As you no doubt have noticed, CitiBike installation is underway throughout Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, and Glendale. This is the culmination of almost 1 year of pushback against the DOT’s original plan which would have removed more than 100 available parking spaces. It wasn’t a pleasant ride, but our civic activism paid off.
Queens Community Board 5 during their December 14th meeting voted overwhelmingly in favor of sending an official letter to DOT requesting input and that they favor sidewalks, daylighting, and no parking areas for place- ment, which are the principles that JPCA used to guide our suggestions which were developed in consultation with community members, civic groups, and business owners. Council Member Holden and Mayor Adams were instrumental in making sure our voices were heard.
What we did not know going in was that DOT must adhere to a contract signed in 2016 which dictates how stations are placed. A grid has been drawn across the entire area, with each grid square being 1000 sq ft in size.
At least one station must be placed in each grid square, regardless of neighborhood characteristics or population size. After we were provided with a copy of the grid, it became clear what we were up against.
DOT and JPCA reviewed every proposed roadbed station. In the end, we successfully shifted 13 stations from the roadbed to the sidewalk. We were told most stations would be 15-19 docks long, but there are some in busier areas, such as along Fresh Pond Road, that contain up to 30 (top photo). A map of the updated stations is available on DOT’s bikeshare webpage: nycdotbikeshare. info/maps_plans. The most perfect location in the entire proposal, the large paved area at Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue (pictured at right), is on hold while DOT works out an agreement with LIRR to place it on their bridge.
After installation commenced, several stations we were told by DOT would be on the sidewalk were shifted to the street without giving us a heads up, with one being moved to the sidewalk from the street. (They continue to make changes to the plan as we go to press.)
Ridgewood Garden Associates, Inc., which represents co-op owners on the Ridgewood Plateau in Maspeth, obtained a temporary restraining order against the DOT and Lyft to prevent the installation of two bike stations in streets abutting their property.
All of this controversy could have been avoided if the DOT had done community outreach as was required by the CitiBike contract instead of attempting an end run around the people who will have to live with the consequences of their decisions.
Original DOT plan:
52 stations total
34 stations in roadbed 18 stations on sidewalk
53 stations total
22 stations in roadbed
31 stations on sidewalk (or in no parking areas)
Glendale 8 stations, none take parking
Middle Village 4 stations, 1 takes parking
Maspeth 24 stations, 9 take parking
Ridgewood 17 stations, 12 take parking