huge Citibike fan and user. I’ve already used it three times today and its only 8:30am


Citibike has made living in the city so much better for me in so many ways. So I am thrilled that Citibike is expanding in NYC and becoming available to new neighborhoods and providing Citibike access to new neighborhoods.

But I realize that not everyone is a fan of bikes, bike lanes, and bike stations. This man certainly is not.

The anger and resentment this man is feeling is an example of how many are feeling in the US (and the world) right now. Things are changing around him and not for the better, at least for him. It’s worth mentioning that he was initially set off because there were no american flags on display at the community board meeting. If you want to understand the appeal of Donald Trump, this man might help you do that.

Finally, a suggestion. Why doesn’t Citibike offer free monthly passes for all residents of homes and buildings that are next to a Citibike station? And why doesn’t Citibike allow these homes and buildings request a Citibike station next to their building so that they can obtain this benefit?

Rob has a Citibike station in front of his house and he is mostly happy about it. I would love a Citibike station in front of my house. I realize not everyone feels this way. But if you provide some incentives for having one, the folks that are open to it would compete for it and the folks that are not open would likely not have to have one. It would be worth trying this in a new neighborhood and seeing if it works.

Local government and politics is not easy. But finding ways to move forward in ways that people can accept and get behind is the work that must be done. Staying put is certainly not the answer, as much as some would like to do that.

#hacking government#NYC

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    So well spoke-n this morning.

  2. William Mougayar

    Why don’t you all get along like we do in Canada?

    1. fredwilson

      the US has 10x the people of Canadait’s like a VC was easy for me and Brad to agree on somethingit is harder for me, Brad, Andy, Albert, and John to agree on somethingi can’t imagine how a VC firm with 20 partners agrees on anything

      1. jason wright

        isn’t that why you have individual states? i can’t imagine bicycles and stations are a federal interest.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Because all ways of travel are funded though the Federal Transportation fund. Sidewalks, bike lanes, linear trails, transit lines, roads and highways are all partially funded through that fund. And they are of federal interest because they connect and cross state lines and have a major environmental impact. The decision to fund a rail line, rather than a new highway lane, for example, reduces congestion and environmental impact. So, while there is the microcosmic view (as in this video), there is also the macro view which is also very real.On a side note, investment in public transit (which includes bikes), has a major impact on the economy. Places that have public transit have greater economic vitality than those that do not. Places in which there is greater emphasis on roads and highways, and that have less or little public transit, typically have less economic vitality.Of course, this is the macro view and does not alleviate the pain and anger that the man in the video is suffering. He is being rude and disrespectful. I have sat in many public meetings and seen such vitriol. However, that kind of attitude is not what actually gets anything done.

          1. awaldstein

            nicely said.

      2. William Mougayar

        Ha, the VC analogy strikes again.That said, it’s interesting that the US only has 2 political parties. Its inherent diversity should warrant more variety. Maybe there would be less polarization between two sides, and more rounded conversations and positions. Currently, the centric crowd has no independent voice. They need to compromise on something and align with one of the 2 parties.

        1. Anne Libby

          Lol. This is what democracy looks like — at least at CB meetings in NYC. Venting this kind of upsetness about an issue is a fairly common occurrence, in my experience (veteran of numerous CB1 meetings).Although the people sitting at the table wind up there via political clubs, the issues addressed in these gatherings are not partisan. It’s like town meetings in other parts of the country, and I know that we get heated in those gatherings, too… people here are not talking ideology, they’re talking about what is happening in front of their building.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          The United States has way more than two political parties. In Connecticut we officially had 27 of them when I last checked. For a while we had a United States Senator from the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. Lowell Weicker was governor from A Connecticut Party.

        3. cavepainting

          I often wonder if the parliamentary system is indeed a better way to elect and govern in a democratic society vs. the US system. The parliamentary system in the UK and the countries of the Commonwealth (Canada, Australia, UK, India, etc..), allows multiple parties (and voices) to be heard across the political spectrum. Pre and post election, these parties can align for a common cause / platform they agree with. Since the prime minister who leads the executive branch is elected from the majority party / coalition, there is a better chance of passing legislation and getting things done. In the US, especially in the polarized environment of the last decade, there are a) simply not enough mainstream political parties to cater to the diversity of voices, and b) there are too many checks and balances with the equal branches of power making it incredibly hard to get anything done.

      3. PhilipSugar

        Well said. Also we have 10x the diversity of Canada.The same can be said about almost any country.People tell me why can’t you be like Japan, Singapore, etc, etc.Because we have a diversity of people.

        1. William Mougayar

          How do you define diversity on this context?

          1. PhilipSugar

            I spent the entire week with three Montrealers in my office this week.Rich, poor, smart, ignorant, nice, rude I can keep going. The extremes are so different.Tell me where is there a section in Toronto I can’t walk?I can tell you plenty in my small state of DE where you will not last an hour.

          2. William Mougayar

            OK. So is that an assimilation and integration issue then?Do these extremes have to continue being as they are in the US?

          3. PhilipSugar

            It is what it is William.We have the smartest, hardest working people in the world.We have the dumbest, laziest grifters in the world.

          4. LE

            Not to mention that in some places in the US (South Florida, Texas, Southern California a few examples) there are overwhelming amounts of illegal immigrants and offspring of same who have made those places much less safe.). I am thinking off the top that the situation is nowhere near the same in Canada. Nor is it in Israel or a host of other foreign countries that have tighter control on their population.

          5. PhilipSugar

            Here is where you and Trump lose me.In my mind those illegal immigrants don’t have the government safety net.They do the work of those people that are on the dole don’t want to do.Are some criminal? Yes I’m sure. But the fact is if you want to be a criminal it’s easy enough to do it in Mexico.There are many more criminals that work the government dole and supplement with criminal activity.But if you just want to work hard and get paid?? Unfortunately not in Mexico. And the fact is that if you are willing to carry bricks in the weather we’ve had for 10 hrs a day, you will in fact get paid well and get another $20 from me (I don’t know their status)Now if you want to say, we stop government programs that allow you not to work? Maybe I’m there.But I don’t think our country lifestyle survives or Britian’s last without immigrants.

          6. LE

            They do the work of those people that are on the dole don’t want to do.Well in some cases yes possibly. But in other cases they depress wages enough so that the people the dole won’t do the jobs for the low wages. The example that I give are the immigrants who mow the lawns around here. None of them appear to speak english, the owner of the business is always speaking spanish to them. Anyway to cut the lawn and do various other work Mr. Owner of company charges $35 per labor hour, what we pay. This was just raised from $30. Now if they had to get people on the dole their costs would go up. But I’d still get the lawn work done. It would just come out of my pocket. Further the lawn company owner can’t hire those dolers and pay more. Because I am not going to pay it nor will my neighbors nor will the office condo if there is a less expensive alternative that uses cheaper labor, illegal or not. Make sense? So that is the problem. [1] When I was in high school where I lived kids from the neighborhood mowed the lawns.But I don’t think our country lifestyle survives or Britian’s last without immigrants.Well for that matter where would we be w/o slaves before? Where would we be in public works projects without the low cost unprotected labor of the past that built bridges, tunnels and so on (and the Panama canal)?The issue is not whether there should be immigrants here that are willing to do things at a lower cost and work harder and longer. The issue is it can’t represent more than X percent of the workforce or things get out of wack.Look, we could easily take prison labor (and we do to some extent) and replace people who have families and get cheaper goods and services. But it has to be limited so that it’s not to much of a “good” thing.[1] Everybody is out for themselves and all of that. This is the same as Warren Buffett saying he wants to pay more taxes. But only if everyone else does as well.

          7. PhilipSugar

            Why don’t you ask the owner of the company what he pays and what he is willing to pay, and how hard people are willing to work, and if he has tried to hire kids.I will put a Franklin on he will say he’s that the only people that are willing and able to do the job are the Latino’s that speak Spanish on his crew.

          8. LE

            Sure but that’s at the wages that he is able to pay based upon the prevailing market rate set by competitors with the same low cost labor. And what the customer will pay since there is another company ready to do the job with the same low cost labor. My point.If all of the sudden instead of paying $10 per hour he pays $20 per hour my guess is that he’d have more takers at that rate. When I was a kid I mowed lawns and I shoveled snow. And I waxed cars as well. Not easy work by any means. (Of course I didn’t do it everyday either..)Look at all of the people flooding into programming and startups. It’s the money or the potential of money down the road a large part of it. [1] Same reason many people in the past have gone into medicine. This doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be people if it didn’t pay well. But the money is a big factor in the ability to get people to do any job. Always exceptions of course.Otoh look at pilot pay. From what I know it’s piss poor low when you are starting out. But enough people want to fly they are willing to do so and do it for what is really low pay.Look I have heard that being a dental hygienist pays pretty well and the dentists that I have spoken to hold on dearly to those employees. I mean I’d rather mow lawns than I would have to deal in someone’s mouth. On the other hand since it pays well many people are willing to do that job.[1] The other part of it of course has to do with the continuation of the college atmosphere and being around peers and that type of thing.

          9. William Mougayar

            OK, but it’s a cope out to accept it as it is.

          10. PhilipSugar

            Well my way of not accepting it would be rather drastic.

          11. Lawrence Brass

            Your comment sent me to a DE danger map to check the Christiana Mall area, which I visited last year and wish to visit again. It shows the area in bright red. I was there for two days and felt quite safe and everything seemed OK. Is that so?

          12. PhilipSugar

            You are fine there. They have incidents but the combatants know each other, and it is petty. The police presence is very strong. The Apple store (sells most iPhones in world)…They have two DE State Troopers 24/7In Wilmington it is different. I cannot put foreign guests there. They think they can take a “stroll”at night. My best case scenario is they only get robbed and beaten up.

          13. Lawrence Brass

            The only place I felt a bit nervous was in Cabela’s firearm section, never seen before so many guns on display. We tourists like to stroll at night. :)Thanks for the info.

          14. PhilipSugar

            That is the safest place in the mall.

          15. Lawrence Brass

            Thanks. Saved all for our next trip.

      4. LE

        i can’t imagine how a VC firm with 20 partners agrees on anythingThe fact that people in Canada (I guess by upbringing and assimilation) are so docile also is the reason that we have so many good things going on and are looked at by most of the rest of the world as the place they want to emigrate to. All that feistyness is what creates the opportunity here in other words. All of that feistyness in NYC is what makes it in part such a great place.Honestly I’d almost always like taking a phone call from someone in NY who is a native NYer or has lived there a long time. Quick and to the point no bullshit they know what they want and come right out and say it. Get a call from the Midwest or the South and it’s long and drawn out with to many niceties it seems. I saw this as a kid as well traveling to NY with my dad. A certain boldness that has great appeal to me at least.

      5. PhilipSugar

        Love the comment but I will make another one. Many elite people think the appeal of Trump is the angry white man. It easy and comfortable to think that, and compartmentalize it that way.I am an elite person.It is not that. Many people including me think the government has ceased working for them. It has become it’s own entity. It has become a bloated bureaucracy the exists for the benefit of the bloviated insiders. The Clinton’s who have amassed a half a billion of wealth on the backs of the American people exemplify that point.Is Trump the solution? I am not willing to go there. He doubles down on crazy.I wish Biden had run.

        1. Salt Shaker

          I used to do a fair amount of work w/ Du Pont years ago when Biden was still a Senator. On numerous occasions I’d either be getting on or off the Metroliner or Acela at Wilmington station and Biden would be either getting on or off from DC. He knew all the conductors by name and greeted them all like close personal friends. Left a strong impression as a sincere, humble guy, no doubt framed, in part, by the personal tragedies in his life. Biden has considerably less baggage than who we have to choose from today, faux pas and all. He would have been a strong candidate and likely won.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Run away. I am not saying I love him. I am not saying his house trade for the bankruptcy law was not bullshit. He is the least dirty.

        2. pointsnfigures

          Agree. Government is a bloated bureaucracy that ceases to work. People are amassing fortunes from it. Disgusting.

      6. kirklove

        This is why comparisons to how great “X” is in say, Denmark, compared to the US are kind of meaningless.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I have been and worked in Denmark. Sorry Dane’s I don’t know of a more racist people. If you are not a Dane you might as well be an alien. You know what the translation of Gaigin is really in Japanese??? It is worse than alien. I worked with only Japanese people for two years two decades ago. They called me Yaban which translates to savage. I told Kato (my Akita is named Kato) that kind of stung. He said no, no, Sugarsan that is our most affectionate term for a person not from Nihon. (which literally means land where the sun rises) He said at least it acknowledged I was human.

          1. jason wright

            Geographic isolation. Islands, and a peninsula.

      7. RichardF

        Nah Canadians are inheritantly differrent

      8. Cam MacRae

        This was a local issue and there simply aren’t 10x more people in his neighbourhood than there are in mine.The difference between the US and Canada (and indeed most of the rest of the civilised world) is one of culture. Often your culture works in your favour. But sometimes it doesn’t and that is why I choose to live elsewhere.

  3. ThatOtherOtherGuy

    I console myself with knowing that Boomers will soon enough be nothing more than a black mark on American history. Then we can go about repairing the damage they have done to our country and our planet.

    1. lonnylot

      Why do you feel that other generations won’t have the same problems?

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      I think that all generations have people like this. While it is true that younger people are more open to bikes, in 50 years some other generation is going to say they can’t wait for the Millennials to die off.

      1. LE

        The old guy yelling who sounds like Koch is 80 years old. Not anywhere close to being a boomer.The man at the table (Jerry Armer) probably will croak before him judging by his outward appearance sitting at that table….

  4. jason wright

    are houses with stations in front of them losing market value as a result?this idea probably wouldn’t work in NYC, but in a place of a more human scale a council ought to consider re engineering the built environment to offer the opportunity for there to be at least one neighbourhood where cars are being progressively completely eliminated over time. you want to live here? then no car ownership. i’m certain the value of homes would actually increase relative the the rest of such a town or city.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I live in one of the most walkable neighborhoods in America right now, selling my car which is back in Connecticut. Among Uber, MBTA, walking, ZipCar, etc. car ownership just doesn’t make sense. Even some of the more wealthy people eschew car ownership here but lots of people like to have them available for weekend trips and grocery shopping. Though it seems like the latter case is starting to be handled more by Amazon Fresh.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        I have thought about doing the same. I’m in Bridgeport, CT, and live exactly a mile from the Farifield Metro station. And even closer to bus access. However, my car is a 14 year old Prius and my cost of ownership is so low that it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          I definitely use it for weekend road trips.

        2. PhilipSugar

          How is Bridgeport these days?? I used to go there in the mid eighties to consult for GE supply and it was a pit. I would stay at the Hyatt and literally hole up for the night.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Bridgeport is starting to rebound.There are many great things happening here that people don’t know about. Lots of good work to still do because we have a lot of old industrial buildings that are brownfields and need remediation (Bridgeport was once the largest industrial city in the United States). There has been some investment in recent years and businesses are popping up that take advantage of the space that is available and it’s proximity to transit.The old Mechanics & Farmer’s bank building was recently revitalized in downtown – http://www.forstonecapital….Here are some photos at a press conference inside the building during renovation –…We have lots of old buildings that have artists lofts and they are filled with NYC refugees who were priced out and decided to leave. There is a great art trail here every November – http://bridgeport-art-trail…There is also a startup called Metro Crops which is developing urban high-density farms inside old buildings using hydroponics. They revitalized their first building in Bridgeport and plan on opening more – United States’ largest tulip importer, ColorBlends, also revitalized a building to use as a warehouse. You can see it from the MetroNorth train as it goes by. It is in the heart of the industrial wasteland that is what most people see from the highway or the train – is also this really amazing woman who works in social services named Adrienne Farrar Houël. She works specifically to help reduce recidivism rates by developing job training programs for people when they are released from jail. She has spearheaded so many programs, but my favorite is the mattress recycling program she created. She worked to help change the law — the first of it’s kind in the United States — so that mattresses are not burned in waste to energy plants, but are, instead recycled. She then opened a non-profit mattress recycling facility by revitalizing an old brownfield building and hiring young Bridgeport men when they are released from jail. She not only gives them jobs, but also provides life skills programs that help reduce recidivism rates – of all, we have beautiful beaches, harbors and coastline here. Here’s a photo I just took from the beach that’s a block away from me.I live in Black Rock in the historic district. It’s really beautiful here.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      Nope. The closer real estate is to a public transit, the higher it’s value.See: Home Values Performed 42 Percent Better When Located Near Public Transportation during Last Recession –

      1. obarthelemy

        Public transportation and bike racks aren’t the same things though.

      2. jason wright

        i thought so. he’s then just an angry man.

  5. Mike Zamansky

    Loved it when construction had them move a CitiBike station in front of our building. Too bad it isn’t one just a little bit further south so we could see if bikes were available from our window.While it’s great that in crisis NY all comes together it’s unfortunate that there can also be so much of an NIMBY at other times.

  6. Peter Barnes

    While on the topic of politics and cycling, does any one remember the Tour de Trump: another failure of course.

  7. awaldstein

    Change creates pain. So be it.No smoking in public buildings. Picking up dog shit from the streets. Citbike. All huge strides forward.Citibike has made NY a better place to live and brought NY into a transportation reality that was already pervasive in Europe.I’ve used it twice today already, twice yesterday. $100 a year is a steal.Wrote this three years ago after my first few rides. Still love it.

  8. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Is there a citibike rack Infront of your house? This guy is nuts, but I’d be ticked too as it probably hurt his property value for the benefit of others including politicians…

    1. fredwilson

      I would love one in front of my house. It would be so much more convenient

    2. Anne Libby

      It probably took his parking space.

    3. Matt Zagaja

      It’s NYC you could not hurt the property value if you loaded it up with bedbugs and rats. Somebody would buy it. The only question is whether it’s going to appreciate quickly or very quickly.

  9. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Pedestrians don’t like cars, cars don’t like pedestrians. But everybody hates cyclists…

    1. William Mougayar

      The cycling infrastructure is much more sophisticated in Europe, Holland namely. They have cycle paths, cycle tracks, protected intersections, bicycle parking, inter-city cycling routes, and many cycle routes are shorter/quicker than car routes.Just injecting cycling lanes on the roads is not the ideal situation.

      1. awaldstein

        Where else in a major metropolitan city?Veleb in Paris–first bike share I used–is very similar to NY and with very similar space and density criteria.

        1. William Mougayar

          Well, imagine if they made a specific avenue for cycling only. then you can cycle non-stop. then it’s a game changer, no? even just 7-9 and 4-6.

          1. awaldstein

            Love the idea, in NY, in Paris, in Budapest, just will never happen because of the obvious.Don’t get me wrong–I agree!–but can’t see it.

          2. William Mougayar


          3. obarthelemy

            Actually, they’ve planned to reroute and redo of lot of roads and crossings, incl. the Place de l’Etoile prioritizing bikes.

          4. awaldstein

            Perfect. I’ll be on a Veleb touring around the city in a week and will check it out.

          5. Lawrence Brass

            The more infrastructure and safety there is, more bikers will use it. Bikes are the best way to decongest a city, particularly downtown areas. The county I live in Santiago implemented bike sharing and bike tracks 7 years ago or so, it was messy at the beginning, specially for car drivers that must be more alert and for property owners that, as this man, think that the street in front of their homes is their property.Now, bike tracks are crowded during the rush hour. What still is lacking is bike parking space for people that ride their own bikes, as me. Would be nice to share the space with bike sharing stations.

      2. kenberger

        That’s a very good point, Wm.Here in Berlin, bikes are such a huge part of the built-in infrastructure. You don’t even notice how they co-exist.Whereas in NYC, the implementation of all the bike lanes etc, late last decade was extremely heavy-handed, IMO. Nothing horrible, but I could easily see where non-bikers would take serious issue to the whole city street system being turned literally upside-down. Biggest change, especially if one has lived in NY into later life, is getting used to the shift in where many of the car parking spaces have been re-located (they swapped it from where the bikes used to travel), and now pedestrians have to look out for bike traffic coming from a different place than before. Can be unsettling….I suppose we are all in for another huge (and much more pleasant) sea change if the talk comes true re everything going self-driving cars, and they rip out all those parking spots.Hmm, truly the opposite of:”They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot!”

        1. William Mougayar


      3. TeddyBeingTeddy

        I definitely agree with that. I’d venture to guess more cyclists are killed in NYC than motorcyclists. Not because cars are murderers…but because cycling in a busy urban city is dangerous and people can’t see you or hear you until the crunch

        1. RichardF

          Certainly the case in London

    2. awaldstein

      Actually not true.I would bet that the percentage of people in NY who own a car is tiny. We are a city of pedestrians and that is exactly the point of view that matters here.Cars are the outliers. Street parking is a myth. The more livable the city becomes the more unrealistic car ownership will be. That seems evolution wise–as it should be.

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        Here’s my beef with cyclists . The sense of entitlement. You walk around Central Park and you hear “on your LEFT!” to get out of their way because they feel a sense of entitlement, even though their cycling around in a city full of 10 million people, expecting everybody to get out of their way. Ignoring all traffic signs in rules of the road in general.Entitlement is notwith this countries about. This country is about freedom, and I for one refuse to sit here and let you cyclists trash America. Who’s with me??

        1. Salt Shaker

          No, they’re actually saying “on your left” for safety, yours and theirs. Abso nothing to do w/ entitlement or privilege. It’s a good thing and frankly not enough cyclists are vocal when riding. I’ve biked in Central Park for 20+ years, though you won’t catch me in the park on weekends. (Same thing on the West Side Hwy bike path.) Both are dangerous at times of peak traffic for pedestrians and cyclists alike, particularly around the CP lower loop, and stronger regulations need to be put in place. There are too many inconsiderate, Rambo cyclists combined w/naive pedestrians. A bad mix and very dangerous.

          1. TeddyBeingTeddy

            I agree. Some entitled Rambo cyclists and some pedestrians with lack of self awareness. Both problematic, but i still hate the entitled cyclists more…

          2. rick gregory

            You miss the point .On Your Left is something cyclists learn to say because you can’t really hear them coming up and they don’t want you to step out the left for some reason and cause an accident. It has zero to do with entitlement – it’s a safety thing.

          3. TeddyBeingTeddy

            I know. I’m glad they do it. But think about why they have to do it, then ask yourself if that implies they should probably cycle in a less congested place.I realize avc is a room full of cyclists… I wont win, it’s like a Clinton fan trying to talk sense to a bunch of trump fans. Wont change anything, too much bias/emotions.

          4. rick gregory

            You KNOW? Then what was the blather about entitlement?As for ‘go somewhere else’…. now who’s being entitled? You can walk on play dirt or on grass… a bike pretty much needs paved surfaces. So who should move again?

          5. TeddyBeingTeddy

            I don’t mind sharing the road. Just remember two things: 1) traffic rules apply to you too, and2) this isn’t the tour de France. This is central park. And those outfits look ridiculous.

          6. Supratim Dasgupta

            Not just Central Park( I am there everyday). Everywhere in the city they flout traffic rules. u honk and get a finger.

          7. TeddyBeingTeddy

            Yesssssssss. Exactly

        2. awaldstein

          Sounds like a kvetch.Fine to do so of course but cyclist is Central Park overtly trying not to create accidents is hardly–in my opinion–a rallying call for freedom being trashed in America.You are quite the satirist.

          1. TeddyBeingTeddy

            One man’s “kvetch” is another man’s freedom fighter!

          2. awaldstein

            Quite true as long as you consider complaining action;)

          3. TeddyBeingTeddy

            I like your style mon ami.

    3. Supratim Dasgupta

      Very True. In the order or Nuisance.1. TLC & Cabs2. Bikers3. Speeding Sweeper trucks and trucks3.Jaywalkers

  10. kenberger

    Wow- Walt Mossberg is on Community Board 6 ?!

    1. fredwilson


  11. WA

    On blackmarks and wishes for the perishing of generational populations-Pretty broad generalization. My boomer friends – family – colleagues and mentors taught me that when one points a finger there are three pointing back. Blame games are not synergistic in most cases. On second thought we are entitled to whatever biases we choose to live in. Forgive me if I offended. I have been reading much about the holocaust lately and mindsets that had a proclivity to call for the wiping out other groups seen as black marks – groups they could not wait to see perish. Perhaps eliminating some confirmation and anchoring biases by studying a large enough sample group to arrive at fully informed conclusions carrying greater validity could sway you otherwise.

  12. Gotham Gal

    Can you imagine if that umbrella was a gun?The anger is clearly there but somehow the respect of others has evaporated stirred up by fear of change and certainly TrumpDisturbing that this is acceptable behavior because it’s not

    1. Rob Underwood

      It was very menacing the way he used it, especially before I started taping in how he used it towards my friend Joanna. It is why I started taping (I got the very end of his interaction with her, and then it’s her who stands up and walks out to call the police) and why I was very close to standing up and intervening. Not sure if you can tell on the video but there were 4-5 other men who were also yelling about Citibike all in the doorway. Definitely felt unsafe.Also should mention that I’m proud of how the CB6 board members kept their cool, especially Joanna (who got the worst it, just isn’t on tape) and Jerry. Jerry did not back down and stood (sat) his own as I hope is evident in the video.

  13. Frank W. Miller

    Wow, sure looks like fun livin in the city.

  14. Rob Underwood

    Here is a pic I took just now of our Citibike rack next to our house.

  15. laurie kalmanson

    Cars should vanish from the city and mass transit should be free

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Was taking the bus to and from the Apple Store yesterday and it made me think how insane the fare collection on buses is. Not only does it hold up the buses but paying for your bus fare with post-tax dollars seems kind of silly when the government can just tax you a flat amount and then save all the effort of implementing fare collection in the first place.

      1. laurie kalmanson

        The less it costs per ride the more often more people will use it and the more demand is demonstrated the more a smart policy would invest in it

  16. Salt Shaker

    Rage against the machine.I think bike share is a wonderful concept, though to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t want a docking station in front of my apt. If I’m a retail biz owner I may think differently cause there’d be a constant flow of traffic and churn in front of my store. If they have data supporting this supposition so much the better for sell-in.One thing that severely bothers me about the NYC Citibike program is that the wearing of helmets isn’t offered and isn’t mandatory, particularly when tourists, frequent users, are less knowledgeable and comfortable w/ NYC navigation. I’m quite certain the ER of most hospitals in NYC has many a daily visitor involved in bike accidents.

  17. creative group

    FRED:The Phoenix biking system has options if you ride. But the infrastructure doesn’t provide respect, lanes or designated space. If we did ride it wouldn’t be in the capital. The City of Tempe where Arizona State (ASU) is located has the infrastructure because the University influences the ordinances which created bike lanes, acknowledgment that city is supporting and respecting bike riders.Riders need to realize they need to flow the laws of the road too. Running lights, riding on sidewalks, etc. of the bike kiosks are right near our residence.

  18. Joe Lazarus

    A Citibike station just opened around the corner from me in front of Court Street Grocers in Carroll Gardens. I’m excited about it, but there are mixed opinions in the neighborhood for sure.

  19. Willy Voet

    Why wasn’t that man arrested? What would happen to a black man exhibiting the same aggressive and threatening behavior?

    1. Quantella Owens

      He would be dead. Like Eric Garner, Tyre, Trayvon and all the others. But you knew that already. Please don’t use this space as a place to incite. This is not our forum. It belongs to Mr. Wilson. And he hosts it so that people can discuss tech, the future and advancements in certain areas. I’m not presuming to answer for him, but for myself. I don’t lurk here in the corner watching all the cool kids because I want to hear more about racial disharmony and dysfunction. I do so because I want to learn how VC’s think and why they make the decisions they do. It matters. Change happens, imho, when we learn about how the other side thinks and their world view. There are plenty of other places/ways to fight that fight.

  20. rick gregory

    This guy is angry because he’s unbalanced. Yes, change can be scary and threatening and yes, some changes have adverse impact and it can be frustrating to have those ignored. But starting off getting angry because there are no flags and threatening people is not OK. Let’s stop excusing this by saying “well things are changing and that can be scary…”

    1. DJL

      If a Muslim kills 50 people in the name of Allah – he is mentally ill. If a while guys becomes unhinged at a meeting – he is an example of all Trump supporters. Hmm.

  21. Alex Murphy

    One man’s progress is another’s regress. This is the issue in our local, national, and global politic. But progress in inevitable. It’s hard to hear, but get over it.While not on YouTube, this exact same fight took place 110 years ago as horse hitches were replaced with parking spaces. It’s hard to hear, but get over it.You say that this is an example of why Trump is succeeding. Hmmm …. That is hard to hear, I will try to get over it.I look at the Trump story of the last 10 years and think there is a much more clear set of reasons as to why Trump exists in our current election. And yes, the anger felt by this man is part of the fuel, but he is like a log in a fire, not the spark or the cause.Trump exists because our society has come to a point where seeking to understand is no longer valued and it has been replaced with seeking to be right. Trump trades on lie after lie and is not held to account. He sweeps the Birther conspiracy under the rug as though he didn’t drive it to the top of the discussion. Our Press does not do their job of fact checking, and the reason is that their readers (aka “US”) don’t hold them accountable to do so.Perhaps if this 80 year old man tried to spend some time understanding why we need more bikes, and how the decision was made, and what research was done … Maybe then he wouldn’t look like he does in this video.

  22. Eric McClure

    Thanks for writing about this. I was at the meeting – I too am a volunteer member of CB6 – and the behavior was beyond anything reasonable.I not sure I agree with your thought about passes for proximate residents. To me, that just reinforces the idea (or misconception, in my mind) that people somehow have ownership over the public street that happens to abut their home. But I do appreciate your trying to think creatively about it.Here’s a link to a call for supporters of Citi Bike to make their feelings public:…. Lord knows those unhappy about it aren’t shy about saying so, and it’s important that those in a position to influence the bike-share program’s parameters hear from the fans.

  23. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:who are living near or are in Chelsea in NYC area hope all are safe. Law enforcement will definitely locate the culprits. Cameras everywhere.

  24. pointsnfigures

    In Chicago, the aldermen are seriously considering a ban on driverless cars.

  25. BillMcNeely

    Down here in dallas,tx folks are not fans of public transportation and love their cars. Freedom of movement most say. City Bikes like program in ft worth just not in dallas.

  26. Supratim Dasgupta

    Bikes are an excellent idea to solve NYC traffic problems. But most bikers are a nuisance and hazard to others in the street. They don’t obey traffic laws or yield to pedestrians. 8/10 bikers donot stop at a red light and donot use the bikers lane. This is mostly true for messenger bikers though citibikers are not much better.Unless NYPD brings in some sense of traffic rules with bikers they are a hazard.My citibike location on 97th and madison is mostly empty and I dont know why they are never replenished frequently.

    1. Rob Underwood

      You mean like this crackdown on bikes that happened in Brooklyn last year?…The whole “bikes are lawless” is a canard. Take a look at… … do you think just 17 drivers total sped in the entire 78th precinct last month? Before James Gregg was killed by an 18 wheeler in April the 78th have issued ZERO summons for truck route violations.It’s drivers of cars that get the free pass in NYC, not bikers.

      1. Supratim Dasgupta

        I think you did not read my comment below . I have listed cars and trucks also as hazards. my point is cyclists face way less enforcement than cars and trucks and that should change.Glad to see Brooklyn police cracking down.have not seen one personally in Manhattan. I own and drive a car in Manhattan and believe loading and unloading trucks anytime between 7am and 10pm as another hazard

        1. Rob Underwood

          What is your basis for claiming that “cyclists face way less enforcement than cars and trucks”. This is not shown in the NYPD data and I don’t know about you, but it’s a rare day I see a car pulled over for a moving violation. I watch cars get away with box blocking, red light running, speeding, etc. all day every day. When is that crack down happening?

  27. fastboxster

    The guy needs to at least be heard. These kinds of things have gone south more than once in our history. Move the bike station and do your due diligence before installing them. You must have buy-in or the whole point is lost. So easy to fix this.

    1. Rob Underwood

      I took the video and am on the board.How did we not hear him? He – and his friends/allies – came in and just started yelling at us with no regards to the set agenda and time allotted for public comment.This meeting was not a citibike meeting (of which there have been MANY, including community sessions to pick locations – there was a lot of due diligence) and citibike was not on the agenda. This just happened to be the first meeting after summer recess during which the citibikes were installed.Watch and listen to the second half of the video where the Chair tries to explain in detail the organization of the meeting and that everyone would be accommodated.If this man is such a great patriot (he went off on us about not having a flag before I started filming) why wasn’t he more engaged in (or even aware of) the many community meetings during which Citibike was discussed? He wants it both ways — he wants to imply a superior claim to his Americanism over those who ride bikes but yet couldn’t have been bothered to come out to the MANY meetings that occurred (and which were widely publicized in the press). It’s a participatory democracy — if you don’t participate you risk other citizens making decisions you may not like. Should the community board – a group of unpaid volunteers – go out to 120,000 people in CB6 telling them about Citbike?Citizens have some individual accountability for keeping themselves informed and paying attention. That’s also why the press exists – to share and disseminate public notice. Patriotism isn’t something you claim. It’s something you live. I recognize this can be construed as patting myself and my fellow board members on the back, but I think the folks doing their civic duty in that room were the people who give up several nights every month, some for for many years, to actually engage in the hard work of local grassroots democracy. That’s, albeit in a small way, patriotic. I reject this man’s insinuation that he has some superior claim to mine to patriotism.Moreover, NYC is a dynamic, ever changing place. It’s very strength comes from its role as melting pot. Being born in NYC does not give one some right in perpetuity to claim greater legitimacy that those who came last year (or as in my case, 16 years ago, during which all 3 of my kids have been born in Brooklyn, including two in Cobble Hill).I saw this provincialism during the PS 8 / PS 307 vote, and I saw it again here. The nativism shtick is getting tired and old. Real concerns are one thing, but this was am attempt to disenfranchise and delegitimize dissent (i.e., those who support Citibike). And born here or born somewhere else, nearly all of us also pay taxes, just like angry guy made sure we all knew he does. And I’m happy to disclose my tax returns if he’d like to see how much I paid.”This is a free country” (something we heard a lot at the meeting) doesn’t mean you can just come to any meeting, start screaming, and force everyone to abide by your desire to dominate the discussion because you weren’t paying attention for the last 18 months while this very community issue was discussed and debated at great length.

    2. jooltman

      Curious what constitutes due diligence? If one resident objects, is the whole thing off? How about 20? Or 100? What is the adequate level of “buy-in?” How about over 60,000 people riding each and every day?

  28. DJL

    C’mon Fred. Certainly you can write about this topic without insulting Donald Trump supporters. The idea that Trump supporters are a bunch of middle-aged, white guys who are hateful and angry that the world is changing is a media-generated fantasy. I have spent months watching the media pick and choose each event, trying to pull out the one single incident that supports their narrative. Trump is breaking records for attendance – they are peaceful events. In fact, it is always the Trump protestors who are the angry haters – yelling, spitting and hurling F-bombs at families who are trying to peacefully attend a political rally. If you want to understand Trump supporters – why don’t you try asking them?

  29. Steven Kane

    looks like you bike what i would consider to be very short distances. so you walk a lot less now, i assume?

  30. JimHirshfield

    You sound like you need an antacid, my friend

  31. Rob Underwood

    I took the video and had a good seat because I am also a CB6 board member. I started taking the video after the man had gotten even more angry and into the face of my friend and fellow board member Joanna, who you see get up during the video to call the police. I was vacillating between video taping in case the police needed proof of what transpired and standing up to protect my friends which I was a second away from doing had this continued.The other person you see stand up to make a call is Craig Hammerman, our Distict Manager, who was also calling be police. We do not usually have security at Community Board meetings but may now.Regarding specific complaints it was primarily loss of parking and a need/desire for cars by older people with less mobility. Residential parking, a holy grail that is the city will not consider, could help I think. Lots of complaints about density.Lots of complaints too about this being done “in secret”, ironic given the many community sessions and workshops that were held to choose locations etc. But it’s a vexing problem I have seen before – there are a ton of meetings and notices about said meetings and then way towards the end (or after the end) there is a group that says they never knew. I am not sure the solution is (only) technological both for digital divide issues and that you need to get to the people who don’t want to know, don’t want to participated and/or have something to lose. I even got an app to alpha and set to aside to help address this as I got disillusioned that there is an app to fix this.A comment on the pro-bike advocates and their advocacy groups. They were not at the meeting, and have indicated they weren’t because it was not on the agenda and hence they didn’t know about it. I find that to be a little unbelievable give stories like this and Facebook groups like this that had have since appeared (…. This was the first general board meeting since the summer and I think it was not a very well kept secret that a bunch of anti-Citibike folks were going to show up. It would have been great had the pro-bike advocacy group to have had some folks there to speak during public comments (two pro-citibike park slope residents did speak; the other 10-20 speakers were again citibike).I also want to echo what Fred said, “not everyone is a fan of bikes, bike lanes, and bike station.” While I am in no way condoning the threatening behavior in the video, I do think it’s important for the pro-bike community to have a little more sympathy for why people are upset. Most of the folks who spoke are part of a tight-knit Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill Community and have lived here their whole life. They say (and I believe) they have lived their lives using car as their primary means of transportation. At a latter stage in life, when mobility can become an issue, losing a a couple spots of street parking on your own block can feel like a big deal. I get (and agree with) the whole point about how the streets are public, how street parking is public/free storage for private vehicle. But an ounce more sympathy would be helpful. Of course, that goes all the more for the anti-citibike folks screaming at us.I also serve on Community Education Council 13 and we had a very contentious rezoning of PS 8 and PS 307 to vote on this past January which was covered a bit in the national media. I am getting very accustomed to angry people screaming at me now. There are a couple common threads in the anger I have now witnessed in both controversies, both in essentially the same part of Brooklyn, about loss of control, resentment, accelerating change, displacement, and gentrification. I could write a book probably and might.

  32. LE

    I bet there are some legitimate gripes from rational peopleHe has a legitimate complaint and he is rational. Perhaps he realized that the way to get attention and consideration is to create a great deal of noise exactly like he did. Had he been polite and not so rude and threatening we (and others) wouldn’t be discussing this right now.

  33. PhilipSugar

    That is a shame. I don’t mind being nasty but you can’t just be completely out of order.You can call me any name in the book. But there is a line and he is over it.

  34. Richard

    A guy can’t even loose his temper once in a while? This is just a man who doesn’t want a bikestand in front of his house. I remember my dad getting upset like this at people who didn’t pick up after their dogs. We had a group in my building who opposed a trolly bus route in front of the building. I think they are horribly wrong and i too could see loosing my temper if they oppose it. Give the guy a break!

  35. LE

    Confirmed by others in the comments, apparently this is not an infrequent occurrence at these meetings. They are not at Quaker Meeting for Worship where everyone can just getup and say what they want and make their point to their hearts content. Calmly and logically in most cases. I got the distinct impression that nobody (or more importantly the crowd) didn’t see this as a threat at all. Also part of this is aggression that is unique in some ways to NYC. Much more brusk, much more in your face. The meeting attendees just seemed to sit there and enjoy the show? The board members just sat there calmly and didn’t seemed to react with any particular body language showing fear.

  36. LE

    Not saying it’s the way that I would handle it (generally) just that I recognize it when I see it. It’s the feeling that someone is caged in and nobody is going to listen to them and only pay them lip service if they don’t create a stink. The fear of someone making a big deal in the future might not drive consideration at that moment but it will certainly be thought about seriously after the fact and when things are getting discussed.You have to feel sorry for the guy in one respect. He is all alone in his complaint because the other people at the meeting don’t give a shit because it’s not in front of their property. I had this at a recent meeting for my mom’s condo board where out of 155 units her unit and perhaps 1 or 2 others were impacted while the other units were not. I got up to speak on her behalf against her wishes [1] and quite honestly could tell that nobody else cared about the issue because they were not being affected in the same way and it was a benefit to them personally. It was quite clear every person for themselves. (There was a policeman at that meeting btw.)I run into this at the condo board that I am on for the office. The other board members are less interested in the welfare of the building in general and more worried about whether it impacts them personally. I don’t think that way, I think in terms of the entire building.[1] She told me not to she didn’t want to rock the boat.

  37. PhilipSugar

    We were both typing at the same time. See my comment. We are in complete and total agreement.

  38. Lawrence Brass

    His body language is quite disrespectful. He should have stayed in his seat and shout from there if he wanted to. Dealt with short tempered people all my life, they are a permanent PIA for normal people. That is a personality disorder that can be treated.

  39. PhilipSugar

    I have to disagree. As soon as he gets in that man’s face I’ve lost anything he’s said. I don’t mind saying do you have one in front of your house?! But up in your face? No.Look, I think people are crazy to ride bikes in NYC in traffic. I have been absolutely blasted by a car on a walking path. They said I would never use my right arm. The rehab was brutal. I still am paranoid of cars coming up behind me.

  40. Alex Murphy

    This is a common occurrence in all political environments. Politics is a messy thing.

  41. Richard

    I was expecting a video where some pushing and shoving took place. Give the guy a break (im all for bikes and don’t even own a car). Maybe his entire view from his porch has changed, maybe his sick wife uses that spot to shorten her walk.

  42. Richard

    talk about throwing stones and living in a glass house….., how many people in the AVC community, have not lost their cool at this level to a group of people they know by first and last name. These weren’t strangers, there was no threat to bodily harm.

  43. LE

    Look, I think people are crazy to ride bikes in NYC in traffic. Guilt trip alert.Agree. I don’t approve of Fred riding his bike like he does honestly. To me it’s an unnecessary danger. I’ve said this before (actually about that scooter that he has). Fred is looking at the nominal upside and not considering the downside.The downside is that it’s not just death it’s also (as you mention) the reasonable potential to have an injury at his age that could create other concomitant problems. Having to go through therapy, having to take medications, the risk of an operation and so on. Things that are south of death in other words.I do understand that it’s fun and a great way to get around. And that you can’t live i a bubble. But let’s face it of all places NYC is a maze of activity and danger. The only good part is that he is probably limiting his risk footprint by the length of the rides he is taking and hopefully he is hyper vigilant of what is going on around him.

  44. Richard

    the AVC community seems to have lost all sense of compassion yesterday. If this were a baseball game or a basketball game, nobody would have looked at this behavior with a second look. Seems like too many head nodders jumping in line to Fred’s point of view.

  45. LE

    Or maybe stand center and back a little from the entire table and not target a particular individual in the way that he did.

  46. jason wright

    out of curiosity, is the man known to you or the others by name?

  47. jason wright

    …at his age?

  48. TeddyBeingTeddy

    I’m surprised Fred’s key man policy permits him to ride bikes in NYC.

  49. LE

    Yeah when you are younger you heal much differently and faster than when you are older.

  50. Rob Underwood

    He is known the some. Jerry, the target of much of his anger, knows him. I have been told he’s a former CB6 member.See

  51. PhilipSugar

    There are two people I ignore. One is to get in my face, the other is to never admit you are wrong. I just ignore you. It is if you don’t exist. That is actually the best way to do things.I travel a ton. I find that if you let things get under your skin it is worse than if you righteously try to prove you are right even when you are. As soon as it gets under your skin you are done.I’m not saying you just take everything. But pushing your point too hard can backfire. It’s like Judo.Let me give you a travel story. I am in PIT going to PHL and the flights are cancelled. The couple in front of me is berating the agent. She sends them to PHL through DCA. I come up and say I know it’s a tough day maybe you can get me on that flight? She says oh no they are never getting home DCA will ice up it will get called for weather and they won’t get any compensation. I will put you through CLT.

  52. Rob Underwood

    The problem there is that costs money. It’s the same issue we faced with the CEC on PS 8/PS 307. Community Boards and, especially, CECs have very paltry budgets. I wanted a couple times to ask the people yelling about not getting notice if they would support higher taxes to pay for us to but flyers on their doors ahead of every meeting.A related point. This came right after State Sen. Daniel Squadron had spoke. Other than Sen. Squadron and a later appearance by State Sen. Montgomery (both state officials, so not directly relevant to Citibike), there were no elected officials there. Nor was the DOT. Again, in fairness, Citibike wasn’t on the agenda, but I hope everyone remembers the community board is just an advisory body. It’s the DOT and city government that have the power to decide on Citibike at all, decide what neighborhoods when, decide what locations, and execute on changes. Similar to how I sometimes sensed the DOE hid behind the unpaid CEC, letting us take the heat, during the rezoning, I’m feeling that a bit again now. Electeds and agencies that were behind Citibike (along with pro-biking groups like Transalt) need to stand up and take some of the brunt of this too, not just leave it to the Community Boards to be yelled at like this.

  53. PhilipSugar

    Here is the problem. How much other waste is there??? I see budgets and see waste. It is disgusting.

  54. Antonio D'souza

    I’m on CB9 in Manhattan. My perspective on this is that being yelled at by the public is the price we pay for having a direct influence on city government without being elected. Nobody is forcing us to be on a CB so we serve on them of our own volition, knowing what we’re getting into.

  55. Rob Underwood

    Yes, of course. But the NYC city budget at least doesn’t work that way. We can’t say “Give us $xxxxx to do mailings and door to door fliers by cutting waste over there.” I certainly wish we could pry more money away from the city for community engagement and communications.

  56. PhilipSugar

    That is what is needed. Not raising taxes. That is the fight to have. Get rid of the ten patronage jobs.

  57. LE

    Good story.I usually follow the same patterns and have had excellent results with getting things out of the world that I probably don’t deserve because of the way that I’ve handled things. [1]But there are a few things are going on here (notwithstanding your results ). One is the ticket agent was confronted first with a contrast to your approach. And that certainly changed how she would deal with you. It amplified your niceness. (Of course I am sure you have done this before like I have so your point stands). The second is that the first couple most likely doesn’t have your expertise in dealing with people so they are doing what they can do to get what they want. And it’s also possible that they have some other deadline going on which puts them in more of a panic than you were in as well (not saying you would have done what they did only they might have had a reason to do what they did as well). Third, people behave like this because in the past they have gotten results probably more than they haven’t and in some cases it makes them feel good to act like this, it’s satisfying.I can tell you on the other side that when I deal with people who need something from me I definitely try harder if they are nice upfront and honest about things. And if someone is an asshole I don’t go out of my way to get them what they want but I am not spiteful either. Just not a good thing to do I have found.[1] The last a few days ago was a $5000 voucher from a car manufacturer because I was unhappy with how I was treated by the dealer on a recent transaction. I built my case and got what is certainly more than I deserved (for sure I deserved $0) and apparently from what I was told not something that is ever done or even had ever been done for this particular issue. My wife didn’t think I should rock the boat. I did it just for the fun actually to see if I could. My wife won’t even complain in a restaurant if she doesn’t like the food or a drink. I will ask for a different table right off the bat. In a nice way of course.

  58. PhilipSugar

    This is so true.

  59. pointsnfigures

    Yes, true and some of us have difficulty recognizing when we are older. I still think I am 20 sometimes.

  60. Rob Underwood

    To do that, I’d need to go higher that the Community Board and run for actual public office. Not out of the question, but not something I’m doing just yet.

  61. LE

    As mentioned in the past I’ve changed my tune on that issue (patronage jobs and also some union jobs). What you have to ask is how would those people with those pork jobs survive if they didn’t have them? Sure you pay through the nose when traveling through the tunnels into NYC as one example. But that money does flow into that economy and provide work for people living in the outer boroughs who otherwise would be a different burden on society.I know this sounds like the broken window parable but there is some truth to it for sure.…Look at what is happening in Reading PA:…(Note the reason also the social fabric is going away is because people have more exciting things to do today than join bowling teams and the like..)

  62. pointsnfigures

    Agree there. I like the public bikes. We have Divvy in Chicago. It loses money. I have no doubt that there is patronage etc involved-but it’s Chicago. What doesn’t have patronage and government waste here?

  63. PhilipSugar

    I am not saying take what people give you not fight for what is yours but do it in the right way.My wife too will not complain. She will take the first price and whatever you give her. You can’t do that. It is why I have to run construction projects. People will walk all over you.Also it didn’t hurt I was Chairman. She pulled up my account and said: “Chairman. I should have known, that guy was a Silver, we are getting you home”

  64. LE

    In theory is there anything preventing you from paying someone else to drop their seat and make it available to you? By that I mean could you do it quietly and have the agent do the paperwork?Would you do that? I would. $200 and you take the next flight I get your seat. Plus you give them a sob story why you are doing it “my kids birthday” so they are more likely to help you out.For that matter if “Chairman” is so valuable to them they could offer vouchers to people willing to be bumped and give the seat to you instead.

  65. LE

    Let me run something by you. It just occurred to me that part of the ploy with offering such status and perks to you (“Chairman” even the name is over the top) as the frequent traveler is not just to keep you loyal to the airline (certainly part of it for sure) but to make you feel special so travel is not something that you feel is as much of a sacrifice or burden as it is. In other words you and others really feel good about your “status” and specialness with the airlines and you feel it makes you somehow different and rewards you and sets you apart. So this is as much about figuring out a way to make you continue to want to travel (regardless of airline) as it is to make you want to continue to deal with any particular airline.This is similar to how we reward many people who are doing work that the rest of us don’t want to do. (Medals to soldiers for example).There is a guy who does work for me on the side. When he is on vacation occasionally I need something from him. The last time he helped me out when he was away (and I have assisted him also in many ways (job interviews and various advice above and beyond also loaned him money)) is that after he helped me I told him to take his wife out to dinner at an expensive restaurant and I would pay for it. I specifically wanted his wife to benefit and know that I was thankful for what he did. I didn’t want to just send him the $180 whereby it wouldn’t be noticed or even known by his wife. I wanted her invested and on board and knowing how important it was to me that he helped while he was away.

  66. PhilipSugar

    They do bump people for me. Same as in a Hilton Hotel. Fully booked and I come to the desk? I get a room.I put it out here on this blog when I bumped a serviceman taking a flag of a fallen comrade home. Normally I just put my head down and get on.In this case I refused. It caused a ruckus. They said I just needed to get on. Inexplicably they did not realize what he was carrying. The called the pilot to come talk to me and I told him I will not sign up for this Karma hit. He said put serviceman on, get this guy on first on the next one.

  67. LE

    Well this is a bit contradictory. In this case you knew that the person being bumped was “a serviceman taking a flag of a fallen comrade home”. But you don’t ever know, and I will assume never ask, when people are being bumped in other situations, right? Perhaps at the hotel or other times on the airline there are other people that are “more worthy” than you are? (Whatever that means..)While there are cases where I would have done the same as you (refused the seat) in this particular case I wouldn’t have. What exactly is the time sensitive significance of bringing the flag home? What is the time sensitive part of you getting home vs. someone else who can’t be late for their job the next day (whereby in all honesty you probably can)? See where I am going? What about if you are on a booked flight and see servicemen that are there that will have to take the next flight? Do you give up your seat for them? Do you see if there are any people flying for medical treatment? Etc. To me this is a slippery slope and not something that I give much thought to actually.

  68. PhilipSugar

    When you spend more than six figures a year with a company you deserve better treatment. Sorry.

  69. LE

    What was the bad treatment that you got I am missing something. You got the seat, right?That said it entirely depends on the size of the company. They know they have you “by the balls”. You will still fly with them as long as the schedule makes sense. Honestly they can afford to lose your $100k of business a year. [1] I almost didn’t complain to the car company because I need them more than they need me. I don’t want to lose the brand honestly. Part of my argument that I think worked (at a higher level it went to a VP) was something like “if you look at what it costs you to gain a customer I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to do what I want to keep me happy”. This is because it’s a niche brand. Had it been GM, even if I bought 10 times the cars it would have never worked, no way.[1] Customers typically overrate how important they are relative to a business. Some customers you actually want to get rid of more trouble than they are worth.

  70. awaldstein

    agree.the best customers get the best of nature.

  71. PhilipSugar

    I refused the seat. It was my choice.

  72. LE

    Strictly a guess but it’s possible that they have to draw a line in the sand because on an airplane not everyone knows your status and if they did they wouldn’t like the fact that you were treated differently than someone else in the same circumstance. [1]And ultimately they need to maintain order to prevent rebellion which is why there are clear rules and procedures. An airplane is not like a restaurant or movie theater. There is less latitude for someone to express themselves because of safety concerns.Let’s take the case where there is a problem in first class and the coach customers see that the treatment is different because of the “status” of the occupants. So for every person in first that is important there are 100 people in coach who see they are treated differently.My guess is that if you wrote a letter to someone at the airline they would throw you a bone because there wouldn’t be an impact on anyone other than you. No precedent is created.[1] You know with kids they all expect to be treated with no favoritism.

  73. PhilipSugar

    I don’t know where your comments are coming from? Read my comments again.They blatantly treat people different on airlines. They blatantly treat me better. Actually it’s proven a huge loyalty motivator. I get on first and have a drink in my hand before anybody in coach boards.I have the “Delinquent Dad” tag on my bag. It comes off before yours. I get great treatment.

  74. PhilipSugar

    Fred does not need one.

  75. PhilipSugar

    No, watch the guy getting tazed going on the field. Yell all you want. In my grill???? No.

  76. Richard

    Maybe you have a point with the guy in the chair and/or If he engaged a women this way. But as to the committee members behind the table, give me a break.

  77. Richard

    Be a man and walk away when somebody’s in your face. That is the way to handle it.

  78. PhilipSugar

    Yup, and marginalize the man that did it He is worthless. Is opinion is worthless.

  79. David Semeria

    WTF? I’m so glad I live in a country where angry people can’t just buy I gun at a store. Your country is proper fucked up, Charlie, trust me.

  80. Rob Underwood

    I generally agree but I do think it seems like more and more accountability is being pushed to CBs and CECs, without giving us any authority (let alone any pay).As both a follow-up to this post, and this topic (CBs) specifically see… and in particular the line, from one of the better (IMO) city council people, “While it’s tempting to try to duck this issue or to pass the buck to DOT or Community Board 6…” Electeds know they can hide behind CBs if and as needed on contentious issues. That’s a big problem.I think after 4 years on a CEC and a CB (first committee, and now a board) I’ve become a little disillusioned with the model of unpaid volunteers taking on the accountability for the decisions of paid elected and bureaucrats (along with much of the work and expenditures for communications and execution). The DOE in particular are masters of letting CECs take the bullets for their own rezoning proposals, holding back on clarifying that the DOE, not the CEC, comes up with these rezonings, and that CEC can only vote on what’s proposed. They’d rather see unpaid volunteers get eviscerated in the media for their own DOE policy proposals (I saw this as a CEC 13 member just lived the PS 8/307 rezoning first hand).