Earth to New York Post: Citi Bike Stations Are Designed to Be Flexible

Hats off to Matt Flegenheimer for the enlightening piece in today’s Times describing the lessons from other bike-share systems that informed New York’s big decisions about Citi Bike. This passage stood out, given the recent tabloid coverage about station placement:

In London and Paris, stations are trenched in the ground, rendering them difficult to remove. Kiosks in New York’s system, similar to Montreal’s, are simply set on the street surface, secured by their own weight, with no physical tethering to the ground.

“Can you imagine doing 300 miniconstruction sites around the city?” Mr. Orcutt said, alluding to the resident complaints about even the low-maintenance installation.

The flexibility has already allowed the city to adjust kiosks, as workers did recently on Bank Street, where a few spots were removed to avoid blocking a building entrance.

In related news, the sterling journalists at the New York Post insist that rearranging bike-share docks isn’t a sign of the system’s flexibility but instead amounts to “a kind of shell game.” Because it’s so, so devious and deceptive to respond to feedback.

Say what you will about whether the feedback from 99 Bank and 175 West 13th Street was worth a response (Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano said the complaints about emergency access have no basis in reality), the ability to fine-tune Citi Bike stations is a big plus. Unlike huge, expensive wastes of concrete like the parking garages at East River Plaza and Yankee Stadium, it’s a cinch to make adjustments to Citi Bike as needed.

  • Thanks, Ben, for putting in black and white the stark difference between the boondoggles of city-funded off-street parking and the bike-share system.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Nice piece, Ben. Just think how in a couple of weeks you will have to start writing stories about bike lanes and traffic safety again, instead of this silly faux-controversy mischigas.

    Though I do have a headline prediction: June 29: One Month in, Citibike annual memberships now top 50,000. Crazy?

  • Miles Bader

    … and note that even “permanent” bike parking installations are vastly less intrusive and easier to repurpose, should the need arise, than permanent car parking installations, simply because everything about them can be lightweight (and space-efficient, allowing less modification of their environment).

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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

|
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 […]

Chattanooga Bike-Share Goes Live With Same Software as NYC

|
In a good sign for the deployment of Citi Bike in New York City, Chattanooga went live with its bike-share system last night. The system, called Bike Chattanooga, consists of 300 bikes at 28 stations. More importantly, as far as New York is concerned: It uses the same bikes and kiosks as Citi Bike, which […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Why Aren’t American Bike-Share Systems Living Up to Their Potential?

|
As policy director at the New York City Department of Transportation from 2007 to June, 2014, Jon Orcutt shepherded the nation’s largest bike-share system through the earliest stages of planning, a wide-ranging public engagement process, and, last year, the rollout of hundreds of Citi Bike stations. That makes Orcutt, formerly of Transportation Alternatives and the Tri-State Transportation […]