NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time in its three-year history, Citi Bike stations are now appearing in uptown Manhattan, above 85th Street.
So far, several new docking stations have been installed on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, with more to come in the upcoming weeks.
Jim, a banker, told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck he used to walk eight blocks to get to the nearest Citi Bike docking station for his morning commute to Midtown. Now, it’s just across the street.
“What really made a difference for me is the protected bike lanes –I mean I wouldn’t be doing that if they didn’t have them on the avenues especially,” he said. “But I just go right up crosstown a few blocks then through the park and I’m at work in 20 minutes.”
But as CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, some neighbors say the new docking stations need to go.
Some drivers say the bike racks take up space that could be used for parking.
“It’s hard enough to find parking spaces as it is,” one Upper West Side resident said. “It’s inconvenient when you go around looking for spaces and you think ‘that would have been my space.'”
“”This is residential! That is a business venture, it should be on a business street, not a residential street,” another resident added.
Citi Bike plans to add new stations all the way up to 110th Street. By 2017, Citi Bike hopes to expand into Harlem, Astoria, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and Gowanus.
CBS2’s Carlin confronted Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about the complaints.
“I think Citi Bike has overall been tremendously popular and successful, but there are always people who are always going to be unhappy when you have to make trade-offs,” she said.
There are 28 brand new stations in upper Manhattan, by the end of the year there will be 600.
People who live in a building near the newest docking station on West 87th Street. They said they were surprised by the plans and just as they were starting to circulate petitions to try to stop it, it was installed.
“Now it’s done, what are you going to do?” one woman said.
New York State Senator Daniel Squadron said elected officials and concerned citizens are banding together to get misplaced docking stations moved.
“My office has been able to move a couple near schools that should not have been there and move some around corners,” he said.
Commissioner Trottenberg said her department would be open to that.
“We are always reevaluating, for sure,” she said.
As the city reviews certain spots, some residents said maybe it’s time for their own soul searching.
“I have to wrap my mind around the new way of commuting,” Marianne Styler said.
She figured she can’t beat the bikes, so she might ride them.
The program started in 2013, with about 6,000 bikes available for riders. The program has since grown to include nearly 10,000 bikes.
Ridership and bike availability has expanded into uptown Manhattan on both the Upper East and Upper West sides, and in Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Brooklyn neighborhoods including Cobble Hill and Red Hook are expected to get service by the end of the year.