June 13, 2013 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon and demanded that the Citi Bike Share program be expanded to include all of Western Queens.
Bike Share is scheduled to arrive in Long Island City between September and the end of the year. However, Van Bramer said, there is a need for Department of Transportation to bring Bike Share to other Western Queens neighborhoods and to set a date as to when those bikes would arrive.
Long Island City is the only section of the borough that’s currently part of the Bike Share roll out.
“There are already 36,000 members of bike share (citywide)…and I want these members to be able to come to Long Island City, Astoria and Sunnyside, “ Van Bramer said.
“Bike Share will help drive tourists to Western Queens…and would help bring people to the world class cultural institutions and restaurants in the area,” Van Bramer said. Furthermore, “the population of Western Queens is exploding and new [residential units] are going up every day. ”
The district is ready for bike share, since there are already plenty of bike lanes in Western Queens, advocates say. The Queensboro Bridge now features improved bike access. Also, developments like the Queens East River and North Shore Greenway in Astoria have added bike lanes—and there is now access from northern Astoria to Brooklyn.
Furthermore,“The No. 7 and N trains are overcrowded,” said Dominic Stiller, president of Dutch Kills Civic Association. “I would rather ride a bike…and it’s good for getting to work.” He said many of the hotels in the LIC/Dutch Kills area are also calling for a Citi Bike docking stations to be located near them.
Meanwhile, Adrian Bordoni, executive director of Woodside on the Move, a grass roots community organization, said Woodside didn’t want to be left out of Citi Bike Share. “We want to connect with people from Sunnyside, Astoria and Long Island City.”
The Department of Transportation could not immediately be reached for comment. However, in April, the agency said “there will be a chance to expand in the future based on demand and resources.”