Bay Ridgeites welcome Citi Bike, call for further expansion

citi bike
Citi Bike will soon construct seven new Citi Bike stations on Bay Ridge’s northern border.
City of New York

Seven new Citi Bike docks will soon pepper the northern edge of Bay Ridge near Leif Erickson Park — marking the bike share program’s first foray into the neighborhood, city transportation officials announced on Tuesday. 

Community Board 10 members mostly welcomed the expansion into their neighborhood, but questioned why officials did not bring the bike-share program further into their district instead of only at its northern border.

“If the stations are going to be basically going over the border of our district, it doesn’t help us a lot from the point of view of getting around our district,” said community board member Stephen Harrison. “It helps us get around Community Board 7.”

But the greater area will not see Citi Bike stations on their roads or sidewalks likely until after 2024, when work is expected to be complete on the private-public partnership’s Phase Three expansion — which, in Brooklyn, focuses most of its resources on building into Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace

“We are eager to expand to all parts of the city, but unfortunately, we do have limited resources,” said Lisa Morasco, a representative with the Department of Transportation. “In terms of the way that we created these Phase 3 borders we knew that we wanted to get down to as much of south Brooklyn as possible but really set a foundation for the next phase of Citi Bike expansion.”

Phase Three of Citi Bike’s expansion into Brooklyn focuses mostly on Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace.City of New York

The seven stations presented to the community board are part of the department’s draft plan — meaning officials are continuing to accept feedback, and locations may be adjusted, according to DOT reps. 

An updated plan may include a location to support the 69th Street Ferry, upon community board members urging as the ferry stop is becoming a transportation hub for the neighborhood’s residents.

“We are actually in conversation with EDC now and we’re working towards placing a station very close to the ferry,” Morasco said. “So hopefully when we release an updated plan that location will be revealed, but it is still in the coordination process.”

Some residents raised concerns that one of the proposed bike dock locations — which are expected to have an average capacity of 22 bicycles — on Wakeman Place will overtake valuable parking spaces on their block and requested the installation of a protected bike lane not follow in the dock’s wake.

“I’ve seen protected bike lanes and they take half of a block of parking,” said Ellis Shrem. “And they usually follow these stations.” 

Construction for the seven locations in Bay Ridge’s Community Board 10 district— four of which will be located on the sidewalk and the other three will be erected in the street — is projected to begin in late February or early March.