It’s Too Late to Preserve NYC’s Historic Streets in Amber

Photo sim of a Citi Bike station in Fort Greene: ##http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/06/08/washington-park-residents-bike-share-location-is-wheely-bad/##The Local##

Last week the Times’ Local blog (now run by former Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman) ran a piece about some Fort Greene residents who think bike-share stations would “interfere” with the historic district:

“The [kiosk is] much too large and out of place for [this block],” said Wyatt Cheek. “We just want it to be at a location that doesn’t interfere with [residents].” He added, “The notion of having Citi Bike logos…will go against the [landmark] character.”

Tweaking the station location might make Wyatt Cheek’s complaint fade away, but fundamentally, New Yorkers need bike-share stations on residential streets in order to get much use out of the system. Otherwise, a lot of people won’t be able to take the bikes from home to the supermarket or to get to work. Brownstoner pretty much nailed the response yesterday: “Our take? Deal with it.”

In addition, I have bad news for anyone who thinks bike-share stations will ruin the “landmark character” of streets that were first developed in the 19th Century: Objects from the 21st Century are already stationed all over the curb lanes of historic districts.

This thing was parked on the same side of Cumberland Street where the Fort Greene NIMBYs think a bike-share station is inappropriate:

Some of these things parked on Cumberland Street are the same royal blue as Citi Bikes:

And a lot of them basically function as rolling, logo-laden advertisements for massive global brands:

Did I mention the ear-splitting alarms that go off at 3 a.m.? Citi Bike doesn’t do that.

Hat tip to Doug Gordon at Brooklyn Spoke, who posted some more historically incongruous pictures from Fort Greene on Sunday.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Speak Up If You Think Bike-Share Belongs in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill

|
Remember the Fort Greene residents who complained last year that bike-share stations don’t belong in their historic, landmarked neighborhood — even though you can find cobalt-blue Volvos and banana-yellow, late-model Beemers taking up the curb on those same blocks? Well, they apparently haven’t been convinced that public bikes belong on the street as much as […]

Citi Bike Stations Spotted in Fort Greene [Updated]

|
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 […]

Bike-Share Works Just Fine in Historic London, Boston, and DC Neighborhoods

|
While polls have shown that upwards of 70 percent of New Yorkers support bike-share and DOT engaged in a multi-year public process for station siting, a vocal minority in Fort Greene is objecting to public bike stations in the landmarked district. At least one extremist has gone so far as to tar newly-installed stations with wheatpaste posters decrying the Citibank-sponsored kiosks. In response […]

Eyes on the Street: Bike-Share Takes Manhattan

|
Citi Bike station installations began in Bed Stuy about ten days ago, working west through Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn. Now, with about 60 stations installed, bike-share has crossed the East River, the Citi Bike Twitter feed informs us that the system’s first Manhattan installation has gone in at Cliff Street and Fulton Street in the […]

More People Get to Fulton Street By Bike Than By Car

|
When shop owners oppose new plazas or protected bike lanes, even in the city’s most walkable neighborhoods, they often say their businesses rely on street parking to attract customers. Removing even a handful of spaces, they claim, would lead to economic ruin. The reality, of course, is that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers don’t drive to do their shopping, […]