Call The Waaaambulance: NY Observer Writer Lays The Citi Bike Smackdown On Brooklyn Heights

It’s Week 2 of Citi Bike Share and most folks have already gotten used to those blue spoked devils. As a matter of fact, life is almost getting back to normal. That is unless you’re the NY Post, the Daily News, a Gothamist writer, some residents of 150 Joralemon or Kim Velsey of the New York Observer. In a piece entitled Stay Classy, Brooklyn Heights: Residents Stage Puerile, Trashy Attack On Bike Share the latter writes about the recent Citi Bike dust up on Joralemon Street in such a manner that bike lovers and haters might agree is a little over the top:

NYO: Covering Citibikes in trash is a smug, sadistic act that benefits no one save residents who take pleasure from the discomfort and unhappiness of others—in this case sanitation workers and bike share users. Sanitation workers are, after all, the ones tasked with cleaning the garbage from the bikes. And if they fail to clean the bikes fast enough, program participants will be forced to sort through trash to get to the now-dirty bikes. Residents of the co-op are offended by having to look at a bike rack? Try having someone bury your means of transportation in trash out of spite.

Co-op resident Nina Hackler told The Post: “There just isn’t enough room. Something has to give—and this time, it’s the bikes.”

Anyone with that attitude doesn’t belong in New York City. Comprising, accommodating other people and things, handling disputes without resorting to throwing garbage at things you don’t like—those are essential requirements for being able to live in this or any other city. Anyone who can’t deal with the inconveniences of sharing space with 8 million other people in a civilized way should seriously consider leaving.

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  • Claude Scales

    I was just thinking earlier this evening: It’s been so long since anyone has posted “Call the waaaambulance.”

  • Chester Bumerfo

    I’m glad she so strongly & succinctly explained what is so uncivil about the behavior of our bad neighbors at 150 Joralemon.

  • Joe A

    Nina Hackler. What a sweat heart. She did say that something has to give and at this time it’s the bikes. Who knows? Next time it may be the lobby of your building. Just saying.

  • Jorale-man

    As a resident at 150J, I will say that other residents here are as frustrated as I am about how the coop has responded to the bike racks. People are asking questions about why this lawsuit was filed and with what funds. Many here are deeply embarrassed about the garbage gesture, which wasn’t some building-wide protest as this article suggests. At least some residents (including myself) think that the racks may be good for property values and actually make this a more desirable place to live.

  • petercow

    When I was looking at places in Brooklyn to live, I considered that building.. but turned it down because of the high volume of taxi traffic during rush hour. I knew it would mean constant honking.

    Bike-share may very well reduce the number of taxi trips.. it will be good for property values.

  • Arch Stanton

    When I became dissatisfied with the performance of my coop board, I joined the board and made changes. Now 7 years later, I am Vice President. The long neglected infrastructure is almost completely renovated and everything is running smooth.

  • Joe A

    You say it wasn’t some building wide protest which I am sure is correct but do you know how the garbage ended up on the bike racks? Did the maintenance people do this on their own or were they directed to place the garbage on the bikes by the Co-op board or perhaps by an individual member of the board?

  • Chester Bumerfo

    I looked at 150 Joralemon too. I turned it down because the building is ugly inside and out, they don’t keep up maintenance and have unreliable elevators, the units have strange floor plans, and they have very high common charges due to bungled building finances. I realize it may be petty to say, but I’m glad that Nina Hackler and the other garbage people of 150 Joralemon suffer through all these problems.

  • Joe Enoch

    That actually is a pretty good summation of the immature activity of those residents. Grow up or leave!

  • Greg

    Stats this work week (Mon June 3 – Wed June 5) suggest Clinton & Joralemon was used 135 times, making it more popular than 70% of all Brooklyn stations and smack dab in the middle of all Brooklyn Heights stations. Because it’s one of the neighborhood’s smaller stations (15-20% smaller than average), by *usage per dock* it’s the 3rd busiest in BH and busier than 83% of all Brooklyn stations.

    For the weekend (Sat Jun 1 – Sun Jun 2), it was used 132 times, making it more popular than 83% of all Brooklyn stations and the 3rd most popular in BH. By *usage per dock*, it was the 3rd busiest in BH and busier than 88% of all Brooklyn stations.

    All stats are imperfect estimates.

  • PB

    The management company works for you, the shareholder. The board serves at your will.

    I say it’s time to ask the board members to state their opinion of the bike rack and anyone who wants it removed should be voted out en masse.

    Elections are coming up soon, no? ;-)

  • petercow

    If I were a co-op member of 150, I would love to see the minutes whereby they directed the staff to throw the trash on top of the bikes.

    If there is a fine, why should the whole building have to bear it for the actions of a few a-holes on the board? I would sue them as individuals.

  • Greg

    For what it’s worth:

    Clark & Henry seems to be the neighborhood’s clear leader, and was in fact Brooklyn’s 3rd most popular station over the week.

    For Brooklyn as a whole, Dekalb & S. Portland, Old Fulton, Metropolitan & Bedford, and even Clark & Henry seem to be the general tops.

  • skunky

    I would note that in the past several years, I have called 311 on more than one occasion to complain about the trash from this building being strewn all over Clinton Street, including at one point a ton of jagged broken glass that sat there for over a week. Very neighborly, especially for those of us with small children, dogs, etc who could easily be injured by such things.

  • Joe A

    I wonder how the usage stats would compare to the usage of the lost parking spaces for a similar period of time.

    My gut tells me that more New Yorkers are being serviced by the bike stations than were by the parking spaces.

  • Chester Bumerfo

    Because they’ve chosen to treat their neighbors and neighborhood like they do, I will call 311 in a second for the slightest infraction from these goons.

  • Greg

    There’s also far more potential for bike stats to continue rising than there are for car stats. We’re still only 10 days in from the launch and membership numbers keep going up.

    I think most citys’ bike stations don’t really come into full swing for many months.

  • petercow

    And bike-share is like the phone system.. the more docks.. the more useful it will become.. more people will join.

  • Jorale-man

    I honestly don’t know who directed our porter to place the garbage on the bikes but it was never put up for a referendum like, “how can we all show our displeasure about the bike racks?” It may have been one or two members of the board but I can only speculate.

    I can only say that the neighbors I’ve heard from are very concerned about this. They feel it not only misrepresents the people here but raises real questions about how bigger decisions are being made in the building.

    Good to hear about your experience, Arch. Hmm…

  • Andrew Porter

    The NY Observer is not noted for its liberal leanings. However, the bike station is not “covered in trash”: it’s covered in tightly sealed clear plastic bags containing recycling and other material, so the bikes are *not* in contact with food and other organic material.