Brooklyn Daily Eagle Tries to Create Controversy Where There Is None

This Brooklyn Daily Eagle story has the headline, “Brooklyn Bridge Park at odds with Heights over bike stations.” It implies some sort of Park-Heights conflict that doesn’t exist. Update: If you follow the link above, you’ll now find that the Eagle headline and story have been re-worded, evidently in response to this post.

The story quotes Nancy Webster of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy as welcoming a bike station near Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street, which is not on a residential street in Brooklyn Heights. It then notes that the Brooklyn Heights Association has expressed some concern over bike stations on residential streets in the Heights. This in no way conflicts with the BBPC’s desire for a station near the Park’s entrance, so the BBPC and the BHA are not “at odds.”

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  • Slide

    Those that support the bike share program need to have their voices heard. If you think that bike commuting in the Heights makes more sense than using gasoline burning, pollution spewing, horn honking, dangerous, internal combustion engines on wheels then make sure that you let officials know of your support. The NIMBY “get off my lawn” crowd sure will.

  • Slide

    Here is an interesting article on how some other communities are constructively working with the DOT on bike shae station locations. By contrast this article indicates that the community overwhelmingly wants the stations in the streets, even if a few parking spaces are lost.

  • Peter

    Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with the Eagle. The other day, they had an utterly fact-free piece about the bike-share program.

    I’m glad that at the presentation by DOT at last night’s CB2 Transportation Committee meeting, most people spoke in strong support of the program.

    Also, as DOT reps pointed out, the stations can easily be moved, so if it turns it isn’t working in a particular place, it’s easily remedied.

  • Matthew Parker

    Claude: Thanks for calling out fabricated news. It’s one thing to express one’s opinion and try to pass it off as news (most of the media grinds an ax by either what they present or what they omit); however it’s another to utterly fabricate facts or to intentionally mischaracterize items or events. Perhaps the Eagle wishes to compete with Fox or Drudge?

  • nicky215

    Lets not let the BHA ruin this. Most of their members use their private gardens and summer homes on the weekends when bicycling in the city is most often used

  • She’s Crafty

    This is a cute post, but let’s remember they are in the business of selling papers and the bike/non bike issue always drums up commentary and interest.

  • DrewB

    I think it’s cute that someone who clearly has a thing against the bike share program, based on posting on other threads, thinks that fabricated news is ok if it helps support their position. Very crafty indeed!

  • Slide

    Thanks Peter for giving us a little insight into the meeting last night and that most in attendance voiced strong support for the program.

  • Peter


    Almost everyone was supportive (at least they said they were), though a few people had issues with particular siting..a few people from the Oro building didn’t like the idea of a station in front of their building.

    Head of Montague BID was concerned about the loss of parking space. I pointed out that a station holds the potential for many more bikes (i.e. wallets) than 1 or 2 cars.

    The other opposition fell into the category of “a pizza deliveryman on a bike almost ran me over.”

    I would descrie BHA’s position was genially non-committal and semi-dilatory. Perhaps “evolving” is most apt.

  • John

    I was there last night. The Brooklyn Eagle is dead wrong. Most people were very supportive of bike share! A few complaints, for sure, but no controversy whatsoever.

    Brooklyn Eagle, please stop it.

  • Slide

    I had the same thought Peter when I heard that the Montague BID was concerned about losing a few parking spaces. What shortsightedness. Don’t they realize that a lot more people might come to visit Montague street if they can ride a bike there? I think it would actually be a net plus for the businesses that there will be an alternative method of getting to the area without having to try and find a parking spot.

  • Kenn Lowy

    My problem with the bike share proposal is that they didn’t really think through where the bikes, and how many, should go where. There aren’t enough in BBP, and there are to many in other areas. It makes no sense to have 39 spots at Clinton & Atlantic and another 31 spots 4 blocks away.

  • DrewB

    People saying they didn’t think through the placement, or that there was no community input, that’s just false. For months there was a website up where residents could make suggestions on where the stations should be. They then looked at those suggestions, consulted with the DOT and came up with a preliminary map. So the community was given input, the DOT was given input, and as stated in the meeting, the stations are easily removed if the placement causes problems. So where exactly is this lack of planning?

    I also think that people seem to misunderstanding something… The number of spots at a station is how many bikes can be accommodated at any given time. On a sunny weekend those stations are likely to be filled with people who bike into the neighborhood and park. On a wednesday night, they will probably not be full. The idea is to accommodate heavy traffic when needed, so users don’t have to peddle all over the place looking for an available spot to return the bikes. I think at this point they are erring on the side of convenience. Once the see traffic patterns they will adjust accordingly. That’s the beauty of this thing. It is totally scalable base on usage.

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Emily

    Does anyone have an idea of how ugly these bike stands are going to be?? They are going to be plastered with advertising and will certainly look out of place on historically preserved, residential blocks. In addition, I would not want one of those stands in front of my home – the bike riders will create noise and congestion.

  • Quinn Raymond

    I was able to catch Judy Stanton on her way out of the meeting last night and we had a good conversation about it– she was patient and seems to be weighing both sides judiciously.

    It is amazing how much misinformation has been spread about the program though. These bikes will be an incredible resource for residents. They will reduce pollution and noise, and improve the overall health of the neighborhood. The short-term loss of parking will be actually be temporary, as fewer residents will have to rely on cars, freeing up more spaces.

    Brooklyn Heights is given so many amenities compared to other neighborhoods (BBP, 1st nabe in BK to get Bikeshare, etc) and yet there is always a loud, vocal minority intent on complaining or derailing progress.

  • Slide

    Oh Emily please. From what I can see the bike stands won’t be “plastered” with advertising. Citibank will have their logo (if I gave $60M to fund the program I would want my face on every bike) but I don’t believe there will be any other advertising.

    why is a bicycle any more “out of place” on historical streets than automobiles? Perhaps we can have a horse share stand for some neighborhoods.. you know.. to be more historical.

    I’m not sure there is going to be a whole lot of noise at these stations. You go there, put in your key, grab a bike and off you go. You all are making this so much more than it will be.

    Again, the biggest complaint from communities that have bike share programs in other cities is that their neighborhood doesn’t have a bike station.

  • Peter Kaufman

    @Emily the bike riders will create noise and congestion.

    That’s a joke, right?

    And every day on Columbia Heights, there is a car parked that is essentially a giant poster for some kind of kick-boxing exercise.

    Somehow, Columbia Heights survives.

  • DrewB

    Speaking of misinformation….

    Emily as far as I know no one has seen the bike stations, so I don’t where you get the idea that they are PLASTERED with ads. Here’s a link to the London stations.

    Surprise they look like bike racks! No ads plastered anywhere. Just the logos on the bikes. You realize there are already bike racks in this neighborhood, right? And what makes you think these bike racks will be louder than ordinary bike racks. They are just bikes. And again the administrators of the program have said that they racks are easily moved if problems arise.

  • She’s Crafty

    @DrewB, you are so clever. My point was that the news media rarely reports the news as it is, but rather manipulates it to get the highest readership/viewership. To profess shock and outrage is a little naive.

  • John

    Also, every car that’s parked on every street in every city has — gasp — CORPORATE LOGOS plastered all over them!

    How does a non-motorized bike with only a bell and no radio create more noise than car engines, horns, and car stereos?

  • Peter

    You can see a picture of what one looks like here:

    They do have the name of the sponsor (Citibank). That’s the price we pay for having this done at no cost to the city.

  • Slide

    Yeah….. its outrageous that they would want to displace our nice quiet, clean, and safe automobiles with these monstrous newfangled machines that they call bicycles. How dare they! This is the Heights after all. Can’t have that. We’re historic.

  • Slide

    Here is another photo of a bike station that gives you a better idea:

  • Slide

    The Eagle just updated their story (or at least the headline)

    The new headline reads:

    Brooklyn Bridge Park likes its bike station; Heights grumbles over theirs

    they followed with this:

    “this story’s headline was updated to clarify the level of disagreement between an advocate for Brooklyn Bridge Park and residents of Brookyn Heights. As reported below, the head of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy supports a bike-station near the park’s entrance at Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street; the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association opposes stations in Brooklyn Heights proper and at the Promenade. Neither spoke directly about each other’s concerns.”

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Emily

    Thanks for the image Peter. I have to say the kiosk is even uglier than I imagined. It’s not done tastfully and really tacky. I don’t want a large neon sign on my block or facing my window. Let’s not lose sight of the end goal for Citibank. They are giving the $60M for brand awareness and advertising.

  • John

    There’s no neon on the stand.

    Do you also call 311 every time an ugly car is parked on your block or facing your window?

  • GHB

    No, she just goes to a blog and complains about it.

  • Hicks St Guy

    @DrewB, She’ Crafty did not support the article, she
    more or less rationalized it. not the same thing.

  • Slide

    Emily, is this just theoretical or do you actually live someplace where a planned bicycle station is directly in front of your house? Or are you just taking up the “cause” for others so situated?

  • History Buff


    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and personally I find the bike-share stations to be extraordinarily beautiful. Likewise, I find that the ever-changing and unpredictable array of privately owned motor vehicles that park and drive and honk and spew exhaust in front of my house to be quite ugly and awful.

    I’m sure that you will agree that mass transit and human-powered, non-combustion engine forms of transportation like bike-share are far more in keeping with the historic character of the Heights than SUV’s and tinted-window sedans blaring Hot97.