DOT Wants Your Help to Decide Where Bike-Share Stations Will Go

New Yorkers have been flooding DOT with requests for bike-share stations on the agency's new interactive map. More than 3,200 suggestions have been submitted in 24 hours. ##http://a841-tfpweb.nyc.gov/bikeshare/##Head over to the site## and let them know where you want a station.

When bike-share goes live next year, stations will be located every few blocks throughout Manhattan below 79th Street, give or take a few blocks, and much of northwest Brooklyn. The exact locations of the stations have yet to be decided, and siting them will be a big task for bike-share planners this fall. DOT is counting on public feedback to help guide the process.

“What we’re really focusing on right now is the central business district and adjacent neighborhoods,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at a press conference yesterday, “but again, we’re going to be working with communities over the next several months to finalize that program.”

A sample map from bike-share operator Alta Bicycle Share shows how dense the bike-share network might be in Midtown. The specific locations still need to be worked out, and DOT wants extensive community input to decide where. Image: ##http://www.nycbikesharesponsorship.com/ui/pdf/nycbikeshare_General.pdf##Alta##

In Manhattan, bike-share will cover the entire area south of 60th Street and extend north into the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, probably up to around 79th Street. DOT’s bike-share website says that in Brooklyn, DUMBO, Downtown, Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Park Slope will be included in the initial phase of the program.

Wherever you are, though, DOT wants to know where you want to see bike-share stations installed. Within the core service area, they’re organizing a community process to determine exactly where to place individual stations. DOT plans to hold public workshops and work with elected officials, community boards and businesses to ensure that block-by-block, bike-share goes where it fits best.

You can participate in the siting process using this interactive map that allows you to suggest locations and explain why bike-share ought to go there. (Disclosure: This map was produced by a division of OpenPlans, Streetsblog’s parent organization.) Already, in the day since the map went live, people have suggested more than 3,200 station sites and submitted more than 13,000 up or down votes on them.

DOT spokesperson Seth Solomonow told the Times that the bike-share stations will be placed “with the intent of siting them primarily on sidewalks, plazas and other public areas,” while some will be located “in what are currently parking spaces.” Really, everything is on the table, and a lot is going to be decided at DOT’s public workshops. The station sitings will be made on a case-by-case basis, weighing the local conditions and the public feedback that planners receive.

As for placing bike-share stations outside the core service area, that’s going to be tricky, but DOT is working on ways to do it. Since the program is being run without public subsidy, any station has to help Alta Bicycle Share turn a profit. “They’re paying for the program,” said Sadik-Khan, “so we have to make sure that it connects and is a profitable program.”

Even so, DOT is setting up a path for areas outside Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn that have good locations for bike-share to join the network. “We’re going to be having satellite programs so that people can opt in,” said Sadik-Khan. “I spoke with Borough President Jim Molinaro this morning and he talked about being interested in seeing what could happen with a bike-share system in St. George, around that ferry terminal.” We have a call in with Molinaro’s office to see why he thinks bike-share is a good fit for his constituents and what his plan is to bring it to Staten Island.

  • Mike

    If the stations are solar-powered, doesn’t that put huge swaths of midtown (canyons between tall buildings, covered pedestrian arcades, etc) off limits?

  • TheMysteryTramp

    What are the chances that there will be one of these eyesores in front of JSK’s home in tony Greenwich Village?

    Zero to nil!!

    If you doubt this, come back here in three months and repudiate my challenge.

  • Atonymous

    While I know every community wants to have their say in the location of the stations, I hope there is some top-down planning as well.

  • My understanding is that the Bixi stations can function for a long time on a small amount of sunshine. Arcades wouldn’t work, but I don’t think skyscraper canyons will be off-limits.

  • mcsladek

    “We have a call in with Molinaro’s office to see why he thinks bike-share
    is a good fit for his constituents and what his plan is to bring it to
    Staten Island.”

    Hooray!!  So good!  Finally some sense from the SI BP.  Can’t wait to hear what he says.  Many SIers, especially around the North Shore, would love to see even one location in St George.  This would be a crucial addition and would facilitate a substantial increase in tourism and the local economy.

  • carma

    i have a suggestion.  there should be a bike station next to every subway station.  most ppl who use the subways get off and can now hop onto a bike to their final destination. (err.  not the movie)

  • carma

    i have a suggestion.  there should be a bike station next to every subway station.  most ppl who use the subways get off and can now hop onto a bike to their final destination. (err.  not the movie)

  • Larry Littlefield

    I wonder if the wheels are already in motion to file lawsuits claiming that the community review process that is starting doesn’t exist?

    I hope this doesn’t end up like the street furniture contract, with the public restrooms.  Decades of red tape, finally broken by term limits as the bad old City Council was swept away.  The new City Council should be reminded of this, and the fact that other cities have easily done what past city pols made impossible (and the same sorts of pols still infest the state legislature).

    IF this actually occurs, it may cause tens of thousands of people who wouldn’t have had the initiative to overcome the barriers to riding a bicycle in NYC to give it a try.  That is likely to create hysterical opposition — stop it before any more people decide they like it.

  • Jeff

    @b7d47df9002f48fcbf629fb0e99d5029:disqus   – I can confirm that there are, indeed, cars parked on Ms. Sadik-Khan’s block.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg should meet with REBNY.

    You know what will make this work?  Big bike share stations at the terminals, and office building owners asking for stations to be located in front of their buildings or in their plazas, so employees of their tenants can come in from the suburbs and hop a bike to work.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg should meet with REBNY.

    You know what will make this work?  Big bike share stations at the terminals, and office building owners asking for stations to be located in front of their buildings or in their plazas, so employees of their tenants can come in from the suburbs and hop a bike to work.

  • Ian Dutton

    Just checking locations that have been suggested for my neighborhood and I couldn’t help but notice a suggestion for mid-block on Greene St. between Prince and Houston! Apparently a “S. Sweeney” requested a rack on his own front doorstep! Thanks, whoever this mystery “S. Sweeney” might be…  (PS. Wasn’t me – really!)

  • Ian Dutton

    Just checking locations that have been suggested for my neighborhood and I couldn’t help but notice a suggestion for mid-block on Greene St. between Prince and Houston! Apparently a “S. Sweeney” requested a rack on his own front doorstep! Thanks, whoever this mystery “S. Sweeney” might be…  (PS. Wasn’t me – really!)

  • ddartley

    Yes, there should be stations next to every subway station/major transit hub, of course.  But there should also be a very serious effort to place stations in spots that are busy but UNDERserved by transit, or isolated because of stupid old planning e.g. superblocks. 

    One example that comes right to mind is NYU Medical Center on 1st Ave. in the 30s.  There’s a huge, busy complex, but people who walk to and from it are badly isolated because of the “super block” opposite it on 1st Ave.  A bike share station there would help them.

  • OK, data junkies. Here’s the data up until 1pm today (9/15/2011) as a Google Fusiontable.

    http://j.mp/bikesharenyc

    Sort it, map it and parse it! What is it telling us?

    (Brought to you by http://routefriend.com)

  • MFS

    I, for one, will strongly support the U Thant Island bike share station.

  • Jeremy

    Mike, Ben, solar panels work in ambient light, indirect sunlight, fog, or on overcast days. This is already the case for many muni-meters around NYC, some of which are solar powered.

  • Joe R.

    Obviously, like most of the bike infrastructure built under JSK, bike share will initially be Manhattan-centric.  That’s fine for now.  You have to start somewhere.  Long term though it makes sense to have bike share stations near all the outer borough subway stops, and also at major stops on feeder bus routes (it’s often faster to bike to the subway than to take the bus).  Addtionally, it would be nice to have a grid of bike share stations covering the parts of the outer boroughs underserved by mass transit.  I’m thinking something along the lines of grid with maybe 5 block spacing, meaning you’ll always be within 2.5 blocks of a bike share station anywhere in NYC.  This comes to at least 16 stations per square mile, or ~7000 for all of NYC.  Some places you’ll want more, so maybe 10,000 stations total ultimately.  Many of the outer borough bike share stations don’t need to be huge.  I would think 3 or 4 bikes per station would cover the initial usage.  This could always be expanded later.

    By the way, anyone know if these bikes are 3-speed or 7/8 speed?  Yes, it makes a difference because a wider gearing range caters to both faster and slower riders.  With the 30 minute limit for free trips, I would prefer a bike which isn’t severely hampered by low gearing.  This goes double in the outer boroughs where you might be trying to cover 6, 7, perhaps even 10 miles in those 30 minutes.

  • Jeremy

    3 gear internal hub.

    Hover your mouse over the numbers in The Bike section http://www.nycitybikeshare.com/how-it-works

  • Andy

    I agree with Jeremy’s comment that solar PV will produce in ambient/indirect light, though far less than they would in direct sunlight. So as long as the folks designing the infrastructure account for the reduced light by increasing the size of the solar panel, the infrastructure should be fine.

    -Andy (Solar Consultant and Cyclist, NYC)

  • Sean Sweeney

    Ian Dutton @ 1:48.
    Still the little jealous bitch, Ian? 
    Don’t handle defeat too well, do you? 
    Or do you just enjoy constantly getting beat by me as part of that sick, little S&M scene you’re part of? 
    Which is it?

    You recall, don’t you, how, when you and I were on Prince Street in front of the Apple Store in 2007, traversing SoHo looking for spots to place new bike racks, that I suggested a location for a bike rack  up the block on Greene Street, where I live. 
    (This was a year after you and I traversed SoHo looking to free up more parking spots for additional car parking, so that you could park your gas guzzler conveniently on your block.  Surely you remember that episode, my little hypocrite?)

    Inexplicably, you ignored my suggestion and wanted every place in SoHo for bike racks except that location in front of my house! 

    Now this puerile suggestion of yours today? 
    Like everyone of your schemes, Ian, this too will fail. 

    (Hey, I heard that pop-up cafe you wanted on Sullivan Street is not doing well and is sponsoring a fundraiser tonight.  Another of your failed schemes?)

  • onlineo

    The bike look like the London ones. If it is anything like the London bike I had last month then you will struggle to go fast. I got the bike up to 20mph for about 2 minutes but my legs were going over 100 RPM. 

    Anyone have any news on sponsors? As without a massive player e.g CocaCola, Nike or one of the big bikes this is never going to get funded. Even with a massive sponsor I can’t see them expanding much unless it is a massive success. That is unlikely as your policemen’s fines will stop any tourists wanting to use the bikes, and secondly many people won’t feel safe as there are far too many accidents and fast moving cars. New York protected bike lanes are good but not wide enough for cyclist moving at different speeds. You desperately need a north south road permanently closed to motor vehicles for this to properly take off. Or even try closing 1st Ave on Monday, Second Ave on Tuesday etc. 

  • Boris

    Routefriend, how did you do that?

  • Ben from Bed Stuy

    Oh what fun to put those icons on the map! And remember, you can place your dream bikeshare stations outside of the beginning area. This tells Alta that there is interest and demand beyond, say, Northwest Brooklyn only. Central and South Brooklyn have sparse transit options, so we need bike share further out, too!

  • carma

    Joe, you hit the point dead on.  have bike stations at subway stations so that they allow folks to get to the places underserved by mass transit.  this is more important in queens and southern brooklyn than manhattan.  as the buses in these neck of the woods are so infrequent in terms of service, and if served at all?

  • Michael Steiner

    Joe & Carma, remember though that _both_ ends of the trip have to be served by stations in the current model (i doubt that many people will come to these neighborhood only for a 30 minute spin from and to the subway station).
    So unless the neighborhood is also served with stations, a station at subway stops doesn’t help much (and it would be much more useful to just have secure storage for you personal bike)

  • SoHo Artist

     You haters on streetsblog can rile all you want about Mr. Sweeney, but
    be aware that on Election Day last Tuesday the candidate for Democratic
    District Leader that Sean supported beat the incumbent, who supported
    the Prince Street bike lane and the pop-up cafes in SoHo, by an
    incredible landslide margin of 93% to 7%.   93% to 7%!    Who ever heard
    of such a trouncing in this country of an incumbent in an election?

    It is as clear as day that Sean has the respect of all of SoHo for all
    the good work he does here.   Perhaps if you folks got off your behinds
    and away from your computers, and did some community organizing, you too
    would have the respect in your communities that Sweeney has here in
    SoHo.

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