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No bike share south of Atlantic Avenue this year

The Brooklyn Paper
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You won’t have a hard time finding the city’s new rental bikes this summer — unless you live south of Atlantic Avenue.

Beginning in July, 148 bike share stations will set up shop in DUMBO, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, and Downtown, according to a new map released last Friday.

But there will only be one station on the Cobble Hill, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights side of Atlantic Avenue until spring of 2013 — meaning you’ll need your own two wheels if you want to ride home from the Park Slope Food Co-op, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, or the Red Hook waterfront.

The borough will eventually get enough docks to accommodate 3,868 rental bikes in the ambitious program, according to a Department of Transportation spokesman — but this summer’s southernmost bike depot will be at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street.

“It will be a phased-in deployment,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told WNCY. “I mean, we can’t just airdrop 10,000 bikes in.”

Cyclists are cheering the program, but the incremental rollout is a letdown for some Brownstone Brooklyn bike lovers.

“That’s not good,” said Park Slope resident Mitch Sonies, who owns six bikes himself. “To get around Park Slope, if you want a bike, you already have it with you.”

The city announced it would build a network of rentable, sturdy Dutch-style cruisers in November 2010 and conducted a series of planning meetings throughout the borough in 2011.

The bikes are designed for short trips and commuting, not lengthy joyrides. Brooklynites who pay the $95 annual membership fee can get access to a cerulean-colored cycle for unlimited rides up to 45 minutes, while daily or weekly riders can receive access to unlimited 30-minute rides. But heavy charges apply to those who scoot around for hours at a time.

The city will bring its proposed bike rental locations before community boards for review in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Downtown, Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in the coming weeks before installing the stations this summer. Board members can still weigh in on the second draft of these maps and suggest changes to station locations before they hit the streets.

Transportation officials have already made significant changes to their first draft maps, adding more stations in Greenpoint and East Williamsburg and cutting stations along Bedford Avenue, following the advice of North Brooklyn residents at a planning meeting this spring.

Community boards representing Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Red Hook, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights will host planning workshops throughout the year, before new stations are selected and installed next year.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:59 am, May 15, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

Moses from Park Slope says:
There's a big meeting on this tonight at St. Francis College. Why is that not mentioned?
May 15, 2012, 5:56 am
Robert Perris from Community Board 2 says:
Hey, Moses, thanks for the shout-out. The meeting announcement, with links to maps and other information, can be found online at http://mim.io/673992.
May 15, 2012, 8:22 am
Ace from New Utrecht says:
One could overlay the bikeshare map with the parts of New York City that have turned into a playground for the rich. "They brought their toys with them"
May 15, 2012, 1:47 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Ace, that is a very weird assertion to make in response to an article about how there are no bikes on the Upper East or West Sides or in Park Slope or Cobble Hill.
May 15, 2012, 2:52 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
this is really great news..I'll bet brooklyn will break all records for the amount of bikes stolen. they should really park alot of them around the Atlantic center Mall.
I hope they install lojack in every bike.
May 15, 2012, 3:48 pm
KB from Greenpoint says:
Al,

They are in fact installing a LoJack-like system in every bike. According to the official site:

"Bike share bikes are made with special parts that have no independent resale value, and bikes and stations cannot be disassembled without special proprietary tools. New York’s bikes will also have GPS units on board, allowing for location of missing bikes."
May 15, 2012, 4:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
In the long run, many of the bike sharing programs have been found to be failures. Many of the bicycles that were used were either found to be lost, stolen, or even vandalized. Just about everyday on the Daily News VOP section, I keep seeing at least one letter that says how much of a bad idea this is, especially with the fact that most cyclists don't seem to follow the rules on a regular basis. Even worse, having a corporate sponsor shows how much Bloomberg and JSK will sell to the highest bidder, which will make the rentals cost even more.
May 15, 2012, 5:52 pm
Mapper says:
The corner of "Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street? Really?
May 15, 2012, 7:24 pm
Mike says:
It's actually 4th & Dean.

Tal is wrong as usual: no system with this technology (in use in Boston, DC, London, etc) has had a theft problem.

If there weren't a corporate sponsor, somehow I bet Tal would be whining about city funds being used.
May 15, 2012, 8:18 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- what bike share systems are "failures" -- name a few? Please.
May 15, 2012, 9:39 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
I support cycling in the city, but am not quite clear on what the use cases are for these bike shares. Are they just for tourists? 45 minutes is just barely enough time to commute from one borough to another. If it's the middle of the night and there are no buses or taxis to be found, maybe it would be a good thing to have around. But don't you have to bring the sucker back to where you got it from?

I dunno, folding bikes like those from Dahon still seem to be the killer app of NYC cycling. Perfect for commuting, perfect for getting around town, zero theft risk. Fold it up, throw it in your shoulder bike bag, take it to your cubicle/office with you.
May 15, 2012, 11:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For those who have been living under a rock for all these years, one of the first places in the world where it was tried was proven to be a failure. In Paris, there were numerous bikes that were never returned. Months and years later, those never returned bicycles were either found left in certain areas of the city to rust or as parts by illegal shops. That system wound up costing the city a lot for what happened. Just imagine what would happen here. By no surprise, the bike zealots try to avoid this in their excuse to justify it.
May 16, 2012, 3:02 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal --
What about Montreal, DC, Boston, London?!?!?!?!?!?!

And Why oh WHY, dear deeply misinformed Tal, do you think that Paris' Vélib’ system has "proven to be a failure"??

It's the most extensive bike share system in the world, it has 18,000 bikes, 1200 stations and an average daily ridership of 110,000 .

And how is the vandalism and lost bikes "costing the city a lot"??? It is funded by the JCDecaux advertising corporation. This company operates the system. The company paid for the start up costs. It pays an annual fee to the city. And the city receives all net revenue. In return, the advertising corporation has exclusive rights to advertise using the system. The city of Paris is paying for replacement bikes USING this more than ample revenue.

Again, how is Vélib' a Failure?
May 16, 2012, 3:37 pm
ty from pps says:
Am i being censored (for describing the Paris system) or is the Brooklyn Paper's website still extra crappy?
May 16, 2012, 4:46 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Ty, thanks for pointing that out. Yes, crosstown travel does make a ton of sense. And it seems like the East-West traffic would about balance out such that the number of bikes on either side would remain relatively constant. As a commuting alternative though I had visions of all the bikes winding up in Midtown and Downtown all day long and staying there until evening, which, as such, would take many multiples more bikes to even put a dent in the daily commuter traffic.

Still, biking crosstown feels like an extreme sport given there are no protected bike lanes that run that way. They would have to dramatically reduce automobile traffic with a zoned system like London's before more biking within Manhattan would really make sense for most people.
May 17, 2012, 1:37 am
John from East Williamsburg says:
You can circumvent the 45-minute limit by dropping off your bike at a dock on the way, picking up a new bike there, thus restarting the clock. Then you complete your trip with the second bike.
May 17, 2012, 10:22 am
John from East Williamsburg says:
You can circumvent the 45-minute limit by dropping off your bike at a dock on the way, picking up a new bike there, thus restarting the clock. Then you complete your trip with the second bike.
May 17, 2012, 10:22 am

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