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Thread: Biking in New York City

  1. #466

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    Ha Ha Ha. Vaguely French.

    My how times have changed.

    At one time, that circle might have been "overtly Chinese Communist." That was the image - Chinese in Mao suits, Little Red Book in pocket, peddling off to propaganda meetings.

    Citibikes should be relieved that today they only share a tandem bike with John Kerry.

  2. #467
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Petrosino Square protest gains traction

    Pitting bikes vs. art

    THE VILLAGER
    June 6, 2013

    Well, bike-share is off and rolling in New York City, and as of this past weekend, the new program is now open to users on a daily and weekly basis, as opposed to annual membership.

    The Citi Bikes are pretty much everywhere. Every tenth cycle or so whizzing by on the Hudson River Park bikeway, for example, seems to be one.

    You can spot them, not only by their distinctive blue hue, but by the fact that their lights are always on — thanks to a reserve power source built up from the users’ pedaling.

    No, admittedly, these aren’t streamlined racing bikes or even fairly fast hybrids. But they’re solid, serviceable. And it’s good to see that they’re being used, and that more folks are out biking, be they New Yorkers or tourists.

    There have been glitches and problems, for sure. On Tuesday, we saw a bike-share mechanic replacing a credit-card swiper in the Citi Bike kiosk at 11th St. and Second Ave. — apparently someone had poured a salty substance into the slot, disabling it. But the mechanic seemed very capable, and it’s good to see this program is also creating jobs.

    However, as everyone is well aware by now, the siting of the bike-share docking stations has been a cause of concern for many residents and merchants. The city’s Department of Transportation has addressed some of the complaints, by shortening certain docks, such as on Bank St., or, in at least one case — on Renwick St., in Hudson Square — by completely relocating the station to another street. We hear the Fire Department has also gotten some docks shifted where they were blocking fire trucks’ ability to make turns.

    Without weighing in on every bike dock in the Downtown area, we do think one location, in particular, presents a unique situation that D.O.T. needs to consider.

    We’re referring to Petrosino Square, at Spring and Lafayette Sts., in Soho. As area residents have been saying in their protests and petition — and as The Villager reports in this week’s issue — Petrosino Square has regularly hosted public art displays since 1984. This is, after all, Soho, a neighborhood world-renowned — or at least once renowned — for its artistic life. Although Broadway and Prince and Spring Sts. have long since morphed into glitzy shopping strips, the artistic spirit lives on in Soho, and in what today many call Nolita, as seen in the creative protests that denizens have been doing in the square ever since the bike docks arrived.

    What’s more, it’s clear that, in Petrosino Square’s recent renovation, the Parks Department designed the triangle’s northern end to be open, in part to accommodate public art. Indeed, Parks e-mails leaked to The Villager by a Petrosino activist state this, and also make it clear that Bill Castro, Parks Manhattan borough commissioner, felt it was inappropriate to site the bike-share dock here. Yet, D.O.T. went ahead and put the bike-share dock right on the spot designated — or, at least, seemingly designated — for public art.

    Of course, the number-one concern is safety. Cleveland Place, on the square’s eastern edge, actually does get slammed by traffic fairly often, and this five-way intersection has some confusing traffic patterns. If the Petrosino bike-share dock can be relocated into the street bed somewhere nearby — without compromising the safety of cyclists, pedestrians or drivers — then, by all means, we support this. From what we’ve seen, most of the bike docks actually are in the street bed, so it’s not clear why this Soho location had to be different.

    Clearly, the Petrosino protesters are fiercely protective of this small public space, and want to see it restored as a display area for public art. The record of 30 years of public art isn’t going away — and neither will the protesters. There’s a simple way D.O.T. can end this standoff: Just move the bike-share station.

  3. #468
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Why the bike share racks should not be in Petrosino Square

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    ...
    the Petrosino protesters are fiercely protective of this small public space, and want to see it restored as a display area for public art. The record of 30 years of public art isn’t going away — and neither will the protesters.
    That record of public art in Petrosino, clear evidence that the bike share racks are out of place there, can be found here:

    Petrosino Square has seen its share of public art displays

    More from Petrosino ...

    First Citi Bike, next … Citi World?





    Photos by William Skillman

    For many, what irks them most about Citi Bike is its branding aspect. Indeed, some are calling it as much a brilliant advertising campaign as a novel transportation system. In tiny Petrosino Square, where artists and residents are battling a bike-share station placed in their park, Soho artist William Skillman is taking the idea to its logical extreme. He’s been putting up four or five signs per day branding everything in the square, “Citi Tree,” “Citi Weeds,” “Citi Fence.” However, the signs are stolen every day, so every day he puts up new ones. Asked what exactly he means by the “Citi Eye” sign on the bike-share kiosk, he responded, “ ‘Citi Eye’ refers to the giant Darth Vader-looking tower … Is it not for surveillance?” It seems even artist Minerva Durham, below, who vehemently opposes the bike-share station, can’t escape being “Citi-fied.”






  4. #469
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    ^ Very funny!

  5. #470

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    The article posted below states that "What irks most" about the citibike program is the "branding/advertising" aspect of the program; but I am beginning to suspect this is 'really' just a simple NIMBY gripe on the part of some NYC residences.

    THere are very few of my fellow New Yorkers that I know of who intend to use this citibike program; yet still the massive 'infrastructure' of the racks and bikes have been dropped in OUR 'back yard' - and if WE don't benefit directly from it, WE don't want it. That is a NIMBY protest, plain and simple.

    Last edited by infoshare; June 7th, 2013 at 01:02 PM.

  6. #471

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    Jon Stewart from The Daily Show commented on the Citibikes on Thursday http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-epi...u-june-6-2013-

    Regarding Dorothy Rabinowitz and her ramblings about all-powerful "bike lobby": "It's just f*cking bikes, lady... Slow down, lady Hunger Games!"

  7. #472

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    Quote Originally Posted by LemSkroob View Post
    The bikes do not replace automobiles. They replace MTA riders.
    Somebody coming from New Jersey would not start using a bike for his/her commute. But very frequently, the quickest way to travel in the city is by bike, not by car/cab/bus (sometimes walking is faster than a car). Using a car in the city sometimes just insane - look at Ninth Avenue on Friday night. And it is dysfunctional to observe the insanity of cars moving at 0.5 miles/hr and be content with it. There has to be less cars in the city, whether by use of tolls or toll zones, and more bikes and public transportation, for city to be livable and friendly for residents and visitors.

  8. #473

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    Quote Originally Posted by infoshare View Post
    THere are very few of my fellow New Yorkers that I know of who intend to use this citibike program;
    Maybe you (and your fellows) will change your mind after trying it a couple of times...

  9. #474

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    This is, after all, Soho, a neighborhood world-renowned — or at least once renowned — for its artistic life. Although Broadway and Prince and Spring Sts. have long since morphed into glitzy shopping strips, the artistic spirit lives on in Soho, and in what today many call Nolita, as seen in the creative protests that denizens have been doing in the square ever since the bike docks arrived.
    Gosh, so ironic... "once renowned for its artistic life", "have long since morphed into glitzy shopping strips". "The artistic spirit lives on in Soho", agree, only spirits are left, because no breathing working artist can afford living in Soho.

    And where the young artists live now are Bushwick (observe the Bushwick Open Studios last weekend) and Williamsburg. And they all use bikes, not cars. Open the front page of New York Times today, New York Bike Wisdom, in 10 Words, shows the popular bike route from Williamsburg to Manhattan.

  10. #475

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Maybe you (and your fellows) will change your mind after trying it a couple of times...
    Yes, I an a few more will us this: but not enough to achieve 'financial' viability - which was my point. We will will just have to wait an see till there is enough time to see if my prediction bears out to be true.

    It will be subsidized - but that OK too.

  11. #476
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post

    "The artistic spirit lives on in Soho", agree, only spirits are left, because no breathing working artist can afford living in Soho.
    Sorry, but that claim that "no artists can afford to live in SoHo anymore" is just untrue. My building still has 2/3 of the original pioneering tenants, all living and breathing, a good portion of whom are actively pursuing their art. You'll find the same situation in many buildings in SoHo. Look to the upper floors next time you're down this way. It's not all newly-arrived foreigners or Wall Streeters behind the big windows.

    And a good number of artists involved in the installations at Petrosino Square over the past 30 years still live in the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post

    And where the young artists live now are Bushwick (observe the Bushwick Open Studios last weekend) and Williamsburg. And they all use bikes, not cars.
    Probably mainly using their own bikes, rather than those they can rent by the hour from Citi-whatsit.

    Plus, lots of folks just have a basic problem with this Citi-scheme, where riders are aiding & abetting in the greenwashing of nasty Citi-crimes perpetrated on the taxpayers ...

    In August 2008, after a three-year investigation by California's Attorney General Citibank was ordered to repay the $14 million (close to $18 million including interest and penalties) that was removed from 53,000 customers accounts over an 11-year period from 1992 to 2003. The money was taken under a computerized "account sweeping program" where any positive balances from over-payments or double payments were removed without notice to the customers ...

    On November 23, 2008, Citigroup was forced to seek federal financing to avoid a collapse similar to those suffered by its competitors Bear Stearns and AIG. The U.S. government provided $25 billion and guarantees to risky assets to Citigroup in exchange for stock ...

    On October 19, 2011, Citigroup agreed to $285 million civil fraud penalty.

    Even the Citi-VP in charge of global PR (and former NYC Deputy Mayor) admits the bike thing is a Citi-branding game at it's core.

    And others recognize that this is just that: a $41,000,000 investment in remaking the Citi-image, focusing on "the wind in your hair" rather than any reminder of Citi-Coal Mining efforts that chop the tops off mountains. No wonder the Citi-biking team wants to divert folks attention:

    "Mountaintop removal coal mining has no place in a clean energy economy, and the banks that finance this destructive practice deserve our scrutiny," said Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. "Those who fund mountaintop removal coal mining are lighting the fuse that leads to the devastation of communities, waterways and landscapes across Appalachia."

    As Lance Armstrong used to say:

    It's not about the bike.

  12. #477

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    Let's play a game. Find the straw-men.

    Start with Lance Armstrong.

  13. #478
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    To play, first you have to get off the bike.

    Then move on to Edward Skyler.

  14. #479

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Sorry, but that claim that "no artists can afford to live in SoHo anymore" is just untrue. My building still has 2/3 of the original pioneering tenants, all living and breathing, a good portion of whom are actively pursuing their art.
    Would you agree to this statement: "young artists do not take up residence in Soho nor open studios there"? Hell's Kitchen has more artist studios (and relevance) nowadays then Soho. Witness the Hell's Kitchen Open Studios festival. There is nothing on the sort in Soho.

    I am not arguing against public arts by any means. There is no need for bikes to displace public art, the bikes displace automobiles and related pollution, which is beneficial for peaceful viewing of the arts.

  15. #480

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    From WSJ, first the complaint that bikes are "tyranny" and now the complaint that there are not enough stations, especially outside Manhattan: Bike Share Skips Many

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