Thursday, February 27, 2020

Roosevelt Island Citibike Deal About To Get Done For Spring Roll Out Says RIOC - But Changes May Be Necessary For Two Proposed Locations And Is This What Residents Want?

Well, based upon the February 26 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee discussion, it appears that the deal is done and there will be Roosevelt Island Citibike sharing stations here this spring.

RIOC Vice President of Capital Planning and Projects Jonna Carmona-Graf briefed the RIOC Board Members last evening about the proposed deal to bring Citibike to Roosevelt Island at four locations suggested by Citibike with a total of 72 bicycles. The locations from south to north are:
  • Southpoint Park
  • Adjacent to new comfort station at Firefighters Field between Tram Station and Ferry Dock
  • Under the Helix at Motorgate
  • Adjacent to the Octagon Soccer Field on Manhattan Side of East River Promenade.

According to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal;
... We saw this as a pilot because we understood there are residents on the Island who don't like this idea at all. There are residents who love the idea. We're not paying for anything. The installation is such that we can get rid of half of an installation, add on to an installation, get rid of an installation....
Some residents have expressed concerns about safety issues with increasing number of bikes riding on Roosevelt Island's narrow promenade and single Main Street - particularly Citibkes used by tourists. Other concerns were potential over-crowding on the Tram if Citibikes are allowed on.

RIOC Board Director Jeff Escobar asked if the locations make sense and if the Roosevelt Island community has a say in the locations. RIOC Board Director David Kapell followed up saying the location adjacent to Octagon Field makes no sense and if the purpose is to make it available for Octagon residents to use, the docking station should be closer to  the Octagon Building transportation hub.

I raised the point that the location next to the F Subway Station

makes more sense for residents to use than a location next to the Tram which is more likely to be used by tourists than residents.

Ms Carmona-Graf replied that the MTA may need to use areas next to the subway for various projects. If that is the case, the area next to the 425-455 Main Street Riverwalk Commons that is currently used as a bike rack

could be used for a station.

Here's is video of the RIOC Roosevelt Island Citibike discussion.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, who has been a long time advocate for Roosevelt Island Citibike service commented;
CitiBike share for Roosevelt Island was one of my first campaign promises. The Roosevelt Islander was the first to identify more request for CitiBike on Roosevelt Island than anywhere else in the City. Bike Share for Roosevelt Island was the first resolution we passed through RIRA and CB8M as a candidate to be your Council Member.

In the years since we've worked through multiple owners of CitiBike to pursue this expansion while eliminating costs to the Island, secured permission from the Department of Transportation, and found a willing partner in President Susan Rosenthal to move forward.

It is good to see the years of work finally paying off. I look forward to working with RIOC, RIRA, and residents on a roll-out that makes a CitiBike a welcome addition to Roosevelt Island.

CitiBike is going to make getting around Roosevelt Island a whole lot faster, whether Four Freedoms or Lighthouse Park or destinations in between.
Citibike, parent company Lyft and the NYC Department of Transportation are expected to make a detailed presentation on their plan for Roosevelt Island at the March 5 RIOC Board of Directors meeting.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2/28 Here's the RIOC Roosevelt Island Citibike sharing proposal presentation.
RI Citibike Presenation


UPDATE 3/8 - The RIOC Board approved a pilot program for Roosevelt Island Citibike sharing docking stations at the locations described above except the Octagon station will move from the West Promenade to the Octagon Buildiing parking lot.

Stay tune for update with video of the discussion.


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