Today’s news:

Southern Brooklyn dodges ‘CitiBike’ bullet

Brooklyn Daily

Many car-loving Southern Brooklyn residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief because they’re being spared the wrath of the city so-called “CitiBike” bike-rental program that is driving many Downtown Brooklynites nuts.

None of the controversial CitiBank-sponsored docking bays for the man-powered vehicles that are being filled today across Downtown are coming to the less bike-friendly streets of Marine Park, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge. In fact, according to the bike station map on CitiBike’s website, Atlantic Avenue will be the rental bikes’ proverbial 38th Parallel, with no stations scheduled to cross beneath it.

And that’s just the way some Southern Brooklynites like it.

“I always say, Lance Armstrong does not live in Coney Island,” said Chuck Reichenthal, the district manager of Community Board 13 in Coney Island. “As a means of alternative transportation, I don’t see people from Brighton or Coney hopping on a bike and going over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work in Manhattan.”

Car advocates in the Community Board 18 area, which covers Marine Park, Mill Basin, Canarsie, and Flatbush, have long grumbled about the effect bikes have on road safety, claiming that many two-wheelers don’t know the rules of the road.

“If you drive and use a car, you know the bicyclists have no code,” said Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano. “They don’t stop at lights or signs.”

And if the laws of supply and demand are any indication, its clear that the people living in the area are not interested in riding or buying bikes, according to Turano.

“There aren’t even bike places around here,” she said. “If the neighborhood doesn’t call for bike shops, that’s an indication that it doesn’t need bikes.”

But not every person living in Southern Brooklyn is against bikes.

Bay Ridge resident Bob Cassara, who claims he was booted from Community Board 10 for supporting a bike lane on 75th Street, says he’d love to see bike rentals come to his neck of the woods — but, thinks many of his neighbors don’t agree with him.

“I absolutely would love to see it in Bay Ridge, but I don’t think it’s realistic to think it’s going to be in Bay Ridge anytime soon,” he said. “They’re going to put it in places of high density and need, not in places where you’re going to run into opposition, like Bay Ridge.”

Not surprisingly, Ridge resident Allen Brotnick, who once lobbied the city for his own personal parking space on a city street, thinks more bikes on the street is a bad idea.

“They have f----- traffic up so bad it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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Reader Feedback

Jake from Clinton Hill says:
Actually I believe the citibikes will expand across into Prospect Heights, Park Slope and nearby areas in the second stage of expansion (admittedly not the areas focused on in this area).Citibikes would actually be pretty useful for getting people to the very scant subway lines in southern Brooklyn. But my guess is that that the hosuing stock is too spread out to make it worthwhile. While this is obviously not a real news article (one-sided much?), it doesn't comport with my experience riding and driving through southern Brooklyn. There are lots of bike shops, and seemingly local families riding there. This article can be summed up as "bah - we want nothing new."
May 28, 2013, 9:46 am
Dan from Midwood Park says:
I agree with Jake. The shared bikes would be incredibly useful in linking the parallel subway lines -- 2/5, B/Q, F, N, D and R -- in the heart of South Brooklyn, not to mention opening up the old "two-fare" zones to another form of mass transportation.
May 28, 2013, 12:07 pm
mug of mead from Crown Heights says:
Re: “As a means of alternative transportation, I don’t see people from Brighton or Coney hopping on a bike and going over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work in Manhattan.”

I would imagine the bikes would have been handy during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Driving into Manhattan or even taking the shuttle buses would have made for a nightmarish commute.

I think Citibikes would be useful in locations like the Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College stop on the 2/5 lines for example. I refuse to believe that everyone in south Brooklyn owns or has access to a car.
May 28, 2013, 12:16 pm
scott from gravesend says:
I found this article to be very biased towards automobiles, I wonder if the author ever rode a bicycle. Maybe if he did he'd lose a few pounds.
June 1, 2013, 7:34 am

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