Revealed: Michael Bloomberg’s All-Business E-mails About Citi Bikes and Potholes

By
Photo: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg responds to e-mails exactly like you’d expect him to. “If I were to write him a nice love letter, he would respond, ‘tx,’” says a friend, in reference to the former mayor’s emoji-free electronic-communication style. He’s nothing if not efficient.

Well, when he wants to be: It took the Bloomberg administration seven months to comply with a Freedom of Information request and release the mayor’s personal correspondence with his transportation commissioner during the stressful launch of Citi Bike, but it finally did, just as he left office, to DNA Info. The results are so Bloomberg.

Included were multiple messages from Bloomberg’s wealthy friends and acquaintances about how “hideous” the bike share’s docking stations look in front of their expensive real estate, especially the advertising for Citi Bank. “Why do you think Citi is paying for the bikes?” the mayor responded bluntly before forwarding the message, presumably with a sigh, to DOT boss Janette Sadik-Khan.

Another note from a friend, on behalf of his daughter, to Bloomberg’s personal e-mail address, “included his daughter’s written grievances, which noted the station limited the movement of traffic and made it hard for her to tote her guitar and amp in and out of a taxi outside her building.” The caring dad added, “Here’s some photos below so you could you imagine if you got this from Emma or Georgina?” Could you imagine?

“Have someone call him,” Bloomberg told Sadik-Khan.

And yet, one highly redacted chain showed the mayor really getting things done:

One of the most eye-opening municipal requests was emailed to Sadik-Khan at 5:51 a.m. on May 9. The sender was Bloomberg, and his message included only the ominous subject line “Potholes 79th & Park."

That intersection is a block away from Bloomberg’s home. At 6:35 a.m., Sadik-Khan responded, “Got it.”

On May 31, Sadik-Khan sent a follow-up.

“We inspected 79th st at park and found several small depressions which we addressed last night,” she wrote.

Those were the days.