Which City Council Member Will Call for Bike-Share Expansion Next?

Council Members Stephen Levin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Jimmy Van Bramer want bike-share to expand in their districts. Photos: NYC Council

Council members whose constituents live beyond the reach of bike-share’s first 330 stations are already clamoring for the system to expand. Capital New York’s Dana Rubinstein spoke with Steve Levin about expanding the system in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Melissa Mark-Viverito about stations in East Harlem and the Bronx, and Jimmy Van Bramer, who wants the program in western Queens.

Levin, who joined Citi Bike before it launched, sees the potential for using bike-share to connect with other transit services:

“There are certainly cyclists in the Northside and Greenpoint that are jealous… As a Greenpoint resident, I am jealous. It would be great to have those right next to McGolrick Park so I could get over to the Nassau G stop.”

Mark-Viverito also wants it in her district:

“Given how El Barrio/East Harlem has embraced protected bike lanes on First and Second Avenues, I of course would welcome seeing the bike share program extend to my district… I would hope as the program grows, that we can see consideration for communities above 96th Street and in the South Bronx.”

And Van Bramer, who like Levin is a bike-share member, also wants the program expanded:

“I think that not having western Queens be a part of this at the beginning is definitely a loss for the program… I definitely think there are some people who feel left out.”

The council members join Ydanis Rodriguez, who also wants bike-share expanded to his Upper Manhattan district.

DOT has said it’s aiming to roll-out bike-share to Long Island City, Greenpoint, and the rest of Williamsburg and Bedford Stuyvesant by the end of the year. Future expansions to bring the system to 10,000 bikes and beyond will require additional funding. Although the Bloomberg administration has committed to running bike-share without taxpayer dollars, council members working with future administrations might not face the same restrictions.

  • If this system really works out to be a great addition to New York City’s transportation system there is no reason why taxpayer money shouldn’t be used for it. They’re already giving away parking spaces on some of the most prime real estate in the world at high cost to taxpayers, including the some 55% of New Yorkers that don’t even own a car! I’m sure they could find some way to pay for it, and they should.

  • Anonymous

    It’s great that DOT has an eye towards expanding into areas north and east, but what about south? It’s frustrating to be in a cycling friendly neighborhood like Park Slope and remain just out of reach. Brad Lander, where are you?

  • Anonymous

    I think at the moment, tax dollars are out of the question because of the BB admin’s pledge, due to the optics of reneging on them.

    However, with a new administration, and hopefully, with New Yorkers liking the system, and wanting to see it expand, I expect the city to pitch in money to make this work (frankly, they should be able to get a lot of federal help too for this project, because of it’s attractiveness to international, esp. European, tourists, greening capabilities, and benefits for people commuting from the rest of the Tri-state area).

  • Eric McClure

    Park Slope has to suffer NBBL. We deserve bike share.

  • I’ve emailed Councilwoman Arroyo. She has not always been very helpful. But her motto is:

    “Our people deserve no less”

    I’ll try calling next. The Bronx won’t get stiffed again!

  • Assemblymember Micah Kellner, who is running for City Council, made some suggestions for expansion beyong the 79th St. boundary on Twitter this weekend:

    https://twitter.com/MicahKellner/status/341006192115601408
    https://twitter.com/MicahKellner/status/341032755435536384

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