FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano: Bike-Share Racks Are Not In Our Way

We have a message from FDNY that should once and for all take care of fabricated concerns about bike-share docking stations getting in the way of emergency vehicles.

Here’s a statement from Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, which we received via email:

Contrary to a news report today, FDNY EMT’s had absolutely no problems responding to and providing medical care to a patient on Sunday on West 13th Street in Manhattan. The FDNY has been working closely with DOT on this initiative and we have not experienced any problems nor do we anticipate issues operating at or near bike racks that have been situated on city streets.

Hear that? It’s the sound of tabloid narratives and NIMBY lawsuits deflating.

  • Anonymous

    Just as I expected. After all, this is the FDNY that stormed the WTC as it was on fire and about to collapse, bravely scaling the entire buildings on foot hauling 50 lbs of gear. You think they are going to let a bicycle dock get in the way? What a dismal story the Post ran. Thanks for following up with them, Brad.

  • Daphna

    I hope all involved – the NY Post reporters Julia Marsh and Amber Sutherland, the NY Post editors, the co-op lawyer Steven Shore, the co-op vice president Dave Marcus, and all co-op shareholders at 175 West 13th Street who let Dave Marcus speak for them – all feel ashamed of themselves for promoting a lie.

  • Brian

    The NY Post would never let actual facts get in the way of their stories.

  • Daphna

    Nicole Gelinas has been on streetsblog having a dialogue with streetsblog readers about flaws they found in her methodology and the conclusions she reached in her article. Where are Julia March and Amber Sutherland? Shouldn’t those two NY Post reporters be here trying to explain their reporting?

  • anon

    “Hear that? It’s the sound of tabloid narratives and NIMBY lawsuits deflating.”

    Sadly, no. Neither party is interested in facts or reality. It’s about inventing controversy to sell papers for the former and hurt feelings or something for the latter.

  • ADN

    Julia and Amber are irrelevant. They are nothing but cannon fodder for the captains and generals who edit and publish the Post. This is the Post’s silly little War Against Bikes and Julia and Amber are mere foot soldiers. It’s entirely possible that the story that was published this morning is not even remotely similar to the story that Julia and Amber submitted to their editors yesterday afternoon. Julia and Amber may very well be in a position where they have no choice but to allow some angry Australian baby-boomer editor to destroy their reputations as journalists.

  • Driver

    what are these “facts” you speak of? lol

  • Driver

    and on a serious note, there is more space between two empty bike docks than there is between two cars typically parked on the street in Manhattan.

  • Anonymous

    It’s being reported that The bike share has already removed a section of the racks in front of the building in response to criticism.

    It’s curious that this building NEVER had special protections against cars blocking their front door but does now which leads me to think of the adage about strange bedfellows.

    The Post will probably crow about their reporting and the power of the press but its more likely that the design of the system has ALWAYS made it easy to move around the racks as demand suggested

  • Anonymous

    Precisely. They won’t let the facts get in their way.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad the racks are of flexible design and can be moved. Here’s a change that’s needed: adjust or get rid of the bike share racks on Hanover Place between Livingston and Fulton Streets in downtown Brooklyn. On Monday morning I saw a fire truck struggle to get through this narrow side street, just in front of my daughter’s day care school. Bike share racks were on the left and legally-parked school buses were on the right.

    As someone very much pro-bike share, I wonder why DOT/Alta chose this ridiculous and dangerous location. Nearby is Albee Square Plaza by the new City Point project, where more people will see the bikes and they present no obstruction to emergency vehicles.

  • Ian Turner

    Agreed, that street is very narrow to have parking on one side and bike share on the other. Would probably have made more sense to put the station where the parking is now.

  • Anonymous

    No it wouldn’t. That parking is for a day care. Full disclosure: I walk or bike my kid to that school. Those vans have a legal right to be there, and it’s a drop off zone for parents. If DOT takes that away to accommodate and prioritize bike share, critics aren’t wrong to call elements of the program elitist. Better to either narrow the left sidewalk to move the racks inward, or relocate entirely like they did at 60 Remsen Street.

  • Ian Turner

    Does the day care need the entire block? And if it does, is there a reason parents can’t park on Grove, Fulton, or Livingston?

  • Anonymous

    No, it doesn’t take the entire block, only about 50 feet to an alleyway. But part of that block is also reserved for govt. vehicle parking. While I wish the parents wouldn’t park there either, is one impractical bike share location worth trying to change human behavior? Let’s be realistic: traffic cops don’t prioritize giving tickets to working people dropping off their kids,

  • Daphna

    You do not want the docking station to replace parking or a pick-up and drop off area by your daycare, or do you want docking stations on the other side of the street making the street more narrow (but still passable even by large trucks although more slowly). Someone else doesn’t want docking stations on the sidewalk. Someone else doesn’t want docking stations in a plaza. It is not just your voice yelling against docking stations. Each location chosen will have someone complaining. This is the problem. Docking stations must go somewhere. They have to either replace park space, plaza space, sidewalk space, parking space, or other curbside street space. With each choice there will be someone who objects. The DOT used community feedback and did the best they could.

    I see plenty of open space in many midtown locations that could have nicely fit large docking stations. I wonder why there are no stations in these abundant locations but I bet it is because there was some group or another who objected.

    I hope NIMBY becomes yes-on-my-block or yes-in-front-of-my-building very soon regarding stations.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the locations have been well selected. That isn’t what’s being reported. It’s when that hasn’t been the case. Citibike wanted to remove a well-used bike rack, but activists like Shelley Mossey stood up for the right thing. That has to happen too. Otherwise, it becomes a case of saying people’s objections aren’t legitimate because the program is for the greater good. If a location doesn’t work, end of story.

  • Anonymous

    Shelley Mossey stood up for the right thing.

    Was she able to actually get them to remove the bike share station planned at the northern end of S. End Ave?

    If so,she was just as selfish as any NIMBY wanting free street parking for their car. I live down the street from her and I can sympathize with her losing her private bike parking spot, but, she’s being plain selfish and f—ing over her neighbors.. I have to lug my bike up to my apt in Battery Park City and I won’t have to much longer once I use the bikeshare station by my apt. But no everyone else in her building who would want to use bike share would have to walk 4 blocks down to W. Thames street.

    If she wants guaranteed bike parking on the street, then pay for it, just like any car owner with the same expectation.

    Citibike wanted to remove a well-used bike rack,

    It was building management, which owned the bike rack anyway. They should have bike parking in building. But she managed to screw over any of her neighbors who might want to use bike share themselves. Nothing laudable there.

  • jrab

    Shelly’s a guy. He’s fighting with his landlord, who wants to give the spot to the bike-share system. It’s not on public property, it’s an amenity that the landlord provides to tenants (and which anyone else who wants to park their bike there can use, for free).

    If my landlord took away an amenity in my building, like my laundry room, and wanted to turn it into a bodega, I would be pretty steamed as well.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, didn’t realize that Shelly’s a guy.

    If my landlord took away an amenity in my building, like my laundry room, and wanted to turn it into a bodega,

    Ya, but that laundry room is more like free street parking than anything else. It wasn’t reserved for him, he just happens to park (if it’s the bike I’m thinking of) his big trailer bike out there all the time. But anyway, the turnover on that rack is poor.

    I’m sorry but Shelly’s just being selfish and trying to protect his spot. The bike share station is an amenity for the residents as well and can be utilized by a greater number of people. I can sympathize, but it’s not laudable, nor is it a bodega.

  • Anonymous

    What is this — when everyone doesn’t do what you think they should do in their own community they’re being selfish? Balls.

  • Anonymous

    everyone doesn’t do what you think they should do in their own community they’re being selfish?

    I’m not the one reserving a public bike rack (which it is) for my private enjoyment. And said public bike rack is used as that person’s base for his bike business. I’m not the one exhibiting chutzpah. Agree to disagree. I believe his conduct is self-interested and selfish and hey, we all act that way from time to time. But I don’t believe he “did the right thing,” and you’re free to believe otherwise.

  • You would prefer a bike share station instead of a rack that is often used to store personal property.

    Unfortunately, a bike rack is ipso facto a place to store personal property, like Shelly’s bikes. Since he lives there, and the bikes aren’t abandoned, his use seems to me to be perfectly legitimate. He is making good use of the amenity. I do a load of laundry every day and would not entertain kibitzers telling me I am overusing the amenity.

    If Shelly lived in a brownstone, and his landlord let him sit on the stoop every evening playing the radio and having a soft drink, you would be complaining that the landlord should install a soda machine and a jukebox in the front garden so neighbors like you could stop and buy a drink and listen to music.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, a bike rack is ipso facto a place to store personal property, like Shelly’s bikes

    Isn’t that the private car owner’s claim?

    Unfortunately, a street parking space is ipso facto a place to store personal property, like Shelly’s car

    Further:

    and the bikes aren’t abandoned

    I don’t know about that. I go by there practically every day (since the Hudson River Greenway is blocked for two blocks, so you have to take a detour around the pier) and I see the same old dingy bikes and his utility bike.

    If they were replacing a bike room (which some buildings around here have, though many have a waiting list and I know this because I recently was looking at other buildings in my area when I was deciding to renew my lease), I’d be quite sympathetic.

    If Shelly lived in a brownstone, and his landlord let him sit on the stoop every evening playing the radio and having a soft drink, you would be complaining that the landlord should install a soda machine and a jukebox in the front garden so neighbors like you could stop and buy a drink and listen to music.

    No need to get nasty. The “soda machine’ was already there for anyone’s enjoyment. If he wants his own designated bike parking spot, he should either pay for it, or work something out with management such that only permitted residents can use it (like, some places in midtown require permits and make you put stickers on your bike).

    I’m sure Shelly is a nice guy, seems like a good advocate for livable streets generally and I can sympathize with his motives. But I’m not going to suspend logic and reason so I can pretend like he’s not being selfish here. He supports bike share, but, just not when it removes his free public (for his private use) parking spot. It’s the same principal as the NIMBY’s who lose their street parking (except he had less fighting over his spot).

  • It’s not like street parking, because it’s private property.

    Bike share sounds like a nice program, but it’s limited in many ways, and the assumption that the fleet of bikes that are parked on that particular rack don’t deserve the spot as much as share bikes do is a particularly broad one.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not like street parking, because it’s private property.

    It’s a public bike rack for anyone to use. There are other bike racks inside the complex which are presumptively for the enjoyment of the residents only.

    Here’s a picture of the notice of the bike rack removal:
    http://inhabitat.com/nyc/bicyclists-angered-as-citi-bike-stations-uproot-public-racks/bike-rack-announcement/

    See how it says “If you are a gateway resident . . . If you are not a gateway resident.” It’s for anyone’s enjoyment.

    but it’s limited in many ways and the assumption that the fleet of bikes that are parked on that particular rack don’t deserve the spot as much as share bikes do is a particularly broad one.

    In this case, that’s an easy argument to make. There are about 500 people in that building. It’s a huge complex and now everyone who lives there will have to walk down the street about 5 – 7 minutes. That might not seem like much but add it up and it’s the difference between whether the program is viable for the residents or not. It’s about “quick, short trips” and 10-14 minutes extra, for every single person in that complex who were to use bike share, can be a difference maker.

    But as you alluded, it is private property and the private property owner determined that a bike share station in that place was the optimal usage.

    ***

    And to be clear, it’s nothing personal. If I had a free, dedicated safe and close by parking spot for my bike, such that, I didn’t have to lug my bikes up to my apt., I’d be mad as hell to lose that. But that’s the exact same pathology as the car owners kvetching about losing free street parking. I understand it. If I were in those shoes, I’d probably feel the same.

  • amandag

    I wish people would just focus on the only question here–why can’t they just install the citi bikes adjacent to our bike rack? There is plenty of room. My kids use that bike rack and so do others kids, adults with child carriers and trailers. They are not mutually exclusive people–tons of room –just do it so we don’t have to read asinine comments about this rack anymore.

  • Anonymous

    There really isn’t room there for another rack. It’s either Citibike or the existing bike rack that looks like ugly ass storage.

    The only asinine thing is Shelly’s conduct. His company is called the Urban Mobility Project for crying out loud.

    You guys deserve to be called out for your selfishness. No better than any NIMBY fighting for their street parking. You don’t own that bike rack anymore than I do. It’s management’s bike rack and because of Shelly’s bitching, the northern portion of south BPC is, and will remain, isolated from the system.

    Now we’ll probably never get a nice station there. All because of NIMBYs.

    If you must park your bike outside everyday (not covered too!) then use one of the interior bike racks for residents only and not screw over the rest of us with your selfishness.

  • Anonymous

    Shelly Mossey is a selfish Nimby moron who stabbed every Gateway resident in the back with his idiotically short sighted protest. He uses that gatway bike rack for his business, He rents bikes from that rack and he runs his messenger/delivery service from that gateway rack. Now all of Gateway Plaza, a huge complex!, has no CitiBike station because selfish Shelly Mossey and his Peter Pan complex chose to put his business interests OVEr his neighbors. What an S.O.B!

  • Anonymous

    If you were running a laundry service out of your building’s laundry room, they would shut you down. Shelly Mossey is a selfish scam artist running his bike messenger and rental service out of this gateway bike rack. He should be ashamed of himself, but of course selfish scumbags like Shelly have no shame.

  • Anonymous

    “There are about 500 people in that building. It’s a huge complex and now everyone who lives there will have to walk down the street about 5 – 7 minutes.”

    I don’t live in Gateway, but I’d be mad as hell at this SOB Shelly Mossey if I did. As it is, I’m still mad as hell as a BPC resident who has to see a CitiBike station in my neighboorhood sacrificed to the selfish business interest of Shelly Mossey. He runs his bike delivery/rental service off this rack at Gatweay. The guy should be arrested for tax evasion! If you see Shelly on the esplande on his recumbent space hogging contraption, tell him Pierce says go f himself.

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