Invasion of the bike-share docks

Photo by Tequila Minsky

Photo by Tequila Minsky

A man pondered a new Citi Bike information kiosk at MacDougal and Prince Sts., where bike-share docks were recently installed. The bike docks are popping up all over Downtown. The program is expected to kick off as soon as the end of next month.

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22 Responses to Invasion of the bike-share docks

  1. Watch out for the next Biblical plague: hundreds of huge docking stations and thousands of additional bikes in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    NYCDOT's website claims it sought community input regarding the locations of the bike docks. Not true! I went to all the meetings with CB3 involving the Bike Share program. NYCDOT (NYC Dept. of Bike Lanes) simply presented its final plan with slide shows and refused to give details about locations at any of the meetings. we asked for these important details and were told they weren't available. Unacceptable!

    • Agree 100%.

      DOT claims that they came to the community. DOT came to talk – not to listen.

      When DOT published a draft map of the stations a few months ago, reasonable people suggested better locations = safer, more sensible, more profitable locations for some of them.

      DOT paid no attention and ignored the suggestions they claim they requested. Only after much controversy and angst did DOT relent, at Petrosino and Fagan park – that involve getting CB2, the local Catholic church and the FDNY involved = all telling DOT to move them.
      All the other suggestions from people throughout the city to better locate them were ignored.

      • We in CB3 couldn’t even get a draft map of locations. It was simply a slide too blurry and with too many dots( like measles) to comprehend. I wonder if a Class action suit might be attempted in the near future when the chaos begins. Under the Law, doesn’t DOT have to accept comments from the many communities involved?

      • FYI, the DOT Commissioner has the Mayor's support. The Fire Commissioner, not so much.

    • LESIder: You weren't there! Interactive, community planning WORKSHOP. Draft maps marked up by the community audience in small groups. Very productive. You snooze, you lose, man.

      for your info: [[Monday, February 27, 2012
      Workshop Sessions begin 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
      Chinatown YMCA - Cafeteria
      100 Hester St. (bet. Forsyth & Eldridge Sts.)]]

      • These workshops were not widely advertised. How were people supposed to find out about them? I wonder if these writers might be DOT plants. If community input was so important to DOT why were presenters at CN3 meetings unwillIng to share location details?

        This all seems a little fishy to me. It’s the same way with DOTs. Way finder program – only BID input- but the community gets railroaded while the illusion of outreach goes on

        • The web site for Citi bikes has been up well over a year with the map. And you can't say it hasn't been well publicized. I count myself among the many who are excited for this alternative to taxis or waiting for the bus.

  2. Got to be kidding

    Bloombergs idiotic agenda to rid all cars from NY because the little emperor has decided NY should be Paris. When a biker gets killed or maimed or when a driver drives into this stupidly placed monstrosities, it will be on Bloomberg and Quinn's shoulders. Hope they attend the funerals and can explain to their families. And if anyone thinks this administration bases any of their decisions on attending meetings or what the citizens want, they are kidding themselves.

    • I'm glad that Mayor Bloomberg is supporting this! Cars need to be pushed out of New York! Cars take up way too much space, pollute, and are extremely noisy. You also talk about how cyclist will be killed, well the things killing them are the cars!!! NYC would be much better without cars. 80% of Manhattaners don't even have a car yet the streets are dominated with them. People complain about traffic but the reality is there is no room for expanding the roads, there is no more space!!! Public transportation, walking, and biking are the only ways left! Cars have failed the city and are ruining the city!!!! Citi bike will be great for NYC!!!!

  3. You missed your community siting meeting? There was at least one in every community. At least one. I went to mine (community board 2), which was held at Our Lady of Pompei, on Carmine St. The session was super friendly. We got to meet with the planners. We all broke into small groups, with a big map on each table. We got to indicate on the map where we did and did not want stations, and the DoT listened! I'm very happy. LESider, you should have gone to your local meetings. SoHoer, the suggestions from my table at the meeting were not ignored.

    • Suggestions on where to place them may have been accepted.

      However, tell us how many suggestions where NOT to place them were accepted by DOT.

      There is an abundance of news stories where DOT adamantly refused to reconsider inappropriate sitings.

  4. Well, SoHoer, I can give you only one first hand anecdote. At my workshop, there was a lady who was very insistent that no bike racks go in near her building, on University Place. She went around to each table, putting red Xs on the maps all along University, between the north end of Washington Sq. and 14th St… crossing out the tentative station locations. This felt awfully NIMBY, to me, especially since University is pretty wide and the sidewalks already are able accommodate cafes that project at least 8 feet from the buildings, as well as bldg entrance ramps like those at 87 Univ. But everyone else just shrugged and let her mark the maps her way.

    And you know what? She got her way. The DoT removed those proposed stations from the final plan. So the DoT accepted the suggestion of where not to place the station, for better or worse. We can still argue over particular sites, and doubtless the lcoations and number of racks will be refined over time, but we can hardly say that this was a blind or undemocratic process.

  5. There are also none on Fifth Avenue, directly parallel to University one block away, nor any on 6th Ave or 7th Aves, to cite just a couple of examples, yet there was no one crossing out these streets at the meeting, was there?

    So, just because there are none on University, proves absolutely nothing.

    The point is, once the draft maps – DRAFT maps – went out, DOT would not recognize any changes or revision to the draft. That is what LESer and I are saying: DOT gave the appearance of democracy, but it was only an exercise. It is the same old bureaucratic intransigence we come to expect from City agencies. DOT is just very adept at creating illusion.

    • You have this totally right, SoHoer!!

      NYCDOT does this 'appearance of democracy' all the time. They also did this with dramatic parking and commercial loading and unloading changes at the CB meetings. The members of the Board, as well as those in the audience, were shocked that all these changes were presented as a done deal.

      I had also been to several Wayfinders meetings sponsored by NYCDOT where the presenter finally admitted that the meeting was not really about community input (what a royal waste of time!) but was DOT's presentation of final plans. I asked if they were 'etched in stone' and she said 'Yes. The audience in Chinatown was angry. The presenter weakly said that she had consulted with the Chinatown BID. I'm sorry, but the BID certainly does not represent the community at large ; only business interests.

      NYCDOT is also doing their 'magic show' with the so-called new rules and regulations for interstate buses in NYC. Eight months after the new NYS bus legislation was signed in Albany, NYCDOT recently announced that there will be a large meeting where the community can have input into this. More waste of time….

      So let's tally-up all of NYCDOT's fake community input programs:

      1- BikeShare
      2- WayFinders
      3- parking changes
      4- interstate bus regulations

  6. I need my car for my work since I work in the hinterlands of Queens.
    I think it is very much an affront to locals to take away precious on street parking. The Mac Dougal Street bike station is in a quiet residential area with alternate side of the street parking. What gives? It seems like a deliberate attempt to cut us out.The same is also the case on Thompson and West 3rd. Other sites a block or two away would serve much better.
    There should be a rebellion against such deliberate and hostile actions.

    • Paul, you figured it out. That is exactly what Myra Gultch and Bloomberg want. NO CARS! 3rd term= loss of your freedoms……

  7. Rosemary Kuropat

    While I can get on-board with clean transportation alternatives, I wholly object to the destruction of residential life in service to tourists. The station on Renwick Street in Hudson Square blocks access to 3 local businesses and 2 residential buildings! Does Mr. Bloomberg feel that Manhattan is so much a “luxury product” that no one should actually live here? He has used his stolen third term to plunder city life…and the only good thing one can say about Janette Sadik-Kahn is that her term in office will soon be over, too.

  8. This whole BikeShare plan is screwy- there is no way that there will be demand for thousands of bikes. Why?
    1) Many New Yorkers who love bikes already have them ;
    2) Tourists who are here for a few days will scoff at the annual $99 fee

    So why did DOT plan for so many bikes ? On the basis of what kind of research are they going to mess-up Manhattan. The placement of these bike docks often make no sense. The one near me goes right into traffic and will block official vehicles and ambulances. Stupid!!

  9. NYCDOT ate my car!

    The CitiBike madness continues: The Gothamist points out that NYCDOT is towing cars , without notice, in order to install their ugly bike docks!

  10. Joseph Hanania

    I love this bike plan. I lived in LA for 20 years, where cars and multi-lane freeways rule mercilessly over everything. It is also where the widening of the 405 (San Diego) freeway has resulted in even worse traffic nightmares, including it taking an hour (once ten minutes) to drive from the West side to the Valley. I moved here to get away from all that, and traded in my maroon Ford Mustang convertible with baby leather seats for a $300 bike. I could not be happier or healthier.
    The central problem is that cars are inefficient city transport. They also pollute and envelop people in a metal bubble, cutting off interaction. Want to see an isolated person? Look for someone stuck in traffic, alone in his car. Bikes are much more efficient, and this program will encourage more bicycling. Also, it will make neighborhoods far off the grid – like the Far Lower East Side – much more accessible.
    Let us not lose the larger picture – greater transport efficiency, more interpersonal interaction, less pollution and better exercise while communting – while arguing over details. The kiosks can be resited, if need be. The concept, though, is wonderful.

    • Except in the rain and snow etc. Also, motor vehicles are need to make deliveries. From everything from the medicine at your local CVS to the fresh fish to your favorite restaurant. The DOT strategic plan of making it impossible to drive in Manhattan is driving up the cost of everything you buy along with compromising public safety.
      Pedestrian plazas, bike lanes, additional taxi medallions and the endless weekends of street fairs issued are creating more congestion than what existed 4 years ago. Police, ambulances and fire trucks cannot get through the streets. (And trust me, the FDNY and NYPD lie through their teeth re: response times.

    • To Joseph

      Clearly you are new to NYC and seemingly a cock-eyed optimist. There is no such place as the Far Lower East Side ( do you really live here?) and it’s easily accessible by subway and bus

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