Southern Brooklyn dodges ‘CitiBike’ bullet

The Brooklyn Paper
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Many car-loving Southern Brooklyn residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief because they’re being spared the wrath of the city so-called “CitiBike” bike-rental program that is driving many Downtown Brooklynites nuts.

None of the controversial CitiBank-sponsored docking bays for the man-powered vehicles that are being filled today across Downtown are coming to the less bike-friendly streets of Marine Park, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge. In fact, according to the bike station map on CitiBike’s website, Atlantic Avenue will be the rental bikes’ proverbial 38th Parallel, with no stations scheduled to cross beneath it.

And that’s just the way some Southern Brooklynites like it.

“I always say, Lance Armstrong does not live in Coney Island,” said Chuck Reichenthal, the district manager of Community Board 13 in Coney Island. “As a means of alternative transportation, I don’t see people from Brighton or Coney hopping on a bike and going over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work in Manhattan.”

Car advocates in the Community Board 18 area, which covers Marine Park, Mill Basin, Canarsie, and Flatbush, have long grumbled about the effect bikes have on road safety, claiming that many two-wheelers don’t know the rules of the road.

“If you drive and use a car, you know the bicyclists have no code,” said Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano. “They don’t stop at lights or signs.”

And if the laws of supply and demand are any indication, its clear that the people living in the area are not interested in riding or buying bikes, according to Turano.

“There aren’t even bike places around here,” she said. “If the neighborhood doesn’t call for bike shops, that’s an indication that it doesn’t need bikes.”

But not every person living in Southern Brooklyn is against bikes.

Bay Ridge resident Bob Cassara, who claims he was booted from Community Board 10 for supporting a bike lane on 75th Street, says he’d love to see bike rentals come to his neck of the woods — but, thinks many of his neighbors don’t agree with him.

“I absolutely would love to see it in Bay Ridge, but I don’t think it’s realistic to think it’s going to be in Bay Ridge anytime soon,” he said. “They’re going to put it in places of high density and need, not in places where you’re going to run into opposition, like Bay Ridge.”

Not surprisingly, Ridge resident Allen Brotnick, who once lobbied the city for his own personal parking space on a city street, thinks more bikes on the street is a bad idea.

“They have f----- traffic up so bad it’s unbelievab­le,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

BP from Park Slope says:
This rag caters to NIMBY's.
Your day will come for bike share.
May 27, 2013, 5:24 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Don't worry - we'll bring bike share to your neighborhood too! I'm sure it'll be a bummer to have a fun, cheap and convenient public transportation system.

Wait, Dorothy Turano complaining about people who break the law?! A close associate of criminals?! That's rich.
May 27, 2013, 5:42 am
ty from pps says:
Wow... you found the idiots of Bay Ridge to provide quotes for your dumb article, eh?

"As a means of alternative transportation, I don’t see people from Brighton or Coney hopping on a bike and going over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work in Manhattan." -- I wonder if this genius knows this isn't the purpose of Bikeshare?! That's what the subway is for.
May 27, 2013, 8:42 am
Mike M from Harlem says:
It's unfortunate that the Brooklyn Paper knows nothing about journalism. Where's the other side of the story? There are thousands of people who realize the bike sharing program is a game changer and are excited for it.
May 27, 2013, 9:44 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
I'm not for this bike sharing thing. And it's not for the reasons you'd think. I am pro bike. I love riding and try to ride recreationally whenever I can.

However, I think the whole bike share thing is pretty gross. There are some dirty, dirty people in this city. People are gonna be sharing bikes with people they don't know, sweating all over the seats and handle bars. Seems like a breeding ground for germs. Are there any protocols in place for the proper sanitizing of the bikes? Seems like all it could take is one person with some crazy disease like the swine flu to ride one of these and start an epidemic.

I dunno. That's my take on it. Maybe I'm over thinking it but I feel like the program has other flaws to it, like maintenance, safety and vandalism prevention.

Also, there's no need for it in south Brooklyn because there no demand for it. For the most part, these neighborhoods are residential, private homes. Most people own their own bikes. This whole program is geared toward the city life and neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn where people have limited storage.
May 27, 2013, 10:14 am
Mike says:
What an absurdly biased article. The "wrath" of CitiBike? The vast majority of people within the CitiBike service area are either thrilled or indifferent.
May 27, 2013, 10:45 am
How Dumb from Can the Paper Be says:
I agree with all the above comments, including the one about residential neighborhoods with private homes not needing the program.

But I most agree with all those who are incredulous at the biased tone of this article! And to include Dorothy Turano, whose family benefited from all the lucre Carl Kruger dished their way in his pitiful loneliness, and she just had to be the beard, and keep the loot!

To all you "reporters" for the NY Post/Bklyn Papers, there's a word for folks who roll over for money...think about it and get a real job with a real paper that doesn't make you eat any self-respect you may have left.
May 27, 2013, 11:04 am
ty from pps says:
These are "interesting" choice the writers for this paper make... I'm surprised that most of them use their real names. Do they include these articles in their portfolios when they are job hunting?!

I guess they've accepted a career in sensationalism and lying... I hope they didn't spend money on journalism school.
May 27, 2013, 11:42 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
I love when they interview these community board types. They're never happy about anything. No one ever goes to a community board meeting with new, innovative ideas to improve and stimulate a community. All they do is whine and moan about every little thing around them. And usually the reason why they don't like stuff is "just because"
May 27, 2013, 12:05 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Even though almost every person in this article is terrible, I'm glad they're not getting Citibikes yet. I want it in my neighborhood first. Let them choke on exhaust from their double parked cars.
May 27, 2013, 12:37 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
exhaust - the mother's milk of growing up in nyc - cul de sac not
May 27, 2013, 2:01 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
It's funny. I live in one of those neighborhoods that arent getting the Citibikes for 32 years and have never once choked on exhaust from double parked cars. Weird. I must just be immune to the overwhelming exhaust floating through the air in Bay Ridge.

I guess we should get the Citibike after all to get that constant smog cloud that hangs over the neighborhood causing us all to choke all the time.
May 27, 2013, 2:32 pm
Bronx Guy from East Bronx says:

If South Brooklyn don't want 'em, bring 'em uptown!
May 27, 2013, 6:03 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
If you want to understand Citibike's true purpose look at their business plan. The bikes are meant for short trips filling in the first/last mile in commuting. For example, eliminating the walk to the train or bus, or the bus to the train, or reaching that first transfer on the subway with less delay--short, 30-minutes trips.
Look at the service area. Like Boston or D.C., it's only a fraction of the city, about ten miles across, five from edge to center. Larger won't work without seriously adjusting the business plan. You move into less dense areas and bike stations must disperse or be too numerous to profit.
You can't make it to midtown Manhattan without two, maybe three changes of bikes with attendant waiting time at each station.
Citibike has downsized the service area since initial sizing. If they get to 10k bikes that might get them to Park Slope. How about CCNY and Columbia and Harlem? Phase 2 is planned(???) to reach Sunset Park which would be nine miles out from Times Square. That's only if they are wildly successful and if NYC taxpayers agree to kick in tax revenues. Maybe they can get money from the MTA Capital account.
Let's all relax and watch this play out.
May 27, 2013, 8:03 pm
Chooch-buster from Park Slope says:
You guys finished? This time next year you'll have hipsters all over Sourh Brooklyn. On bikes! Oversized tricycles! Soup-delivery pedicabs! You're talkin' about this? You guys ain't seen nuttin' !!!
May 27, 2013, 9:16 pm
Manposeur from Brokeland says:
This holiday had relatives from D.C. & OHIO come in. They said the bikeshare works well in D.C. & Paris. The city & it's people deserve nice things. So of these people from other parts of Brooklyn don't want it, too bad.
May 27, 2013, 9:49 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Yes, Johnny, you must be immune. I was in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park last week and I was disgusted by the way of life. And I can't imagine anyone who is there regularly is happy about the double-parking way of life either. I wish I could vote a 4th term for Bloomberg so he could get around to civilizing you guys.
May 28, 2013, 7:38 am
diehipster from real Brooklyn says:
Score one for us! F*ck those bikes. We never needed it and never will. And for all the yups on this board that think south Brooklyn is some kind of gang filled war zone with smog and whatever - please keep thinking that. It will keep you people far away.
May 28, 2013, 7:45 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
So, Cul-De-Zack and ironic Ethan the 41 year old mason jar repair boy are ignorant about Brooklyn; shocking
May 28, 2013, 8:12 am
ty from pps says:
"gang filled war zone"?! Who ever said that? It's just a area with a *much* higher ratio of ignorant townies. (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, etc.)
May 28, 2013, 9:23 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
If you have eyes, you know the car drivers have no code
May 28, 2013, 10:43 am
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
>It's funny. I live in one of those neighborhoods that arent getting the Citibikes for 32 years and have never once choked on exhaust from double parked cars. Weird. I must just be immune to the overwhelming exhaust floating through the air in Bay Ridge.

Even by Bay Ridge standards, that's a stupid comment... and that's saying something.
May 28, 2013, 10:43 am
Schmidty from Cypress Hills says:
how they gonna keep a handle on bike theft?
looks to me like this citibike thing is gonna become a problem in NYC. Is it for the tourists or something? don't the hipster folk already own all their own vintage schwins already? citibike =FAIL
May 28, 2013, 10:48 am
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Learn to read.. and not only will a whole new world await you, you'll realize that bike-share is not for tourists. It's an extension of the transit network.

17,000 people have already signed up. Yesterday, 6000 trips were taken for a total of over 13,000 miles.
May 28, 2013, 10:58 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Hey Mike from Williamsburg, I didn't realize Billysburg was full of open rolling green pastures where no one drives or double parks. There's never any traffic on McGuiness, Broadway and manhattan Avenue. No one ever double parks in front of The Bagel Store. Right? You make Williamsburg out to be Orange Couty. It's a bigger $hithole than bay ridge will ever be. Bay Ridge isn't 3rd, 4th and 5th avenue. Go below 3rd, you'll find a neighborhood you could only dream of living in.
May 28, 2013, 1:12 pm
ty from pps says:
"Bay Ridge isn't 3rd, 4th and 5th avenue." but apparently Williamsburg is "McGuiness, Broadway and manhattan Avenue"

Hmm.... interesting.
May 28, 2013, 1:21 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
That's my point ty. I'm not defining Williamsburg by those streets. I know there is more to the neighborhood. I also know it has come a long way. I was raised in Greenpoint, so ive seen first hand how both of those neighborhoods evolved. But this guy is making Williamsburg seem like its the suburbs. When the neighborhood is really no different then any other neighborhood in the city with the same quality of life issues.

This guy takes a drive down 5th avenue one day and he just assumes Bay Ridge has its own carbon footprint. I got news for you. They have meter maids on every corner of that neighborhood. If you double park, its not for long.
May 28, 2013, 1:35 pm
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Meanwhile, NYPD: 1,192 pedestrians and cyclists injured, 11 killed, by NYC drivers in April
May 28, 2013, 3:25 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
That's 40 people a day. That is pretty high even in a city this big.
May 28, 2013, 3:43 pm
ty from pps says:
Unfortunately, Johnny, this is pretty typical.

1,182 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 12 Killed in Traffic in March.

As of the end of April, 56 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by city motorists this year, and 4,793 injured, compared to 42 deaths and 4,769 injuries for the same period in 2012. (i.e., 1st Quarter)

There were 16,412 motor vehicle crashed in April.

These are NYPD data.
May 28, 2013, 4:50 pm
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
And you can go here and see how many speeding tickets are written in each precinct..

The 68, which covers Bay Ridge, actually writes more than 2 a day on average. Which is extraordinary. Many precincts don't break double-digits in a month.
May 28, 2013, 5:41 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
I think it is a bit disingenuous for cyclist to constantly —— about pedestrians jaywalking but then combining pedestrian accidents with cycling accidents. Leaving out the pedestrians accidents how many cyclists were killed in April?
May 28, 2013, 5:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Can I ask something to the bike zealots on their reactions to this? Whenever you read a media source or watch the news, does it always have to agree with you in every way and form? If you want every media source to agree with what you want, then become the next dictator of Zimbabwe especially since some of you probably have posters of Robert Mugabe in your homes. The point is that you guys all of your views, while those in southern Brooklyn have theirs'. If they don't want a bike share program in their area, they have every reason to fight it. Just imagine if a group wanted to put something in your area that you didn't approve of, then you would understand how they feel. What's interesting is that you call it a rag when the reporters don't agree with me, but consider them almost gods when they do.
May 28, 2013, 6:09 pm
Oliver from Sunset Park says:
I live in southern brooklyn (does sunset park count?) and I would like bike share to come to my neighborhood. I actually live here - does that still make me a zealot? Does my opinion on what I want in my neighborhood and what could improve my quality of life count. Let's all agree that despite what the comment sections might indicate, people in these areas have differing opinions and it is not as easy as saying "people who live here" vs. "bike zealots". (Some of us are both).
May 28, 2013, 6:30 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy - There were no cyclists killed in April.

11 pedestrians killed by motorists ( 3 motorists and 1 passenger)

Of the 3,196 motor vehicle collisions resulting in injury or death.... 288 cyclists and 904 pedestrians were injured (I already mentioned the 11 dead ones)
May 28, 2013, 6:43 pm
ty from pps says:
Well, Tal Barzilai is an anti-bike zealot who doesn't even live close to here... how's that for an amazing combination!!
May 28, 2013, 6:45 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
why does someone have to be killed?
May 28, 2013, 8:24 pm
ty from pps says:
You're right, old time. You would think that the 547 motor vehicle collisions per day (involving 1,174 people per day) would be enough to say, "Hey, something is wrong here."

(btw, that works out to be about 2.3% of the total population involved in a motor vehicle collision every year.)
May 28, 2013, 8:59 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
"the non bike friendly streets of Southern Brooklyn" is right. They are also "non-friendly" to other drivers, people who park legally, property owners, pedestrians on their rounds of errands, kids on their way to school, retirees trying to just cross the street legally with the light in the cross walk, and people who just got out of their cars. I could pay my pension with local summonses for running red lights, failure to yield, etc. etc.
May 28, 2013, 10:27 pm
BronxGuy from East Bronx says:
Over 12,000 rides in the first 24 hours. Already broke (smashed) the old US record held by Capital Bike Share in DC. When you consider only the founding members (Around 7,000 people) can ride this week, it's especially significant. There's now over 20,000 annual members, and that doesn't count potential day passes.

Bike share is definitely here to stay. It'll be citywide soon enough.
May 29, 2013, 2:49 am
Claire from Cobble Hill says:
The Citi-bike program seems to have landed with a big thump on top NYC. feel I'm living in the Soviet Union. I don't want the bikes. I want the Brooklyn of yesterday, when the borough had character. The white people have arrived.
May 29, 2013, 4:31 am
ty from pps says:
Yep, Claire... the Soviet Union. Yes, that's right.
May 29, 2013, 7:23 am
ty from pps says:
So.... Day 2.

Another 6,857 trips and 18,497 miles of travel on the CitiBikes -- on a rainy day with still during the "soft opening" period.
May 29, 2013, 8:37 am
ty from pps says:
By the way Claire, there are almost 20,000 annual members already... err... I mean, almost 20,000 Soviet Communists trying to destroy you.
May 29, 2013, 9:39 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
How many bikes are left on the second day?
May 29, 2013, 9:47 am
ty from pps says:
Rufus - Obviously they were all stolen, but they were all replaced last night. There's a huge resale market for these bikes....

(You do know that the ONE bike stolen off the delivery truck was quickly recovered with it's GPS tracker, right?)
May 29, 2013, 10:03 am
Jimmy from Canarsie says:
ty pps, you seem to know EVERYTHING.
Hold up a sec... aren't you late for your kickball pickup game in mccarren park?
May 29, 2013, 1:37 pm
ty from pps says:
Jimmy -- You mean because I looked up information that is REALLY REALLY easy to find? (ya know, instead of just saying dumb things based on imaginary land)
May 29, 2013, 1:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
My point is that if they don't want the bike share program in their area, then they should have every right to fight up against it. If you have the right for supporting it, then others have the right for opposing it. Unfortunately, democracy works both ways here as it can go with you and against you. To now surprise, the opposition always appears to be homegrown, while the supporters tend to be nothing more than flash mobs from others that was probably told by Transportation Alternatives or even Streetsblog to go over and rally for them. Let's not forget about the flash mob that came over to crowd PPW for the bike lane there, while those that opposed it lived there on a regular basis, which shows the true nature of both sides.
May 29, 2013, 4:51 pm
ty from pps says:
The flashmob? Neighbors and their children? Were you there, Tal? Are you "homegrown" supporter? Hmmm... in Pleasantville?
May 29, 2013, 5:11 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
ty is a living god - ty knows all - ty is hoc es anum - ty is salt of earth - ty is alpha omega = y is idiot savant like most gods are - only ty knows what we need to think - only ty can stalk tal and die hipster - maybe ty the great should be blocked for harrasment since once uncle murdoch gets wind this the Brooklyn paper will be shut down like the boards on Middletown record (skripps- howard) and sold to cover legal costs

is ty leaking grand jury stuff through code - you have to wonder when certain names appear and there is a dance in response - but I will have your baby :)) _
May 29, 2013, 8:52 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
if a community does not want rent a bikes - why should they be forced = - this is not a constitutional issue
May 29, 2013, 8:53 pm
ty from pps says:
old time --
"if a community does not want rent a bikes - why should they be forced"

I ABSOLUTELY agree with that statement. However, and this is a BIG however, if that opinion is based on ignorance and false claims.... well, that ain't good. Is it? Ya know, like the Citibikes are "blocking cars and trucks" and that sort of thing.

I would be really interested to see how vital and pleasant a city this would be if you and Tal Barzilai were in charge of infrastructure decisions... what snapshot in time would you choose? Some moment in 1974? (of course, not the *real* 1974, just the nostalgic memory you've created in your head)
May 29, 2013, 9:07 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
So the answer Old Time, is the community should not be forced to accept citibankbikes. But only if ty from pps agrees. If not, then their wishes are based on ignorance and false claims, and the community should be forced to accept it.
May 29, 2013, 10:36 pm
ty from pp says:
May 30, 2013, 7:53 am
manposeur from brokleand says:
Not only do I like having more cyclist as helped by efforts of Citi, I want more bike lanes! YAhhhh!!!!!
May 30, 2013, 3:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I really do suggest some of you look up the US Supreme Court case known as Near vs Minnesota. This case stated that no level of government had the right to demand censorship of the media no matter how much it could be it terms of what was printed. Also, it ruled that the Public Nuisance Law, made in 1925, was unconstitutional and a violation of the 1st amendment. The reason I mentioned this is because no matter how much you don't like what was being reported, you can't make attempts to censor them or even wish for their death. Keep in mind that freedom of the press does go both ways here. More importantly, I don't see what's wrong with the Brooklyn Paper wanting to talk to the opposition especially when websites such as Streetsblog or even Gothamist always talk to the supporters. Overall, you guys got to express your view, not let those living in southern Brooklyn have theirs'.
May 31, 2013, 2:41 pm
other Michael from Park Slope says:

Who is trying to censor the media. Some of us are just reporting their bias.
June 1, 2013, 4:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, what exactly made this article biased? Is it because those who wrote this didn't agree with you? Whatever you say about the Brooklyn Paper being biased against the bike share program, I can say the same thing about Streetsblog being biased in favor of the program. Until you start owning a media outlet, those in charge don't always have to agree with you. If you really want all of the media to agree with you, then just become the next dictator of Zimbabwe, so that they will have to agree with you otherwise they will get killed for it.
June 2, 2013, 8:01 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I really thought you were worth responding to till I read the last sentence.
June 3, 2013, 5:08 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, as much as you didn't like that last sentence, that's how I view and your kind as. The reason why I mentioned Mugabe is because everyday he sends his military all throughout Zimbabwe looking for those who are not taking their side and either arresting or killing them. Hearing this does make me think of you. Overall, news reporters and those they interview in this country have the right to disagree with you whether you like it or not. If you did become the next dictator of Zimbabwe, you could force to have the bike share program wherever you want it, and force people to use it because they will have guns pointed to their heads and they will be killed if they refused. I know you will try to deny this, but you do probably dream something like this a good number of times.
June 3, 2013, 3:19 pm
Melissa from Canarsie says:
#1 why the hell would you interview Dorothy of all people? She is not representative of the area
July 2, 2013, 2:55 am
Brooklyn cyclist from Bergen beach says:
I am for the bicycle. I love riding all over Brooklyn. I ride to Kings Highway subway and I ride to Rockaway Parkway subway, hopefully possible Citibike spots. I ride to Kings Plaza and ride to Coney Island, another possible Citibike spots. I love taking the Brooklyn bicycle highway that is Bedford Ave. Oh yeah Ms Turano, I am New York Cycle Club certified, so I do follow the rules of the road....haha
Jan. 2, 2014, 2:13 am
Kevin from Sunset Park says:
So here's a question. What are people actually opposed to with regard to CitiBike? I've lived in Brooklyn for almost 50 years and never heard anyone complaining about bikes in general - even though plenty of people ride them. Nobody ever complained about me riding my own bike in the street. My father, at age 79 rides almost every day and never heard a complaint. Everywhere you look, privately-owned bikes are locked to poles and railings. So what's driving opposition to the CitiBike system? Is it the bike stations getting in the way? Please be specific.
Aug. 3, 2014, 12:19 pm
Tom Wacker from Park slope says:
Keep clinging to the Buggy whips!
Aug. 28, 2014, 5:24 pm
Funny how big and strong everyone is behind a keyboard get off your asses get on a citibike and come tell me face to face lol
Sept. 17, 2015, 8:32 pm
John from Brooklyn heights says:
Someone said bike sharing is bad because of all the germs that can get passed around. I guess this person has never been to a gym, or a movie theatre, or a library, etc. I guess that is the mentality you develop when you stay at home all day, or just use cars. You can always wear plastic surgical gloves all day.
Feb. 20, 2017, 11:37 am

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