Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Your chance to hear Citi Bike's expansion plans

Community Board 3's Transportation, Public Safety, & Environment Committee will hear from city DOT reps tonight about Citi Bike's expansion in the East Village and Lower East Side.

The meeting invite simply notes, "NYC DOT will present on Citi Bike infill stations for CB3."
As Streetsblog editor Gersh Kuntzman reported last week:
Citi Bike says it needs to add thousands of docks within its existing Manhattan service area to handle the ongoing bike boom, but so far, the Department of Transportation has not kept up with the Lyft-owned bike company’s requests — and millions of rides are not happening as a result.

In a bombshell statement that dropped extremely quietly last week, Citi Bike announced that it needs the DOT to provide it with sites for an immediate Lyft-funded infusion of docks and bikes because the system is under "added stress [in] its original service area, which serves a disproportionate number of the total rides."


Citi Bike docks currently occupy just .5 percent of curb space. But sitting those docks has proven to be a perennial challenge to the DOT, which seeks community board input for every single location. As a result, many are sited on sidewalks rather than in curbside spots, which has the double-edged problem of discriminating against pedestrians while also doing nothing to discourage car ownership. 
The East Village is among the neighborhoods experiencing the greatest need for infill docks, per a Citi Bike tweet from last week...
Tonight's virtual meeting, which starts at 6:30, will likely highlight where (and when) these new docks might appear.

You can tune in to the meeting via this Zoom link.



This is Robert Moses all over again.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to get a bike in the east village at times, not mention an ebike. Yes please, more docks, more bikes, less free parking spots.

Anonymous said...

How is that comparable? Please explain.

Andy said...

I have no preference here but a heat map on the scale of none to critical (critical!) is not a real scale, it's a lobbying tool.

Neighbor said...

Put a CitiBike dock on every few corners. It's impossible to get a bike in the evening in Midtown and really hard at different points in the morning in the East Village.

Next get the cops to actually do their jobs and enforce moving violations - both against cars and bikes.

Anonymous said...

@7:58am: What do you mean when you say "Less free parking spots"? Citi bikes ALL have FREE street parking spots - about a zillion of them.

Voters never got to decide if we want public land used that way, yet the land those docking stations are on is paid for by ALL taxpayers, so bike "infill" is no better or holier than cars parking on the streets. Citi bike docks represent an illegal taking of public space without any input from the people who live here & pay to maintain the streets.

And Citi bike docking stations are much WORSE if you are elderly, have luggage, use a walker or a cane, or have any mobility issues at all, b/c the enormous banks of bike docking stations are an absolute impediment to getting to the curb or crossing the street.

And who knows how much time emergency services like ambulances and FDNY are delayed by having to go far down the block to respond to an emergency call? But I guess bike riders don't care if a person has a heart attack or a stroke & time is of the essence. I get the feeling bike riders overall just want older people to drop dead.

And good luck getting out of a taxi in front of your building, especially in the dark, in the rain, if you need to use a cane or crutches, or have a mobility-boot on your foot or an orthopedic brace on your knee. You literally can't get past the fucking docking stations.

Citi bike (owned by LYFT, so that makes 2 corporate overlords!) is a blight on the entire city.

Friends of mine (senior citizens) came back from an overseas trip to find Citi bike docks blocking a huge swath of the curb space directly in front of their building and several adjacent buildings on either side. Those docks were *not* there when they left on their trip. They could not exit the cab anywhere near their building, and they had heavy luggage, and it was late at night.

Further, no one seems to notice or care that those huge bike docking stations make GARBAGE & RECYCLING COLLECTION waaaay more difficult at every building where the docks block the curb, which therefore also contributes to the rat problem we're all having.

IMO, Citi bikes and the space they take up represent youth-ism and able-ism in their most careless & heedlessly privileged form.

It's also evident that LYFT/Citi bike doesn't give a shit that their overly large docking stations (and their "repositioning" TRUCKS!) are making NYC more dangerous & less livable for the MAJORITY of us who are NOT on bikes. They are just making Manhattan into a dangerous obstacle course for pedestrians, and I hope someone sues to remove every last bike docking station.

I also hope all the "oh, biking is our salvation!" people develop serious arthritis so they can discover for themselves how much fun it is to have to pick your way through a hostile obstacle course to get from Point A to Point B.

Anonymous said...

Personally, adding some more bikes, not millions of them, and not funding CitiBike from taxpayer dollars is fine.

But, either outlaw anything that is electric, or make them get licenses, insurance and mandate that they must ride in the car lanes. I have been nearly hit too many times by these clowns going 30 mph or more in the bike lanes, not stopping at lights, riding on the sidewalks, not riding in the bike lanes or going the wrong way on one way streets.

As for the police enforcing the laws; they cannot possibly handle the amount of riders and drivers who commit infractions. Unless "draconian" measures, such as confiscation of the bike, a high number of points on a car license or a handing out massive fines are implemented, people will continue to do as they please.

Anonymous said...

The idea that even one car is not purchased by a Manhattan resident because they can ride to work on a citibike is laughable. NO ONE owns a car in Manhattan so they can drive around Manhattan. They own them to get out of the borough to where they can’t ride a bike. Or take there whole family and stuff. Citibikes only discourage walking, mass transit and taxi usage.

Choresh Wald said...

Wonderful news. Can't wait to see the presentation tonight. Citibike users pay the city for the curb space where previously cars were parked for free.

Anonymous said...

I agree for the most part with anon 9:43AM & 9:59AM. I do like the Citibikes but they do make it hard to cross the street and do gather trash. They're a nice addition but the notion of getting rid of all cars is ridiculous. If you want cars off the street, then the city should give tax breaks to developers to build parking garages. The police do need to enforce bad characters. Quite a few times I've seen motorcycles, not electric bikes - motorcycles, in the bike lane. We need to share the road and be respectful of one another. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both.

Anonymous said...

@Anon. 9:31 - Bravo. I have yet to hear one person howling about how cars get free parking spots (even though car owners pay taxes on their vehicles, registration, gas, that are then used to maintain the roads we all - pedestrians, bikers, drivers - use) wax similarly indignant when Sh*ttybike comes along and basically drops their load wherever they want, without, as you noted, any input from the community or the block residents. There is nowhere to appeal, no recourse, it is basically being forced down our throats, and to what benefit for those of us who do not utilize the program? Hot flash - NONE.

Anonymous said...

This: "Citibikes only discourage walking, mass transit and taxi usage."

Not remotely this: "Citibike users pay the city for the curb space where previously cars were parked for free." Citibike pays the city zero.

But the self-entitled always persist. If a bike user can't get a bike on demand, we must add more bikes immediately because, geez, at rush hour there may not be a bike for some NYU student. In case you just moved in from Ohio, over-filled rush hour trains also at times are unavailable, and taxis are non-existent in peak hours. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Something, non-native NY'ers don't understand or consider...There are plenty of Manhattan residents with cars who rely on them for work and/or travel to family in outer boroughs.

Those screaming for more bike lanes and claiming there are too many cars on the roads are often the same who call for an Uber/Lyft every chance they get. The roads are congested due to Uber/Lyft who lobby hard to get personal vehicles off the road. You really want to reduce the number of cars in Manhattan? At the very least, stop calling for an Uber/Lyft.

Anonymous said...

People are riding subway much less they'd rather take the city bike. As an Attractive SWF I'd rather ride a bicycle than go into the dungeon called NYC subway.

Anonymous said...

The citibikes have gotten a bit out of control - the riders and the stations. I use them once in a while, but they need to limit this shit. They are like massive advertising stations, not to mention they take tons of parking spaces which are obviously necessary as well. I love riding bikes when it's practical for me weather/distance/items im carrying-wise, etc., but these are taking over a bit too much.

Anonymous said...

My axe to grind is this - as a regular Citibike user I can comfortably report that I have about a 30% chance of undocking a fully functional bike. Most of the times tires are underinflated, wheels are wobbly, all 3 gears aren't functioning, the 1,2,3,4 etc. seat levels for adjustments are missing. You get the point. I say this - get all of your existing product in good order and then come to me about expanding.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be more E-bikes for the winter! These winds are too much to ride a regular bike .

Anonymous said...

I had no idea such anger was lurking at Citibike (which I differentiate from motorized bikes). I use them as often as possible for shortish trips around lower Manhattan, when I’m pressed for time or see an opportunity to get some exercise. Often there is a big imbalance so that I could take out a bike but there are no free docks in the area I’m going, so I don’t want to risk it. I’d like to see more docking stations. The issues of trash and blocking huge swaths of sidewalk — I don’t really see this. The only jumbo docking stations I know are at parks, like at Tompkins Square or near the courts and the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe these “infill” new docks can be modest in size. But I would like to have them.

creature said...

Annomous at 1:32 PM: "As a regular Citibike user I can comfortably report that I have about a 30% chance of undocking a fully functional bike."

This! I canceled my yearly b/c the bikes are in horrible condition. More trouble than they are worth.

Anonymous said...

How about some more commuter racks for those of us who own our bikes?

Anonymous said...

@2:17pm: "The issues of trash and blocking huge swaths of sidewalk — I don’t really see this."
You must not be looking very hard, b/c it's sadly evident all over the place, and the rats are having a field day.

"The only jumbo docking stations I know are at parks, like at Tompkins Square or near the courts and the Brooklyn Bridge."
Really? Let me give you two very specific examples:

- On the south side of 12th St. between 3rd & 4th Avenues, there are almost FIFTY (50) Citi bike docks in a row, with only ONE gap after the first 12 docks (which allows access to 130 East 12th St.) - but access to 128 East 12th Street is COMPLETELY blocked by the docks, and 128 is a multi-family rental building.

- Similarly, on the north side of 11th St. just east of 3rd Avenue, there are FORTY (40) docks taking up 100 feet of consecutive curb space, and after those 40 there's a gap, followed by ANOTHER TWENTY (20) docks taking up 50 feet of curb space, then a gap, and followed by Iyes) ANOTHER TWENTY (20) docks taking up ANOTHER 50 feet of curb space. That's a total of 80 docks taking up 200 linear feet of curb access on that ONE BLOCK.

IMO, blocking off nearly 200 FEET OF CURB ACCESS on a residential block should be ILLEGAL. It's certainly a huge burden for all the residents whose buildings are blocked.

PS: And you're not even taking into account the unwanted noise from people SLAMMING their bike return into the dock.

Anonymous said...

They are so handy and I thank our years long leader many times over for these blue beauties.

Unknown said...

Already too many citibikes clogging city streets and blocking parking spaces.
Stop this expansion.

Anonymous said...

Worth noting that as bicycle infrastructure started expanding around 2009, there has been a parallel reduction in bus service - reduction in bus routes, bus frequency and bus stops.

What is needed is support for bus and subway mass transit - not Citibike

Anonymous said...

Hey Choresh check your facts the city does not make any money off of Citibike.

Anonymous said...

Yep. @ 1:32 PM nailed it.
Some of these anti-citibike comments are just hilarious in their stretch of logic. LOL

Anonymous said...


Their arguments have evolved over the years, but the old chestnut "CITIBike takes up public parking space" (which implies that cars are publicly owned?) is still the winner.

It's a perfect storm of bad faith arguments, the "sick relatives in the Bronx", NIMBYism and people who can afford cars wanting to be able to store them for free.

Anonymous said...

It really looks like a one-person anonymous anti-Citibike rant above with numerous posts emanating from the same dude. But . . . FYI, Lyft has decided not to rebalance and instead is asking for more stations from the city (their excuse is that no bikes are available, but that is due precisely to cutting their rebalancing staff to near zero). A typical corporate shell game. I wish there were other bike share players instead of this car-centric monopoly that cares less about their bikes and employees than the previous owner, which was Motivate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster who would like to see docking stations for people who have their own bikes. It's so much cheaper to purchase a second-hand bike than it is to pay the crazy fees you have to pay for CitiBike. Also, their bikes are heavy and ride like shit.

Anonymous said...

Every motorized vehicle and driver needs to be licensed and should not be allowed in bike lanes.

Every Citibike user should be required to take a safety course and summonses need to be issued to all of these knuckleheads who ride against traffic, phone in hand, carrying on a Facetime conversation, riding side by side, and/or riding on the sidewalk.

The city doesn't need any more of these things. Buy your own bikes, be responsible.

Anonymous said...

@11:55am: "It really looks like a one-person anonymous anti-Citibike rant above with numerous posts emanating from the same dude."

Are you disagreeing with the facts presented in those posts? If so, then make your argument using documented facts, not just snide remarks about "anonymous" comments; many commenters here, including YOU, choose to be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

LYFT - enough said to know the caliber of company that's running this.

Anonymous said...

Citibikes, and bikes in the city in general, are part of the solution, not the problem, for transportation and a more livable, equitable, quieter, more peaceful, more kid-friendly, healthier city--bikes along with better bus lanes/service and other public transit.

Cars are not the answer--certainly not in a packed city. There is simply not enough room for all the car traffic and parking! We know the better way and a diverse transportation scheme--less cars than now--is the only solution here.

Anonymous said...

@2:46pm: "We know the better way and a diverse transportation scheme--less cars than now--is the only solution here."

That is your POV, but many people do not share it. The reason traffic is a mess is b/c NYC made it into a mess with tourist-seating-areas blocking Broadway in multiple places, by creating busways that prevent normal movement of taxis and for-hire vehicles, and by narrowing existing roadways by installing bike lanes, docking stations, buffer lanes, etc.

NYC created these congestion conditions. The answer is NOT more bikes, nor more bike lanes (given how many bike riders have no use for those lanes, as we see every day), nor more docking stations.

And if anyone is honest, the entire situation in NYC will only get worse, b/c if you look around at all the new glass high-rises, you will realize how many low-rise buildings (which perhaps had 10 apartments in each building) have been replaced by 20-story glass buildings that have 80 to 100 apartments in them.

To increase the number of people living in NYC to that extent (the sheer density of population), without ever taking into account the concomitant need for additional infrastructure of all kinds (meaning: streets, sidewalk space, parking, water/sewer, electric, garbage collection, NYPD & FDNY coverage, public schools and public transit) is to live in fantasy-land.

Having more bike docking stations does not solve any of these issues!

NYC has steadfastly ignored most of the implications of allowing developers to build bigger without requiring any coherent planning process, a process that would require ALL these issues to be addressed (and how about if we-the-taxpayers got to vote on the level of development, what an idea, eh?) before high-rise construction is begun.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE CitiBike. This is a great update!

Anonymous said...

Expansion? How about a Defund the Citibike campaign instead. The bike racks have removed thousands of parking spaces for residents of NY...and the EV. Residents now have to put their cars in garage for $500+ / month or ride around the neighborhood for an hour or two trying to find a legal spot. Legal parking in the EV has been destroyed with bike racks, street restaurants, construction, bike lanes, hotel loading zones and multiple street closures. Even worse, the city now will want us to pay to go to our own homes as we enter from outside the city and get caught in the fiasco they are calling Congestion Pricing.

Anonymous said...

@9:59am: I agree with you 100%. First the city makes all kinds of non-coordinated (fairly random) changes that *create* congestion, and then the city cries about how congested the streets are (well, duh!), and now they want to charge $$$$$ just to drive from one borough to another. Why? Because it's an easy way to fill up the NYC bank account. Congestion pricing is *not* about right/wrong or the environment or about anything other than NYC seeing a very easy way to rake in massive amounts of money.

If the city wants to be even-handed, there should be a congestion charge for *every*single*crossing into Manhattan - not just below 59th St. or other arbitrary point but *everywhere* in Manhattan, And that charge should apply whether the crossing is made bycar or bike or scooter or motorcycle, with no exceptions.

If enough people are riding bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge, they are collectively contributing to congestion and should pay a congestion charge, especially when you take into account the amount of space the docking stations take up.

I'm confident the enthusiastic bike riders will want to pay their fair share to keep NYC well-funded. They always claim to be good citizens who want improve the environment and who want the best for the city, and this would let them put their money where their sentiments are.

Anonymous said...

What about pedestrians ? The sidewalks are pretty crowded!

Anonymous said...

@6:12pm: Didn't John Lennon cover that in his song "The Taxman": "If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet."

Unknown said...

Correct. The local and state officials, who approved this new congestion tax, think that everyone below 59th st is rich.
This not true and unfair to the residents which are not.
Also, the TLC "created" this congestion problem and bankrupting many of the yellow cab medallion owners in the process, by letting Uber, Lyft, etc drivers unlimited access to Manhattan. Limiting medallions on yellow cabs was used to control access and congestion in Manhattan, by limiting their supply.
NYC officials created the congestion mess, and now they want to have us residents pay to fix it, via congestion pricing. They're trying to con us.

FilmBikerChic said...

I don’t know if there is a bicycle shortage. But I wish people would buy bicycles (and learn to take care of them), than expensive Citibike memberships. Aka I rather see more bicycle shops and bicycle racks than Citibike docking stations. I see a lot of citibike stations with bicycles waiting to be rode in EV.