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Placement of Some UWS Citi Bike Stations 'Horrible,' Locals Say

By Emily Frost | June 10, 2015 6:14pm
 Residents said they were worried about certain locations where adding a Citi Bike docking station would add to general congestion and create dangerous conditions.
Residents Fight 'Horrible' Citi Bike Locations
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Locals are pushing to change the location of planned Citi Bike docking stations situated near schools and preschools, popular tourist spots, dangerous intersections and busy thoroughfares.

Thirty-nine Citi Bike docking stations are expected to start arriving in the neighborhood — between West 59th Street to West 107th Street — by late August. 

But Upper West Side residents think some of the proposed locations, which the Department of Transportation presented for the first time last month, are "horrible."

One resident had even prepared a hand-drawn map to help explain why a particular location was a bad fit. 

The locations that drew the most ire at a meeting to review them Tuesday included a site along the sidewalk to the entrance to Central Park between West 71st and 72nd Streets; a site next to the entrance to a preschool along Riverside Drive at West 67th Street; and a site that's a major crosstown route for cars and buses along West 81st Street just east of Columbus Avenue. 

Resident Susan Rutner said the Central Park and West 71st Street Citi Bike station location sat smack in the middle of an extremely popular tourist spot, steps from the Dakota and Strawberry Fields, and made no sense.

Along with all the tourists, there are also food and T-shirt vendors there, she said, adding, "it’s impossible."

Board members agreed to review that site and the one at Riverside Drive and West 67th Street site, which sits right outside the private Dwight School preschool. 

Transportation committee co-chairman Andrew Albert agreed with residents that the West 81st Street location was a bad idea.

"You’re going to be in the path of a crosstown bus," he said, suggesting it be moved to the sidewalk in front of the American Museuem of Natural History. "It’s a major intersection."

Other locations residents urged be changed include:

► West 78th Street and Columbus Avenue 

► West 100th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam

► West 94th Street and West End Avenue

► West 107th Street and West End Avenue

► West 67th Street and Central Park West

"There’s nobody in New York that knows exactly how this is going to work," committee co-chairman Dan Zweig reminded anxious residents. 

"These things are not permanent installations. They can be moved. They’re not going to move them around a lot, but it is possible to make a change."

The board is compiling all Citi Bike locations that residents have found most problematic and will review them with the DOT, the committee said. In some cases, the board will suggest alternate locations for the stations. 

Updates regarding which stations have been moved will appear on the Community Board 7 website.