Monday’s Headlines: And It’s All Legal Edition

It's all legal!
It's all legal!

Did you ever park your car in front of the Citi Bike rack on W. 70th Street and not get a ticket?

If so, don’t thank the NYPD for its lack of concern for illegal parking — blame the Department of Transportation … for not making it illegal!

Check out the photo at the top of this page, sent over by Friend of Streetsblog Daniel Bowman Simon. It shows a fancy car blocking the rack so cyclists can’t use it, and a DOT sign saying drivers can legally park there at all times except Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. And it wasn’t only that car. Simon sees it all the time (another photo below):

Another legal scoflaw.
Another legal scofflaw.

It seemed like a mystery, so we consulted the internet — and discovered that the Citi Bike rack was extended sometime after July, 2019 (when Google’s camera-covered car captured the image below). You can even see that someone had painted “No parking” in anticipation of the rack being extended.

The "before" shot.
The “before” shot.

Why the DOT didn’t take down the sign is anyone’s guess. Simon has been asking Citi Bike for answers, but receiving only automated, bot-style responses, “I will be delighted to assist you with your inquiry about reporting a vehicle parking on a station,” one porto-human wrote him. “We appreciate for letting us know this vehicle is blocking a station.”

He also filed a 311 complaint, but hasn’t gotten any response yet. We’ll keep you posted, but if you’re on W. 70th Street and happen to have a hacksaw, a post-hole digger and some cement, you might want to take matters into your own hands.

In other news from a surprisingly quiet weekend:

  • The MTA has restored two more hours of early morning subway service, bringing the daily count to 22 hours. (NYDN)
  • NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg threw the media under the bus by saying early pandemic coverage hurt transit. Um, plenty of local pols did that, not us (NY Post). Earlier in the weekend, she demanded more cops. (NY Post)
  • In case you missed it last week (we had!), Attorney General Letitia James backed off suing the city for not protecting cab drivers from predatory lending and for hyping the value of taxi medallions. James spent a year investigating the taxi business, only to conclude that she didn’t have a case (NYDN). Taxi industry expert Charles Komanoff crowed because he’s long been saying that the industry was undermined mostly by Uber and Lyft. The Daily News followed up with a touching op-ed on the subject.
  • Research suggests that not only does building new car lanes induce more traffic, but reallocating car lanes to bikes, pedestrians and transit actually reduces congestion. (The City Fix)
  • If driverless taxis wind up being cheaper because there’s no driver who gets paid, more people will use them, so autonomous vehicles will make congestion worse. (Forbes)
  • The Post did a story about two lonely tourists on a double-decker bus — but didn’t point out how useless it is for mostly empty buses to spew pollution into our air, as Streetsblog pointed out last year.
  • The artist who made the famed Wall Street bull has died. Arturo Di Modica was 80. (NY Post, NY Times)
  • In case you missed it, Sidewalk Talk did a nice Q&A with “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz.

Filed Under: DOT


Bike-Share Already Getting More Use Than Park Slope’s Free Parking Spots

The new bike-share stations in Brooklyn south of Atlantic Avenue are getting a lot more use than your average free on-street parking space, according to recent Citi Bike data compiled by Carroll Gardens resident Viktor Geller [PDF]. Geller addressed the report to Brooklyn Community Board 6, which is holding a hearing on Thursday in response to complaints about bike-share stations […]

A Handful of Car Spaces, or a 27-Dock Citi Bike Station?

Because a construction site is blocking the sidewalk on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, a Citi Bike station was taken off the sidewalk in mid-April and re-installed along the protected bike lane on the other side of South 11th Street a couple of weeks ago, replacing a handful of parking spaces. The new site was the only […]

Citi Bike Expands South of Atlantic Avenue

Yesterday, Citi Bike began installing stations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods south of Atlantic Avenue and west of Prospect Park. A few stations are already operating, according to the Citi Bike station map, with a total of 73 set to go live in the area in the coming weeks. All told there are 139 new bike-share stations […]

CB 3 Committee Asks DOT for Protected Bikeway on Chrystie Street

The community board covering the Lower East Side and Chinatown is set to ask DOT to transform the Chrystie Street bike lane from barely visible stripes blocked by double-parked cars into a two-way protected bikeway along Sara D. Roosevelt Park, connecting the Manhattan Bridge with the Second Avenue protected bike lane. The transportation committee of […]

Citi Bike Arrives on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side

Citi Bike has begun its expansion to the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Ben Kallos, DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione, DOT Deputy Commissioner for Policy Michael Replogle and Citi Bike General Manager Jules Flynn celebrated the first Citi Bike station on the Upper East Side with a photo-op […]