SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — Residents of the South Street Seaport are pushing for a Citi Bike station in their neighborhood, hoping it could bring foot traffic to an area that is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The popular bike share program, which launched at the end of May with 330 docking hubs, currently has many stations in Lower Manhattan, including one at Fulton and Cliff streets several blocks from the Seaport.
However, locals say the station is too far to bring much-needed pedestrian traffic into the historic area, where businesses are still struggling more than a year after Hurricane Sandy hit.
"We need this here,” said Marco Pasanella, owner of South Street wine shop Pasanella & Son Vinters, and co-chairman of CB1’s Seaport Committee. “With many places still shut after the storm, and Pier 17 being torn down, the foot traffic is really off now.
“I think a Citi Bike station could bring more people, more New Yorkers, down here and hopefully help support the business that are open, or reopening,” he added.
Department of Transportation officials said that moving a station into the storm-battered neighborhood remains a possibility, but they have not given a timeline.
At a recent private meeting with DOT officials, CB1 representatives were told that a station was not initially placed in the Seaport, partly because of ongoing construction in the area, but the agency is now looking into adding one, said Diana Switaj, CB1’s director of planning and land use.
Switaj said the DOT was considering moving stations that have not seen much use to new locations, and the Seaport was among several potential target areas.
Nicholas Mosquera, a spokesman for the DOT, said the agency was considering a Seaport station on Peck Slip.
"It is possible that some stations could be added or expanded within the existing service area," Mosquera said, "including options for a potential Peck Slip station, which DOT has discussed with local business owners and community organizations, but this would require additional resources, which we continue to pursue."
CB1's Seaport Committee passed a resolution earlier this month asking the DOT to place a station in the Seaport.