Citi Bike Station Near Frank’s Bike Shop is Removed

Earlier today, a controversial Citi Bike station at Grand and Henry streets was removed by the Department of Transportation.

Grand & Henry streets.

Grand & Henry streets.

Following a May 27 New York Post story, a petition drive was launched, attracting more than one-thousand signers, urging the city to move the station away from Frank’s Bike Shop, a longtime small business that’s located less than a block from the intersection. Many others chimed in, saying the station was a valuable new transportation asset in a section of the neighborhood not well served by subway and bus lines. We have a call into the DOT; we’ll let you know what they say about the reasons for the move. A short time ago, Frank Arroyo told us he’s not sure the removal of the station will help him much; he is more concerned about Citi Bike docks near hotels, where most of his rental business originates.

UPDATE: DOT tells us the station was temporarily removed due to utility construction. The station will eventually be re-installed at this location.  Citi Bike also put the word out via its twitter feed:

 

10 comments to Citi Bike Station Near Frank’s Bike Shop is Removed

  • MindGrapes

    That’s too bad, in my opinion. The CitiBikes serve a completely different function than Frank’s. Now, residents of East River, Hillman, the Gouverneur Houses, and many, many more in the LES have one less public transportation option available to them. The people who are riding CitiBikes to commute are not necessarily interested in purchasing a bicycle, for any number of reasons. People who want a bike of their own will buy one regardless of whether CitiBikes are available.

  • WordAndReason

    Did you not read the entire paragraph? There’s a link to further information: “Frank has concerns about the impact of the bike share program on his rental business, which makes up 20-30% of the store’s revenue.” “Frank said the biggest concern is not the Citi Bike docks near his shop but the ones located near hotels (there are two on Allen Street adjacent the Thompson LES). Frank’s rental business comes almost entirely from referrals from hotels in the neighborhood. He’s never sought out the tourist business — it’s just come to him. Now, Frank is talking about reaching out to the hotels to make sure concierges don’t forget about his shop.”
    The city has no business competing against its own constituents. Especially those who pay taxes without the sort of contract CitiBank most likely received from the city to make this happen. I have yet to see one of these racks in front of their own establishments.

  • Clarke

    See stations at 1st & 15th and Broadway & 14th to quell your “no Citibike stations in front of Citibank locations” conspiracy theories.

  • WordAndReason

    “Conspiracy” One of the internets top ten thread terms. LOL!! You even gave it a title. Nice!

  • KR

    As a bike owner myself, and s/o who’s benefited from Frank’s expert repair service, I’d like to support Frank and his business. I also was not initially a big fan of CitiBikes (too many amateurs out there already!!). But Frank is not open 24/7; in fact, his hours are hard to remember, and a lot of times when I’d have preferred to use his services he’s been closed. CitiBikes are available 24/7. So they DO offer something that his own great shop for good reason (a person’s got to have a personal life as well as a working one) cannot. So reluctantly I am also s/w saddened that the CitiBikes station was removed in that particular location.

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  • david

    I hope they bring this station back. He’s an institution and should remain, I don’t think there is any real proof this particular station is affecting his business if one truly understands the concept of Citibike. Do the tourists at the hotels not see the stations closer to their hotels? Don’t deprive residents of grand street of a service.

  • MindGrapes

    Why yes, I did read the entire paragraph. My point is that CitiBikes are public transportation, and are not meant for pleasure riding. For those who want to keep a bike for the day (tourists or locals), they will continue to rent from Frank’s. The city isn’t competing against its own constituents by offering bicycles as public transportation any more than they are competing against car dealers by offering buses. And there is a big CitiBike rack just down Grand Street at Clinton, in front of the Citi branch on that corner.

  • LCHARKO

    I agree MindGrapes. I live on the FDR and having the bike docs outside of my apartment was the deciding factor to join the program. The buses are slow, traffic on Grand St. is worse then it’s ever been, one cannot get a cab, and the closest subway is a fifteen minute walk! If I want to rent a bike for the whole day OF COURSE I will go to Franks. As Frank mentioned in his article, he is more concerned about loosing tourists then the locals and he will be working with the hotels and restaurants promoting his business and services.

    I personally emailed CitiBike yesterday and a customer service rep immediately wrote me back and said the removal is temporary due to a CON ED issue and will be back in 4-5weeks. Whether it’s true or not , that’s what they told me. We shall see..

  • Bugsy

    Agree with most of the comments here. Frank and his shop are neighborhood treasures (have bought many bikes from him over the years), but CitiBikes having a kiosk at this location should be a non-issue for him. The station was well-used with most of the bikes checked out by mid-morning. I hope the explanation provided — that the removal is temporary — proves to be true. There is in fact a lot of electrical construction work at the intersection. This morning I asked one of the contract workers at the site if they knew anything about the removal. He said that last week they were working around the bike stand and did not know if the disappearing station had anything to do with their project. Of course, this was a line level worker, so it didn’t surprise me that he didn’t know anything. Hopefully, the station will return as it is well-needed.