Tonight: Tell CB 2 Why Bike-Share Belongs in SoHo and the Village

There is nothing exceptional or interesting about the sight of cars parked in front of a New York City residence. But I’m running this dull photo anyway, because this is basically the same condition that has irritated some residents in downtown Manhattan neighborhoods about bike-share. Instead of cars going in between the traffic lane and the sidewalk in front of their building, it’s a public bike station, and for some people — specifically, the residents of 99 Bank Street — the transition was so jarring they felt compelled to litigate.

Someday soon, the sight of a bike-share station in front of a residential building is going to be just as boring as this picture, but we’re not there yet.

Tonight, Manhattan Community Board 2 is hosting a discussion about the recently-installed bike-share stations in SoHo and Greenwich Village, and with Citi Bike still such a novel thing, the kvetching won’t be in short supply. If you live or work in the area, this is an important opportunity to point out to your neighbors that bike-share is going to help New Yorkers get around, and the sky is not going to fall because of public bike stations. You’ll also get to see Sean Sweeney in full-on brow-beating mode. Don’t be intimidated.

The meeting starts at 6:30 in the auditorium of P.S. 41, 116 West 11th Street.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    that is clearly nothing like the residential streets in CB2’s district, is it? I never saw anything like it. This one is close to my friend’s home: http://goo.gl/maps/KFL15 and is closer in scale to the 5 or so I saw.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    Hmm, guess you weren’t at the meeting in the early 2000’s when the owners of that building came to CB2 asking that it be taken out of SoHo Zoning. At that meeting, I myself asked that approval only be given if they were not allowed to have such huge advertising signs. Sadly, the City allowed the zoning change, but also allowed the signage. Again, false assumptions in so many of the arguments here.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    I think you’re making Petrosino Square’s argument. Yes! Exactly! Sharing space means sharing space. We want them to go and replace cars, not art, so that we can share the art!

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    You don’t know me, so I will let you calling me “dishonest” slide this one time. The ones I saw were much smaller than what you show here. But I will grant you that my sampling was small. Probably statistically skewed. . But this is an nice segue into the fact that the population utilizing the DOT’s planning website was also statistically skewed. I’m not going to go into details, but come-on, if people can only “like” a suggestion and not “dislike” it by clicking an icon, how real can your information be?

  • Guest

    You are mistaken, Lora Tenenbaum . The extension of the park has never been mapped, so it is not “officially parkland.” It is street space that DOT has allowed the Department of Parks and Recreation to operate as an extension of the park for public enjoyment.

    It is a good arrangement, but as long as it is officially designated as street space, DOT certainly has a right to make appropriate use of it for transportation programs that benefit the neighborhood and the larger city.

  • Joe R.

    And this man’s concerns are exactly why we should eliminate more free on-street parking for private cars (and not necessarily just for bike parking). Loading zones for people like him who rely on car access are in short supply. Same situation for delivery vehicles which more often than not double park, making things worse for everyone. The fact is places where parking or standing are not permitted are currently in very short supply. Yes, unfortunately some of these places are being used for bike stations. That doesn’t change the fact that we need more loading zones and far less (preferably no) on-street parking for private vehicles.

  • Anonymous

    Look around, using that Google Streetview. It’s an utterly residential area. End of story.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the false assumption here? That square is in a massive urban area full of all kinds of commercial displays. That sign is one of them, but by no means the only one.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t call you dishonest–I called your argument dishonest. And it is. As you now acknowledge.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    I was told otherwise. What is your source? Whatever the case, however, the bulk (if not all) of the bike share station is located in the area that was always parkland and never part of the street. As it is, it interferes with usual pedestrian pathing and, in fact, reduces pedestrian walkway to just about 2 feet.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    The Friends of Petrosino Square argument is that people find the park itself is an oasis away from all the commercialism. Until bike share, that is true.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    Nope, not at all. That’s not dishonesty, and if you can’t distinguish, then there is no use discussing anything with you.

  • Guest

    What other information that you were “told otherwise” are you going around repeating?

    LUCATS and CPC reports are both searchable on DCP’s website. There is no record of any map change. Nor does the City Map reflect the larger size of the park.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    Read what I wrote. There was no parking allowed there. I don’t disagree with you…would like to discourage cars in NY, but you seem to mistakenly think that all the bike stations are displacing parking spots. the truth of the matter is that they do not.

  • publix

    You would think a biker like yourself would know this; cars are moveable objects. Their almost continual movement is required by many restrictions including; public events, weekly street cleaning, snowplowing etc.

    The bike rack you mention is not mobile. It cannot be moved – meaning for the residents of this building will have none of the city services that require cars to move (cleaning, snowplowing). This particular installation at 99 Bank was rendered even less mobile this week when large concrete blocks were installed.

    Each site is subjective, some are good and some (like this one apparently) are unwelcome.

    I’d propose that the residents of this building know their block better than you or I. Rather than demonize cars and building owners, the DOT should engage with residents at the handful of problem installations and adjust them. There’s no reason to think that accommodating the buildings that clearly don’t want them will cause the collapse of the entire bike share system. Whatever the merits of the bikeshare program, comparing a temporarily parked car to a permanent bike station is ridiculous.

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