From the NY Times:
The Bloomberg administration, facing unexpected resistance from the City Council over its plan to bring a large-scale public bike-sharing network to New York, agreed on Friday to hold hearings with politicians and community leaders before the program is up and running.
The move by City Hall came after weeks of increasingly heated discussions over whether the administration had wrongly excluded the Council from the planning stage of the project, and it clears the way for the city’s Transportation Department to award a contract to an operator for the program, known as bike-share, as early as next week.
Bike-share, a signature project of Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner, has already been met with concerns about the placement of thousands of bicycles and dozens of rental kiosks in parks and on sidewalks and streets.
But the latest challenge came from an unexpected place: the usually compliant Council, some of whose members said they believed the administration was trying to steamroll the plan without going through the proper legislative channels.
At issue is whether a bike-share network, which would be run by a third-party vendor, should be considered a franchise, defined as the use of city-owned property to provide a public service. Any franchise must be authorized by the Council, which was not consulted when the city issued its call for vendors last year.