Bike Share Comes to L.I.C.

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IMG_0042Photos Courtesy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg
IMG_0042

The city recently opted to “share” its bikes with the borough.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced on May 11 that “Citi Bike,” New York’s bicycle share program, will add 10 stations in Long Island City – building upon the locations currently planned in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“Citi Bike,” which is the nation’s largest public bike share system with 600 docking stations and 10,000 bikes, will provide a new, eco-friendly mode of transportation for residents. The program – sponsored by Citi – will launch in July of 2012 and will be operated by Alta Bicycle Share, which will split any profits with the city.

“[This] is a big victory – one that will improve life in L.I.C. in a number of ways,” Van Bramer said. “Cycling is healthy, it’s great exercise and it brings people together in a number of ways. It allows families to explore the neighborhood in ways that maybe they hadn’t before. It’s going to bring a lot of people to the neighborhood. It’s going to bring people to our cultural institutions. It’s going to bring people to our restaurants and small businesses. People will be able to come from all over the city with their bikes and park them in these docking stations and explore what we have to offer, which is a great deal.”

According to Van Bramer, the 10 docking stations have been strategically placed to provide riders access to premier locations in L.I.C., including waterfront parks, the business district and LaGuardia Community College. The councilmember also expressed hope that the bike share program will expand to other parts of Queens in Phase 2 of its launch.

“I expect it to be successful and hope it will be well utilized and future expansions will take it to more and more neighborhoods in Queens, bringing all of the benefits beyond L.I.C.,” he said.

Every bike in the network will be equipped with a bell and both front and rear lights, as well as an inscribed safety message encouraging helmet use and cautioning riders to yield to pedestrians, avoid riding on sidewalks, ride with traffic and obey all traffic lights and signs.

The docking stations are solar-powered and wireless and can accommodate between 15 and 60 bikes. They will be located on sidewalks, curbside road space, plazas and other locations suggested through a community process. A community forum on the bike share will be hosted by Van Bramer, Community Board 2 and the DOT on May 21, allowing residents to learn more about the program.

“I’m extremely proud to release this plan for the Citi Bike network,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “New Yorkers created this plan during the past six months, contributing time and expertise in workshops, on-line and in dozens of meetings to discuss and plan the city’s newest transportation system.”