Bike Share Stations Vandalized, Meeting Set

clermont-bikeshare-brooklyn-042113Anti-corporate messages have appeared on Citi Bike stations in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, and some Brooklyn residents are calling for removal of the stations on the grounds that they are inappropriate in historic neighborhoods, or that residents were not consulted about the locations. Above, flyers on a station on Clermont near Lafayette, near the Brooklyn Flea, point out that advertising is not allowed on landmarked residential blocks. Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James has scheduled a town hall meeting on the matter Wednesday at 6:30 at the Benjamin Banneker Academy at 71-77 Clinton Avenue. Supporters of the program are urging people to attend to defend it.
Citi Bike Stations Raise Both Praise and Opposition in NYC [Brooklyn Eagle]
Bicycles? Tough Sit! [NY Post]

155 Comment

  • This is why we can’t have nice things!

  • At the very least Citibank should have been required to get LPC approval. I mean homeowners on these blocks can’t even repair a crack in their sidewalk without LPC watching so why does Citi get a free pass? Plus, they’re friggin’ hideous.

    • DOT went through Landmarks. Since they don’t forbid people to park historically anachronistic automobiles on city streets, LPC decided it didn’t have the authority to deny bike share stations.

    • Gothamist talked to the LPC:

      Furthermore, the Landmarks Preservation Commission says that the stations are just fine, since the landmarks law generally allows advertising in historic districts—including on street fixtures like bus shelters, pay toilets and newsstands. “We approved the plan for the installation of bike share stations in historic districts throughout the city because they have no effect on the historic fabric of those neighborhoods,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, the commission’s communications director.

    • They did get LPC approval. Maybe you should get LPC approval for your Lexus or BMW parked infront of your house on the public right of way??

  • I agree with Wilso26941, with the LPC police and other noisy bodies in the neighborhood telling you what you can and can not do to your own property, how in the hell, does Citibank or any other organization get approval to put these bike stations up where they want. Also, another ploy to get rid of parking spaces….

    Might change when the newbie bike riders result in more traffic accidents……

    • Getting rid of parking spaces? Looks to me like about 30 parking spaces where there used to be only 3 or 4.

      The public gets a brand new transportation system that for the end user is 1/12 of the cost of unlimited MetroCards. The city doesn’t pay a penny for it (fully covered by sponsorship) and gets a share of the profits.

      This public space which used to serve as free motor parking for a handful of folks will now benefit hundreds of people.

      NIMBYs oppose new subway stations too. That doesn’t mean we should listen to them.

      • Beware public-private partnerships. That’s how we got the horrible virus known as Success Academy charter schools.

        Citibank should not be allowed to advertise on these historic blocks. I don’t care if there is a public benefit. Also, let’s not forget that Citibank was the worst of the worst in the mortgage debacle that led to the current recession. If one of these bike sharing stations ends up on my block, I might just “vandalize” myself.

      • [b]This public space which used to serve as free motor parking for a handful of folks will now benefit hundreds of people.[/b]

        Bike people please stop saying this.

        Parking spaces benefit anyone in the city who owns, rents, or rides in a car from one place to another. In the same way that bike share benefits anyone who rents a bike. Just because someone chooses not to own a car, or chooses not to rent a car, or chooses not to ride in a car doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use a parking space if they did not make those choices.

        That is all…

        • Bike parking benefits an order of magnitude more people, using the same space.

          • just to state the obvious, relatively few people actually ride bikes in NYC.

          • Have you been living under a rock?! There has been a large and steady increase in bicycle use in the city for years. I see bikes everywhere, any time of the day.

          • A relatively small percentage of the population ride bicycles in the city. I know that is difficult for you to believe because you are a bicycle zealot but it is true.
            This program is fine, I don’t have a problem with it, tourists will use it I’m sure.

          • According to the 2000 census, 74% of people in Fort Greene do not own cars. that number has probably only gone down a little since then.

            So why, then, should drivers get 100% of the space on the street?

            If the standard for not doling out space to bikes is that “a relatively small percentage of the population ride bikes” I have bad news for you. A relatively small percentage of the population drive cars!

          • Get yourself out of the brownstone belt or gentrifying areas (Bushwick etc) and there is very little bike ridership in Brooklyn compared to car ownership.

          • perhaps that’s why the program is launching in these areas first?

          • True. Only a few hundred thousand.

        • lcarnett: More than half the households in NYC do not own cars. I do not, but I do rent from time to time and yes, I’m usually jazzed whenever I pull up in front of my house and there is a parking space.

          But each bike station can accommodate dozens of bikes in place of one or 2 cars. It’s a gain, not a loss. These are public streets, and it’s about time we began devoting a tiny percentage of space for the public good.

          That is all…

  • Citi Bank has spent $41,000,000 backing this program for five years. It is a program that benefits the public and is privately funded. What are they protesting for? That we tax payers should pay for it? They are bike-share stations with little signs indicating the company who funded them(like the Opera, or other expensive things the public can’t afford), not kiosks that sell sub-prime mortgages. Get a grip, folks, seriously.

    • You are in brownstone Brooklyn. Your reasonable attitude has no place here.

    • I’m sure that Citi Bank has determined that they’re getting $41,000,000 worth of advertising out of this; any public benefit is a side product. There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s a good example, on the bank’s part, of enlightened self interest (something very rare, these days, in that sector of the economy) but the bank should still have to operate within the law.

    • No, its folks like yourself who lack critical thinking skills that allow the corporate take over of our cities, towns and neighborhoods. What makes you think we asked for it to be all over our neighborhoods, taking up precious little car park space and then take over our historic hoods with their commercialisation? So my point is no one who lives in hoods near and around downtown Brooklyn asked for them and therefore don’t even want it to be paid by our tax dollars! This is about corporate take over of village space, one more way to make money off of us! this is public property not for corporate take over. If there is anyone who should get grip it should be you by getting an education!

      • @daretoknow: Wait, so is this a corporate takeover, or is this an undesired use of your tax dollars?

        I’ll wait while you adjust your thinking cap, which I am pretty sure is made of tinfoil.

      • Wait, wait , wait. You cannot complain simultaneously about the corporate take over of our cities and the loss of “precious little car park space.” If there is anything out there that symbolizes corporate take over of city space it is the utilization of the public domain to park – in most cases for free – the product of some of our largest corporations. Americans have been brain washed by those very corporate automakers to feel that their cool new car imbues them with status and security. We have become addicted to the new car smell, the audio system, cup holders and and listening to our favorite radio stations as we cruise around town (usually by ourselves) burning fossil fuels, taking up way too much road space, at excessive speeds that kills hundreds of New Yorkers every year. In fact we ignore the butcher’s bill because to deal with it honestly we would have to sacrifice the convenience of using our cars – sold to us by some of the largest corporations on the planet. So stop with this holier than thou anti-corporate rubbish.

  • Disgusting NIMBY. Self-entitlement knows no bounds –

  • It’s patently obvious that these structures need LPC approval in Historic Districts. Perhaps they can be approved as is; perhaps the design will need modification in HDs. In any case, why should Citibank be permitted to flout the law?

  • i loathe these self-important folks: someone should vandalize their property.

  • This is an interesting experiment. Let’s see if it works. In a city where people steal ironwork railings and gutter downspouts, lets see if rental bicycles have a viable future.

    • Agreed. But the bank should have to operate within the law (a naive request, I admit, since they’ve suffered no significant consequences for doing far worse).

    • You really said that seriously huh? You say that like every other city int he world where this has been done successfully is free of thieves. Do you really think your little corner of the world is so unique? Is your view so myopic? Some will be vandalized, some maybe even stolen [though God only knows why when its easier to steal much nicer bikes], but its a cost of doing business that has not harmed the same systems around the Globe.

  • The Dutch have a tradition of throwing bikes into the canals…Is there going to be a Citi Bike Station in Gowanus?

  • Perhaps we should replace the bike stations with period appropriate public transportation: horse-sharing!

    I’m sure that the olfactory and noise pollution would drive the nimbys out to their ‘summer cottages’ pretty quickly…

  • The vandalized version looks just great, totally authentic NYC.

  • Regarding the photo above of the bike parking station; am I the only one who invisions people having to back these bikes out of their craddles directly into oncoming traffic? Yikes!

    • How on earth do drivers exit their cars “directly into oncoming traffic”? The look! Why would people with bikes be any different?

      • Because a lot of them will be tourists who do not share the same hyper-awareness. Backing a bicycle out out into the street at a perpendicular angle of traffic, forcing motorists to swerve into oncoming traffic is dangerous. Whatev’s.

        • Few tourists will be using these stations as they are designed for short trips not touring around town. And believe it or not many tourists come from lands where motorized transports are relatively ubiquitous and they are familiar with the hazards of traffic. Surely you don’t become a complete imbecile when you travel to other places so why would they?

    • Yes, you are the only one. There is enough room to accomplish the task unless you are exceedingly poorly coordinated. Do you ask yourself the same question when opening your car door?

  • NIMBYs are funny. They ask if DOT went through LPC, as if they know for certain that they did not. But they did!

    Just because you don’t know the answer to a question doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer. And just because you aren’t happy with the answer when you learn it doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

  • The bozo who vandalized the bike station on my block managed to cover the map but not the Citibike logo. Plus the poster complaining about commercialization has a nice big Citibank logo on it.

  • Evolve a little folks! This is good for Brooklyn and the entire city! LPC doesn’t approve you parking your cars right? These structures are not invasive and even good looking.
    STOP this silly NIMBY sh_t!

  • I’m guessing most people have noticed how useless this bike share program is. You have to check the bike in every 30 minutes which means you’ll be spending most of your time riding trying to find another station. It’s obviously just an advertising campaign by Citi Bank.

    • How you can declare a program useless that hasn’t even begun? You don’t have to check in every 30 minutes. The memberships allow for 30 or 45 minute rental increments. Obviously, Citibank is spending its $41 million to be associated with a failure.

    • 1. Members get 45 mins, not 30 mins. 2. There are these really cool apps that tell you availability by station in real time. 3. If you don’t have a smart phone, and your docking station is full, you check in, get an extra 15 mins, and the kiosk tells you where the closest available docking spot is.

    • I am guessing most people have noticed how ignorant your comment is. This is the same system used all over the world. The purpose of the system is not to go from South Brooklyn to the North Bronx it is to go relatively short distances. IF anyone should be complaining about this it should be cab drivers not you. If you are a yearly subscriber then you get 45 minutes and you can daisy chain the bikes – picking another up for 45 minutes after dropping off the first. With stations every few blocks you won’t be wasting time looking for a station — have you even looked at the station map?? In 45 minutes I can run from my office in midtown to the Court’s in lower Manhattan, or in 15 minutes I can run across town to the Hudson River Park to enjoy my lunch on a nice summer’s day. Just because your imagination and experience is lacking doesn’t mean most of us won’t be able to get some incredible uses out of this system.

  • I can’t believe these NIMBY idiots; don’t they have anything better to do!!

    If they are so concerned about 19th century authenticity, then we should tow all of their cars off the block, give them a dirt road, complete with horse sh*t, and disconnect their electricity and cable. I’m sure that they would just love a dose of real 19th century life.

    We live in the 21st century people, get used to it!

  • the community boards had input in the placement of every bike share location. Many were changed after such consultation. The complaint as always is “you didn’t ask me personally”. This is the same complaint made about bike lanes. Mostly it means until they opened on my block I didn’t care move it to the next block and I’ll be ok with it. Much misinformation. You can keep the bike more than an 1/2 hour and you will be charged more for it.
    Bike riding has increased exponentially over the last five years,,,as has the accident rate for bikes

  • @Davebuccola – with the annual pass you can keep the bike for 45 minutes, which is usually enough time to get to wherever you’re going. If you need it for longer you can either check-in at another station for no charge or keep it longer and be charged a little more. Either way, as someone pointed out earlier, it’s an alternative means of transport that costs a fraction of the annual cost for an unlimited metrocard.

  • This resources-competition punch up is what city community is all about.

  • > A relatively small percentage of the population ride bicycles in the city.

    So by all means, let’s do everything we can to discourage this.

    Screw this backward town. Cities like Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris are LIGHT YEARS ahead of us.

  • I have a car. I also signed up for an annual bike membership. It will be great for riding from my area over Dekalb for dinner or over to Boerum Hill to meet my kid after school (he and I can jump on a bus or subway back). There have been countless meetings to pick the locations for these stations. As others have said there are bus stops and cars on landmark blocks already.

  • There’s a big difference between a residential area and a commercial one, Historic District or not. A large, noisy bike station is more suitable on a block with other commercial enterprises. The bus stop shown above is on a commercial block, on the side of a candy/magazine store.

    The bike stations don’t really belong in front of residences. It will be only a matter of time before a bike share user is hurt on a sidewalk or private stoop and the owner is sued as a result. (although the sidewalk is public space, its owner is responsible for maintenance and upkeep and of course liability. The stoop is private property.) What does it do to our homeowner and liability insurance rates?

    Additionally what happens when an owner needs emergency access to a water or gas line? How will that be that handled?

    • “Additionally what happens when an owner needs emergency access to a water or gas line?” – i can’t tell if this is a joke. i laughed though :)

    • Yes, we should totally build our streets so that they plan for and accommodate all potential, future emergencies.

      By that logic, you can’t have private parked cars there. What happens if an owner needs emergency access to a water or gas line and you can’t contact the car’s owner? Sure, you can get it towed, but the clock is ticking! Gas explosion! The only solution, then, is to only have open space.

      You know, just in case.

      • We’ve had this happen. You hire a tow truck and move the cars. Also, I am not being entitled here. I am seriously asking. Who shovels the sidewalk? I am curious how this is going to proceed. Bus shelters usually provide a rental income to the property owner. There are a lot of questions regarding this public/private issue.

        • How do bus shelters provide a rental income to the property owner if they are located, generally, on public sidewalks? Any ad revenue goes to the city. Same thing here.

          Also, if a station needs to be moved for an emergency, it can be picked up in a very short amount of time. Capital Bike Share in DC frequently moves stations for security reasons, parades, and other big events. The stations are not bolted to the ground.

          In the event of snow, Citi Bike dispatches crews to shovel. Again, DC operates year round. They deal.

          • “Also, if a station needs to be moved for an emergency, it can be picked up in a very short amount of time. Capital Bike Share in DC frequently moves stations for security reasons, parades, and other big events. The stations are not bolted to the ground.

            In the event of snow, Citi Bike dispatches crews to shovel. Again, DC operates year round. They deal.”

            Since you were so informed, it might have been nice to have this attitude instead of snarky mockery.

            Thanks for the explanation. Do you work with the Bike Share or DOT?

          • Nope. Just travel and have used systems all over.

          • Travelling helps you know this: “In the event of snow, Citi Bike dispatches crews to shovel.”?

            Where are you getting this information?

          • Because I’ve asked other members and seen it in action in DC.

          • You also have an open mind with tons of common sense!

        • stonergut, above you wrote, “Bus shelters usually provide a rental income to the property owner.”

          I am curious: where did you get that info? Because you wrote it as if it were common knowledge. I was so surprised by your claim that I called a friend who happens to own a building with a bus shelter out in front, and I asked if she gets any income. “Where did you get the idea that I would make any money off of having a bus shelter in front of my house?” she asked. Um, I said, “stonergut” on Brownstoner said it was so.

          Undeterred, I tried 311. “Rental incomes for homeowners with bus shelters in front of their buildings?” I asked. Wherever did you get that idea, the 311 operator inquired. Um, “stonergut” on Brownstoner said it was so.

          So stonergut: what is up with the rental checks?

          Also, do you have fillings inside your teeth that pick up radio signals from aliens? (Aliens offering exclusive information about rental checks for homeowners with bus shelters out front).

          • “stonergut, above you wrote, “Bus shelters usually provide a rental income to the property owner.”

            Thanks for doing the research.

            Years (and years) back I did design work on a project proposal in another boro which involved new and revised bus shelters and advertising space. Rental was part of the design considerations. I assumed I got proper info at that time and figured it remained valid. I guess it’s not.

            Regardless, seems like if a property owner can be sued for the condition of his sidewalk, he ought to be compensated for its public appropriation. I guess I was wrong.

            Also my tinfoil aliens are telling me you’re an immense ***. Lighten up.

        • Read up on the whole program it’s online. It will help alleviate a lot of your pediatric concerns!

    • “The bike stations don’t really belong in front of residences. It will be only a matter of time before a bike share user is hurt on a sidewalk or private stoop and the owner is sued as a result.”

      I don’t understand this at all. Do parking spaces belong in front of residences? Do sidewalks? Do bike parking stations?

      • You guys seem so invested in insulting any question posed. Replacing 3 parking spots with 30 bike slots makes sense, certainly, however there are practical considerations which need addressing.

        Our current “ask forgiveness instead of permission” attitude makes many changes nearly impossible to deal with.

        My house is nowhere near a bike station, and honestly, I don’t have problems with the concept of bike stations, just with their thoughtless placement. My home is near a bus stop though, and I endure a constant stream of loud cell phone conversations, muffin wrappers, pizza debris, diapers and other crap left on my stoop. C’est la vie. But if you somehow expect the exalted bike riders to be better citizens than the current bus crowd, I’d like an explanation why.

        Questions about how this is going to work shouldn’t be mocked.

        • “Bus shelters usually provide a rental income to the property owner. There are a lot of questions regarding this public/private issue.” That’s cause bus shelters are on the side walk. The pic above shows the bike station on the street.

        • Do you anticipate bike riders to just stand in front of a bikeshare station, waiting for bikes to show up? There’s a huge difference between a bus stop and a bike share station. No one’s going to be hanging out in front of a bike share, unless bike share stations somehow become the hot new place to pick up chicks. “Thoughtless placement”? Where would you have them placed? No where near any actual residences where people would actually use them? Let’s just put them all out by JFK, how ’bout that?

    • Stonergut travel a little and see how things are elsewhere…it will help answer your concerns and help you a lot.

    • Noisy??? Say what? What noise, these are bikes, not cars with engines and car alarms. Liability?? huh? How do you become more liable because a BikeShare patron (probably your wife or next door neighbor incidentally) trips and falls rather than a non BikeShare patron?

      And these stations don’t belong near the homes of the people who would be using them?? Bus stations are where they are because larger commercial streets are where BIG buses can fit. small bikes are much more convenient and can be setup close to their users.

      Emergency access??? You write as if there aren’t already trees, street furniture, large vehicles, dumpsters, mail boxes, etc. already all over the streets. IF you need emergency access Citibike will help ConEd move the part of the station covering the utility. The stations I have seen installed actually go to great lengths to avoid covering any vaults or manhole covers so I doubt it will be an issue. In fact your parked car is more likely to be covering a manhole than one of these stations.

    • dim-witted comment about the bus shelter noted, I’m puzzled by your concept of a “large, noisy bike station”.

      those are two adjectives most folks associate with garbage trucks, construction sites & automobile traffic in general.

  • who will win the war between entitled, self-righteous bikers and entitled, self-righteous brownstone owners?

  • all this bike stuff is cool – and don’t call me any acronym names cause i got a big backyard :# so there is room for all nyc, but – what about those for whom a bike is not yet/ no longer/ has never been an option? i mean, what about the bus lines that served kids, older folks, disabled or not fit enough to ride bikes? promoting bike riding and at the same time eliminating busses smacks of extreme prejudice. should this city be aged 21-35 only? and these two factors are related: the same city agencies are eliminating bus lines and spending millions for – attracting american and foreign tourists, and to heck with those of us who paid nyc taxes and expect services for all citizens, regardess of our desire or ability to ‘go play jn traffic’ as it were.

    • Plenty of folks outside of the 21-35 bracket ride bikes, I do, and to be frank more should if just for their waistlines.

    • They shouldn’t eliminate buses, but you are talking apples and oranges. MTA has nothing to do with bikeshare. Setting up these bike stations through private financing has not caused a single bus line to be canceled. Our tax money is not being spent on these bikes. There is no relation – except, that if more people who can bike, then there will be more space on your bus, and fewer cars in the way of that bus.

  • “Have you seen the Velib in Paris?”


  • Dear EH: i don’t need to trim my waistline you need to trim the fat from your cranium. i am 50+. i am 100lbs. i have an aversion to road rash. i have clocked 100s of miles ,spent summers touring as a teen and young adult. bad ticker now. what are you 16? you need to grow up in your mind!

    • Relax. I am 42, I do need to trim my waistline and since getting on a bike my blood pressure has dropped and my blood chemistry has improved markedly. Its ok if this isn’t for you. No one is forcing you. The point is that lots of people other than the stereotypical “young whippersnappers” are biking and would bike more in a City made friendlier for bikes – which incidentally has a host of benefits from personal health, to decreased congestion, improved air quality, etc. Breathe.

  • I happen to live in an apartment that overlooks the bike kiosk on Hall and Willoughby. I love the idea of the bike share program. But these are my concerns:

    1. From my window I see countless bikers getting hit by cars right on that corner. The cars clear Myrtle Avenue and the pedestrians and then floor it and the accident always occurs right on my corner at the bike lanes.
    2. It is a quiet residential corner which has now been turned into a corner of commerce. It means people will be standing there with their wallets out at all hours and there’s a lot of street theft here already.
    3. There will be garbage and the maintenance staff that cleans up around the grounds of my building will be cleaning up the garbage and that will increase my maintenance fees.
    4. Pratt specifically did not want them on or near their property because of liability, garbage, noise and theft issues.
    5. I heard from various people involved with the program that they were originally supposed to go on Myrtle and Hall but because of the construction that will be happening there they simply threw them on our corner. Also they got behind because of hurricane Sandy so they skipped the trial period.
    6. Why didn’t they put them by the playground on Hall Street? The playground is fenced off so it wouldn’t be a hazard to kids and cars go slow there because it’s a playground.

    I spent a great deal of the last decade saving up money to buy a home for my family. I earned every penny of it and no one gave me anything for free. Why should I now have to wake up every day and see the Citibank logo and be wondering if I’m going to be paying for cleaning up their garbage? Also, they invested in but do you think they would be investing in it if they thought they weren’t going to make money on it? They are going to be making money on it! Since the city is behind them on this then the city should put the kiosk in front of a city owned and maintained space. It’s also the city’s responsibility to introduce the program in such a way that it does not pit people against the program.

    We can have a great bike program and I support it but we need to think it through to the next step.

    We have a petition going around in our buildings to have them moved down the street by the playground. Safer for bikers, nicer for the look of the neighborhood and less expensive for people who will be paying their maintenance staff to clean up after it. If you live in Willoughby Walk come sign the petition.

    • “From my window I see countless bikers getting hit by cars right on that corner.”
      “It is a quiet residential corner…”

      Not picking on you, but I don’t know the corner you speak of too well and your post begs the question…which is it? A quiet corner or one where countless bikers get hit by cars? In my mind, the two don’t mesh.

      • We are right on the corner of Willoughby and Hall Street and actually it is a very quiet corner. Meaning there’s no commerce, people don’t hang out there and it’s mostly people walking by to go to the park and stuff like that.

        Alot of bikers get hit on the corner. Bikers go the wrong way a lot in the lanes but also the cars do go really fast down Hall Street so it’s just a bad combo. I have lived here for a few years and I’m totally familiar with the pedestrian, bike and auto traffic patterns of the block.

        If they put the kiosk by the playground it will be closer to the markets that people will be shopping at. The associated is closed and there’s going to be major construction on Myrtle so the cut through will not be useable either. There’s not much for people to access on this block. Also, Pratt has tons of bike racks and bikes so I don’t see Pratt kids using them a lot. The current location just isn’t optimal.

        • That playground you speak of is right next to the BQE and the access roads. Nothing is ever going to be optimal.

          • The playground is also farther from the Myrtle Avenue shops (at 0.2 miles) than your intersection (0.1 miles). Check it out on Google Maps — I used Zaytoons as an example. Not to quibble with you, but just pointing out that your proposed solution doesn’t have all the merits you’re suggesting.

    • You have some perfectly good concerns, but you had countless opportunities to make them known at Community Board meetings and DOT workshops about siting of these stations. Why didn’t you?

      To address some of your concerns: Citibike employs maintenance crews who are responsible for garbage removal. In addition, Citi is not making money on this program, but merely paying for the naming rights – Alta Bike Systems (the operator) and the city share any money generated from the system. Also, public streets are city owned and maintained spaces. Any Citibike station on private property, obviously, had to be cleared with the property owner first. These were all points I learned at a workshop I attended, which you and your neighbors were welcome to attend as well.

      The good news for you is that the stations aren’t bolted to the ground, and are movable. If there is a legitimate reason to move the station, it can be moved. But it would’ve been a lot easier if everyone took one minute once a month to look at the CB2 agenda and participate in the planning process rather than criticizing things after the fact.

      • Once again, I’m not opposed to the bike share program. I feel like the one on my corner was not well thought out. I even have a constructive idea about where it could go.

        I work in the city 5 days a week, gone from 7:30am-5:30pm sometimes later, also I have a child. I guess I’m not up on everything I should have been.

        My co-op board was informed one week before they were put on our corner. They didn’t have time to protest or change it. I am trying to get more involved. I just didn’t know about it, I’m pretty busy, doing my best….

        • I’d recommend checking the CB2 full board agenda (it’s posted on the front page of their site) once a month well in advance of the meeting to see if there’s something you should be concerned about. Even if you can’t make it to the meeting (believe me, I’m busy too and usually can’t make it), it’s good for keeping tabs on what’s going on.

          I’m curious, though, who informed your co-op board. These locations were chosen last summer after a year-long process!

          • Thanks I will check the site from now on for sure. Our Coop has already brought it up with Tish James at a meeting last week and I presented the first part of the petition to her. Apparently a Citibike representative came to our management office and said they were coming. One person on the board knew about them but was under the impression all along that they were going to go on Hall Street down by Myrtle which would make sense since there’s shopping there. She was surprised.

            I really never saw one sign in our neighborhood saying that this spot was being chosen. If there had been some kind of sign at the location it would have been a great way for people to find out about the plan. But since my apartment looks out onto the location and I pass that corner everyday I can safely say that there was never a sign.

          • Yes. The maps I saw showed tiny 1 or 2 pixel intersections with gigantic 10 pixel dots kind of hovering there. There wasn’t actual information provided which displayed anything more than “DeKalb and Vanderbilt”. There was no way of determining on any of the maps I saw published on websites which specified precisely WHERE in a general intersection the bikes were to be positioned.

            I am sure a lot of this will be brought up in the meeting Wednesday, and I sincerely hope some revisions can be considered.

          • The NYCDOT website for bike share has PDFs showing specific placement on city streets, how many bikes, and whether they would be placed on the sidewalk, street, or in a plaza. These maps were also shared at public meetings, including at CB2.

            You couldn’t find them, so did you ask someone? Did you contact a city official? If you were so interested in knowing, you would have found them. That’s not an excuse for complaining after the public process has already taken place.

      • Seriously, I feel really awful for not knowing about it. I really do. I would have tried to do something before hand.

    • The bike share station is on a “a city owned and maintained space.”

      It’s on the street.

  • Hilarious – This must have gotten more comments than all the rest of 2013 put together.

    Yes, the corporateness is annoying, but dag whoever did this is a nitwit for not doing it in a more creative and funny way, like just seamlessly papering over the citibank portion of the signage with something else, instead of being obvious and slapping their wheatpaste over useful info.

  • and all the people who are opposed to bikeshare can blow me. Form a line, no pushing.

  • My take: this has nothing to do with bikes or parking spaces at all. It’s about newcomers vs. old timers, gentrification, and perceived class differences. Bikes, bike lanes, and bike share represent change, and some longtime residents, rightly or wrongly, feel those changes passing them by and mowing them down. I’m hoping the antis will be won over by the ease, simplicity, low cost, wide reach, and pure fun of the system once it’s in place. You know, I was anti-Barclays Center, but now that it’s here, I feel like my cultural / entertainment horizons have broadened immeasurably. I mean, how cool is it to ride your bike 10 minutes and see Leonard Cohen in concert….?

  • I have nothing to add, but I just had a thought. What if you get mugged for your bike share bike?

    • What absolute nonsense… Every car on this block -whether parked or driving by- is advertising their make; should they be banned? Seriously now. How about clothing labels of those walking the same streets…they too?

      No doubt the ‘concern’ is about losing parking spots…get a life! Or rather, move!

    • SUCH a troublemaker!!! :-)

      How are you doing, Heather?

    • What if you get mugged for your bike bike…..or your car, purse, jewelry, shoes, basketball, iPod/Pad/Mac?

      • My point is, are you responsible for replacing the bike? Will there be a bunch of stolen citibikes in circulation as well?

        • Hi Heather,

          There is an answer to your first question on the CitiBike FAQ:

          “Immediately notify us by calling 1-855-BIKE-311(245-3311). You must do this within 24 hours. The customer service representative you speak with will ask you to fill out a Citi Bike Theft Report form. In addition, we request that you call or visit the police precinct in which the theft occurred within 24 hours to file a theft report. Your credit card may be charged for the cost of recovery or replacement of the bike. Please note, you must contact Citi Bike within 24 hours of the loss or theft of your Citi Bike.”

          The link to that FAQ:

          As to your second question, will there be a bunch of stolen citibikes in circulation: if I understand correctly, each bike will have a GPS so that the bike share program managers can keep track of what bikes are in circulation, how full bike stations are, and (yes, it’s kind of Big Brother), track stolen bikes. You can read more on an NYC FAQ page:

  • I’ve used bike shares in other cities and they were not noisy, dirty gathering places.

  • I think the bike share program will be great, heavily used, and really start to shift the way NY’ers travel. Within a few years, everyone will accept this.

    The ISSUE being raised here is with the corporate branding/advertising all over the place. As someone that’s been in the advertising/marketing world, I can tell you that Citibank got WAAAY more than $40 million worth of advertising / PR for sponsoring the bike share program. Banks are necessary for the capitalistic society we operate in, but at the end of the day, the existence banking sector siphons off an enormous amount of money (20%+ by some estimates) from the greater public that goes to a small minority. Banks like Citibank also happened to be partially responsible for collapsing our economy a few years ago. Many people may not like to have gigantic banks have their advertising / corporate logos reminding them of this, and creeping more and more into our existence, especially on residential blocks that outlaw outdoor advertising.

    It is sad that it is current city government policy to make things like paying for a bike share program or getting funding for public libraries are now being SOLD OFF at HUGE DISCOUNTS to private corporations.

    Don’t let Citibank spin their $100 million+ worth of free Advertising/PR to make it seem that we should thank them for this program.

    Keep up the wheatpasting.

    • I get what you’re saying, but really, who gives a bleep about where the bikes are coming from? I think they’re great, and they don’t in anyway make me want to bank with Citibank at all. I got to Mets games, and I’ve yet to open a Citibank account or fly with Delta willingly, or shop at Modell’s, or drink Pepsi. (‘course, Citi may not be getting their money’s worth with the Mets…)
      I just don’t get why it’s “sad” that corporations are funding bike shares or public libraries. Who cares where they come from, as long as they exist? Isn’t it better than taxpayer money being spent (and yes, you could say that Citibank IS spending taxpayer money, bailout, etc.) Again, who cares? If Citi sponsored and found a cure for cancer, would you protest it? I’d get a Citi face tattoo if it cured cancer. Who wouldn’t? As long as I don’t need to change my behavior or anything to use these bikes, I don’t give a crap where they came from

      • Appreciate your thoughts..

        I don’t think I would protest it if Citibank invested money to try to cure cancer. I also don’t think Citibank would ever spend any money to try to do something for the public good (unless they determine they are getting an equal or greater amount of advertising/PR/goodwill) out of it. In fact, it is illegal for them to do so, as they must act in their owners / shareholders interest first.

        The point I was making is a ‘big picture’ point and it is this-

        New York City policy currently gives 8 and 9 figure amounts of taxpayer money to corporations, private developers, etc (the elite) in various indirect ways through things such as tax breaks/incentives, and neighborhood re-zoning. Most of the public is not aware of or does not understand the intricacies of how this actually works.

        Downtown Brooklyn / Fulton Mall example: When zoning laws are changed, a developer is instantly allowed to build 40 stories one day, when the previous day only 5 stories were allowed. That is an 8-9 figure amount of VALUE that is being created overnight. The City has the right to do whatever they want with this newly created value. Currently, the majority of this newly created 100 million dollar+ value currently goes to wealth/elite landowners and developers. You can find similar examples in the case of Atlantic Yards, and numerous other non-Real Estate related deals as well.

        Rather than demanding that that the City keep MORE of that new value that is created, and letting developers/corporations make a modest profit, they allow them to take ENORMOUS unprecedented profits, and then we have little to no money left to fund things for the public good such as: public libraries, public bike share programs, OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION, etc.

        THEN the City hooks up Citibank with $200 million worth of advertising/PR for only $41 million, and allows them to plaster advertising on residential blocks, some of which outlaw outdoor advertising (for good reason). This topic was about the anti-corporate messaging / protesting Citi’s advertising (not protesting the bike share program).

        FYI, protesting/stopping Bike Sharing is old news / futile, as there are 13 North American Cities launching Bike Share programs in 2013 including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Austin.

        Hopefully this helps paint some light on current city government policy, and why it is indeed sad.

        • grimace,

          I love your thoughtful take on this. As you note, bike share is going to happen and it will likely improve the city. But your outline of the city government policy angle was helpful.

          I realize you might not have all the info at hand, but I guess my big question after reading your post is this: would the city have actually saved money if our local government financed and rolled out the bike share program on its own? (ie, the bike kiosks would say NYC Department of Transportation instead of Citibank). Perhaps it’s hard to answer that question without knowing whether the whole program will turn a profit or not….

          I just assumed that the bank partnership (and yes, I find Citibank odious) was a lousy means of getting at a desired end, of having a bike share program without taxpayer financing.

        • Grimace, I’m curious – how do you figure that Citi is getting $200 million in advertising value from this program? I work in outdoor advertising and wouldn’t even put its value close to that. It’s relatively small logos – it’s just branding, so it doesn’t carry nearly the same value as even a bus or subway ad. Even giving it a rather liberal value in line with a 30-sheet billboard in a city neighborhood, Citi MIGHT get a third of that $200M value over five years.

          But the political reality is this: for every person who complains about the fact that there are Citi logos on this, there would be ten who would throw a raging fit if this program was paid for with taxpayer dollars. It just wouldn’t be politically feasible otherwise.

  • “and all the people who are opposed to bikeshare can blow me. Form a line, no pushing.”

    bfar, Montero’s. Thursday, May 9th. For drinks and karaoke, not a blowjob. Big gathering.

  • ^^^ All the rest of you are welcome at Montero’s on May 9th, too, especially you Mrs. Mingott!!!

  • sure grimace, but they could be way more clever about it. More adbusters/eyebeam and less grumpy old landholders.

  • oh boo i missed this thread :(


  • Is this the longest Brrowstoner thead since the OT got kicked off?

  • “Your credit card may be charged for the cost of recovery or replacement of the bike.”


  • I was at the meeting and I think it’s ridiculous for people to claim that they knew nothing about this bike sharing program. This program was set to launch A YEAR AGO and before that was 18 months of input and compromise with the members of the community. I heard of the program from community meetings, local papers, local news, word of mouth, Facebook and the Citibike website. I attend regular meetings in my neighborhood because I am aware of how many things happen without your input if you are not an active member in your community. The map of the stations has been available online for well over a year. It’s not like these stations just popped up overnight in a poof. All of this information is available on and offline if you are not computer savvy. I live far from the G and C trains, own a car and only drive it 2 or 3 times a year to visit family out of state. I keep my car in a garage on Washington Avenue because it’s cheaper to have an MTA card and a garage than it is to pay parking tickets and gas. I have used buses and subways all these years but I am happy to have a Citi Bike station on my block and have purchased a membership. My building is a registered historic building in Wallabout and Citi Bike will bring many more people through here to enjoy the beauty and history of our neighborhood. I easily see myself using this service every day and commend Councilwoman James for standing behind this program. This is all about moving forward and that’s what Brooklyn does.

  • I support BikeShare and signed up the first day. That said, the BIkeShare program has been very heavy handed in where they put the bikes and the number of bikes. Sure, they had meetings, but that doesn’t mean they changed anything because of people’s comments at those meetings. They put the bikes exactly where THEY decided they wanted them and if you are a big institution they listened to you and didn’t put them near you but if you are the little guy, welcome to 30 bike docks outside your door. Someone said none near Pratt, well, none in Metrotech either. But they took up an entire city block near Metrotech with bike docks ON THE SIDEWALK when there is tons of wide open sidewalk across the street closer to Metrotech but BikeShare doesn’t want them there. How much sense does that make? They are creating ill will for a good program by their heavy handedness. There are plenty of appropriate places for these bikes but the people who decided where to put them obviously don’t know much about NYC. And I’ll bet no one at DOT has any outside their door. How about 30 BikeShare docks outside Bloomberg’s townhouse mansion? What a great example that would set. Shouldn’t bother him, he’s moving to London anyway.