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Petition: Move Citi Bike Station Away From Frank’s (Updated 6/6/2013)

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Frank Arroyo of Frank's Bike Shop.
Frank Arroyo of Frank’s Bike Shop.

My LES alum Frank Arroyo got some attention in the Post earlier this week, in a story that suggested the longtime Grand Street bike shop owner could be “run out of business” by Citi Bike. There’s a bike share station just a short distance from his shop at 553 Grand.  Now Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York has started a petition, urging the Department of Transportation to move the station. The petition reads:

We support small businesses on the Lower East Side and across the city. Frank’s Bike Shop has been thriving at 533 Grand Street for 37 years, but the Citibank-sponsored Citibike station you put in front of his store threatens his livelihood. We want Frank Arroyo’s business to survive. Please move this station far from Frank’s and let him continue for years to com

As of this morning, there are 208 signatures.

UPDATED: 6/6/2013: There’s a counter-petition started by local residents who say they love Frank’s Bike Shop but do not believe he’ll be hurt by Citi Bike.  Have a look here.

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  1. As lovely as it is to live on the water, it means we live in one of the more subway-isolated corners of Manhattan. I’ve CitiBiked to work every day this week in 18-20 minutes, which is about the same time it takes me to get to an uptown F or M platform. Frank is a lovely guy who has treated my family well; someone should explain to him that scores more Cooperators biking regularly is good for his helmets and accessories business.

  2. I think Frank’s Bike Shop is more likely to be helped than harmed by Citi Bike. More people biking means more people buying accessories to start with. Then it means lots more people who like to bike and feel comfortable biking in NYC. And that means some will want their own bike for speed and longer trips. Citi Bike is just for short (slow, comfortable) journeys in a smallish geographical area. Frank’s is for bike ownership, day/week rentals, etc. This should be a win win.

  3. I’m afraid the location of the racks won’t change his fate. And I’m also not sure his fate is a bad one. The bike share system–with its 45min rides (30min for day passes)–is priced for commuters going from one part of the city to another, not riders or amblers or tourists. So those that love biking the city (like me) will always own their own bike too, and need shops like his. Tourists will rent. Plus, more people biking, and a shift to a bike culture, should inevitably lead to more business for bike shops. And if that doesn’t happen? If people would prefer to not own their own bikes from now on? Well, then the location of the racks won’t change this bike shop’s fate…

  4. How is the bikeshare system even remotely threatening to his business? People are going to suddenly stop buying their own bikes now because a bikeshare system is available? I was not, and would never buy a bike because I don’t want to keep it in my apartment and don’t want to deal with it being stolen. Now that the bikeshare program is available I am in the market for a helmet, however.

  5. Stu – I’m with you. Frank is a great business and has provided a very much needed service to the community. However, his shop is not offering with Citi has done, this is about point to point biking with an ability to safely dock without worry. I think he should be welcoming the program with helmet deals…..maybe even helmet rentals, as well as the rest of his accessories. This city needs less cars (coming from a car owner) and more bikes. Good on you Mayor B.

  6. Also, can we start a petition to prevent taxis from picking up people in front of my car dealership? I’m afraid it will hurt my business.
    Thank you.

  7. I just docked my citi bike at that rack. I also own two bikes that I get repaired and buy accessories for at Franks. I agree with Stu, Frank needs to adjust his business model to displaying and selling more accessories.

  8. First: Franks is a neighborhood institution not only a great bike store. It would be difficult to quantify this kind of place – Jane Jacobs wrote a whole book that tried to. Looking after the neighborhood, the street, young people, and..you…are some of the “unwritten”contributions. Crime doesn’t happen nearby easily when this place is open (for instance).
    Second: who has the contracts on the bike repair of the citibikes? And if they aren’t local store owners, why not?
    A possible win win.

  9. Everyone loves Franks and want’s him to stay and succeed. That Citibikes would ruin him is a rather questionable theory.

  10. The citi bike share program is making NYC a more bike friendly place and in the long run the bike share program is going to help Franks business not hurt it. DO NOT MOVE CITI BIKE RACK!

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