Dcbikes Washington, DC, has become the first major U.S. city to launch a bike-sharing program. Residents who sign up for a SmartBike DC membership -- and pay a $40 annual fee -- can rent a bike for a few hours from stations all over the city.

It's a great idea, one that has had success in several cities in Europe.

But there's one aspect of the program that just might doom it altogether. From DCist:

It takes at least a couple of weeks to process memberships, so if you sign up today, you can be one of the first people to try out the new program.

"At least a couple of weeks"?? I'm sure people are excited about the notion of being about to grab a bike and go, but won't a two- or three-week wait be a huge discouraging factor?

Or am I wrong? Do you think people will sign up even though they can't use the bikes for a while?

Previously: NYC Explores Bike-Sharing

Image from Flickr user erin*carly (via DCist)