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Astoria to be included in Citibike program

Aug. 8, 2013 By Christian Murray

State Sen. Mike Gianaris formerly announced today that Astoria has been included as part of the Citibike program.

Astoria, which had been left out of the program, joins Sunnyside—as the other Queens community– to be included in Phase II of the Citibike plan.

“Citibike will be a great addition to Astoria, which has a growing cycling community and is already one of the most bike-friendly neighborhoods in the city,” Gianaris said in a statement.

Citibike is already slated to expand into Long Island City as part of Phase I of the rollout, which would bring 7,000 bikes and 420 stations to the city by the end of 2013.

However, the implementation of the program in Long Island City continues to get delayed. The Department of Transportation has said that the delays stem from Hurricane Sandy. The DOT claims that the bikes were in storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard when the hurricane struck and sustained a great deal of damage.

Upon the completion of Phase 1, the DOT plans additional rounds of expansion. Astoria has been added to the list of future neighborhoods joining Sunnyside, Park Slope and Manhattan’s Upper East and West Side.

Officials are expected to start work on the Astoria Citibike program by the end of the year. The plans will eventually determine what Astoria locations would be best suited for the program.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who pushed to get Long Island City included in Phase 1 of the Citibike program, has been waging war on the DOT, urging the agency to bring Citibike to Long Island City as soon as possible.  “We are still waiting on an exact date,” he said. “However, we expect it to be in Long Island City in coming months.”

The date of when Phase II will be introduced is still unknown. “We continue to push DOT to bring CitiBikes to other parts of Western Queens including Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside as quickly as possible and will keep fighting until it arrives,” Van Bramer said.

The DOT was not available for immediate comment.

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