Eyes on the Street: A Bike-Share Station With Bikes in It

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/KyleGiunta/status/328137042238271489##@KyleGiunta##

Over the weekend, @KyleGiunta posted this tantalizing photo of a Citi Bike station with bikes in it on Front Street in DUMBO. The bikes were docked for a photo shoot, not the imminent launch of the system (installations have reached as far up as the NYU area, the last we checked — still a lot more to go before they get to 59th Street), but this is the closest thing we’ve seen to the final look and feel of the stations. Note the angled docks, which come in handy when street width is scarce.

  • Anonymous

    Gah! I’m so scared! All those metal stalls! Someone come cuddle with me so I can sleep!

  • Jared Rodriguez

    Look at that sad, little, innocent taxi on the left! It’s shaking in its tires!

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    The future isn’t flying cars…Back to the Future lied to me!

  • livablead

    When NYC realizes the mistake it made with this bike share system, they can thank Streetsblog, Transportation Alternatives, NYCDOT (Sadik-Khan), Alta, and all the other bike share bandwagon jumpers. And this is coming from a livable streets advocate.

    We have the wrong people in place making key decisions that affect a significant number of people.

    PS: Ben, you may be able to censor me on this blog now, but when I’m in NYC you’ll be doing the exact opposite, so enough already.

  • Anonymous

    When NYC realizes the mistake it made with this bike share system . . . [a]nd this is coming from a livable streets advocate.

    Ok advocate. What’s the mistake they made with bike share and what would you advocate to rectify the mistake?

  • Anonymous

    When NYC realizes the mistake it made with this bike share system . . . [a]nd this is coming from a livable streets advocate.

    Ok advocate. What’s the mistake they made with bike share and what would you advocate to rectify the mistake?

  • The same mistake that dozens of other successful cities have made? Alta was a bad choice, bike share was not.

  • The same mistake that dozens of other successful cities have made? Alta was a bad choice, bike share was not.

  • J

    Liveable Streets Advocates for Better Bike Share?

  • boop

    hmm. are you mad cos it took so long?

  • James Reefer

    Ten bucks the response to this is madness.

  • James Reefer

    It’s being oppressed!

  • Anonymous

    Alta was a bad choice, bike share was not.

    Do you say that because of the “software glitch”? That was my big issue with them. Software that works existed. They tried to reverse engineer and failed, hence the delay.

    Whereas, if they made certain promises and they failed, they should’ve been obligated to pay fines (or raise equity so that they could afford to license the software or buy the software).

    But if it was truly just about money then there’s no reason why bike share should’ve been delayed as long as it was.

  • I got to ride them not too long ago. Great fun, people were super excited. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151457614034121.1073741829.502609120&type=1&l=3f71611587

  • Ben Kintisch

    Nice looking bikes. Bike-share kvetching notwithstanding, I think they look handsome, including the logos. No big deal. Blue and sleek.

  • livablead

    I only glance at the news on Streetsblog NYC, so I’m guessing this comment has to do with that ex-NYC transportation commissioner trying to remove a bike lane in front of her home in Brooklyn? I believe the difference here is that I’m being upfront with my disdain for bike share, whereas that ex-commissioner pretends to be a supporter of bike lanes when she is actually against them.

  • livablead

    Yes they all made the same mistake, but I’m not concerned about them now because they don’t have as much influence as NYC does. If I was a bike share supporter I would be furious that Alta was selected to be the bike share vendor for NYC. I would have delayed the bike share program indefinitely until a worthy vendor was found.

  • livablead

    It’s not just the “software glitch”, they are truly a shady company. I don’t care if the company is headed up by the “Steve Jobs of the bicycling world”. Just look at how they handled the contracts with the other cities, especially the one with Chicago.

  • livablead

    I’ll let you know when I’m in NYC. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this Einstein quote that was mentioned in an article I was reading yesterday. I find it fitting for what I’m trying to do. “Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”

  • Anonymous

    My favorite part of this is the “I speak truth to power” comedy of the PS–both the paranoid delusions of grandeur (censorship . . .) and the intellectual puzzle posed by the “doing the opposite” line. What exactly would be the opposite of censoring livablead upon his or her momentous arrival in this fair city? Once livablead gets here, “Ben” is going to have to do what–be forced to publish his or her every utterance? And why? Because “Ben” will lose a streetfight or something? Bizarre.

  • livablead

    btw, you can thank Sadik-Khan for this. She may have gotten a few home-runs in, but she’s going to miss out on the grand-slam because she jumped the gun on this bike share program.

  • livablead

    I was expecting you to delete my other post like you normally do. Anyways, even though I’m against bike share, I agree the angled docks is a welcome change. But I must also add that the look and feel does clash with some areas in NYC. For you guys to downplay that it doesn’t is disingenuous (this is in regards to a previous blog post regarding to the look and feel of the bike share stations). The picture post here is an example.

  • livablead

    One of quite of few things I will be bringing to the table is a solution to the funding issues that plague livable streets projects–you can’t ignore that. Every year for the past few years there would be an article here and elsewhere that says federal funding for transportation projects will be cut, etc. We cannot move forward if we’re going to be constantly be held up by funding issues.

  • livablead

    Another thing I will be bringing to the table is something that will put a significant dent into the car culture in NYC–you can’t ignore that. I’m pretty sure Mark Gorton is going to be interested in this one.

  • Joe R.

    Even if the bike share stations may clash somewhat in certain areas, they’re certainly no more of an aesthetic eyesore than the rows of parked cars. Don’t tell me those are in keeping with the character of “historic” neighborhoods which were built in the day of the horse and carriage.

  • Great. In the meantime, yes, I am blocking your IP. Polluting a comment thread with anonymous innuendo that adds nothing to the discussion is exactly the kind of thing that will get you banned.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/about/comment-moderation-policy/

  • Joe R.

    Well, when I first read about bike share, the one problem I figured they will have is flat tires. As such, I recommended on this blog that bike share bikes use airless tires. I also recommended they use 7 or 8 speed hubs instead of 3 speed hubs for two reasons. One, you could have a lower low gear for hills which would help those in not so great shape. Two, you’ll have a higher gear for the flats for those who might just be looking to make a longer trip within the allotted time window. I agree about preventing problems as opposed to solving them. We’ll see if my concerns are borne out but it wouldn’t surprise me in 6 months if the biggest issue plaguing the system is bicycles being unavailable due to flat or underinflated tires. It’s a huge chore keeping the tires on thousands of bike in good repair. To me going with airless tires seems like it should have been a no brainer. You’ll never have bikes out of service with flats. Tire maintenance will consist simply of swapping tires when the old ones are pretty well worn. That takes a really long time. I’m still using a set of airless tires with 9000 miles on them. These are thin 700c x 20 tires. Airless tires as fat as the tires as those on the Citibikes would probably last 25,000 miles easily.

  • J

    Yep. Like you, NBBL claims to be for liveable streets yet is against the very initiatives that have been well-documented to greatly improve mobility and safety. Like you they resort to unfounded fear mongering. Like you they ignore data or refuse to answer actual questions regarding their motives.

    There may certainly be room to improve the bike share system, yet your comments have not made any sort of substantiated claim about how this might be done or what is actually the problem. Therefore, your input, like that of NBBL, adds little value to this discussion.

  • They have a proven record of never actually delivering what they promise.

  • Anonymous

    believe the difference here is that I’m being upfront with my disdain for bike share, whereas that ex-commissioner pretends to be a supporter of bike lanes when she is actually against them

    Well that’s laudable I suppose.

    Though, I don’t see how one can call themselves a “Liveable Streets Advocate” as such term is commonly understood and also be categorically against bike share as it’s just one of many transportation options that may or may not be suitable for a particular area.

  • Wash DC does not have significant problems with defective bikes, including no crises with flats. The Bike Stations have a button to alert the maintenance crew of a bad bike, which locks the bike into the rack. Bike Share hires a large maintenance staff, in Wash DC and here in NYC, that have trucks and cargo bikes with tools to fix bikes at the Stations, or swap them out for good bikes and repair them at the depot. Bike Share is people, not just blue hardware.

    The CitiBikes are built like tanks, including their mass, but they are rolling reliably.
    Enjoy.

  • Joe R.

    Well, it’s their choice to hire enough workers to fix the flats as they happen, versus just using airless tires so as not to get flats in the first place. Maybe they just weren’t aware of that option? Not all that many people are aware of how good airless tires have become.

  • Its bright yellow color, which totally matches the historic masonry, is being upstaged and outshined by the dark blue bikes!

  • Brad Adams

    This is a great initiative. The more riders, the better!

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