July 16th, 2019: Here Come The Citi Bikes!

No surprises today from the weather:

Tuesday Weather

Tuesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming southwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Tuesday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. Southwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Sunrise 5:38am

Sunset 8:25pm

The Ninth St. Bridge in Brooklyn will be closed again today and tomorrow:

And the 19th Precinct continues to position itself as the exemplar of bike lane enforcement:

But rest assured that throughout most of the city the bike lane remains an acceptable layover spot during alternate-side parking:

It's a practice afforded the same protection as religious observance.

After widespread coverage of Citi Bike's inequitable distribution, yesterday three city councilmembers delivered a letter pushing for more service low-income neighborhoods, and for details on the pending expansion:

In a letter sent to the NYC Department of Transportation Monday morning, several New York City Council members pushed the agency to ensure that Citi Bike’s upcoming expansion plans include low-income neighborhoods, the Daily News first reported.

The missive—signed by councilmembers Justin Brannan, Adrienne Adams, and Ritchie Torres—also requests that the details of Lyft and Citi Bike’s planned $100 million expansionbe made public. Lyft owns Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike.

And here's a look at what's happening:

By the end of 2023, new bike-share stations will pepper Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill, Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan; Mott Haven, Melrose, Port Morris, Highbridge, Claremont, Morrisania, Longwood, Concourse and Mount Eden in the Bronx; Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, East Flatbush, Sunset Park, South Slope, Windsor Terrace, Prospect Park South and Kensington in Brooklyn; and Sunnyside, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona in Queens.

“Finally, the city in Citi Bike is going to mean something,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. told The Post.

This is exciting news, but spare a thought for poor Ben and his super-relatable commute:

But Ben, a New Jersey-to-Tribeca commuter who declined to give his last name, was not so thrilled.

“There’s less parking spots, narrower streets,” he said.

If Ben's commuting from New Jersey to Tribeca via the above neighborhoods then he might want to seriously reconsider his route.

Regardless, the inclusion of this quote is deliciously subversive, and Ben should be the go-to source for contrarian views in any and all bike-related local news articles going forward.

In bike lane expansion news, the Queens Boulevard bike lane is...not expanding:

Publicly, DOT has nothing new to report. “We are moving forward with the redesign and working with the community, but have no updated timeline to share at this time,” said Brian Zumhagen, a DOT spokesperson.

A source close to the city Department of Transportation has told Gothamist that work on the easternmost section of bike lane through Rego Park and Forest Hills could begin in the early months of 2020, possibly as soon as January. Yet suspicions remain that the bike lane has become tangled in politics over the city's proposal for a new jail in nearby Kew Gardens, which has also been a flashpoint in the borough's too-close-to-call district attorney race.

Advocates are pushing for a protected bike lane on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn:

And the Lower East Side wants more bike lanes while the East River Greenway is under construction:

"We would encourage you to look at Avenues A through D spanning from East Houston to 14th Street to determine the best location for a one or two-way bike lane, understanding the multiple needs of the city and the impacts these options may have for cyclists and the community.

These new protected bike lanes would serve as a vital alternative to the East River greenway, which is projected to close starting in 2020 during the ESCR project. Recent reports of cyclist accidents in the area suggest the increased safety that protected bike lanes will provide is urgently needed."

Meanwhile, on the west side, cyclists aren't happy about the Riverside Park detour:

West Side

The Parks Department did not respond to a request for comment. Rosenthal’s spokeswoman Sarah Crean wrote in a statement that the staff “has been riding the path at all hours looking for safety issues. We are not observing people struggling with the hills. We are also working to ensure that safe riding along the bike path is enforced.”

“We will continue to closely observe this new path,” she adde. “And our office has spoken with the Parks Department about making the signage at 72nd Street more clear. Finally, we really want to encourage pedestrians to come back to the greenway along the River and enjoy it without worry.”

And last night they discussed the situation with the local community board:

Here's one possible solution:

Or the city could give cyclists a lane of the Henry Hudson Parkway and we'll call it good.

Finally, the cycling coverage in the Riverdale Press shows signs of maturing, this puzzling comment notwithstanding:

Bicycle safety is a multi-faceted problem. For the most part, the city’s roads are designed for cars. Cyclists are an afterthought, Cohen said. Streets are often too narrow to put a bus lane on one side and a two-way bike lane on the other.

“We live in a city that’s more than 400 years old,” the councilman said. “It was not really designed or built with bicycles in mind. Trying to retrofit it is an immense challenge.”

Of course the retrofitting already happened, and it was for cars.  Here's the 242nd St. in 1908:


And here it is now, having been stretched to accommodate something like seven lanes of traffic on Broadway:


All that work and yet the station still doesn't have an elevator.

That aside, there's nothing to quibble with here:

Many of those opposed to more bike lanes believe there aren’t enough bike riders in the northwest Bronx to justify their construction. But Brenner says there are plenty of cyclists now and will be more when they have access to more designated travel lanes.

“We’re here,” Brenner said. “People say they never see anybody in the bike lane, but that’s because we have the ability to get through traffic faster than an automobile. There are a lot of us in the Bronx — especially up in Riverdale — that cycle.”

We really should stage some phony bicycle traffic jams for the benefit of the bike lane haters.