Astoria Brewery Says Bike-Share Expansion Would Be a Boon to Businesses
DITMARS — While the city's new bike share program has sparked opposition in some neighborhoods, at least one small business in Astoria would welcome a Citi Bike station nearby.
The staff at Queens' brewery SingleCut Beersmiths said bringing the bike share to Astoria would be a boon for local businesses, giving the neighborhood's many avid cyclists another way to get around and visit local shops, bars and restaurants.
"Astoria would be such a great place for it," said Andrew Millar, Singlecut's social media manager.
He recently reached out to State Sen. Michael Gianaris on Twitter to push for a Citi Bike dock in the Ditmars area, so riders could drop off their shared bikes and then walk to the brewery at 19-33 37th St., or to any of the other nearby businesses.
"We're a huge supporter of all things local — all the bars around Astoria, all the eateries — so if we can help them get customers by pushing for the bike share, it benefits them as well," Millar said. "It’s a win-win for everybody."
Long Island City is the only Queens neighborhood included so far in the city's bike share plans, with the service set to start there this fall.
Sen. Gianaris and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer have been calling for the Department of Transportation to expand Citi Bike to other neighborhoods in Western Queens, including Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside.
A spokesman for the DOT told DNAinfo that there will be a chance for the program to expand in the future "based on demand and resources."
Millar said many of SingleCut's customers are cyclists. The brewery is working to install its own bike racks outside, but have been waiting for months for the Department of Buildings to approve its application, he said.
A Citi Bike station in the area would not only be helpful for customers, but to local workers, too, Millar said. Nearly all of the dozen employees who work at SingleCut are cyclists, he noted.
"We would likely subsidize our employees bike share memberships," if Citi Bike came to the neighborhood, he said.
"Maybe if other small businesses did something similar, it would be a push for the politicians."