Rich People, Booze, Rats, and Bikes: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Crime! Cars! Lululemon! There's always something trying to bring your neighborhood down, right? Each week, we'll round up the stories about what exactly you think is ruining our cities. See a story we missed? Drop it in the comments.

The color blue is ruining New York City

"Mr. Bloomberg let Citibank alter the color palette of Manhattan," moans Delia Ephron in a story lamenting the "Day-Glo cobalt blue" of the city's bike share, a hue that just does not go with New York's fashion-forward look of "browns, grays, greens and brick red." But it's really a story about hating bikes, bike lanes and bikers, ending with a hypothetical broken leg because, even though the blue bikes are too visible, Ephron didn't see this one coming, I guess. One has to wonder what Ephron thinks of the city's ubiquitous and very yellow taxis which have also been known to break (or perhaps sever) people's legs. [New York Times]

Rats are ruining D.C.'s 14th Street

In the Logan Circle neighborhood, 24 new restaurants have opened in the last nine months, bringing dedicated diners from all corners of the city. Including rats. "My building started having serious rat problems after Le Diplomate opened this Summer," one resident posted to SeeClickFix. But the rats aren't the only new attraction in the neighborhood. A river of sludge now runs behind several of the businesses: "The river is slick and clear on this pleasant autumn night, but sometimes it is milky and sticky. It smells like kitchen grease cut with corn syrup and mop water." [Washington Post]

Liquor is ruining New York's Lower East Side

Or, more specifically, more liquor will ruin Hell Square, a nine-block area where there are 50 bars, 35 of which stay open until 4:00 a.m. A new bar wants to move in, but neighbors think it's a bad idea. They're already upset about people who drink and say things loudly, like a man who was yelling a woman's name—Emilia—for 30 minutes one night, reports one resident: "I can’t imagine any other neighborhood where that is tolerated." [New York Times]

A lack of affordable housing is ruining San Francisco

People are still talking about Gabriel Metcalf's humdinger of a tale describing San Francisco's mass exodus; it now has 770 comments and counting. Basically, San Francisco is the best city ever... but its housing stock is expensive and limited (and, cough, inhabited by rich assholes, cough), so people are moving to Oakland. But now Oakland is getting strained because it doesn't have the housing or the resources to support its new residents. So Metcalf calls on Palo Alto, San Jose, and Berkeley to step it up and build more walkable, diverse neighborhoods, creating a more regional urban experience. But will they? [Atlantic Cities]

[Top image: Mauricio Norona]