Bike Share docks rolled out in Bed-Stuy

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Bike rack at Bedford Ave. & Clifton Pl. next to the Rand Liquor store.
Bike rack at Bedford Ave. & Clifton Pl. next to the Rand Liquor store.

CB 3 official says more rent-a-bike docks expected throughout the neighborhood

By Stephen Witt

Eight bike docks, as part of the city’s new rent-a-bike program, have been installed mainly on the western portion of Bedford-Stuyvesant with several more expected in the central and eastern part of the community as the program moves forward.

The public-private partnership plan, dubbed Citi Bike because Citibank is its major underwriter, will ultimately see 600 docking stations and 10,000 bikes where residents and tourists can pick up a bike and pedal to their destination. Once there, they can unload the bike at another of the city’s docking stations.

The docking stations are placed at the edge of public parks in pedestrian plazas and privately owned public spaces, on wide sidewalks and in curbside lanes, medians and other locations along the street.

Thus far (in Bed-Stuy) the station locations are: under the trestle at the Franklin Avenue shuttle, on Monroe Street off Classon Avenue, on Lexington Avenue off of Classon Avenue, on Hancock Street off Bedford Avenue, on Macon Street off Nostrand Avenue, on Clifton Place off Bedford Avenue, on Franklin Ave. off Myrtle Avenue and in front of the YMCA on Monroe Street and Bedford Avenue.

“We’ve received a few complaints which we will be addressing as a couple of locations doesn’t seem safe,” says Nelson M. Stoute, chair of the Community Board 3 Infrastructure, Transportation, Environmental Protection and Sanitation Committee.

Stoute said one of the complaints came from the Monroe Street off Classon Avenue dock because it’s a narrow street.

“Another possible problematic site is the one on Franklin Avenue near Myrtle Avenue because it’s also a narrow street, and it supports both the B48 bus and a designated bike lane,” said Stoute. “I contacted DOT (Department of Transportation) about both these sites and I’m waiting to hear back from them.”

Stoute, who is a bicyclist, credited the city for holding several community meetings last year explaining the bike share program, which has been implemented successfully in other cities around the world such as London and Lisbon.

“They were supposed to roll out the program a year or year and a half ago, but then it got postponed and Sandy hit. At the time, the Brooklyn Navy Yard had 7,000 bikes and 2,000 were damaged in the storm,” he said.

Stoute said the bikes are expected to be in place sometime in May and that other docking sites throughout Bed-Stuy are expected in the next few months, but none have been confirmed yet.

Citi Bike will be open 24/7 excluding poor weather that may make it close temporarily. Annual membership is $95, a seven-day membership is $25 and a 24-hour membership is $9.95.

For more information on the program log onto  http://citibikenyc.com/.