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Bike Sharing

Bike-Share Already Getting More Use Than Park Slope’s Free Parking Spots

Citi Bike is getting a lot of use in Park Slope. Image: Viktor Geller
Citi Bike use is high and rising in Park Slope. Image: Viktor Geller
Citi Bike is getting a lot of use in Park Slope. Image: Viktor Geller

The new bike-share stations in Brooklyn south of Atlantic Avenue are getting a lot more use than your average free on-street parking space, according to recent Citi Bike data compiled by Carroll Gardens resident Viktor Geller [PDF]. Geller addressed the report to Brooklyn Community Board 6, which is holding a hearing on Thursday in response to complaints about bike-share stations replacing curbside car parking.

Citi Bike and DOT publish usage data online each month. In the neighborhoods in CB 6, stations were just installed this summer, and Geller's data shows usage is still on the rise.

Stations in some neighborhoods are used more intensely than others. In Park Slope, it's typical for two or three bike-share trips to begin or end at each dock each day. In Red Hook, the average is lower -- more like one bike-share "event" at each dock per day. But even so, since each car parking space is equivalent to about eight bike-share docks, that means about eight bike-share trips either begin or end each day in the space one car would occupy -- and that's in the area with the least amount of use.

We don't have an apples-to-apples comparison with car parking, but DOT did track on-street parking turnover in Park Slope in 2007 and 2008. In some locations DOT observed, nearly three-quarters of parked cars were not moved between between 2 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. the following day. In other locations, about a quarter were not moved.

Let's be generous and assume that on average, a free parking space turns over twice per day. That's four "events" (two departures and two arrivals) -- or about half as much turnover as typical bike-share stations in the least active area of CB 6. The difference is even more stark in Park Slope, where Citi Bike stations are used for at least four to six times the number of trips that free parking spots would be.

Mayor de Blasio has suggested that bike-share stations which are not "well-used" may be moved or adjusted. But compared to free on-street car parking, just about every bike-share station is well-used.

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