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Shout of the blue: Next CB6 Citi Bike meeting could have police protection

Panic station: This Citi Bike stop on Carroll Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues has particularly angered some Park Slopers.
Brooklyn Paper
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Somebody call the cops!

The manager of Community Board 6 fears the panel will need police protection when angry Park Slopers converge on an upcoming emergency meeting to discuss controversial new Citi Bike stations that are taking up precious parking spaces in the area, and may ensure New York’s Finest are on hand to maintain the order that was missing at the board’s Sept. 14 gathering — when an angry mob demanded something be done about the unwanted bike racks that suddenly appeared on neighborhood streets.

Citi Bike wasn’t on the agenda for Community Board 6’s meeting last week, but that didn’t stop a host of nearly two dozen disgruntled residents from attempting to derail the board’s pre-scheduled program to discuss the bike-rental program that was now taking up space in front of some residents’ homes.

Now, one of the board’s leaders says a new meeting to discuss the matter is on the horizon, and the boys in blue may be there to keep angry residents in line.

“Anytime you expect that many people to turn out on an issue that’s likely to be somewhat controversial, you have to plan for it,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman. “It would be irresponsible not to.”

Foremost among the Citi Bike haters at last week’s meeting was Joseph Igneri, an 80-year-old Cobble Hill resident who was asked to leave the meeting after launching into an angry tirade, screaming into the faces of the board’s leadership.

“There’s no bike stand in front of your house, right?” Igneri yelled as he approached community board chairwoman Sayar Lonial before moving on to Hammerman. “Is there a bike stand in front of your house? Why won’t you answer?”

The meeting ultimately got back on track after Lonial informed those bike haters present that discussion of any item not on the agenda would not be tolerated, although he assured the crowd that the board would address the bike racks at the board’s Transportation Committee meeting in October.

The board is currently working with Department of Transportation to schedule a time and place to discuss Citi Bike, according to Hammerman.

Meanwhile, lines are being drawn in the preverbal sand between local bike-loving and bike-hating factions.

The board has been flooded with messages from locals wanting to share their love of the bike-rental program, largely in response to Igneri’s tirade — and the video of it that has gone viral since the meeting, according to Hammerman.

A petition declaring enthusiasm for Citi Bike ironically appeared Sunday on the website Change.org, and now has more than 300 signatures.

Pro-bike group Transportation Alternatives says it is sending out an e-mail blast to local members alerting them to the community board’s Citi Bike meeting once it’s scheduled, in hopes of ensuring a cadre of bike lovers show up to oppose the haters, according to the organization’s deputy director.

“We have a large membership and supporter base, something like 150,000 New Yorkers that care about safe street issues and whenever there’s a topic on a community board agenda related to safe streets and bikes, we as a courtesy let our membership know about,” said Caroline Samponaro.

And there to greet them, of course, will be the cops.

It wouldn’t be the first time the NYPD showed up at a Community Board 6 meeting that had the chance of breaking out into a hockey game, Hammerman noted. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, security was on hand to make sure things didn’t get out of order.

“When we were hosting meetings to discuss the Barclays Center, ground rules were stated up front and we had a police presence,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Here's an idea: these unelected community boards are worthless and they attract even worse know-nothing busybodies. Therefore, don't have another meeting about it.

Likewise, don't have another meeting about redeveloping the Pfizer plant in Williamsburg. The so-called community shut down the meeting, so don't invite or consult the so-called community.
Sept. 22, 2016, 7:13 am
Rita from Queens says:
I know Mike - why don't they just make decisions based on the comments section of this paper?
Even worse, what about those unelected communities? No one voted them into place! We never voted about whether cars should have been invented, or who gets to use a bicycle either! We have so many elections coming up!
Sept. 22, 2016, 8:02 am
Rita from Queens says:
We never voted when I decided to transition into a woman and here we are.
Sept. 22, 2016, 8:26 am
Joe from Brooklyn says:
1 - Joseph Igneri should be in jail.

2 - I agree with Mike from Williamsburg. The concept of community boards is not working. These un-elected representatives presiding over b-tch sessions is counter productive to progress in NYC.

3 - Everywhere CitiBike has been deployed has had these same arguments, and each time it remains in place and has been successful. Brooklyn Paper though continues to report on it like this is the first time. I've become convinced this useless paper exists just to collect ad revenue from bike trolls spamming these boards.
Sept. 22, 2016, 8:54 am
S Greenberg from Gowanus says:
Why are parking spots more "precious" than Citibike stations?
Sept. 22, 2016, 9:09 am
Mike from Slope says:
These whiny drivers still have more than 90% of the curb space in the neighborhood, despite a car ownership rate of less than 50%. Complaining when you already get more than your fair share is embarrassing. In a fair world, half of all parking spaces (one side of each street) would be repurposed into something the rest of us can enjoy rather than storage for asthma-causing, pedestrian killing automobiles for the overly-entitled.
Sept. 22, 2016, 9:12 am
Simon from LIC says:
Colin, you're clearly twisting yourself in knots to make the pro-Citibike crowd into the menace, here. The Citibike "racks" are actually called "docks" - your refusal to use the correct terminology appears to be calculated to minimize their role in a city-wide transportation program. And the police are being called in to control the few anti-bike types who are turning CB meetings into shouting matches, not the Transportation Alternatives crowd. TA is just organizing support the same way the anti-Citibike crowd surely is - though why you haven't bothered to inquire or report on what they're doing, I couldn't imagine.

I just don't understand it. Do you have an agenda, Colin? It's just hard to understand all of this deliberate obfuscation otherwise.
Sept. 22, 2016, 9:13 am
Jack from Brooklyn says:
These stations didn't appear "suddenly". The exact locations were announced months in advance, and the expansion plan was announced a year or two ago. The stations were sited based on community planning sessions.
Sept. 22, 2016, 9:38 am
Dave from Boerum Hill says:
Brooklyn Paper - do facts matter to your "journalists" or do you exist just to fuel the local cranks?
Sept. 22, 2016, 9:48 am
lk from Fort Greene says:
Congratulations to TA for getting so many of your talking points into one comment section.

Nice to know Caroline Samponaro that the only people who care about street safety are those who ride bikes.
Sept. 22, 2016, 10:42 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Ik, it's an exaggeration to say that the only people who care about street safety are those on bikes. But it's completely accurate to say that the only people who don't care about safety are those who drive cars.

A modest proposal: if you want to drive a car, GTFO of NYC and move to Ohio or somewhere where your kind fits in. You aren't real New Yorkers and you make this city bad.
Sept. 22, 2016, 11:38 am
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
The people of Ohio deserve clean air as much as we do. People that drive private cars are carbon criminals, and should be treated as such. No need to ship our criminals to Ohio, we can throw them in jail for their crimes right here.
Sept. 22, 2016, 12:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sometimes, I can't just get the attitude of the bike zealots. When the community is on their side, they say that they were right for it. However, when it's the reverse, they start with the name calling and other personal attacks that they wouldn't even say to their own grandmother. It wasn't that anyone was really against these docks, they just felt that it was passed in an elitist way, which the bike zealots only support when it works for them only. Seriously, I'm really getting tired of you bike zealots calling us motorists criminals and claiming that we don't belong in the city. Keep in mind that there are parts of the outer boroughs that aren't reachable by mass transit, so that's why those that live there drive more. Others just drive because some of the places they need to reach are faster by driving. Try looking for the causes rather than the effects. BTW, you bike zealots are just as much of criminals just by constantly ignoring traffic lights and signs, so don't try to play the innocent on that.
Sept. 22, 2016, 5:23 pm
Nemo from Park Slope says:
About 1/2 or 1/4 of 1% of CB6 parking was converted into Citibike docks.

Yet, drivers are outraged at having "only" 99.5% of the space.

Nothing less than 100% of it will do.
Sept. 22, 2016, 5:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry, I just don't have the time to correct all the BS I just spewed out earlier. Apologizes for bothering all you people, I'm not even in the right city here.
Sept. 22, 2016, 5:50 pm
Andrew from Park Slope says:
I am pro-Citibike. I am also a member. I support thoughtful expansion. However, there is validity to some of the complaints.

Several years ago, the DOT conducted studies of traffic in Park Slope. They discovered that a large percentage of the vehicular traffic in Park Slope is due to drivers "circling the block" and looking for a parking spot. CitiBike will add to the traffic in Park Slope.

Parking is at a major premium in the neighborhood. And it affects not just the car-owning residents, but the businesses too.

And for anybody that believes that Citibikes will encourage car owners to sell their car, I have a bridge to sell you. Zipcar, maybe. But not bike shares. Most people have cars for a reason. And that reason is not "solutioned" by a bike.

The argument that bike shares take (parked) cars off the road is greatly exaggerated based on cherry-picked facts. Far fewer Citibike trips replaced car trips than the advocates say. Look at the usage data patterns. People are taking them to and from the train stations and for neighborhood errands for which they likely would not have used a car previously. Again, look at the data.

The best solution is identifying Citibike locations that do not consume parking spots. A perfect example is what was done on Berkeley Place between 5th and 6th avenues.
Sept. 22, 2016, 6:21 pm
DMC from PARK SLOP says:
TAZ Your making too much sense! lol Believe me the woman who called the cops at the last meeting LIED to them. and left didn't have the balls to stand her so called ground no worries i know who she is
Sept. 23, 2016, 9:54 am
Just One Problem from Look at the Actual Article says:
@ DMC from PARK SLOP

Aside from the video evidence genius.
Sept. 23, 2016, 11:56 am
Joshua from Bay Ridge says:
We the People have spoken and we don't want those bike racks taking space on our streets. Please respect our democracy and don't be anti-democratic bigot, remove those racks from the streets.
Sept. 24, 2016, 2:08 am
Dmc from Park slop says:
He was yelling yes but Noone got violent. Genius she lied to the police and left the scene. Cops came and left
Sept. 24, 2016, 9:11 am
Democracy from It was already approved says:
Joshua, actually the people already spoke and they approved the bike racks.

So deal with it.
Sept. 26, 2016, 10:23 am
DMC from PArk Slop says:
Democracy not every person in the neighborhood had a say in it. Only the bigoted pro citibike people.
Sept. 26, 2016, 1:55 pm
Democracy from It was already approved says:
Don't like it? F-ck off to Connecticut.
Sept. 26, 2016, 2:02 pm
Melisande from Park Sloop says:
Pro bike sharing-- if Citi name "has" to attached as their cheap penance for billion dollar malfeasance etc... So be it.

HOWEVER, some locations aren't so hot AND the difference between bike sharing in summer and in later fall / winter / early spring is significant.

Not sure what the answer is but those racks full of snow and salt covered bikes do nobody any good.

Maybe the newer breed of Citi bikers will be hardier.
Sept. 26, 2016, 7:07 pm
Vinny from Gowanus says:
On the other hand, ANYTHING that annoys Park Slope fatsos driving to Whole Foods, and bullying pedestrians at lights, and driving in the BIKE LANE is OK with me. (A car owner, not a Citi cyclist.)
Sept. 26, 2016, 7:09 pm
Byron from Carroll Gardens says:
Let's be honest here. These Citibike racks are placed for the real estate developers to attract renters. The narrow streets in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens are not appropriate for bike lanes. Offset streets make turning for cars trucks and fire engines very difficult; especially the Citibike rack on Bond St right next to the FDNY ambulance garage. Bike lanes only work on wide boulevards as they do in many European cities . also bike lanes are constantly blocked by Uber cars,delivery trucks and yellow cabs endangering pedestrianss and bikers. Bikers DONT obey traffic laws running red lights,stop signs putting traffic flow and causing accidents on Bond St where the new bike racks are, there are 8 construction sights in a4 block area with cement trucks, backhoes ,construction cranes blocking every lane so bike and cars swere to avoid. Uber cars also block bike lanes and add to pollution.They are not a public service. These cars are on the street 9 plus hours a day polluting the air.Parked cars do not pollute the air
Sept. 29, 2016, 4:34 pm

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