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Complaints Surface Regarding Elizabeth Street Citi Bike Station

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Citi Bikes at Hester And Elizabeth St. Station

The city’s Department of Transportation says Citi Bike is “pedaling past ridership records,” racking up more than 250,000 total trips in its first three weeks. Local elected officials and Community Board 3 report relatively few complaints in the early going, but one station in Chinatown is causing concern.  Several store owners have voiced their disapproval of the station on Elizabeth Street, between Hester and Canal.

Lillian Leung, owner of Pacific Seafood Trading Inc., located directly in front of the bike docks,  has made her disapproval quite clear, blaming the station, in an already congested area,  for a decrease in business.


Pacific Seafood Trading Inc.

“Our customers who drive need to park here so it’s more convenient for them,” Leung said. “Now when our customers find out that there is nowhere to park, they won’t come here because it’s not convenient. That is our loss.”  According to Leung, the bikes have taken a toll not only on her business, but on the health and safety of the community as well.

“The sign used to say what times there is parking and when they clean the streets,” she said. “Every day at 8, they come by and sweep the street clean. Now you go outside and look and see if it’s still possible to clean the streets. The bike station along with the pedestrian sidewalk is filled with garbage.”  Leung, as well as several other business owners along Elizabeth Street have complained to city officials.

The Chinatown station was installed last month but has only been operational for a few days. The bikes were not in service until the past week—almost a month after Citi Bike’s launch.

Photo via Council member Margaret Chin’s office.

The photo posted above was sent to the Department of Transportation by City Council member Margaret Chin’s office. it is meant to illustrate the close proximity of the bikes to oncoming traffic and to show that this particular station’s placement is potentially dangerous and inconvenient for both bikers and drivers.  Chin, who is generally supportive of the bike share program, is awaiting a response from the DOT regarding the situation on Elizabeth Street.

City officials note that they conducted a dozen meetings downtown to engage the local community regarding bike share locations.  Next month, DOT will be present at local community board meetings to hear feedback from residents about specific locations.  The Elizabeth Street station is located within Community Board 2.




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  1. Ah, the half-hearted bikelash continues. That photo illustrates that the station is as far away from oncoming traffic as most bike share stations (looks to be about 4 feet here), while also disproving the “bike station along with the pedestrian sidewalk is filled with garbage” theory. In fact, that appears to be the cleanest Chinatown street I have ever seen.

  2. What trash? Lol!

    Anyway, I doubt that the majority of people who frequent this business arrive by auto. The average across Manhattan is only like 6%.

    Doesn’t look very dangerous in order to pull out either. In fact, even with the cars stopped at the intersection there is more then enough room.

  3. So are we to believe that her customers used to drive into Chinatown for dinner at her restaurant EXPECTING to find parking right infront of the restaurant? More NIMBY nonsense.

  4. My guess: I think it’s wholesale, not a restaurant. So actually, her customers probably parked vans right in front of the store right before (or maybe during) street cleaning hours and loaded their orders. Now they need to park further down the street and can’t park during street cleaning hours because they might not be able to get back to their vans in time to avoid ticketing. There’s a lot of this commercial loading during street cleaning hours all over the City….

  5. These pictures were taken when the bikes were first installed. It’s the reporters fault for using pictures that disproves his interviewees. On another note, many small businesses (not dirty fish markets or restaurants) try to clean the garbage from the sidewalk to 1 feet into the street, or else they get ticketed by ECB.

  6. A fire truck actually came through and couldn’t get through without running over those short white sticks, so…. that in itself is a fire hazard. Its already a narrow enough street as it is. My friends parked car even got scraped while a truck was turning on this street -___-

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