Citi Bike Share Prompting Ire—And Vandalism

WINS-AM (1010) reported this morning from Brooklyn Heights that the newly installed Citibank-sponsored bike-share stands in the neighborhood are not only irritating residents—who voiced on-air that they don’t fit in with the historic tenor of the Heights—but have become a target for anti-corporate brouhaha throughout the borough.

The New York Post reports that in Fort Greene, flyers were plastered along a Citibike station saying: “Residential landmark blocks are not for advertising or commercial activity.” Similar messages have popped up in Clinton Hill.

Brownstoner notes that residents are complaining that they were not consulted about specific bike-share locations—also pointing out that advertising isn’t allowed on landmarked residential blocks.

In the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, residents of 150 Joralemon Street oppose a station installed in front of their building. Kenneth Wasserman tells the newspaper: “It’s inappropriate. This is a very busy block during the day and it’s very quiet at night. To have 25 docks out there without anybody notifying us beforehand really pisses us off.”

A Landmarks Preservation Commission spokeswoman told the NY Post, “We approved the plan for the installation of bike share stations in historic districts throughout the city because they have no effect on the historic fabric of those neighborhoods.”

Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who supports the program, will host a town hall meeting Wednesday to address growing concerns about the new stations in Brooklyn. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Benjamin Banneker Academy in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, 71-77 Clinton Avenue.

In Brooklyn Heights, stands are now at the corner of Remsen & Hicks, Clinton & Joralemon and Clark & Henry (outside of the Hotel St. George), with soon-to-be locations at Clark & Montague and Borough Hall.

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  • http://justbeyondthebend.com/ Joe Dudas

    I’m all in support of Bike Share, but certainly understand the frustration for residents who now have 20+ bike racks in front of their homes.

    This will undoubtedly generate a *lot* of noise as people transact and take/return bikes from these metal racks at all hours of the day & night.

  • Ann Allen-Ryan

    The CitiBike racks on Remsen and on Columbia Heights at Cranberry are an incredible intrusion on residential, non-commercial space.

  • Steve

    This is probably a good read if your concerned with noise, landmarks blocks, and other potential problems.

    http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2013/04/landmark-this-bikes-not-diapers.html

  • MonroeOrange

    oh wow..exactly what i said would happen is happening…how shocking!…and to all who said i was crazy..not crazy…just lived here my whole life and know what works in our hood, and what doesn’t….

    Furthermore, in front of 10 Clinton st…the bike racks force people to walk in the street…that’s really safe! and the traffic will now back up down already busy clinton street, everytime garbage, fed ex or mail makes a delivery…such a great idea, for the 5 people that will use this!

  • troke

    First, the bike racks are on the sidewalk, which is not an intrusion on anyone’s residential property. Second, why is a back rack worse than having a bunch of cars parked in front of one’s home? Oh my god, these bike racks are so hideous, I can barely see that Honda Fit parked behind it. And cars don’t make noise at night? People don’t make noise at night? Only bike racks? This is a lot of whining over absolutely nothing.

  • mucow

    The systems I’ve encountered (London, DC, Paris) have all been very quiet, in terms of operation. I’d gladly trade an occasional cha-chunk of a dock locking for a bunch of car doors slamming, engines idling, and alarms going off.

  • Dave

    I am already loving having a station on my block. I attended the public siting workshop session and lobbied to have bikes nearby. The people who are now NIMBYs didn’t bother to show up. I’m excited to start using the bikes!

  • MonroeOrange

    and to continue my rant…love how, when you exit clark st. station onto clark st…no one can cross the street, without having to walk around the bikes..great location there to…oh and thanks for taking the parking spots too…the people that support this are clearly people who will live here for a couple years then return to their state…people that actually live here and want to ride a bike, buy one!

    There was an article in the paper the other day about Capsouto Freres, restaurant in Manhattan that my family has gone to for years, in which the owner, staged a sit in, as they put bike racks right in front of his restaurant blocking his deliveries, and he still hasn’t been able to open since Sandy…such a travesty this program, that no one will use, people will vandalize and a blight not just on BH but everywhere they put these…You can ride a bike 5 months out of the year (bc of weather)…if you ride in the winter, you are hardcore, and clearly own a bike. But we will lose parking and have to deal with this blight 12 months a year.

  • petercow

    6,000 people have already signed up – so your estimate is probably a little on the low side.

  • petercow

    on-street, free parking for cars, is a blight.

  • petercow

    Unlike when people park cars. with car honking, car alarms chirping, etc.

  • mucow

    Seems like a good dose of “wait and see” would be useful here… it’s not like the stations can’t be moved, tweaked, or, if the system is a huge failure, removed. (For the record, I’m super excited about this — the systems I’ve used elsewhere (London, DC, Paris) have been super-useful for short trips to areas not served well by other forms of transit. I’m really looking forward to cutting my 20-minute walk to the F train down to 5, and using this for quick trips crosstown.)

  • MonroeOrange

    people that use them and sign up are different..lets wait and see…you gonna use these bikes in the dead of winter?

  • MonroeOrange

    how about a trucks inability to pick up garbage, which is now hampered in front of 10 clinton…thats a blight!…the sanitation dept has issued a complaint to the city already…

  • mucow

    Probably, yeah. If it’s a question of a freezing 15-minute walk vs. a freezing 5 minute bike ride, I know which one I’d choose!

  • mucow

    You do realize that, before, you’d have to walk around a bunch of parked cars to cross the street when exiting Clark St.? It also makes a lot of sense to have stations by the subway — a lot of trips on these will be either from less-well served areas to the train, or the other way around.

  • mucow

    Good thing the stations can easily be relocated, then! Given the size of the system, it’s inevitable that some sites might need to be tweaked — that’s one of the big reasons why they’re using a station design that’s easy to move and reconfigure.

  • Steve

    Wow. You’d think David Maundrell would get that bikes and bike lanes boost real estate values. How good a broker can he be if he doesn’t get that? Isn’t his business largely focused on Williamsburg, which practically owes its pricey real estate to all the people who bike there?

  • Steve

    DOT worked with all city departments, including sanitation, so you are probably not correct.

  • Steve

    Another good read regarding historic preservation. Are Boston and London not at least as historic if not more so than Brooklyn? And guess what? Bike share works just fine in both places. DC, too.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/04/24/sponsored-bike-share-works-just-fine-in-londons-historic-neighborhoods

  • mucow

    But thinking about it, the site by 10 Clinton St. is located in the middle of a striped-off portion of asphalt that was converted to pedestrian space a few years ago — it’s closed to traffic. I go by there pretty much every morning, and it definitely doesn’t seem to be forcing people into the street… there’s plenty of room between it and Cadman to walk, if you’re going that way, and there’s a ton of pedestrianized space around it if you’re going any other way, it seems. Which way were you referring to?

  • mucow

    Yeah, I feel the “historic tenor” argument doesn’t hold much water. By that logic, we’d *definitely* need to nuke the bus stations, the newsstands, depending on when you draw the line, the subway, too… and I’m pretty sure back in the day they didn’t park cars all down the street…

  • Los_Politico

    Are these “Old People Against Everything” much different from their tea party cousins down south?

  • petercow

    I paid my $95. Hell yeah.

  • petercow

    How about mailboxes? How are they “incredibly intrusive”?

    And you do realize that for example, the Hotel St. George was there before the subway. It was ‘new’ at time, too.

  • http://justbeyondthebend.com/ Joe Dudas

    Image above = cars + bikes

  • Pedestrianite

    There is space between each of the docks that is wide enough to walk through. They are about as far apart as two car bumpers would be.

  • Pedestrianite

    Do you park a car on the street? Does it have a logo on it? Get rid of it and then let us know your opinions on logos on bikes.

  • zburch

    I have lived in BH for 14 years and am really excited about the bikes. I am currently visiting in Paris and people love them here. The argument that they don’t fit in with the “historical nature” of BH is ridiculous. They fit in fine in Paris so why not BH? In addition to it being a great transportation solution, a bike that you don’t have to store or worry about getting stolen is great. The argument that it is “noisy” is just stupid. Screaming kids are noisy, fire trucks are noisy, but a bike?!!!

  • mucow

    …although a “Knickerbocker Trust Company Publick Horse-Share” would indeed fit with the tenor of the neighborhood!