Cycling Around Post-COVID-19

So much is currently up in the air in our newly-normalized coronavirus environment.   One thing that has been positive is the increase of bike use around lower Manhattan. This of course is good for so many reasons: environmental, health and fitness, etc.  Indeed, a recent  report  found that this could possibly become the new way of commuting to work for those in the region.

In part, this new trend has been made possible by increased accessibility for cyclists through the bike lane network that currently stands at close to 2.5 miles and is due for further expansion. As well there are more Citi Bike stations.

Given that so many individuals are concerned about exposure to coronavirus through public transport, bike commuters are likely to increase.  In related news, the South Bronx – E. 160th Street and Tinton Avenue – was the location of the 1,000th docking station installed by Citi Bike within the five boroughs.  According to Ruben Diaz Jr., President of Bronx Borough:

“This is a huge milestone for New York City’s Department of Transportation, Lyft, Citi Bike and The Bronx, opening the city’s 1,000th Citi Bike station in our great borough. Considering how important the Citi Bike program has become to the city’s transportation grid, especially helping our essential workers and healthcare workers get around during this pandemic crisis, I look forward to working on helping this program continue its expansion into The Bronx and throughout New York City. Micromobility is New York’s transportation future, so I’m glad to see Citi Bike’s 1000th station in the Bronx. We need affordable, green and accessible transit options, especially in areas underserved by public transit. The Bronx has waited a long time for Citi Bike to expand into our neighborhoods and I’m looking forward to further expansion into my district and other Bronx communities.”

Squawking about New Bike Stations in SoHo

The bikes are ready and the stations are in place for the bike sharing program to start in SoHo. But, some people in SoHo aren’t taking to the new Citi Bike racks well.

There are now two bike racks in Lt. Joseph Petrosino Square at Lafayette and Kenmare streets. And, as Sean Sweene of the SoHo Alliance said, “The people of New York will have to view this ugly Citibank advertising in a place formerly reserved, and preserved, for art.”

There have been complaints all around from people saying that the bike stations are on landmark blocks and others arguing that there will be lost parking spots. Recently, people in Greenwich Village were given tickets after a new bike stand was installed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, blowing off the criticism, said on WOR Radio on Friday that the anti-bike criticism “makes good theater.”

9000 bikers will start riding on Monday who have signed up already and the bikes will then be available to the general public starting June 2. An  annual membership costs $95 and a day pass is $9.95.