Disdain Over Citibike Stations Turns To Legal Action, Including 150 Joralemon Street

The Citi Bike Share program is now prompting more than simple community disdain. Add a collection of lawsuits against the city and its Department of Transportation—including one by the co-op board of 150 Joralemon Street.

Racks there are allegedly getting in the way of garbage collection, “with three other racks in a three-block vicinity offering some 70 bikes,” according to the New York Post. Resident Ken Wasserman, overseeing the lawsuit, says: “We were never notified we were selected until after everything was in place.”

Others fighting the citywide installations include West Village co-cop 99 Bank Street—and at least nine other properties, according to the Post. At 99 Bank, property owners, as reported by Curbed, say a bike station installed in a parking lane on the north side of Bank Street across from the Bleecker Street playground “severely endangers the health & safety of the residents of 99 Bank Street,” and that its placement violates a city rule that says no street furniture should be placed opposite a building entrance.

Crain’s says the official launch date is set for Memorial Day weekend.

In Brooklyn Heights, in addition to 150 Joralemon, stands are now at the corner of Remsen & Hicks, and Clark & Henry (outside of the Hotel St. George), with soon-to-be locations at Cranberry and Columbia Heights and Borough Hall.

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  • Jorale-man

    As a resident at 150 Joralemon I am very disappointed that our coop is spending money on this frivolous lawsuit. The bike racks have not shown that they’re getting in the way of garbage collection. Since they went up, there’s still been plenty of room for the trash, recycling and the racks (I can see them right out my window). This is driven by a few board members who were asleep at the switch when the public review process was taking place and now claim to have been blindsided. More to the point, it’s about the fear of change more than any real concrete concerns.

  • S&L

    People will spend a long time trying to find the soon-to-be bike station at the corner of Clark & Montague!

  • S

    Brooklyn heights blog is its own troll!

  • resident

    Most people are predicting that bike share stations will INCREASE property values, if Boston, DC, London, and Paris are any guide. So shareholders of 150 Joralemon are getting screwed here and ought to take action against their board for a) wasting legal fees and b) depressing the potential value of their shares/apartments.

    Way to go, board of 150 Joralemon!

  • James on Jeralemon

    Thanks, Jorale-man. I agree. Ken Wasserman and his ilk need to get a life. They are on the wrong side of this issue in a big way.

  • Fritz

    I’m conflicted. Generally, I disdain the reflexive anti response of Heights residents to everything. But also I disdain the notion that bike riding will do anything meaningful to reduce congestion or vehicle pollution, it’s sort of a yuppie affectation. Not that there’s anything wrong with bike riding in NY traffic, most of the risk is borne by the riders.

  • Brixtony

    What about the one outside 10 Clinton & Tillary St which never gets a mention in the article? I gather that not only pedestrians and residents of the nearby building are trying to get it moved, but the police dept uses that space for the Command Center for Brooklyn Bridge incidents and similar activities and want it moved. There’s a perfectly wide and convenient space on Tillary at the park’s south entrance that should be a much better location all round.

  • C.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • E

    More obvious bias from Chuck Taylor on this issue. As any reader of the comments on this blog well knows, neighborhood opinion, far from being “disdain”ful, is running heavily in favor of these environmentally friendly, convenient additions. This lawsuit sounds like the new height of frivolous litigation and should hopefully be dismissed summarily. The notion that a bike rack “severely endangers” anyone’s health or safety would be laughable if this litigation weren’t so sad.
    I love the Brooklyn Heights Blog but have to say I’m appalled by the one-sided coverage here.

  • Bob Sacamano

    I generally don’t have a problem with the bike share program. What I don’t understand is why there are so many spaces for bikes? There is nearly 20 in front of 150 Joralemon and another 20 on Montague in front of the Citi Bank among others around the neighborhood. Why does this neighborhood need so many space? Have that many people joined the program to demand this many spaces? I do suspect the spaces once filled with bikes will congest the sidewalk a bit toward the south end of 150 Joralemon. There are going to be a lot of kids riding around with new bikes in Harlem, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville and other areas of the city as well.

  • MonroeOrange

    Whoever thinks that putting a bike rack on the corner of Atlantic Ave and Henry st. was a smart location, has blinders on…please tell me how that is a SAFE location? Bikes will have to back into the street on a very busy traveled street. Furthermore, when a bike is removed, cars will have to go into the BIKE LANE to avoid them….Yes, great planning once again by the city! Seriously, lets hear one good argument that this is a safe corner?…….

  • Eddyde

    The number of spaces not only for available bikes but also for bikes being returned. There are many stations in the area because of the population density and the proximity to the many subway & bus lines, here. Time will tell if there are too many or not enough stations in a given area, they will be removed or added as needed.
    “There are going to be a lot of kids riding around with new bikes in Harlem, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville and other areas of the city as well”

    Are you implying theft? It is doubtful the bikes will be stolen on a large scale, as you will need to be a registered user and the bikes all contain GPS tracking.

  • David on Middagh

    For the record, Fritz, I was reflexively ambivalent myself.

  • David on Middagh

    MO, I predict Henry & Atlantic will be safer for all pedestrians: the sharers backing out into the street will calm traffic!

    The bicyclists will bear the brunt of the risk for this traffic calming, but then, they often do.

  • harumph

    I thought the same! Overall I’m not opposed to the bike program, but can’t they find places that are a little less dangerous? and do we need so many different stations in such a small neighborhood?

  • Boerum Bill

    Bunch of babies!

  • Mike

    I don’t think you understand how the bike racks work. You don’t need to back out of them more than a couple inches. You can then move the bike wherever you want. Bikes don’t work like cars — they are far more maneuverable.

  • Mike

    Maybe you should try the bikes once they’re available. Things that are ten blocks away will suddenly feel like they’re right down the block. You’ll have access to more things. As more folks do this, they’ll drive less (it will be easier to find Citibike parking than car parking). This will lead to less congestion and pollution. I may be wrong, but you should keep an open mind — bike share is better than trying nothing at all to alleviate congestion and pollution.

  • Ernie

    It is possible to favor the program but question the location of the racks. Some block loading zones, others are in front of residential buildings hindering access and, unlike in other cities, few seem to be near mass transit locations.

  • MonroeOrange

    if you think that will calm traffic, you clearly underestimate road rage, or a deliver truck in a rush…this will not calm anything. Im not against the program, i think the locations are horrendous though, this being the worst one. Followed by the clinton st tillary one.

  • MonroeOrange

    one inch is exactly where the cars are..there is no room, i think you should actually look at them first before commenting…for a car to make room, they will have to go into the bike lane!

  • ab_bklyn

    As Eddyde mentioned, the racks are meant to be partially empty in order to accomodate people returning bikes to that particular station. So a rack with 20 spaces won’t necessarily hold 20 bikes at all times.

    Also, the demand for this has been shown to be quite robust. Over 5,000 people signed up for an annual membership on the very first day. Different neighborhoods will of course have varying levels of participation, but I anticipate that the Heights will be a popular destination due to its proximity to various subway lines, etc.

  • Mike

    How could you possibly know that one inch would make a difference? The bikes aren’t in the docks to measure from. And, really, you think cars are going to drive one inch away from parked bikes? Do many people drive that dangerously?

  • MonroeOrange

    It’s not hard to see how close the bikes will be, it is very narrow street, with high traffic flow. Taxi’s and delivery trucks both use that street and make a right on atlantic to the highway. And yes, the many cars drive dangerously in the city…Welcome to NY and our neighborhood, you clearly seem to be a newbie.

  • MonroeOrange

    We are keeping an open mind…im not against the program, im against the locations that are either unsafe (atlantic and Henry) or inconvenience building loading and unloading zones/ garbage pick up, delivers, ambulances etc. (10 clinton). Or have taken up parking in a very limited parking hood to begin with.

    There is no reason, these racks shouldn’t be in parks and not on the street in front of residential areas. Cadman plaza park, no rack there? Adam Yauch park, no rack there? we have so many parks in convenient safe locations that are not being used…it makes no sense. 10 Clinton is right next to Cadman park, so instead of putting it in the park, they are inconveniencing a whole apartment building…We are complaining that the planners had a very CLOSED MIND, its not us that don’t have an open mind!

  • JT

    Not to mention that the bike rack at Tillary and 10 Clinton blocks the pedestrian intersection. Either the rack there needs to be moved slightly to allow for people crossing Clinton, or those giant planters need to be moved.

  • Brixtony

    Actually, I’ve been mentioning that a lot and have been attacked verbally for suggesting what you have verified. Thanks.

  • S

    I there were cars in front of those buildings before, access is essentially the same.

    What do you mean few are near mass transit? In Brooklyn Heights, the stations are all within walking distance of the subway or bus routes.

  • s

    How do drivers manage to get out of cars parked on streets where they have to exit their vehicles into traffic? They look! Cyclists will do the same thing. No one is going to back a bike out while a car is speeding down toward them. They’ll wait, like everyone else does.

  • s

    Kind of like asking why is the BQE or other major roads and highways so big when they only are full for a few hours each morning and evening. You have to build to allow for people to actually use the system when they need it.