Yesterday, the New York City Department of Transportation released the initial 420 bike share station locations for the program that will unleash (eventually) 10,000 bikes onto the already crammed streets of New York by 2013. Influenced by NYU's much-smaller program and approved by at least 64 percent of New Yorkers, the bike share saga begins in late July. Created and argued by City citizens, the scattered spots across the Big Apple are just the first round of stations to be built; the end total will be something around 600 stations.
But this primary bike blueprint is missing alot. Although plans are in the work for stations in the Upper East/West Side, Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Sunnyside in Queens, the one we have now leaves out enormous chunks of New York City and puts the bikes in more-than-obvious places. Here's what we've got:
Manhattan: If you look at the map , it's blatant a majority of the stations revolve around the center Borough. But, that begs several questions: does Downtown need that many bikes? Are Villagers the number one target of the bike share program? And, do SoHo denizens even put the pedal to the metal? Also, let's think about the outer limits: even if the right and left quadrants of Uptown are covered, that leaves the areas above 110th Street (East Harlem, Morningside Heights, Columbia territory, etc.) completely vacant of the program's offers. Those Ivy Leaguers should have the right to a bike!
Bronx: Does not exist in the bike share world.
Brooklyn: It's almost as if the DOT cut out a line in the Outer Borough of where the yuppies and "hipsters" (we use that word with caution) live or are frequently migrating to for their station destinations.For the most part, the top half of Kings County is covered with the addition of the neighborhoods mentioned before. Except there is a bottom half - if we're going to use the bikes to get to Coney Island or Brighton Beach this summer, shouldn't there be bikes there too?
Staten Island: Read "Bronx."
Queens: Read "Brooklyn." As said before, the bike share program follows a rigid gentrified border; the one extending into Queens covers Long Island City and Astoria. With plans for one in Sunnyside, it seems that the cyclist pioneers forgot one thing: Queens is huge. And that geographical mantra must be respected. Keep on extending.
Runnin' Scared will be sure to experiment with these blue riders once they hit the streets. We'll see if we can make it to the Bronx Zoo.