CitiBike could start rolling out stations on the Upper West Side from 59th to 86th street as soon as August, a representative for the Department of Transportation said Monday night.
The stations would roll out in two sections, said Margaret Forgione, the DOT’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner, who was speaking at a Town Hall held by Council member Helen Rosenthal Monday night.
The first section, stretching from 59th street to 86th street, would be placed this summer, opening in August or September. The second section would come after the winter — “probably in March” — and stretch to 110th street. Right now, CitiBike mostly stops at 59th street on the West Side, with one station on 61st. There will be dozens of stations in the neighborhood — you probably wouldn’t have to walk more than five blocks to find one, no matter where you are. Locals got a chance to weigh in on where the stations will be placed at a meeting in January.
The docking stations can be placed on sidewalks, streets, or in other areas like pedestrian plazas; they tend to be different sizes to conform to the location and can stretch as long as 90 feet — that equates to four to five parking spots.
The Department of Transportation will present a list of “semifinal proposed sites” to the community board next month. We’ll have more on that meeting soon.
While it’s unlikely Upper West Siders could stop CitiBike from coming here, we have heard considerable opposition, which could slow the process. One audience member at the Town Hall even let out an audible “Uggh” upon hearing the news. One local who emailed us wrote that “The Upper West side is overcrowded enough without having bike stations blocking and impeding people in their daily and necessary pursuits.”
The Coalition for a Livable West Side has been urging members to send emails and make calls to demand several conditions on CitiBike that could limit the number of stations in the neighborhood (if historic blocks can’t have CitiBike, most of West End Avenue, Central Park West and Riverside would not have the stations, and several other large chunks of the neighborhood too). The coalition’s positions are below:
If Community Board 7 approves the Bike Share expansion, Coalition believes that there should be no Bike Share Stations:• On any Historic Block.• In front of any landmarked building.• On any major crosstown street where DOT may install Select Bus Service.• On West 96th Street from Riverside Drive to CPW.Coalition believes that:• Building residents/owners must have the right to say NO to stations in front of their building.• Bike share stations must not block entrances to buildings.• Docking stations must contain no more than 10 bikes.• Bike share stations must be monitored every 6 months for usage – underutilized must be removed.• Each bike must contain laminated, clearly printed, non- removable biking rules and regulations.• Bikers must wear helmets.