Citi Bike Stations Spotted in Fort Greene [Updated]

The brains and guts of the 33-dock bike-share station at Myrtle and Clinton. Photo: Joanna Oltman Smith

After the first Citi Bike stations were installed in Bed Stuy and Clinton Hill over the weekend, NYC DOT Policy Director Jon Orcutt told Transportation Nation that bike-share implementation will “be moving through the Brooklyn area and then into Manhattan over the next few weeks.” And it looks like stations have now been installed at least as far west as Adelphi Street and as far north as Flushing Avenue.

Reader Joanna Oltman Smith sent in the above photo of a 33-dock station going in on Clinton Avenue by Myrtle Avenue. And I passed this 23-dock station on Flushing between Adelphi and Carlton Avenue on the way into work this morning:

This one should be popular with workers at the Navy Yard, which is across the street, and residents of Navy Green, a new parking-free development one block to the east.

We’ve also seen reports of stations at Adelphi and Myrtle, Clermont Avenue and Park Avenue, Washington Avenue and Greene Avenue, and Myrtle and Franklin Avenue.

Meanwhile, it looks like BusinessWeek is first out of the gate with a story about merchants reacting to the new stations. To be fair to the two retailers quoted by BusinessWeek, they seem to be reserving judgment about bike-share. But something is still a little off-kilter about a story which implicitly weighs a new form of transit that will serve hundreds of thousands of people against a liquor store owner’s ability to access his rooftop A/C unit.

Update: We’re hearing that Council Member Tish James is getting an earful from NIMBYs about a few of these stations. But if you’ve been tracking reaction to CitiBike on Twitter, the general sense is overwhelmingly positive. A wave of tweets like these to @TishJames should help get the message across to the council member that people want these stations in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Woo hoo!

  • FG

    The usual cohort of crabs and NIMBYs are targeting CouncilMember Tish James over stations they dislike – if you’re in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and you’re happy about bike share, it would be good to let her know that you love the new stations and appreciate her support of the program.

  • Anonymous

    What a bizarre story. And if you want merchant response, why not pick up a phone and call merchants in cities that already have it?

  • As unbelievably excited as I am for this game-changing transit option, there’s a big part of me that can’t wait until the installation of a new bike share station is about as newsworthy as a new bus shelter or the renovation of a subway entrance’s staircase. That’s when you’ll know we’ve won.

  • As unbelievably excited as I am for this game-changing transit option, there’s a big part of me that can’t wait until the installation of a new bike share station is about as newsworthy as a new bus shelter or the renovation of a subway entrance’s staircase. That’s when you’ll know we’ve won.

  • Brad Aaron

    It will happen.

  • I dont get why this company has such terrible PR. Their facebook page has been silent since December. Great outreach guys.

  • J

    New bus shelters and renovated subway stations are nice but don’t create more mobility. New bikeshare stations do increase mobility, and so are more comparable to a new bus route reaching a neighborhood for the first time.

    Here in DC, where we’ve had bike share for years now, it’s still exciting and newsworthy when the system expands. It represents new mobility options, so of course people get excited about it. What has changed is the amount of negative coverage. New stations seem to generate very little controversy these days, which is quite nice, and almost certainly the direction that NYC is headed.

  • Miles Bader

    How bizarre… there’s absolutely no reason for a “merchant” to object to bike stations—their effect on business is almost guaranteed to be overwhelmingly positive.

    In reality, this looks like people with ideological objections (“Real Americans DRIVE… if an enormous black SUV was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!”) trying to disguise their whining…. and probably to some degree real merchants trying to avoid being targeted by the whiners, by being noncommittal.

  • Lucas

    Count me into the crowd that isn’t thrilled about this. A 23-bike station was installed directly outside of my apartment in Fort Greene. Note that I am a 30 year old, new father, and young professional who lives on a blocked dominated by residents that have been here 30+ years. Most of us have cars. I have been an avid cyclist in the city for the 5 years I’ve been here busy most others on my block haven’t, and will not be on a bicycle anytime soon. In all I think the program is an excellent idea. I think the execution has been atrocious. Why does our street need to lose 5 parking spots when this could easily be installed on the 12′ wide sidewalk (as in other FG locations)? Why put up ‘no parking’ tow away signs for Tuesday on a Mobday st 730pm?
    I personally question how well this program will fly anyway. The prices are laughable. You can buy a cheap bike at target for near the price of an annual membership. My preference would be to leave street parking alone, offer bicycle safety and traffic law lessons, and give away free bikes to anyone who takes the class. Then people might use them – as they aren’t limited to a time and price.

  • IB

    Car parking in Clinton Hill is a commodity at best and this now takes away 4 available parking spots for people who own cars in that area. People are not going to pay to secure their bikes when they can secure it on a poleb or a tree! Ridiculous!

  • Guest

    “Why does our street need to lose 5 parking spots when this could easily be installed on the 12′ wide sidewalk (as in other FG locations)?”

    Well, if you installed it on a sidewalk then your neighbors in Fort Greene — the majority of whom most assuredly do not own cars — might ask why their sidewalk needs to lose half of its space to accommodate a bike share station when it could easily be installed in the street.

    If you think the program is an excellent idea but then question how it will “fly” and suggest giving away free bikes to people who take a safety class instead, then I actually doubt that you think the program is all that good an idea after all. The good news is we only have to wait a month or two to see if you’re right or wrong.

  • Guest

    I’m not sure you understand how bike share works. Be patient and you’ll soon see that people’s personal bikes are not stores in these docks.

  • Ian Turner

    Lucas,

    Most of your neighbors do not have cars: Roughly 60-70% of the households in Fort Greene are car free. Check out this map:
    http://tinyurl.com/cn8wt7w

    In short, your neighbors are not all like you, and the fact that you don’t expect to use it doesn’t mean that others won’t use it.

    –Ian

  • elfortgreenero

    How can anyone be against alternative green transportation for $95 a year? I don’t get it.

  • Hilda

    A 23 bike station just went in on my block and it is great. One of the best things is that the location of the stations at corners opens up visibility at the street so one can actually see if someone is coming as you cross Lafayette. The sidewalk would never support this. The public street is perfect for this. I don’t get how turning 5 parking spots into 23 is anything but a net gain.

  • Anonymous

    I own a bike and yet I’m looking forward to using bikeshare. The reason is that I don’t always have my bike with me, and I don’t like leaving my bike on the street all the time. I park my bike in my apartment or in my office most of the time, and getting it in and out is a bit of a hassle. Bikeshare will be great for impromptu trips when I’m on the street without a bike (because I walked or took transit), and wished I had one. It will also be great for one-way trips.

  • Anonymous

    A 23-bike station was installed directly outside of my apartment in Fort Greene. . . . Why does our street need to lose 5 parking spots . . . ?

    Truly a tragedy: 5 parking spots for private parking subsidized by the majority of non-motor-vehicle-owning New Yorkers are removed to make way for 23 bikes that can be used by anyone willing to pay an incredibly low annual fee or a totally reasonable day-long one. Oh, the humanity!

    [Covers eyes with crook of elbow. Runs offstage, wailing.]

  • Lucas

    In fact I do think its a great idea. I’ve seen and nearly experienced multiple serious accidents due to motorists or pedestrians not aware of cyclists on the road. The more bikes on the road, regardless of whether or not they follow the law, the greater the awareness will be, and the safer all of us will be. More bikes also, of course = advantagous for the environment, traffic, health and the like. My preference however would be to put smart, law abiding cyclists on the streets. Not some yuppie who won’t read the little bullet point rules on the station anyway. Aside from the motorist/pedestrian close calls I’ve had in the past, other serious near accidents I’ve experienced always have resulted from cyclists running red lights.
    By the way, the majority of the residents on my specific block DO own cars. All of which I’ve spoken with would much prefer the 12′ wide sidewalk reduced in order to save parking.

  • Lucas

    Agreed that not all are like me. In fact I think I am one of the only people on my block that actively rides a bicycle.
    Please also note that your little map is outdated and also is an estimate. I can assure you over 50% of the residents on my block own cars. I know them. I talk to them. We help each other park.
    You are correct that I won’t use it – I have no need. I have a nice bicycle that I take care of and securely lock anywhere I go. I have no doubt that people will use this service. I hope they do (see comment above). However I do personally doubt many middle aged, car owning, or project housing residents will use it (despite the discount). The above mentioned groups tend to cover the majority of residents around the citibike station closest to me, FYI. Again, great idea, I’m sure it’ll help in some ways – I’m just specifically irked by the location and the engulfing of parking spots.

  • Lucas

    Fair enough. Maybe we’re different – if the weather isn’t awful, I take my bike everywhere. I highly prefer it to the ever increasing priced MTA and even walking.

  • Clarke

    This post is too funny for words.

  • Ummm….I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. These stations are for the Citibikes used in the bike share program and have nothing to do with personal bikes.

  • I for one am very excited about this program especially after having my last 2 bikes stolen. What I love most about bike sharing is I can ride a bike from my building to the subway and I don’t have to worry about getting back to that exact station to get my bike where I left it. I can come back home any way I like…another station and take another bike or walk or bus or whatever. I also don’t need to take up room in my loft to store a bike any longer. I will be happy to use this service on a regular basis…probably daily. $95 a year for this service? It’s a no brainer!

  • bkboy

    just wondering but is this sarcastic

  • the majority cannot own cars. Because your brownstones have 3 units at least, but there is not room for 3 cars in front of your building. If everyone in fort greene owned a car you would have to have two or three level parking on the street. Just do the math. And what is an avid cyclist? I think that’s the new term for “I drive a car daily, but I own a bike and ride it once a year so I know a lot about cycling”

  • Lucas

    I ride my bicycle 3-5 times a week to work (union square) and virtually any time I leave the house on the weekend. I do not drive my car daily.
    As stated before, most of the residents on my block are long time residents. People who grew up here (unlike you). People that inherited and own their single family brownstones. The majority of them own cars.

  • Ian Turner

    What block are we talking about, exactly?

  • You don’t seem to understand that it’s not a bike rental service. You seem to suggest it is by comparing it to purchasing a $100 bike, or bike giveaways, as an alternative. It’s not for recreation. It’s for transportation. It’s a network. You ride between station points to get to places you want to go, and then release the vehicle back into the system. Trucks will be rolling around all day to redistribute the bikes as necessary,as data from the docking stations demonstrating capacity hitting a certain trigger point. It’s not just for the use of the people on your block. The stations are nodes on a network, and the power or effectiveness of a network is expanded by the number of interconnections and nodes. They are an extension of the existing mass-transit system.

  • But they don’t own the street in front of their house.

  • Joe R.

    One reason more people don’t use their own bikes is due to lack of safe bike parking. That’s why this system will be so useful (not to me personally because eastern Queens was somehow forgotten, as usual). I would love to use my bike for errands but chances are good it’ll get stolen if I chain it to a lamp post. With bike share this is a non-issue. Use the bike, put it back in the dock, no worries about bike theft. Now if only the system could be expanded citiwide.

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