Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Over the Summer, Citi Bike Program Extended Into Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Surrounding Neighborhoods

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Citi Bike stations in Carroll Gardens

In the past few weeks, Citi Bike docking stations have been installed in Carroll Gardens, Gowanus Cobble Hill, the Columbia Street Waterfront District, Red Hook as well as Park Slope.
The arrival of the blue bikes seems to have unleashed strong feelings within the community.  From conversations  with local residents, it appears that many are unhappy about the loss of yet more parking spots in the area.  Others, however, seem very glad to have an alternative to the subway and to easily access other parts of the City.

The expansion of the bike sharing program into our neighborhood had been announced by Citi Bike and the Department of Transportation in 2015. Since then, DOT held a series of public meetings and presentations with the help of Community Board 6's Transportation Committee to "engage with the community and listened to their concerns and suggestions."
A final expansion plan map for the CB6 area was presented to the community in May 2016.
The first docking stations were installed this past August.

According to the Citi Bike web site, Carroll Gardens alone will get a total of 13 docking stations.
Here are the locations:

New Stations
Clinton St and Union St
Carroll St and Columbia St
Henry St and Degraw St
Smith St and 9 St
Clinton St and 4 Place
President St and Henry St
Degraw St and Smith St
1 Pl and Clinton St
Carroll St and Smith St
Court St and Nelson St
Smith St and 3 St
Coming Soon
3 St and Hoyt St
Hoyt St and Union St

How do you feel about the new Citi bikes in the neighborhood?



40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you talk to people rich enough and with enough disposable time to keep a car. Loss of parking spaces is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Citibikes, but this number of docking stations so close to each other in one neighborhood seems excessive.

chance bliss said...

love it that the bikes are here. yes, there are fewer parking spots (which impacts me as i have a car) but i'd encourage people to try out the bikes before judging whether or not it's a good idea.

i love that it makes getting to other parts of brooklyn so much easier. it's faster than taking the subway or even a car. for this, i mean that it is now much easier to get to downtown brooklyn, and neighborhoods such as dumbo, fort greene, clinton hill, and prospect heights. taking into account how long it would take to get to these neighborhoods by subway, then this is definitely an improvement.

tomorrow, when i have to move my car for thursday street cleaning, then that will probably be the first time i feel the true impact of fewer parking spaces in carroll gardens - as most people are now back from summer holidays, school has begun, businesses have resumed... so we'll see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for our neighbors who complain about losing street parking spots. Imagine parking in your neighbor's garage for free, and then complaining when your neighbor asked you to move your car to another free garage because he wants to store his bikes in his garage. On-street parking is not a public good that can be used by everyone. It is a private use of land and land is scarce.

Anonymous said...

I was out of town in August and couldn't believe how many of these were in Red Hook when I got back - seems like there is one on every other block. I don't mind them, seems like people are actually using them, so they don't seems intrusive to me.

Anonymous said...

There is an excessive amount of Citi Bikes. It was already tough to park in this neighborhood and now much needed parking spaces were taken away. In the summer there was a little reprieve but now that school is starting up and vacations are over parking will be problematic again. If I need to go food shopping for my family I have to take my car, I can't fit everything I need on a bike. And to piggy back on the ongoing complaint in this neighborhood, there is a shortage of affordable, clean and accessible grocery stores. I have no choice but to drive to other areas of Brooklyn in order to shop for groceries. The bikes could have been installed on Court Street or Smith Street where parking is metered so that residential parking was not affected. Furthermore, there weren’t any public meeting notices about Citi Bikes coming to our neighborhood, residents found out when representatives from the City or Citi Bike knocked on their door to let them know they would be installed outside their houses. If our representatives knew then shame on them. They should have publicized it just like they do when there are Participatory Budget meetings or elections coming up.

Anonymous said...

The Gowanus Houses location is brutal. That Warren Street pass-thru had such a nice flow to it, the bikes on the Hoyt side really put a dent in that. I haven't seen anyone parking or taking a bike out but I imagine it would be pretty intrusive to someone trying to walk by. I don't understand why they didn't just put them on the street like they do everywhere else.

Rob said...

To those complaining not knowing it, that's you own fault. This was mentioned over a year ago they would be expanding into this neighborhood. This reminds of people who complained about the bike lane on Prospect Park West. They didn't pay any attention and then act surprised when it happens. Sorry but it was posted on many NYC blogs over the last year or more.

Secondly, you need multiple stations close by because if a docking station is full it's a problem if there's no where else close by to go. That defeats the entire purpose of this unless you have multiple options to dock that are close by.

And lastly parking. Sorry but you're also in the minority there. Most people living in this neighborhood don't have a car. The presence of Citibike has absolutely nothing to do with the lack of grocery stores. Having a car to grocery shop is incredibly expensive. You'd be better off paying the delivery fees from Shop Rite than owning a car.

This will definitely make it easier for people to get to Downtown Brooklyn, Red Hook and other surrounding neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Hey Katia! Glad to see you're back home and covering this story. I wanted to mention that aside from these 8 comments above, there is a list of neighborhood supporters that do miss their parking spots. Someone from our neighborhood started a petition regarding the bikes and so far 573 supporters have signed it. I don't own a bike or a car but I do understand both sides of the story. The link to the petition is below.


https://www.change.org/p/all-of-us-citi-bike?recruiter=589638380&utm_campaign=signature_receipt_fb_dialog&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition



Anonymous said...

Rob,

Some of us don't have the time to read "many NYC blogs" during our day because we work. I rely on major news outlets for current news and our elected officials to keep us informed of changes coming to our neighborhood. I was aware of the MTA’s plan to run express F trains so I don’t live under a rock. Plans for Citi Bike were not publicized.

If car owners were in the minority then why has parking become such an issue in this neighborhood? It may not be an issue for YOU but it is an issue for many others.

Unknown said...

Did anyone calculate the cost of using this method vs. owning your own bike vs just walking to the market with a cart. $16 for the first 30 minutes of being on the bike. $4 more for 15 minutes when you go over the 30 minutes. If the math is right it's about $24 for an hour of using the bike? How is this system affordable for all?

Katia said...

Thanks for the link, Anon.
There is also a lively discussion on Pardon Me For Asking's Facebook page.

dennis said...

https://www.change.org/p/all-of-us-citi-bike?recruiter=39647311&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink...... if you dont want citi bike sign my petition it is not about just parking space its to excessive and kills the neighborhood.. if you want to make a statment put your name next to it

dennis

Anonymous said...

Where does all the money go from the Citi Bike program? It seems you need to have a disposable income to pay the high rates for a Citi Bike. It's way cheaper to buy a bike.

chance bliss said...

to unknown at 3:26 pm: i think your calculation of the prices are incorrect, as those prices are completely off.

if you sign up for a monthly membership, then it's $16 per month, in which the first 30 minutes of being on the bike are free... then it's $4 more per 15 minutes... however, if you ride your bike 30 minutes or less to DUMBO, let's say, at return to a station in DUMBO, then you ride ANOTHER bike back from DUMBO and return it to a station in CARROLL GARDENS, you would incur no extra charges.

again, it's $16 per month... if you sign up for an annual membership, then each ride entitles you to 45 minutes of use before any additional charges are incurred.

dennis said...

im not against the bikes what im against is the overkill my block is an emergancy route. they should be placed on bigger avenues and inhttps://www.change.org/p/all-of-us-citi-bike?recruiter=39647311&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink parks... if no one wants then sign my petition

Anonymous said...

Hi Katia, The distribution wasn't well thought out. There are two stations within a couple of minutes of me. Both are taking up significant street space, one on Henry in front of the supermarket, an extremely truck heavy, busy and narrow block, and the other 2 minutes away, in front of the library. (For whom? The library mostly serves kids- can't rent; those supervising the kids -can't put the kids on the bikes; and older, retired folks who don't ride bikes) Isn't the point of Citibikes to extend our transit system effectively for those less well served by existing transit? Why not on wide Court street, the Sackett or Union bridges crossing the BQE, or additional spots further from the subway. So many more effective, better distributed spots than what was chosen.

Also, I didn't see any sort of notification whatsoever of meetings or the intent to install. CB6 has its own specific notification guidelines about when and how residents need to be notified of meetings affecting them, and I'm certain none of that was followed.

Anonymous said...

I am excited but there are too many stations, a few less would be reasonable. Also I don't find them accessible for everyone in terms of pricing and distance, this needs to be addressed. For the anti-car people - our community is full of young families and cars do help - certainly Citibikes aren't going to help transport young children.

Anonymous said...

According to AHS/US Census 57% of households in 11231 don't have a car. Another 37% of households have 1 car. The average household size is 2.19, so by a wide margin, most people in our neighborhood don't own a car.
http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/14_5YR/B08201/8600000US11231

As others have pointed out, you don't have a right to free parking. We all pay for the streets, it doesn't make sense for a small minority of car users to monopolize their use, even setting aside the other social costs of driving like pollution and deaths caused by crashes.

Anonymous said...

cars dont cause deaths its the people hind them

Anonymous said...

people who ride bikes are just as careless as motorists not far to just signle out drives

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed the city did not place the majority of bikes on Court and Smith streets. It makes much more sense to have the docking stations near shops and restaurants and would go a long way toward traffic calming. Also, on my block (Degraw). We lost four legit parking spaces when placing the docking stations just a few feet away across Smith street would have actually reinforced a no parking zone (but not a fire zone) the city established a few years ago. So, yes, this was poorly planned.

Anonymous said...

As soon as someone gets hurt from an individual riding Citibike, all will start to stir. Will it then be considered an accident? Who is the insurance company backing Citibike ? Are all riders considered additionally insured by the citIbike Corporation .

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:59. You state that car owners are monopolizing streets and that nobody deserves free parking. But aren't you now paying for the objects in those "free" parking spots. And if you don't use citibike then i have no idea why you would even be defending this decision. Citibike does not overall benefit bicyclists. Most people who are bicyclists have a bicycle hence no need for citibike. And wouldn't it also be that citibike is monopolizing the streets that YOU pay for. So youre paying for a company to put their items on land you pay for and then paying that company to use their product so you can park it in these areas. So you're paying for parking for a bike. If that isn't ridiculous then i don't know what is.

Unknown said...

Chance bliss. I read their instruction. It cost $16 for the first 30 minutes....my understanding from what I read you get 30 minutes of riding time. If you go over the 30 minutes it will cost you $4 for each additional 15 minutes of riding time. Now if citibike is just for quick and precisely planned trip...maybe it will cost you $8 dollars for the first few minutes. How is that affordable vs getting on a subway, bus or just walking? And how it it convenient if you have to find a docking station that may or may not have a spot for you to dock it? I like my local bike shop businesses. Will this hurt them? Who is really benefiting from this?

Anonymous said...

I'm a homeowner, a car owner and I'm thrilled to have citibikes finally arrive. In the city walking and biking should be primary transport.

Anonymous said...

I understand the system but too many dock stations. The one on Greenpoint Ave and Manhattan Ave is the worst placed one I've seen 16 wheel trucks can't make the turns there as it is and that thing just adds to the problem. It would work better in the opposite side. As far as Carroll gardens goes? Fun to ride to the greenway or red hook. I can't keep a bike in my yard anymore. But I'd love a pay as you go kinda deal. Swipe your card and release the bike. A monthly seems stupid especially if one doesn't plan on using a bike every day. A weekend plan would be great. And drivers in NYC don't watch out for cyclists. I saw wear a day glo safety vest. Wearing black on a bike at night with no light is just stupid. Anyway. All these complaints seem valid. But citibike won't budge. Fort Greene Historic district fought their placements and LOST.

Anonymous said...

We have the same rights as anyone to utilize the streets Citibike does not. Where is this money going? To them not the upkeep to our streets. Also Noone said anything when cyclists had bike racks installed all over the sidewalks hence utilizing PUBLIC SPACE FOR YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY so that argument is hogwash.so you talking pollution? You have buses and trucks daily. Crashes? They are going to increase unfortunately because cyclists just don't obey traffic laws. Citibike users have no clue how to ride a bike let alone obey traffic laws

Anonymous said...

about a year ago there was a meeting at the community board to view the proposed sites of the CitiBikes but it was a rigged process - city officials had their pro bike consultants participating at the meeting as if they were residents. Every time I offered an opinion of moving a location to one that less impacted parking, one of these consultants would push back. I support CitiBikes but not at detriment of parking. There are many areas in the neighborhood to put bikes that don't affect parking.

Anonymous said...

Hi Katia,

A friend of mine who lives in Tribeca says Citibike was very responsive to residents'complaints about the placements of the docking stations in that neighborhood. She is going to find out where we should direct our concerns. I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled about the Citibike expansion. I have a relatively low income for our neighborhood ($30k) and find the $155/year membership for unlimited 45-minute rides to be very affordable. Yes, the program gets expensive if you pay for rides a la cart, but the annual fee is good value.

There's a docking station across the street from my apartment and I see it gets quite a bit of action. I am sympathetic to those who bemoan the loss of parking, as I would be grumbling if they removed bicycle parking or my subway stop. The freedom that Citibike allows is amazing. And cycling is good exercise for people of all abilities.

Mary said...

I'm a big supporter of Citibikes. Gave up my car a few years ago and bought a bike, but had Citibikes been in Brooklyn then, I would not have bought a bike. It's everyone's choice what mode of transportation they choose, then they need to share the roadways. No one group has more rights than another.

Welcome back, Katia!

Mary

Mary said...

About the comment "old people" don't read bikes. I'm old and ride a bike. I was in a small town in Italy this summer where cars are limited; bike riders ranged from kids to 80 year olds. Please, refrain from ageism.

Anonymous said...

But this is unfair favoritism of the Citi bike business. Most bikers own their bikrs, but there are no new parking places for privately owned bikes. There should be at least two bike lock locationsfor every one Citi bike docking.

Anonymous said...

It's really incredible that the city arrogantly places these bike racks in communities without any input from residents. Anyone who lives in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boreum Hill know how overwhelming it is to park, regardless of day or time. It is simple math: apartment buildings and condos are rapidly being constructed all over these neighborhoods - hence the need for more parking.

The lack of parking will hurt community shops. I no longer live in the area (moved to a much quieter hood in Brooklyn) and often would drive to my fav stores in the area. I no longer frequent the area because it is impossible to park anywhere. I am not the only one.

The idea of these bikes are lovely, but there must be a more creative solution as where to place these racks.

Anonymous said...

There has been advance warning of this for like a year and a half at least. And people who move into the new apartments and condos won't necessarily own cars - in fact, if they do own cars, those same condos and apartment buildings will have had a much greater negative impact on parking than a bunch of citibike racks would have. And I think it's quite likely that this will bring in more business to the neighborhood, since it will put the neighborhood in practical reach of people who use citibikes, including tourists who will be able to bike to the neighborhood, dock their bikes, and then walk around shopping and eating for a long time without the clock ticking.

Anonymous said...

Cars pollute, cars take up a lot of space, cars make noise, cars run people over (in a much more fatal way than bikes do), cars contribute to global warming. Bikes make people healthier, bikes reduce congestion, noise and pollution. I agree that there needs to be a balance-- but citi bikes are a great start. If it means less cars in the city because parking is a bit harder then that might be a good thing. In a city of more than 8 million people 8,000 citi bikes does not seem like a lot. There were more than 10million citibike rides in 2015 alone. That is awesome!

Anonymous said...

@ anon1213 How will the lack of parking hurt community shops? In the 1 parking space you occupy when you drive into the neighborhood, we can now accommodate a dozen or so visitors from outside the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I just wish citibike riders were required to wear a helmet. It's scary watching some of them ride around with no protection and very little knowledge of how to safely navigate through the city environment.

Carroll Gardens Family since before St. Agnes said...

No Happy Medium. It seems most people either love or hate the Citi-Bike Program in C.G. There are those who feel wanting to park a car is WRONG on any level - they feel car owners should either sell their cars or move to Bensonhurst. Then there are those who feel that every corner should have a Bike Rental Stand and that Smith Street should be a Pedestrian Mall for NO Cars at all.
You know who doesn't make comments about Citi-Bike, and who does NOT have a Citi-Bike rack in front of or near their business: Citi-Bank itself. Can we say Ironic?

I work in mid-town and there's a Citi-Bike stand just up the block from my office. And it's great. But you know what? There isn't another for almost 10 blocks.
Why are the ones in Carroll Gardens SO very close to each other? Who decides these things?
And why can't the city ever compromise? There's already limited parking - so why not place the Bike Racks OUT of the Streets. Why take away 5/6 parking spots across from PS 58 when you can place the rack IN THE PARK! Why place them in the street in front of the Post Office when there's a Traffic Island & Median right there? The city already made Smith Street narrower, why not place a rack on the overly extended sidewalk? Why not place them near the entrance of each Train Station? Why not on that strip of land which was the failed Flee Market next to Rite Aid?
Instead of everyone being made happy - everyone is made miserable. I take NO Side: I say compromise.
However, I will agree with one thing: Bikers are GREAT, but only when they obey the rules of the road. Too many drive thru crosswalks against the light. Too many of these new Citi-Bike customers just pull into traffic without looking OR manually push the rental into a car because they pull so hard getting them off the rack.
Cicit-bike riders should have to carry insurance like any other vehicle user.