Thursday’s Headlines: Citi Bike’s ‘Racial Bias’ Edition

Obviously, there are huge gaps in the Citi Bike network.
Obviously, there are huge gaps in the Citi Bike network.

You didn’t need Clayton Guse of the New York Daily Newsuh to tell you that Citi Bike hasn’t rolled deep into communities of color. You only had to look at the map to know that.

But that said, Guse’s piece was important because it reminds us anew that “the bike-sharing network neglects many of New York’s low-income neighborhoods and communities of color while giving priority to the most well-to-do parts of the city.” And Guse wisely pointed out that Citi Bike’s bias towards rich neighborhoods is a legacy of the original sin of bike share: unlike every other form of public transit, the city does not put any public money into the system, forcing Citi Bike to make a profit.

Indeed, would the MTA’s Bronx bus map have all those multi-colored lines all over it if the agency was forced to make a profit?

NY1 and WPIX11 also focused on the obvious angle, but Streetsblog spun the story forward, looking at how Citi Bike could achieve its long-promised equity — not that there is unanimity about how to get there.

And if that’s not enough, here’s the rest of yesterday’s news:

  • Sure, the private sanitation truck blew through the red light, but why was the city street sweeper making a U-turn? (NYDN, with a great lede by Thomas Tracy, NY Post)
  • The Daily News followed Wednesday’s Post scoop with more details of MTA graft and corruption. But the Post’s David Meyer also had a bite — or two or three— more at that wormy apple.
  • John Raskin, who founded the Riders Alliance and turned it into a powerhouse advocacy group for beleaguered straphangers, is moving on. No word yet on where he’s going, but given Raskin’s successes over the years, Gov. Cuomo should pay him six figures and hide him in a back office just to shut him up! (NYDN)
  • One measly car-free block. One block. (amNY)
  • Three cheers for a construction foreman or forewoman who gets it! (Reddit)
  • In case you hadn’t heard (our invite must have gotten “lost” in the “mail”), but WNYC and Gothamist’s “We the Commuters” series is hosting a fun, jam-packed night of comedy and transportation talk tonight at 7 in SoHo. Details are here.
  • A Queens community board did that Queens community board thing, voting down a bus lane because it would have repurposed some curbside space that drivers seem to believe exists for the storage of their private vehicles (Daniel Coates via Twitter)
  • New York City’s speed camera systems will gradually expand to 750 school zones by next year, but the big news is that starting today, the cameras will operate not just during school hours, but from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day (ABC7). City officials will mark the life-saving, recklessness-curbing occasion with a presser in the Bronx.
  • And, finally, Mayor de Blasio has no public schedule today, but Speaker Corey Johnson will throw out the first pitch at the Brooklyn Cyclones game tonight in Coney.
  • Larry Littlefield

    RE MTA labor (or is it supervisor) abuses. The NYCT worker was fired.
    If he had been a police officer he might have lost his pension. If he had been in LIRR worker he would not have been fired. If he had been a tenured teacher there is no way he could have been fired.
    Unless Samuleson/Pendergast brought back the sort of garbage that used to happen in the old days, the problem is not NYCT, at least not on the employee side. Perhaps on the contractor side.

  • Carl S

    As much as this article makes this out to be a matter of neglect, there is logic in putting the Citi bikes near bike paths that are close to the business districts where many people commute to or visit and spreading out from there so that you have connections to the first phase of bike paths. It happens the surrounding neighborhoods close to where people work are more expensive and have less poor people. There would be much disconnection if the bike paths (and therefor Citi bikes) didn’t go all the way to the business district and they took a different approach and put the second phase of bike paths in poor neighborhoods that are further away.

  • BronxEE2000

    Today starts the extra cash grab (aka more speed cameras).

  • Larry Littlefield

    I suggest you fight the power by not speeding.

  • BronxEE2000

    I’ll keep it at 35.

  • APJH

    Indeed, Thomas Tracy’s lede would have been great, had it been spelled correctly. Sigh.

  • Daphna

    Sadly 10mph over the speed limit of 25mph is enough to avoid speed camera tickets which only ticket for 36mph and higher.
    Meanwhile, bus lane camera violations are being reduced from $115 to only $50 – another concession to law breaking motorists.

  • Daphna

    For city government there is no longer the opportunity to spike pensions. Anyone hired by the City of New York after 2012 is in pension tier 6 which among other reforms, allows only $14K earned in overtime per year to count towards the employee’s salary that the pension is based on.

  • Daphna

    For those needing help, (like me!):
    Green – docking station with a decent number of bikes
    Orange – docking station with very few bikes
    Red – docking station with no bikes
    Gray – docking station “coming soon”

    The huge number of red and orange shows a huge rebalancing problem, or depending how you look at it, it also shows that docking stations in certain areas should be larger and there should be more bikes in the system.

  • BronxEE2000

    The speed limit shouldn’t have been dropped from 30, but even with that I’m not driving fast on side streets. I’m not doing 25 on a major street.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well, I assume there are still plenty of people hired before 2012.

    And we don’t know what the rules for pensions for those in Tier VI will turn out to be. They are only putting in enough money for the lower pensions that have been promised, or perhaps even less than that. But that doesn’t mean the rules won’t suddenly change at 3 am when the first people in Tier VI approach retirement.

    That is, in fact, exactly what happened with Tier IV. Which is why the fiscal situation is what it is. And why they are hunting for money to take out of the transit system.

  • Teofila

    You can easily exit yr low paying 9 to 5 job and get started getting check monthly approx 12 k $ working on-line. Let’s be real, no matter where you’re doing the job that: working. While working from home you might have Flexible daily routine – you can take breaks any moment, feel absolutely no rush to hang up on your buddies when they contact you, and eat meal at any unusual time you wish, Stop thinking about crowds or traffic – Absolutely no stuffing yourself into a rickety transportation tube, having people scuff your new shoes, or walking behind agonizingly slow individuals who apparently don’t know what a straight line is, Much more time with loved ones -Take good care of a sick significant other at your house, be ready for your children earlier in the day time, get extra snuggles in with your doggo, or simply just get some peaceful time to your-self! Find out, what it’s about…


Citi Bike Map Now Shows Over 100 New Stations Coming Soon

New York City’s bike-share expansion is almost here. Citi Bike has added more than 100 new stations to its system map in Brooklyn, Long Island City, and between 59th Street and 86th Street in Manhattan. While it’s difficult to assess station density with much detail from eyeballing the map, you can see that parts of the Upper West Side, […]