DOT Declines To Attend Citi Bike Public Hearing; Will ‘Potentially Make Adjustments’ To Station Locations

DOT Declines To Attend Citi Bike Public Hearing; Will ‘Potentially Make Adjustments’ To Station Locations
Citi Bike
NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg (center, parking bike), Park Slope Civic Council co-President Gilly Youner (on bike), Council Member Brad Lander (center with tie, walking bike) and other officials rode into the unveiling of a new Citi Bike docking station on 5th Avenue near 3rd Street on August 25, 2016. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

The upcoming public hearing on Thursday, October 20 focused on the placement of Citi Bike docking stations will not include representatives from the Department of Transportation after they declined Community Board 6’s invitation to attend.

A letter from CB6 dated October 17 was sent to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and signed by CB6 Chair Sayar Lonial and Transportation Committee Co-chair Eric McClure.

In the correspondence, CB6 writes that the DOT’s choice to decline the invitation “to hear testimony on how CitiBike has both positively and negatively affected our district, is disappointing. It baffles us as to why your team would opt to not hear directly from the community.”

On October 5, CB6 released a notice stating the goal of the hearing is to “gather public comment on the deployment of the bicycle docking stations, and any other aspect of the bike share program, for the primary purpose of reviewing and evaluating the density, location, placement, and size of the district’s docking stations with the Department of Transportation.”

Trottenberg responded via email on the same day the letter was sent by CB6:

“While we will not be attending Thursday’s meeting, we will of course take CB6’s feedback and work with you all to potentially make adjustments to bike stations as needed.”
“We recommend that after the meeting you send us the top five locations of concern and any suggested alternatives and we will evaluate them expeditiously. We have worked with other Community Boards in this same manner, post-implementation, and have found it to be a productive approach.”

The second wave expansion of Citi Bike began its roll-out in August, and has been met with both enthusiasm and contention.

Chaos erupted over the Citi Bike expansion at the September 14 CB6 General Committee Meeting. (Video by Amy Holiday/Park Slope Stoop)

The September 14 CB6 general meeting was significant by what is already an infamous moment when 80-year-old neighbor Joseph Igneri shouted at the board members. A tense verbal battle took place between Board Chair Sayar Lonial and residents who demanded answers about the bike share program – why it had expanded, why the Department of Transportation had not been more transparent, and why Citi Bike couldn’t be discussed formally during the meeting.

citibike map
Current status map for Citi Bike docking stations as of August 25, 2016. (Via Citi Bike)

“It’s no secret that the recent expansion of Citi Bike to our community has brought out strong feelings,” wrote Council Member Brad Lander. “Many of you have told me how thrilled you are about the expansion, and that the bikes have become part of your daily commute, or a good new way to run errands and get around our neighborhoods. Others have shared with me your deep unhappiness with the bikes and stations that have appeared on your blocks, with the loss of parking and other impacts.”

In early October, McClure told the Stoop via email that the DOT was open to feedback.

“I think the hearing will be most productive if people who have concerns about specific dock locations bring evidence of issues and suggest reasonable alternate placements,” he said. “There certainly may be a nearby wide sidewalk that could accommodate a dock currently located in a streetbed, and I think the board and DOT will be open to constructive comments.”

The Meeting Rundown: Public Hearing On Citi Bike Expansion to Community Board 6 Area
When: Thursday, October 20 at 6:30pm
Where: NYPD/78th Police Precinct, 65 6th Avenue, 4th Floor (Between Dean and Bergen Streets).
If you plan to speak: Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify up to 3 minutes. Speakers must sign-in at the meeting to testify.
If you cannot attend: Written comment may also be emailed to the district office at or mailed to 250 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201-6401