10/02/2013 01:51 pm ET

Citi Bike Faces Two Lawsuits Over Tripped NYD Pedestrians


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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