By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
After years of anticipation, the Citi Bike Share program is finally hitting the streets of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Heights Association, which has expressed concerns over the program in the past, is excited for the programs launch in May.
“We've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback from residents who were excited at the prospect of the program for their own use and from a transportation policy point of view,” said the Brooklyn Heights Association's vice president Patrick Killackey. “The BHA believes Citi Bike Share is a positive step to helping people avoid taking cars, and we appreciate the City's effort to try something new.”
The BHA was initially concerned that the program might result in excess noise on residential streets, but explains that the New York City Department of Transportation has put forth a strong effort to work together on such issues.
“The DOT went through a well-publicized, lengthy, and impressive process last spring to collect community input for initial plans and feedback on its initial siting proposal,” said Killackey. “DOT's revision was responsive to the BHA-raised concerns, including comments on specific locations and general siting considerations.”
One thing that the BHA doesn't expect is that the program will have a significant effect on traffic in the area. “We'll see,” Killackey said. “An appreciable impact seems unlikely.”
Since the DOT began installing docks for the program there have been a few negative complaints. It seems the most frequent complaint has been the loss of parking spots.
“DOT made clear from the introduction of Bike Share that there would be some loss of parking. We asked DOT to consider this impact carefully in the siting plan for Brooklyn Heights, and we believe DOT was responsive to this.”
At the three Heights Bike Share locations that are on the street - rather than on the sidewalk or in a public plaza - there is expected to be a loss of roughly 8-10 spots.
The BHA had hoped that the loss of parking spots would help to encourage the city to implement a residential permit parking program. However, the immediate past president of the BHA, Jane McGroarty, said that the program "came to a grinding halt" at a BHA meeting in February, and talk of a permit parking program has not since been revived.
The BHA heard from one person who claimed to have been ticketed as a result of a 'No Parking' sign related to the program. The DOT explained to the Brooklyn Eagle that it set up 'No Parking' notices twice at 72-hours prior and then again 24-hours prior to installing docks. DOT said that it doesn't have the authority to ticket cars and would have merely moved cars if signs were ignored. The BHA has said it will help anybody legitimately ticketed as a result of the program to try to get the ticket expunged.
It's practically impossible to implement a program this size in Brooklyn without upsetting some people. Despite the complaints, there is much excitement over the program, and most seem happy with the compromises that have been reached.
“We know the program is not perfect, but we want to see how it plays out as we live with the stations and new type of activity in the neighborhood,” Killackey said. “We expect DOT to be responsive to issues that need responding to.”
Here are the 12 expected Citi Bike Share locations in and near Brooklyn Heights:
- North side of Fulton Street near Adams Street - 47 docks (public park/plaza)
- North side of Old Fulton Street near Water Street - 41 docks (public park/plaza)
- North side of Montague Street near Clinton Street - 39 docks (parking lane)
- North side of Clark Street near Henry Street - 31 (parking lane)
- East side of Henry Street near State Street - 23 (parking lane)
- North side of Remsen Street near Hicks Street - 31 (sidewalk)
- South side of Atlantic Avenue near Furman Street - 31 (sidewalk)
- West side of Clinton Street near Joralemon Street - 25 (sidewalk)
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade near Cranberry Street - 23 (sidewalk)
- West side of Cadman Plaza West near Middagh Street - 23 (sidewalk)
- West side of Cadman Plaza East near Tillary Street - 23 (sidewalk)
- West side of Clinton Street near Tillary Street - 31 (no parking area of street)