Citi Bike Program, Why Do You Hurt Me So?

by Heather Van De Mark on

There’s been a lot of buzz on Twitter about the new Citi Bike Share program. People are still posting Instagram photos of newly installed share stations across the city; and reporters and analysts are speculating over the potential political power held by cyclists who enrolled full force in the Bike Share program, purchasing 5,000 annual memberships in two days.

If you’re uninitiated, Citi Bike is a program that provides thousands of bicycles across the city. For a fee people can unlock a bike at a share station. A person rides that bike for a mile or two to their destination and returns it to the closest share station. Ultimately, it’s a good program that will lead (and already has led) to more discussion on the future of the city’s transportation.

My problem with the Citi Bike Share Program? See the station map below.

That’s right Mr. Sad Face, North Brooklyn isn’t going to be seeing any Citi Bike action any time soon. While everyone else is posting pics of their new station and getting free helmet fittings, I’m living in transportation’s no-man’s land, indignant and jealous.

I can’t help but think this was a gross oversight by the program’s creators. North Brooklyn could greatly benefit from the Citi Bike system, for the given reasons:

      1. Williamsburg and Greenpoint already have an in-need community who have to use an unreliable subway (G) or a constantly overcrowded subway (L) or unpredictable bus lines for transportation.
      2. New high-rise housing projects are going to bring in thousands of new residents to the area, so the demand for more transportation alternatives are only going to increase in the coming years
      3. If/when the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative passes and is completed, West Street will become part of a 14-mile stretch of bike lane. Why not provide some bikes for people to use it?
      4. North Brooklyn is an ideal place for the program given the proximity between parks and their lack of transportation options to move between them. Imagine an easy afternoon of cycling from Grand Ferry Park, to East River State Park, to Transmitter Park and ending in McGolrick Park. By bike, that’s a few easy miles (mostly on bike lanes and sharrows), otherwise it’s a conundrum of subway and bus riding, and walking.
      5. In 2008, statistics showed that North Brooklyn had an edge over other neighborhoods in the borough when it came to cycling. (source) But more importantly, it also showed that we had lower car ownership rates, meaning we need our bikes, we need more bikes. Bikes, bikes, bikes.
      6. Given the polluted history of Greenpoint, I support anything that improves our air and water quality no matter how slightly. According to a 2009 EPA study, “for every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO² (0.88 lbs) is saved.”

Do you want to see Citi Bike in North Brooklyn? Add your reasons to the list below in the comments. Are you glad Citi Bike isn’t making a home near your home? Tell us why in the comments.

UPDATE: According to this article and map from Bikeshare.com, the CitiBike plan does include rolling out stations in North Brooklyn. However, when that might take place is still speculation at this point.

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.
  • Lisa Desai commented:

    I totally agree! We need bikes here! And the kicker?… They actually make all the bikes in Greenpoint!
    Any thoughts on how to convince folks to extend the citibike locations?

    Reply

  • Heather Van De Mark

    Heather Van De Mark commented:

    I had no idea they made the bikes in GP! For starters, our CM is already aware of the issue and created a Change.org petition, you and your friends should sign: http://gwapp.org/2013/06/petition-for-citibikes-in-north-brooklyn-and-a-bike-bonanza/

    Making yourselves heard to your local politicians is important, tell organizations like Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (http://www.brooklyngreenway.org) and Transportation Alternatives (http://www.transalt.org) and then tell CitiBikes directly (http://citibikenyc.com) that GP wants, needs CitiBikes. Tell them via e-mail, FB and Twitter.

    Reply

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