Why Damon Rides

Streetsblog is pleased to run the first in a series of bike-share-themed “Why I Ride” profiles by photographer Dmitry Gudkov…

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Damon is an attorney living in New Rochelle and working in the Financial District. He likes to ride a bike at home on weekends, but has not done much cycling in Manhattan. He came into town to take a Citi Bike for a spin for the first time.

“I take the train down to Grand Central, then take the 4/5 the rest of the way. It just gets pretty crowded in the morning, and it’s stop-and-go on the way back in the evening. I think tomorrow I will try grabbing a bike at Grand Central and riding down to Wall Street. Maybe – we’ll see what the weather is like. I like that you can walk out and change your mind.”

Damon says his excitement for bike-share surprised him a little. “I’m never a first adopter of anything. I don’t even own a smart phone. Though I might have to get one now for the Citi Bike app.”

  • This bike share looks amazing but I will be boycotting it until it comes to the Bronx!

  • JBS

    Then you’ll probably be waiting for years.

  • I agree with Susan. New York City is bigger than a slice of Brooklyn and a third of Manhattan.

  • Cro-Lady Coco

    I’ll boycott with you. I’m also in the Bronx…

  • Inspector Spacetime

    It had to start at a nexus of consistent population concentration. If this goes well, it’ll roll up to the Bronx before it hits eastern Queens.

  • Joe R.

    I share your sentiments, Susan. I would have signed up in a heartbeat if stations were planned for eastern Queens this year. Unfortunately, they’re not even planned in phase 3. Being that I go to Manhattan a dozen times a year if I’m lucky, and can easily walk from the subway, I’m not finding the current implementation terribly useful to me personally. Where I live would have been great. I could have seen myself taking it to downtown Flushing, Queens Blvd., and one of dozens of potential shopping destinations which are either a chore to walk to, or just plain too far to walk to.

  • Anonymous

    Better to organize now for better bike lanes AND Citibike. Instead of boycotting, get your friends to call their City Council members and demand Citibike!

  • Bronxite

    Don’t forget that just because you live in the Bronx does not mean you can’t give it a try the next time your downtown. I became an annual meember because I live in the Bronx, but work and play in Manhattan.

  • Bronxite

    It’s nice to have options.

  • I live and work in the Bronx so weeks go by when I don’t set foot in Manhattan. I have written a few letters and emails about the lack of coverage– but this is like any other urban amenity parks, water fountains, etc. The Bronx deserves it too! Queens too.

    We have the same or HIGHER population density– and lots of people who need an alternative to the rip-off “black cars” that move most people around.

    My students take them to BCC and so do I if my bike is broken.

    This would fill a big gap in our transportation network.

  • We have higher density here in the bronx that some of the parts of brooklyn that have the racks.

    I think phase 1 is fine– it’s the other phases that have me disappointed. There are no plans to inclue the Bronx.

  • Yes, the black car costs $7 for a trip that would take 10 min on a bike, like from 207th & 10th Ave at the 1 train to the Bronx Comm Coll campus..

  • Philly Bicycle Journal

    Once he gets the hang of cycling in NYC I hope he visits a bike shop and gets a Brompton. Perfect solution for an office worker and upscale enough to impress people at work.

  • Guest

    I think the proper phrase to describe this idea is “cutting of your nose to spite your face.”

  • Guest

    Off.

  • John Andersen

    We did this bike share scheme in Minneapolis and loved it. As people who are car-free by conscience, we are excited to see bike share programs cropping up all over.

    Cycling is our third favorite mode of transportation behind walking and transit.

  • Bronxite

    Actually, the Bronx was scheduled for phase 2. At least the West Bronx prior to Sandy (a good chunk of the East Bronx in phase 3). Might be delayed or altered we don’t know.

    I agree that the Bronx is very dense/urban but placing the docks near the core first makes the most sense. More Bronxites frequent Manhattan then the other way around (and Brooklyn/Queens/SI residents are even less likely to work or visit the Bronx frequently). There are also more commuters from outside the city and tourist. You can effect the greatest number of people, highest subscriber potential.

    I’m also sure the more subscribers from areas currently not served will bring them attention.

  • Bronxite

    Definitely. Organizing and informing local representatives in office about the need for better bicycle infrastructure is time well spent. The program will expand, it s happened elsewhere (see Capital Bikeshare).

  • Bronxite
  • http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130508/mott-haven/bronx-cyclists-wonder-whether-borough-will-get-city-bike-share-program

    this article made it sound like there are no plans for the bronx in “phase 2” why is the information different?

  • I hope you are right because I was told it’s NOT in phase 2.

  • Bronxite

    The phases are tentative right now. CitiBike will cover the Bronx, there is absolutely no doubt about it. The question is when.

  • Joe R.

    Here’s the original study on which that map was based:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/transportation/bike_share_complete.pdf

    I think the plan has since changed but I could be wrong. Phase 3 in the original plan covers much of the Bronx, a good part of southwest Brooklyn, and much of Queens west of Flushing Meadows Park. It also looks like the downtown Flushing Main Street area is covered. They missed large swaths with relatively high population density, such as downtown Jamaica and actually nearly everywhere west of the Cross Island Parkway, with the exceptions of parks or cemeteries. East of that is probably similar to Long Island and might not be dense enough for bike share to work.

  • Larry Littlefield

    This guy is the big market. People who arrive at Penn and work near GCT, arrive at GCT and work near Penn, arrive at either and work in Lower Manhattan, arrive via Staten Island Ferry and work in Midtown.

    This means you can ride your own bike to some train station, bus station, or ferry terminal, ride the train, bus or ferry to Manhattan, then pick up a Citibike to complete your trip.

  • Anonymous

    To have a bike share station throughout the entire city every few blocks like Velib does in Paris would take about 80,000 docking stations for NYC. There is simply not enough money to do that yet. Even the Velib system started with half the coverage when it first started.

  • It was one of the big surprises to the organizers of the London bikeshare program how many people used the bikes to replace the leg of their commute from a mainline station to their office, as this guy has done. The biggest docking station in London is now the one outside Waterloo, the busiest station. I wrote about London’s teething problems in 2010: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/301059a2-cbe4-11df-bd28-00144feab49a.html

  • Jessica

    Are you the weirdo that sent me this message?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Why Sri Rides

|
This wraps up Dmitry Gudkov’s series of bike-share-themed “Why I Ride” profiles on Streetsblog. Thanks Dmitry! From here on out, it’s just random chance if the subject of a “Why I Ride” post is smiling next to a Citi Bike. Sri is a programmer. He lives in New Jersey and takes the train to Penn Station. […]

Why Joe Rides

|
Joe Zaro owns Zaro’s, a local chain of bakeries with locations in Grand Central and Penn Station, among others. He commutes to Manhattan from White Plains and often makes short trips between store locations and to meetings. He has a road bike that he uses to get around sometimes. He had just picked up a […]
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 […]

Early Adopters Take NYC Bike-Share for a Spin

|
Today, New Yorkers turned out under sunny skies to try out bike-share for the first time. Citi Bike went live at 11:00 a.m., but a few New Yorkers discovered that their keys were working at some stations before the official start time this morning. By noon, it was easy to spot people pedaling bright blue bikes […]

Liu’s and Pucher’s Bike-Share Math Is Wrong, and Not By a Little

|
Hey, remedial math teachers: the City Comptroller’s office is hiring. At least, let’s hope so. Judging from Comptroller John Liu’s innumerate broadside against the City’s Bike Share program, they badly need help in basic arithmetic, not to mention fact-checking. Let’s begin with Liu’s own words, insinuating that bike-share might cause one or more children to […]