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Thread: Biking in New York City

  1. #391


    They aren't necessarily turned over to NYC Parks, or any agency.

    When the stretch of Hudson St between chambers and Reade was closed and made into a temporary plaza, it was de-facto demapped as a street. It was only officially demapped to initiate a capital project to turn it into Bogardus Plaza. It's funded and still controlled by DOT.

    The same for places like the Flatiron Plaza at Madison Square, Times Sq, Herald Sq.

    I've never seen one of these become mapped for traffic once closed.

  2. #392


    Rack and Ruin

    Citi Bike Kiosks May Displace Other Uses in Lower Manhattan

    The ongoing installation of more than two dozen automated bicycle rental kiosks throughout Lower Manhattan, as part of the Citi Bike share program, has raised concerns among residents and business people who may be displaced by the program.

    In Battery Park City, the scheduled removal of a public bike rack at South End Avenue and Liberty Street (to make room for a Citi Bike kiosk) has provoked criticism from residents of nearby Gateway Plaza, who use the rack. "I'm always concerned about any plan that would replace a free public amenity with a paid amenity," said Tammy Meltzer, a resident of Battery Park City and a member of Community Board 1 at a meeting on Tuesday night.

    The public bike rack at Gateway Plaza that is being displaced by a Citi Bike kiosk

    Matt Monahan, a spokesman for the Battery Park City Authority (which owns the bike rack at South End and Liberty), said, "this is a natural location for a bike share rack, but we're open to installing a new rack elsewhere to replace the one that is being removed, if there's a demonstrated need for it." Mr. Monahan noted that there are multiple free bike racks near the one that is being removed, at least some of which have empty spaces available for more bicycles on most days. He pointed to locations at Liberty and West Streets (beneath the Liberty Street pedestrian bridge, near the entrance to One World Financial Center), as well as racks on the Esplanade (at Liberty and Albany Streets) and one on South End Avenue, near Picasso Pizza. "This has always been a bike-friendly neighborhood," Mr. Monahan added, "and it's going to remain one."

    While the City Bike kiosk planned for Liberty Street and South End Avenue was temporarily put on hold pending the removal of the existing rack, it appears likely to be installed in the next week or so, with any bikes left at the old rack stored for several weeks, during which owners will be able to claim them.

    In a related development, plans for another Citi Bike kiosk, which was to be located at the corner of South End Avenue and Albany Street (on the northeast corner, near the World Financial Center parking garage) have been cancelled, because of objections from Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center.

    Separately, street vendors at multiple locations in Lower Manhattan are voicing frustration at being booted from prime locations in order to make room for Citi Bike kiosks. At Broadway and Liberty Street, half a dozen food carts recently showed up for business on the morning of Monday, April 29, to find that the space they had used for years was now occupied by a bike rental kiosk more than 50 feet long.

    An employee at the 99 Percent Vegetarian Food cart, who identified himself only as Jose, explained that he had been located at the high-traffic intersection of Broadway and Liberty Street for three years, but has now been forced to move one block east, to Liberty and Nassau Streets, where there is much less pedestrian traffic. "We lost one complete day when we got here on Monday, because nobody had given us any notice. We showed up and were told that our spots were gone." On Tuesday, he recalled, "we set up at this new spot, but we made only $100 for the entire day. Usually, we would make $500 or $600 for the day." He said the remainder of the week saw a similar decline in business. More recently, he noted, "some of our regular customers have managed to find us, but our business is still way off."

    In Tribeca, another kiosk recently installed on Greenwich Street (between Murray and Warren Streets, in front of Whole Foods), also displaced four food carts. An employee with the one cart that remains at this location (who asked not to be identified) said, "I'm not sure what the other vendors are going to do, but now there is room for only one of us."

    Matthew Fenton

    photos by Robert Simko

  3. #393
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Our bike snob tests out the CitiBike — and finds it a weighty chore

    Bikes are bulky and go too slowly. They're definitely not for the New York commute.

    SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013

    Bike-loving News reporter Simone Weichselbaum was not impressed by the CitiBike,
    which is heavy and hard to use, she said

    Does anyone have a back brace with a side of codeine?

    Spending 30 minutes pedaling around the Brooklyn Navy Yard Sunday afternoon testing out one of the city's new bike-share bikes was an aching adventure.

    Department of Transportation officials invited the media to preview the controversial CitiBike program which hits the streets May 27.

    As a proud bike snob, who is rarely without her her SE Draft steel-frame fixie, I leaped at the chance to test the bright blue CitiBike.

    But a tough 110-pound Brooklyn chick is no match for this 45-pound cruiser.

    My handbag could barley fit into the metal basket. The bungee rope, connected to the bike, took manly might to safely secure the purse.

    Once that hellish task was achieved, I put in the CitiBike swipe card into a slot next to the bike's handlebars. Beep. A light flickered green indicting it was time to pull out the bike.

    But the thing wouldn't move. I kept yanking on the handlebars. Nothing.

    It was time to get dirty. Squatting my knees, I needed all of my power to tug the bike out of its holder.
    Finally, it was mine to ride.


    This isn’t a bike. It’s an SUV. The seat is wide and spongy. The handlebars are extra wide. The tires are fat.

    Determined to show the bike who's boss, I clicked the gear to the highest level and finally got going.

    But exerting all my energy got me to about 7 mph. Joggers go faster than that. Yawn. CitiBikes are too slow to survive a New York minute.

    Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan had warned me.

    "These bikes are very sturdy. They are heavy. They go slow," she said.

    At one point, Weichselbaum yawned at the lethargic speed of the CitiBike.

    City officials and CitiBike workers also shot down any hopes of cycling all over town after shelling out $9.95 for a day-pass which allows unlimited 30-minute trips over a 24-hour period.

    CitiBikes aren't supposed to be locked up on light poles and street racks like normal cycles. They’re for short hops from rental kiosk to rental kiosk. There will be 330 in Manhattan below 59th St. and in the neighborhoods around downtown Brooklyn.

    "You are not going to take these bikes long distances," Sadik-Khan chided.

    If you don't return the bike after 24 hours — 48 hours for those who pay $95 for annual membership for unlimited 45 minutes trips — CitiBike will call the cops.

    Stealing is a crime after all.

    Frustrated by the lethargic ride, I was ready to return my CitiBike. Yikes — I could barely lift it back into the locking bay. Luckily, a strapping young man was to my right.

    He finished the job, lifting the bike and rolling it back into its dock.

    CitiBike? Never again.

  4. #394
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    I will never ride a bike that does not have enough room for my handbag.....


  5. #395


    She's no "bike-snob" if she thought that ride was going to be anything but slow. I could tell just by looking at pictures.

  6. #396


    Those articles are full of FUD - don't buy a word of it ....,_u...inty_and_doubt

    This bike share program (despite the fringe contrarians in the news) is starting to look pretty good : nice solid cruiser type bikes, plenty of docking stations and reasonable rental rates.

    The one big problem I see is that 30 Minuit limit to re-dock the bike; that is way to short a time period before one has to return to a docking station to swap a bike for a longer ride without incurring additional 'overtime' costs - that time limit needs to be changed to 3 to 4 hours.

    other than that slight wrinkle, which can be easily ironed out, this bike share program looks great.
    Last edited by infoshare; May 13th, 2013 at 04:27 PM.

  7. #397
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Well if you have the annual $95 membership, then you get a 45 minute free allowance instead of 30 minutes.

    3 or 4 hours would not be practical, you would have people hogging rentals and hurt availability.

  8. #398


    Every rack should have one of these, available for a small surcharge.

  9. #399


  10. #400


    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    Well if you have the annual $95 membership, then you get a 45 minute free allowance instead of 30 minutes.

    3 or 4 hours would not be practical, you would have people hogging rentals and hurt availability.
    Yes, that's true - 4 hours out, dock, go another 4 hours and the bike is gone all day.

    Well, 45 min to an hour is about right: that 30 min time frame needs to be increased - frustratingly short. Then again, if this is 'intended' to be a "gotcha" thing where most riders will end up incurring the 'additional' overtime charges: than that's a different story.

  11. #401
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Can't wait to see the lines at docks outside of places like Whole Foods & Trader Joes. Folks waiting with a bag of groceries, hoping to ride it home.

    That will be a test of NYC courtesy.

  12. #402
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Every rack should have one of these, available for a small surcharge.

    Very Nice ^

    The rear rack would be a good addition for transporting things (better than the mini CitiBasket).

  13. #403
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Surely walking would be much more enjoyable...and less annoying?

    Great choice of buildings, though.

    Hop On a Citi Bike and Visit 26 Historic Downtown Buildings

    by Jessica Dailey

    (click to enlarge photos)

    Whether you like it or not, Citi Bike launches on Memorial Day, bringing 5,500 new blue bikes to the streets of New York. The 300 docking stations scattered throughout Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn create a bike share that's meant for leisurely, hop on, hop off rides around town, so what better way to test out the system than with an architectural tour? Downtown holds many of Manhattan's iconic skyscrapers, but for this tour, we chose 26 under-the-radar gems, all of which are more than 100 years old and located south of 14th Street. Our map doesn't include Citi Bike stations, but if you're worried about locating them, there's an app for that.

    Northern Dispensary 1827
    165 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014

    This Georgian triangular structure is the only building in New York, or perhaps anywhere, with one side on two streets (Grove and Christopher) and two sides on one street (Waverly Place). Edgar Allen Poe was once treated here.

    The Lockwood DeForest House
    7 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

    Van Campen Taylor, 1887. Teak-encrusted townhouse built by a teak manufacturer. On one of the most picturesque residential blocks in Greenwich Village. Next door to home of Village writer Dawn Powell. In 1900 a writer for House Beautiful called it the “most beautiful Indian House in America."

    128 East 13th Street
    128 East 13th Street, New York, NY 10003

    Jardine, Kent, and Jardine, 1903. New York's last surviving horse and carriage auction mart building, used as an assembly line training facility for women during WWII, and later used as a studio by artist Frank Stella for several decades. Saved from destruction by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation in 2006.

    Webster Hall
    125 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 353-1600

    Charles Rentz, 1886. Three-story ballroom and concert hall, made of Philadelphia Brick with stone accents and unglazed red terra-cotta. Adorned with fluted bracketed cornice and decorative terra-cotta panels.

    The Cooper Union
    41 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 353-4000

    Frederick A. Peterson, 1859. The muscular neo-Romanesque shell of Cooper Union is the oldest standing steel framed building in America. Peter Cooper envisioned the elevator as the interior transportation of the future and installed a cylindrical shaft in Cooper Union (before the elevator was actually invented!). But for more than 100 years a box-shaped cab ran in Cooper's shaft, a square peg in a round hole.

    Judson Memorial Church
    55 Washington Sq S, New York, NY 10012

    McKim, Mead, and White, 1892. Baptist Pastor Edward Judson began a campaign in the late 19th century to build "the most beautiful churches among the homes of the poor, so that it would be only a step from the squalor of the tenement houses." John D. Rockefeller Sr. donated the money for the church to be built and Judson named it after his father, a Protestant missionary. Architectural firm Stanford, Mead, and White described their design as, "Romanesque, strongly influenced by early basilica." John La Farge designed stained glass windows which are still in the church.

    Narrowest House In New York
    75 1/2 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

    1873. Both writer Edna St. Vincent Millay and anthropologist Margaret Mead lived here. It's less than 10 feet wide on the exterior.

    The Archive
    666 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10014
    (212) 691-9800

    Willoughby J. Edbrooke, William Martin Aiken, James Knox, 1899. Completely out of scale with the West Village of today, the red brick archival building's great arches and massive piers at street level "show the heavy masonry required to support tall buildings before the steel skeleton came into general use."

    Bayard-Condict Building
    67 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012

    Louis Sullivan, 1898. The only New York building by Louis Sullivan, father of the skyscraper. Vertical! Steel! Organic bas relief on the facade!

    Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection
    59 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 677-4664

    1891. This stunner of a church was built in the Gothic Revival style by architect J.C. Cady (the same guy who designed the American Museum of Natural History’s south addition). The facade is made from Kentucky limestone, and it has beautifully carved stained glass windows.

    Little Singer Building
    561 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

    1903. A Soho classic, the Little Singer Building was restored to its original grandeur in 2008. Architect Ernest Flagg created the whimsical, delicate design with lace-like cast and wrought iron ornamentation, red brick and terracotta detailing, and large expanses of windows. The facade is topped with an elaborate iron arch and ornate cornice supported by scrolled iron brackets. Flagg was inspired by Parisian architecture, and the exposed iron and steel look was very avant-garde for the time. [Photo via Curbed Flickr pool]

    256 Mott Street
    256 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012

    1888-89. John Jacob Astor III provided funds for this Victorian Gothic building to be constructed for the Children's Aid Society. It was designed by Vaux & Radford (the same Vaux of the park-designing duo Olmsted and Vax) with red Pennsylvania bricks and a brownstone and terracotta trim. It cost Astor a whopping $42,000. Today, the building is residential. [Photo]

    Haughwout Building
    New York, NY 10012

    1857. The Haughwout Building is a great example of Soho's many cast iron buildings. Architect John P. Gaynor created the design using cast-iron from Daniel D. Badger's Architectural Iron Works. Although the design was typical of the time, the dual street fronts made the building a challenge—the weight of the two facades could bring down the building. According to Wikipedia, "To avoid this, rather than hanging the facades off the brickwork, as was usually done, Gaynor and Badger convinced Haughwout to allow them to use the strength of the cast-iron itself to support the building. This use of a structural metal frame was a precursor to the steel-framed skyscrapers that would start to be built in the early 20th century; in fact, some consider it to the first skyscraper and 'the most important cast-iron structure ever built.'"

    Angel Orensanz Foundation
    172 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002

    1849. This Gothic Revival synagogue is no longer used as a religious institution, but its beautiful architecture makes it a popular place for weddings. The building was original constructed by Alexander Saeltzer for the Reform Congregation Ansche Chesed. At the time, it was the largest synagogue built in the United States, and it is still one of the few designed in the Gothic Revival style. It was purchased by artist Angel Orensanz in the '80s and lovingly restored.

    The Police Building
    240 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

    1905-1909. A Curbed favorite, the grand Police Building was designed and built by the firm of Hoppin & Koen to replace the older police headquarters on Mulberry Street. The majestic Beaux Arts masterpiece was designed to "to impress both the officer and the prisoner with the majesty of the law." The dome and facade are filled with intricate carved details, like the graceful female figures that hold placards with the name of each borough. In the '80s, the building was converted to condos, and many, like the Gwathmey-designed gymnasium home, are some of the most unique spaces in the city.

    Henry Street Settlement
    265 Henry St, New York, NY 10002

    circa 1827. The three Federal Style rowhouses that make up the Henry Street Settlement were built on streets laid out on Henry Rutgers' farmland. While they look similar, the three buildings have a few distinctions from one another, like the type of cornice and the styling of the lintels. You can read a detailed history of the architecture and the alterations that have been made on the Settlement's website.

    The Forward Building
    175 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    1912. Like many other buildings on this map, the old Jewish Forward Building is now residential. Architect George Boehm created the building as offices for the Forward newspaper, embellishing the facade with marble columns, stained glass windows, and carved base reliefs depicting prominent Socialist figures, including Karl Marx. [Photo by Joel Raskin/Curbed Flickr pool]

    Jarmulowsky Bank Building
    54 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002

    1912. This 12-story Beaux Arts beauty has been in the news lately because the owner recently won Landmarks approval to restore the historic structure and convert it into a hotel. The renovation will gussy up the limestone and terracotta facade created by architects Rouse & Goldstone, but unfortunately, it will not bring back the building's original cupola. [Photo via the LoDown]

    American Thread Building
    260 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    1896. Curbed recently dove into the history of the William B. Tubby-design American Thread Building, as it encapsulates Tribeca's role as a manufacturing center in the early 20th century. Author Lisa Santoro wrote: "Completed in 1896, the eleven-story Renaissance revival building conformed to the street, creating a stately façade that curved nearly 175 feet from Beach Street along the building's south façade onto West Broadway. The building's three-story base, comprised of an alternating limestone and Roman brick pattern, was to house the Wool Exchange. [...] The building features various decorative elements that distinguish it from the factories and warehouses prevalent in the area; such features include round arched windows, scrolled iron cartouche spandrel panels, keystones, medallions and Roman Ionic columns around the entranceway." Today, the building holds condos (one of which is an impressive domed penthouse).

    Ahrens Building
    70 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013

    1894-95. Located in the city's Civic Center among the courthouses and high rises, the Ahrens Building by George H. Griebel is an overlooked Romanesque Revival gem. The facade along Lafayette Street has lovely details that blend sculpted terracotta and brick to create a red and white pattern within the arched windows. The limestone base is ornately carved around the entranceway, and three long arches frame bays filled with metal-clad oriel windows. [Photo]

    The Mohawk Atelier
    161 Duane St, New York, Ny 10013

    1891. Built for a confectioner but best know as the former home of the Mohawk Electric Company, the Romanesque Revival building at 161 Duane Street underwent an extensive restoration in 2007 as part of its conversion into condos. The sandstone and brick facade is dominated by broad arches that frame the windows. It's topped with a carved balustrade and cornice with a small turret at the corner, and the bottom is punctuated by a rusticated design of protruding bands.

    5 Beekman Street
    5 Beekman Street, New York, NY

    This landmark is being transformed into 285 hotel rooms and 85 residential units. The landmark status means that, thankfully, the building's lovely Victorian atrium will be preserved in the conversion.

    St. Paul's Chapel
    209 Broadway, New York, NY 10006
    (212) 602-0874

    1764. The older, smaller sister to the famed Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel is one of the oldest structures in New York City. Constructed by Thomas McBean, the Georgian-style chapel is made of Manhattan mica-schist with brownstone quoins and the classic boxy portico.

    Corbin Building 1888
    192 Broadway, New York, NY 10038

    For years, the Corbin Building was covered with black grime, hiding its true beauty, but a comprehensive overhaul by the MTA (thank you, Fulton Center!) recently restore its brick, stone, and terracotta facade. The exterior features meticulously carved ornamentation, while the interiors boast their own intricacies, like sculpted wooden window frames and tile ceilings.

    Delmonico's 1891
    2 South William Street, New York, NY 10005

    Designed by James Brown Lord, this brick building is more famous for the restaurant, the iconic Delmonico's steakhouse, it holds than its architecture. The building is a classic Romanesque Revival structure that was praised by the Times for being "admirable in its simplicity and elegance." It was landmarked in 1995, and the commission described it as such: "Faced in orange iron-spot brick, brownstone, and terracotta, the facade features giant arcades and a rounded corner bay which is distinguished by two tiers of giant columns and a semicircular entrance porch. The sensitive handling of materials, rich colors, and elaborate decorative program incorporating Renaissance motifs makes this one of the finest surviving late-nineteenth-century buildings in Manhattan's financial district."

    Fraunces Tavern 1719
    54 Pearl St., New York, NY 10004

    The Fraunces Tavern is famous for its prominent role in the Revolutionary War (George Washington dined here), but it's also architecturally important because it's one of the oldest buildings in the city. It was originally built by Etienne Delancey as a family residence.

  14. #404
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    The entire southbound grade level section of park avenue has been closed off for Citibikes between 41st and 42nd. The Airport shuttle operators must have blown their tops

  15. #405


    Did the airport shuttles ever pick up from there? There are drop-offs on the uptown side of the lower-level Park Ave.

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