April 23, 2013 By Christian Murray
Two local politicians are calling on the Department of Transportation to bring the Citi Bike program to Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside.
The Citi Bike program is scheduled to debut next month, with the DOT rolling out 6,000 bikes at nearly 330 stations in Manhattan (south of 59th Street) and in sections of Brooklyn.
Long Island City is expected to be receiving the bikes in September.
LIC was not originally going to be part of the program—however, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer persuaded DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to expand the program to that neighborhood at the eleventh hour.
Nevertheless, areas such as Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside have not been included to date and Van Bramer and State Sen. Mike Gianaris are urging the DOT to include them.
“I urge the DOT and Citi Bike to set a firm date for when all of Western Queens will enjoy the bike sharing stations,” Mike Gianaris said. “We want the DOT to recognize Western Queens as a priority area.”
However, Nicholas Mosquera, a spokesman for the DOT, said in an e-mail that “the bikes are being placed in the densest contiguous parts of the city.” He added that “there will be a chance to expand in the future based on demand and resources.”
The Citi Bike system, when fully operational, will include 10,000 bicycles at 600 stations.
Riders can sign up for a $95 annual membership, which allows unlimited 45-minute rides. A 24-hour pass costs $9.95, while a seven-day pass goes for $25.
The DOT started selling memberships on April 15.
As a home owner in Sunnyside, a car owner, a soon to be responsible dog owner (once the dog run is complete) and a bike owner, I think this is a good idea and another step towards the city as a whole going green.
Hey Doglover- try to focus on one issue- the bike program. It’s 95 bucks a year, which is a bargain. I work in LIC & do not want to pay $5 to get back & forth. A metro card is too expensive for my needs, as is a car (which is a tremendous expense.) This is designed for a purpose and sounds like a great purpose, which is why it’s happening. It’s been a success in other cities and will also succeed here, in spite of the pessimists.
The bikes do have a rack in front with a bungee cord that lets you secure a bag- either a purse, backpack, or shopping tote. No child seats, though, (probably too many liability issues.)
As a bike-rider, I agree that we need to improve our behavior on the road, particularly in relation to pedestrians. Honestly, though, expanding the number of bikers beyond bike-nerds means that folks HAVE to learn better manners.
So many joyless bike haters in here. Sadik Khan is right. Too bad she doesn’t have enough powers to fix a city badly planned by Robert Moses.
I think it’s a great idea. They’re safer & cleaner than cars, and they use less space. There are so many drivers speeding through our community, endangering lives and polluting our environment, not to mention using up our dwindling supply of petroleum. Remember, it’s people, not bikes or cars, that cause problems by their behavior. There are plenty of bike riders who need to learn how to properly negotiate our streets, but they are in the minority. There are also many car drivers who also disrespect others. More bikes and fewer cars = a neighborhood that is more peaceful, pleasant, and progressive.
Bicycle riders should have to pay more in medical insurance as they are putting their lives at risk.
Maybe a bikestand in the dogrun? Just kidding. Actually the bike plan seems like a good idea to me. However, please check out how much it costs. Don’t think many locals will want to put up $95 for an occasional 45 minute ride. What happens if you go over 45 minutes? Do the bikes have shopping baskets or child seats? Once again, our well meaning City Councilman is a little off the mark. He always seems to have these knee-jerk politically correct response to problems, but doesn’t think things through. For example, he gets a photo op for the dog poster contest, but proposes no enforcement. He gives the MTA $250,000 of our tax dollars for pigeon abatement, instead of litigating against the MTA and using the full powers of his office and public profile to make them cease operating a public health menace or arrest the pigeon feeders whom we all know and see everyday. Finally, he offers more of our money for a dog run in Windmueller Park, when it is already out of control with canines.
So many naysayers! This is a brilliant first step to a greener city!
Just put the bike stand in front of the e-bike store
There would be space for the bike stands on Skillman Ave. in front of the playground or maybe under the El on Queens Blvd. I would like to see the bikes come to Sunnyside-Woodside.
I’ve used an identical bike share system in Montreal and it was fantastic. It hadn’t increased accidents there and, from my observation, they didn’t have significantly more bike lanes there than we do in NYC. Washington’s system is also great.
My favorite thing about the share program is not having to worry about my own bike being stolen. That is the main barrier for me when using a bike to run errands- the fear that going into a grocery store is going to be a very expensive mistake when I come out to a cut bike lock.
I hope that it proves successful in the areas that it will be installed, and hope it expands here!
It is a great idea! Bikes will bringing in more customers to us. Tourists will come and they will shop here and finally the businesses here will be able to keep their heads above the water. Unless you love to have more 99c stores.
As for accidents-drive better people.
They don’t have to worry about bike insurance in the event of an accident, they would just probably… DIE
So people who don’t have their own bikes and probably have a lot less riding experience will be on the streets?
What could go possibly wrong?
The spaces under the station is always available, they are rarely utilized.
Parking Lot would worsen the crowding in Sunnyside.
There are already 3 parking lots in the area, plus spaces under 7 train. Space is not the problem.. People wishing they can park close to their street is, people who don’t want to move their cars is..
Before a parking lot, they should just enforce resident parking or discounted resident parking under 7 train.
Bikes should be banned from the city just like tree’s should . They are a danger to those around them. I see idiots riding their bikes on the side walk and I have to constantly check over my shoulder to make sure I don’t have to hurt someone for clipping my kid when I’m walking with him.
Or how about the bikers that zip passed the red light because you know, They are above the law and ain’t got no TIME for that when they’re going GREEN!
Sunnyside is already crowded, try walking from 40th to 46th on queens blvd, 43rd ave or even skillman without having to move and dodge some other walkers. What Sunnyside needs is a freaking PARKING LOT. not some dumb bike rental thing so hipsters can bike ride with sandals.
Will the fellow on Queens Blvd and 41st be fixing these bikes, too?
The bikes are a bad idea all around unless there are going to be committed “bike only” streets (not a small lane on a side). . . I foresee many accidents from all of this in the city . . . lets at LEAST wait a couple years and see how it plays out there before trying to introduce this here. We have, at a MINIMUM, a testing ground in Manhattan/LIC – why the rush?? See how it plays out – we are fortunate in that we *can* wait and see how these other areas handle it.
Personally, I think accidents are going to happen ten-fold and car insurance will rise (and biker’s without “bike insurance” aka to “car insurance” will be immune from damages because they don’t have any insurance covering themselves even if they’re the cause of the accident) . . .
More “green” efforts would be mandating cars to have certain minimum mileages, hybrids, restricting SUVs completely, infrastructure expanding public transportation, etc.
Trying to be “green” through an effort that so many see is going to cause physical harm and be dangerous is SUCH a bad idea. . .
There just isn’t the physical room for this to safely play out. . . we’re not Portland or Seattle where there’s just a different culture and traffic vibe (i.e. MUCH less of it) . . .
No. We don’t need more bikes. Whom did the “pol” ask before asking them to bring these.
If you want to bring these to Sunnyside, you better close some streets and make them bike only, because you are going to have a lot of trouble on your hands. Most bikers think roads belong to them and they can ride as they wish without obeying any laws, they are unpredictable they sometimes ride on sidewalk, they go on opposite directions.
Unless the politician in question can find a way to require licenses from all bikers and slap a plate on them (why not, extra revenue for the city, hear me mikey?) less is better.
I’ve been to asia, including China, even the Chinese ride in more civilized manner than most people in NYC.
Never answered any of these before but this is absolutely ridiculous. There is no room on the sidewalks to walk what with the bike stands, the new benches, the new meters for cars, the open cellar doors, furniture and other odds and ends cluttering what little space we have, now you want to put more bike stands even larger than what is already there? How on earth are we supposed to cross the streets? Does anyone believe for one second that the bikes will follow the rules? Better have ambulances stationed on every corner.
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! people and bikers here will never + anything but chaos!