Citi Bike expands to Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
With Citi Bike’s headquarters located in Sunset Park and a new flagship operations facility opening in Gowanus in August, Brooklyn has slowly but surely become the heart and soul of the citywide bike-sharing program.
The service has 600 stations spread out across 55 neighborhoods, including Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Red Hook, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
The system has grown from 6,000 bikes to 10,000 bikes since its inception in May 2013, and another 2,000 bikes are joining Citi Bike’s fleet in its next expansion.
The next phase of growth, which started on Tuesday, will bring 27 new stations or roughly 400 bikes to Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in the coming weeks.
Citi Bike has an average of roughly 57,000 trips a day and it continues to see record ridership each year, with more than 10 million rides in 2015 and 14 million rides in 2016.
And on July 26, the program set a new daily record for 70,286 rides. The only other bike-share program in the Western world with more annual rides is Paris’ Velib.
Although many residents welcome the expansion of docking stations, other Brooklynites are concerned about losing parking spaces in the borough’s congested streets.
District 43 City Councilmember candidate John Quaglione held a press conference in Cobble Hill in July to address Citi Bike replacing valuable parking spots.
“We believe Citi Bike is great for our community,” he said, “as long as it doesn’t take away our parking spaces.”
Cobble Hill community leader Daniel Arbeeny spoke out against the bike-share program’s lack of transparency with residents.
“They came to us in Cobble Hill and said, ‘This is what we’re doing,’ and there was no input,” said Arbeeny. “They did listen to some of the locational suggestions, which was nice, but they didn’t have to do anything.
“The fact that they can dictate to you the size and number and that they are going to do it regardless is inappropriate in a community context.”
The city’s Department of Transportation asked residents to suggest potential locations for Citi Bike’s future docking stations earlier this year in a public review period, but the agency ultimately makes the final decision on placement.
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