Sunday, February 2, 2014

This week's Top 10 NotSpots

OK, before we even start this discussion, we posit the following:
1. Is a CitiBike annual membership worth the $100? Absolutely.
2. Is it a mode of convenience or is it a spoke in the transit system? The answer is, right now some of both.

With membership approaching 100,000, CitiBike has already answered a question it may not have asked itself. Is bike-sharing part of the mass transit system?
A Streetsblog story back in November put daily weekday bike trips at just shy of 40,000.  The PATCO Speedline, a hugely complicated rail system connecting South Jersey with Philly and Trenton, has about the same ridership.

So that’s where we come from when we start discussing labels like “worst station.” It’s not about worst. It’s about reliability. And the nub of it is that the stations that make the NotSpot list are NotReliable.

About reliability and the current state of affairs: To get there requires a sense of urgency. The MTA has that. So far we see a system that views 15 or 20 empty stations at dawn as  a perfectly normal way to start each morning.


1Midtown NorthW 37 St & 5 Ave859
2Midtown NorthW 49 St & 5 Ave7725
3Hells KitchenW 52 St & 9 Ave7613.5
4Civic CenterCentre St & Chambers St700most hours snow related
5Midtown EastE 55 St & Lexington Ave680most hours snow related
6Hells KitchenW 54 St & 9 Ave6717
7Chelsea10 Ave & W 28 St620most hours snow related
8Midtown NorthE 53 St & Madison Ave6215
9Tudor CityE 43 St & 2 Ave5814
10Chelsea9 Ave & W 22 St580

Clearly, the problem is most acute in Midtown and the neighborhoods to the east and west of it.


1DowntownClinton St & Tillary St20025.5
2WilliamsburgS 3 St & Bedford Ave1760most hours snow related
3Clinton HillWashington Ave & Greene Ave12112
4Clinton HillDeKalb Ave & Vanderbilt Ave11534.5
5DowntownCadman Plaza E & Tillary St10510
6Bedford-StuyvesantLexington Ave & Classon Ave10446
7Brooklyn HeightsColumbia Heights & Cranberry St955most hours snow related
8Fort GreeneMyrtle Ave & St Edwards St9223
9Fort GreeneCarlton Ave & Park Ave8630
10Fort GreeneDeKalb Ave & S Portland Ave7731

Given that Brooklyn has only 79 stations vs Manhattan’s 252 we should only be doing a Top Five for the borough. But Brooklyn’s No.10 equals Manhattan’s No. 2.

How to read the charts

What’s a NotSpot? A NotSpot is a bike-sharing station that is empty or filled at the time we conduct a survey. We then follow that station to determine when it’s serving or accepting bikes again.
What’s a survey? A survey is when we peruse the data provided by the official map and the data provided by a map produced by the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis. We conduct two to three surveys Monday through Friday.
About the rankings:  We take the total NotSpot hours produced by all stations in a neighborhood and divide that by the total number of docks there. The "hours per dock" is as close as we can get to a common denominator.

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