Despite mounting disdain in Brooklyn Heights—and throughout the borough—Citi bike-share is here to stay. At a Town Hall meeting Wednesday in Fort Greene that the New York Times deemed “raucous,” NYC Council Member Letitia James—who helped formulate the program with NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg—told 100+ neighborhood residents, “The public streets belong to all of us. We have to learn to get along.”
Not good enough, according to area residents—including kiosks stickered with signs of protest in Fort Greene saying, “Landmark residential blocks are not for sale!” The Times quotes Fort Greene resident Dr. Noreen Hosier at the meet: “We pay a landscaper to maintain our property. They can no longer get to them. You talked about meetings held for locations? We never received anything.”
Others complained about sanitation issues, safety of bikers backing into the street and previously, that the bike stands don’t fit in with the historic tenor of Brooklyn brownstone neighborhoods. Regarding a loss of parking spaces because of the bike-share stations, James had no sympathy, claiming the BQE and Flatbush Avenue have fostered “one of the highest asthma rates in the city. We have to do our part to address global warming.”
Citi Bike docking stations have been installed by the Department of Transportation in the Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, so far, in preparation for the citywide bike-share program next month. In Brooklyn Heights, stands are now at the corner of Remsen & Hicks, Clinton & Joralemon and Clark & Henry (outside of the Hotel St. George), with locations coming to Clark & Montague and Borough Hall. Users can rent bikes by the ride, day or week.
Citibank and Mastercard sponsors the New York program, modeled after similar systems in Washington, London, Paris and Madrid.