It’s no secret that I’m psyched about Citi Bikes, New York City’s soon to launch bike sharing system. Although I already have a bike, I’m looking forward to the freedom of picking up a bike and leaving it wherever I need to in the city without having to plan my full day. I’m also looking forward to being able to bike places with my friends and fiance in place of taking the subway or a cab.
Last week I came home to this and was ecstatic - Citi Bikes put a bike station directly in front of my apartment building!
Then the idea set in……Citi Bikes put a bike station directly in front of my apartment building.
As I stood there on the street, inspecting our street’s new contraption, my neighbors (a family of three) turned onto the street and the mom, the sweetest, seemingly soft-spoken women who I’ve gotten to know over our trips to the coffee shop, immediately yelled out “WHAT F*%K IS THIS?!”
While the convenience could not be questioned, the impact the station would have was a bit of a puzzle.
My particular block is easily one of the most “charming” in the city…a notion consistently acknowledged by the press, movie set scouters and the NYC walking tours that are always on the street learning about it’s history.
Up until a couple months ago, it had cobblestone streets.
Many of the townhouses have historical markers.
Blooming daffodils greet you every couple feet.
It’s so quiet that I let Lady walk off leash without the threat of any cars.
Within HOURS, strongly written signs, letters and notes were posted all over the block and within my building. People who live here are being told to sign petitions, call local government, do anything in our power to move the bike station “across the street/avenue to a more suitable location”. While “across the street” doesn’t seem like it would make a big difference, in this situation, it actually probably would.
I feel like I’m in the real-life version of “You’ve Got Mail” where Upper West Siders protest the big new bookstore, fearing it will corrupt the neighborhood charm (or in our case….the street’s charm.)
The consensus is clear…
No one (who lives on our street) wants a Citi Bikes on our street (except me).
Bikes are scheduled to be added to the stations in the next couple weeks. We’ll see what happens!