The Department of Transportation presented a plan Wednesday night to put 39 CitiBike stations on the Upper West Side, scattering them from 60th to 107th street. They could be installed starting as soon as August, although the exact timing will still need to be worked out.
A crowd of about 200 people packed a room at Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue and commented on the stations, which are still considered a draft. The proposed stations can still be moved, and new ones could be added based on community input.
We’ve posted the full presentation below. We’ve also posted individual slides showing sections of the neighborhood, and some of the comments that audience members made about the slides below them. The DOT picked the sites based on suggestions submitted at community meetings and discussions with community organizations like business improvement districts, elected officials and cultural institutions like the Museum of Natural History. They were often limited in where they could put stations based on space limitations and other factors like bus traffic and safety concerns. Some of the spaces are on the sidewalk, and some are in the street.
A few things to know about the program: The DOT doesn’t put stations inside parks, because the stations need to be accessible 24 hours a day and the local parks close late at night. Also, they want the stations to generally be near subway stops so people can use the bikes to travel “the last mile” before they get home or to work.
It’s not yet clear how many parking spots will be taken away, which caused some consternation in the audience. But many CitiBike proponents clapped loudly when Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione noted there would have to be some tradeoffs to get “a great amenity.” The DOT is “not on a mission to eliminate parking spots,” she said. The stations will be an average of 80 feet long.
The draft plan can still be changed as it gets reviewed by Community Board 7 in the next couple of months. On the second Tuesday of next month, the transportation committee will meet again to talk about bike safety and infrastructure in the neighborhood. To register a comment, question or complaint, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “CitiBike”.
We’ve annotated the slides below with audience comments about each section of the neighborhood. (Click each slide to enlarge.)
— CitiBike docking stations should be closer to subway stations like the station on 66th, noted community board member Ken Coughlin. “They seem to be scrupulously avoiding placing docks within two blocks of major subway stations.” DOT will investigate if that’s possible.
— The Dante Park station may be too close to the hotel across the street.
— Why no stations near Fordham or schools like La Guardia and MLK High School? For Fordham, DOT blamed nearby construction.
— Why so few stations on Central Park West? DOT is avoiding putting stations near pedestrian-only entrances to Central Park. They’re trying to locate CPW stations at bike entrances.
— There is only one station on Riverside Boulevard, an area without much public transportation. The new development at Riverside Center (under construction along the Hudson between 59th and 61st) may have a station “one day.”
— The spot at 74th street near Broadway may conflict with the Beacon Theater, which tends to use that area to set up for events. DOT will investigate.
— Audience members wanted to know why there weren’t any stations in Verdi Square (72nd -73rd and Broadway), given that it’s the most convenient location to get to and from the neighborhood’s busiest subway line. DOT officials noted that the city has several construction projects planned for that area. But community members urged DOT to do their best to get a station there.
— The station at 72nd street in Riverside Park caused concern as it appears to be located right at the Eleanor Roosevelt statue, which some people said would be sullied by the blue bikes with the Citi logo. “Please don’t let Eleanor be surrounded by [CitiBike] blue. Let her be surrounded by green.” But one CB7 board member read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt herself about how much she loved taking her bike to do errands.
— Some people are concerned that a station on CPW between 71st and 72nd street would add traffic to an already congested area.
— Some audience members were confused as to why there are so few stations on West End Avenue.
— Why no stations on the Museum of Natural History superblock? Some people said the area already has a ton of traffic, including lots of school buses. Forgione said “If people feel strongly that they want more near the museum, we would reconsider.”
— The station at 79th and Riverside Drive caused concerns, as that area is congested and has cars coming off the highway.
— Some people think the station at the Joan of Arc Park in Riverside Park is problematic, because of the location of park entrances, and concerns about how it might look.
— One person wanted more stations around 91st to 93rd street.
— Some were confused about why there aren’t stations on 96th street. Also none on Columbus between 97th and 100th, where “a lot of businesses could be boosted by having bikeshare.”
— Some people want a station or two on 97th between Columbus and Amsterdam. That’s a wide block but it presents some challenges: some neighbors are calling for new public amenities and seating, and others are fighting a proposal for a new nursing home. Nonetheless, several community members called for a station or two — perhaps near Whole Foods at 97th and Columbus.
— One station was proposed at the Amsterdam Avenue entrance to Happy Warrior playground, where there’s a Christmas Tree stand in the winter.
— Concern that no stations are planned above 107th street. Some want them at 110th, close to the subway.
— The Straus Park station at 106th and West End could be tricky, as West End narrows there. Debate about whether it should be moved to Broadway or elsewhere.
— Concern about the station at 104th and Riverside, an area that one woman said has dangerous traffic patterns. However, another audience member said that block was the headquarters of the Riverside Wheelmen in 1895, and it would be a nice homage.
If you have a comment to make about a specific station, send it as soon as possible to email@example.com.