By John Alexander
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
District 43 City Council candidate John Quaglione held a press conference at the intersection of Clinton and Congress streets in Cobble Hill on Friday. He was joined by Cobble Hill resident and community leader Daniel Arbeeny and June Johnson, a member of Community Board 10 (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Fort Hamilton).
“We believe Citi Bike is great for our community,” said Quaglione, “as long as it doesn’t take away our parking spaces.” Quaglione stipulated the need for community board approval of Citi Bike expansion, noting that members of a neighborhood know the best places to install the bike racks, which take up valuable parking spaces.
Quaglione wanted to get in front of the Citi Bike issue as the city continues to look to expand the program throughout the five boroughs. The first step, according to Quaglione, is the need for community input before any location is decided upon, and that would require community board approval as to what location would be deemed acceptable for a city bike station to be put in place.
“We’re taking into consideration if we put it on a sidewalk it would have to be an appropriately sized sidewalk so that it doesn’t impede pedestrian traffic, wheelchairs or baby carriages,” said Quaglione. “There are locations in the area that are completely off the radar that would be a nonstarter because the parking in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach is already at such a premium.”
“When the Department of Transportation put up a No-Standing zone on the corner of 91st Street and Colonial Road for example, to improve visibility because of accidents, the loss of that one spot created such an uproar from the neighbors in that surrounding area. And that’s just over one spot. These Citi Bike stations can take up to 10 or 12 spots, the length of 10 cars.”