After teasing Upper West Siders for years by promising to deploy Citi Bikes in our neighborhood, the city says it’s really, actually, probably, almost definitely, going to expand the network next year. Almost certainly, hopefully.
Polly Trottenberg, the head of the Department of Transportation, said “‘confidently’ that Citi Bike will expand to Upper East and Upper West sides sometime in 2015,” according to WNYC reporter Kate Hinds.
The CitiBike program has been extremely popular, but the company that runs it has had significant financial problems, delaying the expected expansion. An expected deal with Related Companies could infuse the system with new cash, however. The bikes are now available only as far North as 60th street and Broadway.
Streetsblog reported on Tuesday that the plan is to extend it to as far as 140th street, although it’s not clear if it would reach that high on both the East and West sides. In any case, it’s expected to encompass the entire Upper West Side. Streetsblog notes that this could lead to more protected bike lanes, including one on Amsterdam Avenue.
“While some of these areas, mainly in Brooklyn, already enjoy dense parts of the cycling network, the coming of Citi Bike should spur creation of more protected bike lane capacity on the Upper East and West Sides. In particular, the city should implement a protected lane between 60th and 100th Streets on Second Avenue as soon as subway construction wraps up, connect the Columbus Avenue lane to Ninth Avenue, and develop northbound protected routes on the Upper West Side. Additional east/west bike capacity could be linked to the cross-park routes like 72nd and 102nd Streets, likely to be heavily used by Citi Bike riders.”
The expansion is likely dependent on the deal with Related being finalized. So, stay tuned…