Thursday, August 28, 2014

23 reasons bicycling is the best way to navigate NYC

The story

An excerpt

No. 3: The sentence "It's all the way crosstown"strikes no fear in a cyclist's heart. "Oh, you just sat down at Empire Diner? Order me a beer, I'll be there in 10 minutes."

Mathematicians worldwide tackle bike-share rebalancing

The story

An excerpt

And Citi Bike—which works with computer scientist David Shmoys of Cornell University, according to Wald—has done a better job on balance lately. The bikeshareNYC blog keeps a NotSpot index tracking how many Citi Bike stations are empty or full. In recent weeks, Citi Bike has been squarely in the rebalancing "green" zone, meaning only 20 to 33 stations were not usable at the time of the survey.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stations near Williamsburg Bridge rack up most cyclist injuries

The story
Three of the top ten stations with the highest injury density are located just off the Williamsburg Bridge.  Note that we can’t control for bicycle traffic here, so this does not mean that any given rider has a higher chance of getting an injury;  more riders means more injuries. That being said, any one who has biked near the exit of the Williamsburg Bridge knows it’s a bit of a tricky place.  Other top stations are listed above, including three on Broadway.


This came out in mid-August when we were too involved in house hunting to do much with the blog. We’re sorry we’re tardy because the IQuantNY blog is a great piece of work.

Replacement seats not as comfy, Reddit commenters say

New seats have a groove down center
In a thread on Reddit, people are complaining that the new seats Citi Bike is installing are tilted forward and not as comfortable as the originals.

Citi Bike disputes Post's "One third of bikes in the shop" story

An excerpt

The story
Citi Bike spokeswoman Dani Simons...disputed the figure slightly, saying there are just under 1,200 bikes in the repair shop (and adding that an average of 200 are repaired a day). Earlier this year, Alta Bicycle Share suffered some "seasonal downsizing" of repair workers whose job it is to maintain the bikes and docks. As a result, Citi Bike's rates of repair and maintenance reportedly dropped precipitously.


The Gothamist was graceful enough to include a mention of our cracked seats post in this story.

NYPD mum on success/failure of Operation Safe Cycle

The story

An excerpt

On Tuesday morning, the NYPD declined to offer any information about the success (or failure) of the operation, including metrics like the number of tickets issued or arrests made.

Available bikes day by day

The New York Post made much recently of one third of the bike fleet being sidelined for repairs. But the number of available bikes has hovered between 4000 and 3300 all summer.  Whatever the number in the shop, there’s been no “shortage” of bikes on the street or we’d see a spike in empty stations. And we haven’t.

Day-by-day look at NotSpot numbers

At May’s end it looked like the NotSpot problem was spiraling out of control. Then the system operators got serious.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DMV admits to cheating cyclists but doesn’t say it will stop

See story

An excerpt

The New York State DMV admits that it is incorrectly overcharging cyclists for traffic violations and wrongly adding points to their drivers licenses, but the agency hasn’t agreed to stop doing it.
In his most recent Streetsblog column, attorney Steve Vaccaro pointed out that the DMV’s online payment system does not distinguish between bikes and motor vehicles. As a result, cyclists who plead guilty and pay traffic tickets online are stuck with an $88 surcharge that doesn’t apply to bike violations, and are getting points on their licenses that don’t legally apply.

New app tracks where cyclists actually ride, helping plan new bike paths

An excerpt

For cities it’s not only a way to plan new routes but to better understand how to take care of existing bike paths. "When local authorities are trying to improve cycling infrastructure with the resources they have available, it's very hard for them to know where to spend that money," says Lindgren. "Even just knowing where to focus their resources on filling potholes on cycle lanes. They just don't know which are the busiest cycle lanes. We felt like there was a real need for cyclists to be better represented in the data."

Our cracked bike seat post got a lot of ink

Cracked Citi Bike Seats Leave Riders' Pants Soaked After Storms, Users Say

An excerpt
BikeshareNYC, a blog about Citi Bike, recently surveyed 24 bike stations in the Financial District and Battery Park City and found that the majority of the docked bikes they checked — 68 percent — had cracked seats.

An excerpt
by DNAinfo’s Irene Plagianos: “Cracks on the seats of the shared blue bikes are becoming more prevalent, regular riders say — which creates a nuisance when rain seeps into the fissures and the seats stay soggy for days after a storm. … BikeshareNYC, a blog about Citi Bike, recently surveyed 24 bike stations in the Financial District and Battery Park City and found that [68%] of the docked bikes they checked … had cracked seats.”

Citi Bike struggling to keep up with huge repair backlog

An excerpt

BikeshareNYC, a blog about the system, inspected docked bikes at 24 stations  around the Financial District earlier this month — and found that a whopping 68 percent of them had cracked seats.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Follow our advice or you stand a 68% chance for wet fanny tomorrow

Some are only slighty cracked. Others look
 the victim of wild dog packs
It’s gonna rain. Take along a plastic bag.

How do we know about your 68% chance? We physically inspected the 24 stations in the Financial District and Battery Park last week. Along that journey, we counted 545 docked bikes. Of those, 373 had cracked seats.

The good news: Citi Bike seems to have an aggressive replacement program under way. All the good seats are not pale gray survivors of the winter.  They all look brand spanking new.

Below is a list of the stations we visited

47Financial DistrictBarclay St & Church St1113
36Financial DistrictBroadway & Battery Pl1833
43Financial DistrictJohn St & William St2238
35Financial DistrictLiberty St & Broadway1424
41Financial DistrictMurray St & West St2333
37Financial DistrictOld Slip & Front St1418
35Financial DistrictPark Pl & Church St1016
42Financial DistrictPearl St & Hanover Square1218
39Financial DistrictFront St & Maiden Ln2239
35Financial DistrictBroad St & Bridge St1829
27Financial DistrictMaiden Ln & Pearl St1822
47!!!Financial DistrictBus Slip & State St3545
36Financial DistrictCliff St & Fulton St1324
43Financial DistrictFulton St & William St2026
35Financial DistrictPeck Slip & Front Street1726
29Financial DistrictSouth St & Gouverneur Ln1519
39Financial DistrictSouth St & Whitehall St2127
31Financial DistrictSpruce St & Nasau St510
31Financial DistrictWater - Whitehall Plaza1118
24Battery Park CityLittle West St & 1 Pl1120
25Battery Park CitySouth End Ave & Liberty St37
39Battery Park CityVesey Pl & River Terrace2333
49Battery Park CityWest Thames St67
39Financial DistrictWilliam St & Pine St1118

NotSpots not such a problem in recent weeks

The system operators got serious about addressing empty/filled stations in mid-June. The established pattern now is a rough Monday morning because weekend use scatters the bikes followed by gradual improvement as the week goes on.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wall Street Journal profiles CitiBike’s mystery suitor

An excerpt
Much about Mr. Schulhof and his plans for bike-sharing remain a mystery. A Stanford-trained lawyer who studied French literature and government at Dartmouth College, Mr. Schulhof has spent much of his career inside corporate boardrooms and at private-equity firms.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This Facebook post captures NYC bike sharing in its finest moment

Under threatening skies last night outside Grand Central -- a HUGE thank you to the guy who with enormous trust and generosity handed me his bike when none of the docking stations were working -- no bikes in or out and the thunder was rumbling! "I only used 12 minutes" he said -- "get where you're going and dock it for me" - good luck! Now that's the bike share spirit!!
Hallie Tamez
July 16 at 4:11pm ·

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

App update announced

The app has been updated, CitiBike announced yesterday on its Facebook page. Enhancements include display of bike lanes and a station info refresh button.

What’s missing from looming CitiBike deal? Public sector participation

An excerpt:
For people who want to see bike-share succeed in New York, news that a new team might be taking over is welcome. Without an intervention, the system as it is being operated now seems headed for an inevitable decline, which would be very sad.
The question is, would the city be better off looking at a different model, one in which the public sector takes more control and more accountability, in exchange for greater transparency about the way bike-share is being handled?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Grand Central to Williamsburg: Reporter tails CitiBike No. 0919 for 12 hours

An excerpt:
Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day.
7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. "Yes, you can follow me," he says as he puts on his blue helmet. "I hope you don't mind going in the wrong direction on some streets."