The nation’s largest Bike Sharing program, scheduled to launch in NYC with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes this July, recently revealed a plan for 54 of the bike sharing stations, most of which will support more than 30 bicycles each. The locations were reveal by the NYC Department of Transportation during a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting. Also introduced during the meeting were the local requirements for the stations and the strategy for placing 100+ bikes at some of the world’s busiest transportation hubs, Pennsylvania Station and Port Authority Terminal.
Last fall when Alta’s Bike Sharing program for NYC was announced, suggestions for the 600 station locations immediately flooded the DOT’s website. Since then, Alta has hosted several “open houses” introducing the bikes and the docking stations, but until the Community Board 4 (Midtown Manhattan) meeting last week there was no word on where the locations would be.
Although no locations are 100% yet, the current picture is looking transformational to how New Yorkers get around. In cooperation with NYC Department of Transportation, local community board meetings have begun the process of reviewing how these stations will work in their neighborhoods. One of the first requirements is that the stations will be located on the street to preserve the sidewalk and intense flows of foot traffic, particularly around transportation connection hubs like Penn Station. CB 4 District Manager Jenna Chrisphonte explains, “You couldn’t put it right in front of the subway entrance.”
From the newly released plans, it looks like 180 bicycle docks wil be placed at Penn Station, and Port Authority will get 140. Smaller stations will be set up in less trafficked spots, such as the South East corner of 41st street and 8th Avenue across the street from the Port Authority entrance. The east side of Broadway and 9th Avenue, where bike lanes and public spaces have already begun to develop, are also prime targets for several smaller stations a few blocks apart. 54 bike sharing locations on the West side of Manhattan are currently proposed, with the majority supporting more than 30 bicycles per station.
The ongoing collaborative nature between Alta, NYC DOT, and all the local community boards is not only a fantastic example of adaptive urban change, but it’s completely necessary. New York City’s Bike Share program is not the first, but it will be one of the largest systems in the world. Washington D.C.’s well-regarded Capital Bike share system has a mere 23 docking stations in front of Union Station and another 23 stations a few blocks away. New York’s transportation connection hubs are more than twice as large and far more logistically complex.
One of the most interesting things about the stations is that each can be set up or taken apart in an hour. This will allow everyone to see how the stations succeed or fail in the wild, while allowing planners to easily modify locations. The DOT has several meetings coming up if you want to voice your opinion.