- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2013

Too fat for fitness? New York City has its limit — apparently a 260-pound one.

The city’s upcoming bike-share program, aimed at promoting health among commuters and easing traffic congestion, restricts those weighing more than 260 pounds from using the 40-pound bikes, the New York Post reported.

The backlash against the program, ran by the Portland, Ore.-based Alta Bicycle Share, was swift.

“That’s bogus,” Juleissy Lantigua, 19, told the Post. “Two hundred and sixty pounds isn’t going to break the bike. To me, that’s discrimination. And I’m not easily offended.”

Others claimed the rule is senseless and defeats the program’s purpose.

“If you’re 260 pounds or 300 pounds and want to ride a bike, you should be allowed to. You’re making a choice to live healthier and to lose weight,” said Jhoskaira Ferman, 20, a student from the Bronx.

Jon Orcutt, the policy director for New York’s transportation department, told the Post that the city wasn’t throwing its weight behind the rule — at least not strictly. The limit was imposed only for legal reasons, he said.

“I think people will be self-selecting, practical and safe,” Mr. Orcutt said.

New York isn’t alone in the crackdown. Similar programs in Boston and London, run by the same contractor, have the same weight restriction.

However, New York has become the epicenter for the national battle against obesity, largely due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push for various bans to bring about a healthier lifestyle, including super-sized sodas and trans-fats.

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