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Bike Sharing

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 their new interactive map. Head over 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 just how dense the bike-share network might be in Midtown. The specific locations still need to be worked out, however, and DOT wants extensive community input to decide where. Image: 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.

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