The Juniper Park Civic Association came up with its own design plan for the installation of 45 Citi Bike stations that will not take up community parking spaces, as opposed to the original plan proposed by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) .
DOT plans to install 52 Citi Bike stations across Community Board 5 just before summer. This draft proposal includes stations on both sidewalks and streets, which will occupy at least 100 parking spaces in the community.
Christina Wilkinson, secretary of the civic association, said her community simply can not afford to lose parking.
“Because we are a transit desert, parking is very poor,” Wilkinson said. “We did not want homeowners and parking seekers to be overwhelmed. We want to [Citi Bike] be part of the community, but in a way that strengthens the neighborhoods and does not upset them. ”
The citizens’ association’s proposal would only build stations on sidewalks, especially in commercial areas, without endangering parking. Their plan also cuts the number of Citi Bike stations to 45 instead of 52 after determining some of DOT’s locations were unnecessary.
“We thought there were some who were in locations that were not very realistic,” Wilkinson said. “It was locations where people did not really want to come. And if they were near another station, we do not feel we need so much, so close together.”
Anthony Nunziato, president of the Civic Association, has been a business owner on Grand Avenue for more than 40 years. Nunziato stressed how harmful it would be for small businesses if parking spaces were taken down.
“Parking is limited,” Nunziato said. “Businesses need parking for people to shop at those locations. We are happy with Citi Bike, but they need to satisfy our community. We can not give up our parking spaces and take them away from private companies. “
DOT told the civic association that they would review the proposal and plan to end the community feedback period by the end of April.
“Maintaining our Citi Bike station density is essential to ensure that Queens residents have access to convenient and reliable service,” said DOT spokesman Vincent Barone. “We are always looking for the right balance and appreciate the feedback on our proposal, which we are considering.”
Councilor Robert Holden shared the same concerns as the civic association, saying that installing Citi Bike stations in streets would have a major impact on the liveability of the neighborhood.
“A lot of [the stations] “Reduce parking unnecessarily,” Holden said.
Holden said he supports the civic association’s plan because it will save parking spaces in the community.
“Parking is at a terrible premium in the neighborhood as it is, especially since we have so little public transportation,” Holden said. “There needs to be a balance between the interests of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians in our city.”