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BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The squeaky wheel gets the — bike-share docking station removed.
Residents of 49 Renwick St. in Hudson Square were relieved Tuesday to see workers wielding hand trucks dismantling and removing the new bike-share station lining Renwick St. at Spring St. in front of their home.
Bike-share critic Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, alerted The Villager of the development by forwarding an e-mail in which the building’s residents happily shared the news among each other. “Mad Men” actor John Slattery was cc’d.
Titus Leung, the president of the building’s co-op board, said they succeeded in getting the rack removed only because “we spoke out as a group.”
Leung said he received a message from the Department of Transportation “commissioner” — apparently referring to Margaret Forgione, the agency’s borough commissioner — confirming that the racks were permanently removed, and also that that they would not be re-sited anywhere in the area.
“I guess they decided that we really don’t need these many stations in our little neighborhood,” he said.
“I don’t want to get into specifics, but let’s just say the decision to reverse location of the racks on our street was probably easy,” Leung told The Villager. “It’s a very narrow, one-way street, and there are a number of construction projects just beginning at the south end of the street. So these racks likely would’ve created a significant safety issue, in addition to all the practical issues it would’ve created. Somehow, I believe, these facts were not known — or were ignored — when our location was first identified.”
That D.O.T. was willing to backpedal and remove the Renwick rack in response to residents’ concerns was encouraging, Leung said.
“From my point of view,” he said, “at the very least, this does show that D.O.T. is ultimately being rational in its deployment of these racks.”
Architect Stas Zakrzewski said the building’s courtyard sports a bike rack and that all the residents are avid cyclists, but that the bike-share station just had been sited in a bad spot, “on one of the most narrow streets possible.”
“I really think the bike program is awesome,” he said. “I just think that parts of it didn’t seem to be thought-out in terms of where it was going.”