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Update July 11, 2013- As we predicted, Citi Bikes have just gone in at Gateway Plaza where the old junk pile of bikes used to be. BatteryPark.TV reporting triggered the removal of the old rack, enabling Citi Bikes to enter. (photo soon)
Update June 25, 2013- The deadline has passed and it seems that the once planned Citi Bike rack to be installed by Gateway will not happen, thanks to the opposition led by Shelly Mossey. Approximately 6,000 residents of Gateway Plaza will now have to endure the ugly site of the existing bike racks, filled mostly with abandoned bikes, rather than have a functional Citi Bike rack.
Update June 20, 2013- Gateway Plaza is trying again to install a Citi Bike rack at the corner by the cafe, and once again, Shelly Mossey is opposing the removal of the personal-use rack in place now. We spoke with him about his concerns. He explained that if the current rack is removed, then there would be a major bike storage shortage for the residents. Instead, Mr. Mossey suggested placing the Citi Bike rack nearby on the dog run overlooking the marina.
A bigger problem to the Gateway bike racks is that they are mostly filled with abandoned rusting bikes. BatteryPark.TV has been effective working with the parks staff to remove similar bikes throughout the park, and we suggested that Mr. Mossey contact the parks for help. Mr. Mossey also works with a volunteer staff that refurbishes abandoned bikes.
June 10, 2013- By Steven E. Greer
Getting around in New York City is one of the biggest quality of life issues. Taxis are now very costly, not always available, and not always driven by safe drivers. The subways of NYC are far inferior to other cities, and buses are slow. Mayor Bloomberg has tried to address traffic congestion in a variety of ways, ranging from closing streets and converting them to plazas, to attempting to have congestion traffic tolls. However, his biggest accomplishment, without doubt, is the Citi Bike share program.
The Citi Bike share program is now widely applauded as a much overdue alternative to yellow taxis and inconvenient subways or buses. After technical glitches were worked out in the first week, and people got over the learning curve, the main gripes that remain are coming from areas on the city that do not have the program. The initial gripes were “Not in my backyard”. Now, people are upset, “Why didn’t my neighborhood get a Citi Bike rack?”
Battery Park City is fortunate to have two Citi Bike rack stations, but a third one destined for Gateway Plaza was shot down by a minority special interest movement.
Shelly Mossey founded the Urban Mobility Project which, until recently, rented various forms of bicycles from the existing bike racks outside of Gateway Plaza, by the ice cream cafe, and also inside the courtyard. He organized the resistance to the Citi Bike racks that were supposed to be installed. It is unclear whether his petition of more than 30 people was the cause, but the city backed down from plans to eliminate the personal-use racks and replace them with a Citi Bike station.
Mr. Mossey explained, “The Citi Bikes are welcome to come to Gateway, but they just can’t take away our existing bike racks. They can put the (Citi Bikes) somewhere else, like by the dog run”.
Now, the thousands of residents of Gateway Plaza must walk a half mile to reach either of the two Cit Bike station that were installed. A Gateway Plaza employee explained, “We have some clean-up to do within Gateway to create additional bicycle parking for our residents. We expect to start the clean-up in a couple a weeks and will have additional bicycle racks installed within Gateway in a few weeks. We are not done with the Bike Share program. We will be involved in the second go around.”