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Queens Chronicle

Citi Bike expanding into Queens nabes

Five communities targeted in wide-ranging four-borough, five-year plan

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:30 am

Five Queens communities will be included in a five-year plan to extend the availability of Citi Bike.

Sunnyside, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona will have the expanded service under a plan announced in the South Bronx Tuesday by Mayor de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

The blue two-wheelers right now are available in Queens in parts of Astoria and Long Island City. Ridgewood is slated for expansion in the coming months as part of the city’s plans to offset traffic from the L train subway tunnel repair program.

The expansion also will extend the bikes’ coverage into the South Bronx, deeper into Brooklyn and to all of Manhattan.

“Even more communities will have access to this low-cost, sustainable mode of transportation,” de Blasio said in a statement issued by his office. “With double the territory and triple the number of bikes over the next few years, Citi Bike will become an even better option for travel around New York City.”

Several Queens politicians joined the mayor in welcoming the expansion plans.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) will see more of the kiosks in his district, while constituents of Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) will be getting their first service. Van Bramer said he will push to get all of Woodside covered.

“Investing in Citi Bike and improving cycling infrastructure, including creating interconnected protected bike lanes across all five boroughs, is essential to the long-term sustainability of our streets,” he said.”

“The program also helps reduce the number of motorists on the road and helps alleviate crowding on subways and buses,” Dromm said. “It is no wonder that Jackson Heights and Elmhurst have been clamoring for Citi Bike for years.”

Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker (D-East Elmhurst) also said in the de Blasio press release that he hopes it will expand even farther into his district in the future.

But not everyone is popping the champagne corks just yet.

The Citi Bike program has come under fire for what critics say is a lack of service in minority neighborhoods, most recently in a study commissioned by New York Communities for change.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) recently co-signed a letter to Trottenberg along with Councilmen Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) and Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) seeking more information from the programs operators.

“City Council members want to be sure Citi Bike expansion includes low-income neighborhoods,” Adams said this week on her Twitter page.

The Mayor’s Office said as part of its agreement, Lyft has also continued to expand Citi Bike’s transportation equity efforts, including the Reduced Fare Bike Share program. There are now more than 3,300 New Yorkers who live in NYCHA developments or receive SNAP benefits who take advantage of a discounted Citi Bike membership for only $5 a month.

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1 comment:

  • Buster57 posted at 3:48 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    Enough with the friggin' bicycles!! If you want bike lanes make the bicyclists pay for it! As a driver I pay to register my car, inspect my car, insure my car. I get a ticket if I disobey the driving rules. How many times have you seen bicyclists cutting in & out of traffic, through red lights, with headphones on and basically assuming I as the driver have to steer clear of them! There is even a street in Bayside that forces 2-way traffic into ONE lane to accommodate the bike lane. ENOUGH ALREADY!!