If you thought that everything was going a little too smoothly with the city's plan to install 39 new Citi Bike stations across the Upper West Side, then you'll be satisfied to learn that the hysterical NIMBYs you love reading about (but dread ever coming in physical contact with) are back, baby!
Despite a mostly positive response to the plan, which was unveiled at a community board meeting at Goddard Riverside Community Center last month, vocal residents raised major objections to at least nine of those locations at a community board meeting this week, according to the Post.
Some of the complaints seem reasonable enough—it makes sense to remove a dock on the west side of Riverside Drive between West 78th and 79th Streets, which is right where cars come off the Henry Hudson Parkway. But others are couched in the vague notion of "safety concerns," something which could be considered a problem anytime you dare step outside your apartment.
"Our street is a very narrow one," Joanne Aidala argued about a dock slated to be placed at West 78th Street near Columbus Avenue. "There are mothers with strollers, and there are young children walking around." Aidala's precious block is clearly different from all the hundreds of other stations throughout the city which have somehow learned to live with the two-wheeled nuisances.
“We have not only crosstown buses and the Bronx buses, but we have an enormous issue with school buses backing up to load and unload people into the [American Museum of Natural History],” said Debra Bottle argued about the dock slated for the north side of West 81st Street, west of Columbus Avenue. Bottle lives on W. 81st Street. "The idea of bikes trying to enter into the traffic pattern in addition to everything else going on there is, frankly, just inconceivable."
Then there was Susan Rutner, who according to DNAInfo, argued against a station at Central Park and West 71st Street because it's already a busy tourist spot, saying that between tourists, food and t-shirt vendors (?), "it’s impossible." Dear god, will somebody think of the tourists?!?
Tom Valenzuela, who lives near a proposed site on Central Park West between 67th and 68th Streets, hit upon the core of the complaints: “There are so many safety concerns here,” he said of that location. "I have witnessed many near-misses between bike riders and pedestrians in that area. There will be way too much combat between Citi Bike riders and pedestrians."
And it's not like any other part of the city has had to deal with such conflicts, and appropriately dealt with any problems as they arose. Plenty of stations have been moved, and the DOT has been more than willing to meet locals halfway and absorb their concerns. But the fact is, more often than not, there have been completely no conflicts, and the stations have quietly become ingrained in the neighborhoods. And if you're that concerned about being mowed down by a Citi Bike, then you haven't been paying attention to all the real transportation problems.